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The most fundamental, basic part of your grooming routine is hopping in the shower. In fact, it's not even about grooming—it's about basic hygiene. While showering is an obvious necessity, you don't have to stick to the basics when it comes to your body wash. Don't be shy—pamper yourself with the perfect soap.
When, exactly, you prefer to shower doesn’t really matter as much as actually doing it. Some dudes don't feel properly awake until they’ve hopped in the shower and thoroughly scrubbed their bodies down each and every morning. Others favor the nighttime shower to wash away the day and get ready for a good night’s sleep. And some of us discovered the glory of the midday shower—a luxury only really available while you’re staying home (trust us; if you haven’t tried it, give it a shot).
No matter when you shower, finding the right body wash is the first (and easiest) step towards maintaining marginally better-than-medieval hygiene habits, and there have never been more options. Level up your lathering up by copping one of the body washes below and get ready to rejoin the great washed masses.
Eucalyptus Cedar Body Wash
Bring the spa into your own bathroom with this affordable, effective body wash. Natural essential oils and plant-based cleansers are gentle on your skin and turn your shower into a relaxing escape.
Not only does this work as a body wash, but a hair product, too—so when you're low on baggage space, this is your one-stop shop. Kiehl's uses a blend of vitamins (yes, vitamins!) to reinvigorate your skin and leave you feeling refreshed.
Black Reserve Body and Hair Cleanser
If you want your soap to be more than soap, opt for Jack Black's elevated take on the humble body wash. It's super hydrating and leaves a subtle scent that's as good as any cologne.
Invigorating Body Wash
If regular bar soap tends to dry your skin out, try a body wash with natural hydrating ingredients like aloe vera. Baxter of California's pick is packed with vitamin C, too, which has brightening, soothing qualities that will make your skin feel fresh and new.
Neroli Portofino Shower Gel
You're telling me you wouldn't want to smell like Tom Ford?! Don't play yourself. You know it's fancy when there's French on the goddamn bottle. Bonus points for the rich, cruelty-free formula.
Cedarwood Body Wash
Every Man Jack's grooming products make your routine as streamlined as it needs to be for you to actually stick to it. This cedwarwood-scented body wash does the job, and does it well—whether you're a morning shower guy or a night shower guy, you'll leave your bathroom smelling (and feeling) great.
EveryDay Shea Body Wash
The shea butter and coconut oil in this rich liquid leaves even the driest skin moisturized and soft. Try the unscented version to keep it simple.
Stone Body Wash (3-Pack)
If you're going to stock up on a single grooming product, this body wash from the DTC darling should be it. The trio of rich, high-quality body washes leaves behind soft skin and a faint citrus-y scent—so good, you'll want to buy it thrice.
Eucalyptus Hand + Body Wash
Malin + Goetz makes a body wash that does double duty as a hand soap, killing two birds (and way more germs) with one stone. This cult-favorite brand is known for being great for sensitive skin, so don't be afraid to go forth (into your shower) and conquer.
Mind and Body Wash
Graduate from that low-budget castile soap to this eco-friendly wash. It smells like showering in a redwood forest, and with a formula suitable for all skin types, showering will be the best part of your day.
What To Look For
You're going to be using your body wash every single day (at least, I would hope so), so you need to pick an option that you love. Make sure you look into the scent of your body wash—if you hate a masculine, musky scent, opt for something fresher and more floral, maybe. If you don't like any scent at all, watch for unscented picks, too.
Additionally, the extra ingredients your body wash has tells you a lot about what kind of skincare benefits they provide. Dry and sensitive skin types will want to reach for moisturizing, nourishing options that have ingredients like aloe vera and shea butter, while oily or blemish-prone skin types will likely fare better with vitamin C, vitamin E, and charcoal.
Why You Can Trust Esquire
We’re not about writing how great things are if they aren’t actually great. Every product in Esquire’s round-ups are carefully curated by our fashion, grooming, and e-commerce teams.
When it comes to something as basic and necessary as body washes, you can rest assured that we’re hand-selecting options that we’ve personally tested, tried, and loved.
Every pick on this list (and our other lists!) comes from years of wearing different things, seeing what we love and what we don’t, and going from there. No two tastes are the same, and no two men are the same. Your proverbial mileage may vary. But if you’re looking for the right place to start, with advice from folks who and care (possibly too much!) about this sort of stuff, this is the place to be.
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