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Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid in Body Wash

Table of Contents

Staying hygienic is important, and the trend to use soaps has shifted to using body washes nowadays. While getting yourself a body wash, most of you look for a scent that can make you smell wonderful after a shower. So, in this chase of finding a fragrant body wash, you forget to pay attention to the ingredients it is made up of. 

We are here to talk about the ingredients that you should avoid in your body wash. Let us first start with knowing what is a body wash made up of.

Chemical Composition of Body Wash

Body wash has a diverse chemical composition, and each component serves a different purpose.

  • Surfactants – Common surfactants are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
  • Emollients – Glycerin, shea butter, aloe vera, and some natural oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc are in this category.
  • Humectants – Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and panthenol are some of the humectants used in body washes.
  • Fragrance – It is added to the body wash to make it the best-smelling body wash ever.
  • Preservatives – Parabens and phenoxyethanol are some of the preservatives added in body washes.
  • Thickening agents – Xanthan gum and carrageenan are the agents added to provide a thick texture to the body wash. 
  • Antioxidants – Vitamin E, an antioxidant, can protect the skin from free radicals.

Purpose of Body Wash

Body wash helps you with the following: 

  • It helps in removing dirt, sweat, oils, and impurities from the skin’s surface.
  • Body wash is also essential to keep the skin moisturized.
  • If you are a fan of fragrances, then a body wash is good to go.
  • Some of the body washes are made by keeping in mind various skin concerns, sensitivity, acne, etc.
  • It helps in clearing the dead skin cells and acts as an exfoliating agent.

And the list keeps going on. These benefits can persuade you to buy just about everything under the sun, but you have to be careful about the harmful ingredients as well. 

Ingredients to Avoid

Below is a list of the top ten ingredients that you should avoid in your body wash.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

SLS is an irritant that is utilized to generate foam in body washes. This substance removes all-natural oils from the skin, making it dryer. It can induce perioral dermatitis, and scientists recommend limiting its use to only 15%. The only reason this amount is permitted is that you can dilute it with water and rinse it quickly during a shower. 


Parabens are artificial preservatives that are utilized to extend the shelf life of your body wash. Although this sounds like a good thing, it disrupts the endocrine system and may cause hormonal imbalance. It can cause some skin issues and even lead to breast cancer. 

Check if your body wash has these three ingredients:

  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Propylparaben

If yes, then do not use it. 

Artificial Fragrances

Everyone tries to get fragrant body washes, but these fragrances contain a mix of harmful chemicals. You can experience skin irritation, allergies, and even respiratory problems because of these artificial scents. That is why you must have fragrance-free body washes, And if you desire fragrance, try including natural oils in your shower routines.


Formaldehyde is a general carcinogen and can cause skin allergies. You’d be surprised that formaldehyde releases agents like DMDM hydantoin or quaternion-15 that can cause respiratory issues. 


These antimicrobial agents are used in antibacterial body washes. However, they do disrupt the body’s endocrine system and are associated with antibiotic resistance. It has been a long time since the use of them in body washes was banned, but some body washes have them. Therefore, you have to be careful with the presence of triclosan in your body wash.


Phthalates are used to enhance the texture and fragrance of your body washes. Everyone likes the beautiful texture of their body wash and a good fragrance, but it comes at a cost. It can damage the liver and cause reproductive issues. It can also disrupt the hormonal balance, and that is why you have to look for DEP or DBP on the ingredient label. 

Propylene Glycol

Nobody wants a body wash that dries their skin. Propylene glycol is used to maintain the moisture in the body wash. However, it can cause irritation & allergies. It can take away the natural body oil from the skin and make it dry. 

Artificial Colors

No doubt artificial colors are added to the body washes for aesthetic purposes, but they can cause irritation to the skin. These synthetic dyes can be the reason for allergic reactions. That is why it is best to choose body washes that are free of artificial colors.  

Mineral Oil

Some body washes contain mineral oil, a by-product of petroleum. It creates a barrier on the skin and prevents it from breathing. This can ultimately lead to clogged pores, acne, and some serious skin issues. 


These are made up of ingredients like DEA, MEA, & TEA. They can make some adjustments in the pH level in the body washes and can alter the pH of the skin as well. 

Helpful Tips for Buying Body Wash


We all know the market is full of beautifully packed products, and they can create a distraction with their beautiful packaging. That is why it is better to choose a trusted body wash from a trusted brand for healthy skin.  

While choosing a fragrance body wash, make sure it has exfoliation options to help with dead skin removal. You should watch for pH levels and always buy body wash that does not harm the protective layer of your skin. 

Parting Words!

Now that you know about the top 10 ingredients that you have to avoid in body wash, you must read the label before getting one. Meanwhile, it will be beneficial to look for a body wash that is organic, natural, and toxin-free. It can keep your skin healthy, and your body will thank you for it in the long run.

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