Q&A. What I Should Look for in a Body Wash? Fact: it’s more than just suds and bubbles.

The best body wash for you is out there...

And before you ask, “do I even need one?”...yes, you do! Body wash is necessary to keep your skin soft and healthy – and, like its bar soap companion, it keeps you smelling amazing. Plus, all the germs, dirt and grime from the day are gone.

But, with so many choices, we get that it’s hard to know where to start or what type of product is best for you. Don’t worry: we gathered a list of common questions to start you off with a clean slate.

What ingredients should be in my body wash?

Always search for moisturizing, nourishing and skin-loving ingredients. Vitamin E is a great place to start – this goodie helps lock moisture while keeping your skin super-soft. Other hyper-hydrators to look for in your body wash or shower gel include shea butter, coconut oil and cocoa butter. These goodies add hydration, nourishment and all the skin-softening properties your body craves. Some body washes even contain ultra-comforting aloe. It’s not just for sunburns – this soothing ingredient helps reduce any skin inflammation and has tons of anti-aging vitamins.

What’s best for dry skin?

We love options that are blended with hydrating ingredients, like a moisturizing body wash, for anyone with dry skin. Unlike a rougher bar soap or lighter shower gel, moisturizing body wash looks and feels like a creamy lotion, so it starts adding moisture from the very first step of your routine.

If you’re looking for the ultimate hydrating experience, we especially recommend our Bath & Body Works moisturizing body wash. It’s clinically tested to moisturize after just one shower, and you’ll love the rich, creamy lather, infused with fluffy shea butter, smooth coconut butter and rich cocoa butter. Just don’t skip the lotion or body cream after the shower to keep all that moisture locked in.

Is there a difference between liquid soap and bar soap?

It all comes down to two things: the blend and container. Liquid body washes and shower gels are typically gentler on skin than bar soap. Added bonus: it’s kept in a bottle so there’s less mess and it’s more hygienic – maintaining a nice barrier between your soap and germs. Bar soap sits out all day, every day on the soap holder – which just gets plain messy. Germs can get on it and if water doesn’t drain properly, you could end up with a soap swamp. No, thanks.

Which has the most powerful clean: shower gel, body wash or bar soap?

When it comes to comparing suds against suds, it’s a total tie – they all have the same cleansing power. We know that’s surprising, but hear us out: soap is soap – it cleans well, regardless of what form it’s in. The differentiator is really what you want your soap to accomplish. Body wash and shower gel are gentler and have extra moisturizing power, but always read the labels of any product you’re thinking about buying…ingredients are key.

Does it matter how I apply body wash?

Any way you want and however your skin needs. Your hands are perfect for body wash...super-gentle, soothing and there’s no accessories required. Washcloths get those suds going and gently exfoliate at the same time. Loofahs, the fluffier alternative to a washcloth, deeply exfoliated in a snap. And with so many varieties – from light netting to shaped sponge – you can find a ton of cuties to collect. But don’t forget to clean your loofah and washcloth after every use to avoid bacteria growth.

Should I use shower gel or moisturizing body wash?

It all depends on what you want and need out of your soapy routine. Do you typically have normal skin? Pick up a shower gel – it’s lighter and meant for all skin types. What about dry and flakey? Grab that moisturizing body wash and say hello to soft, touchable skin. Seasonal tip: During winter, switch your shower gel out for a moisturizing body wash to stay hydrated. Your skin will thank you later!

Can you use shower gel as a bubble bath?

Yes! Running out of bubble bath mix is always the worst, especially when you’re craving some relaxing time in the tub (with a glass of rosé and your fave podcast, of course). Our secret: instead of bubble bath grab your bottle of shower gel and add 1-2 caps to your running, warm bathwater. Wait for the tub to fill up and soak up the suds – your relaxing night is off to a great start.