Best body wash for men 2021: feel fresher and smell great

The best body wash for men to revolutionise your morning shower experience

Man looking in the mirror with a towel around his neck, after showering with the best body wash for men
(Image credit: Getty)

For many, body wash is essential; a staple shower accessory that you just can’t start your day without.  

While a good ol’ bar of soap has been rubbed under the armpits of humans since well before the Dark Ages, body wash has become the modern-day go-to for getting us smelling fresh as a daisy. As a more manageable liquid alternative to its slippery solid counterpart, body wash has become a popular option - not only because it’s easier to handle but it definitely looks more appealing by the side of your bath than a week-old scummy wet block of mush. 

But what about shower gel? Well, a body wash is usually better quality and longer-lasting than these cheaper supermarket-bought products, so we won't be focusing on those here. (Our body wash vs shower gel vs soap explainer will tell you all you need to know.)

Whatever your preference, body wash is serious business. According to Statista, the market value of shower and body wash in the UK over the past decade have increased consistently. As of December 2020, the market was worth approximately £379 million. But with so many on the market, it’s not easy knowing which men’s body wash is the best. 

Of course, once you've finished using the body wash, you'll also want to use the best deodorant for men, best fragrances for men, and keep your skin soft and subtle with the best moisturisers for men.

If you want to fully upgrade your grooming routine, you'll want to check out our best eye creams for men guide.

We’ve lined up a few of our favourites for those considering a body wash purchase to expedite the decision making process. Here goes...

The best body wash for men you can buy right now

Bullet & Bone

(Image credit: Bullet & Bone)

1. Bullet & Bone Cooling Recovery Body Wash

A tinglingly fresh wash that actually does you some good

Best for: post-workout
Reasons to buy
+Intense cooling effect +Helps combat muscle fatigue
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap-Bottle’s design could be more refined 

This Cooling Recovery Body Wash from Bullet and Bone - a skincare range focused on enhancing sports and fitness performance - delivers an intense cooling effect upon skin contact. Just what you need after a strenuous workout. It works to lower body temperature, reduce perspiration and aid muscle recovery in a bid to stop you moaning about feeling sore after the gym. This is done through a clever cocktail of ingredients, including menthol, eucalyptus and peppermint, which offer a powerful cooling effect, coupled with magnesium by way of Epsom Salts. It’s this that helps combat muscle fatigue and promote recovery. Oh, and you’ve got geranium extract thrown in the mix, too, to counter inflammation.


(Image credit: Kiehl's)

2. Kiehl's ‘Made for All’ Gentle Body Cleanser

The body wash that our planet deserves

Best for: sensitive skin
Reasons to buy
+Biodegradable: great for the environment +Gentle on the skin
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t pack the same punch as other products

Made with 95% naturally-derived ingredients, this biodegradable body wash from Kiehl's boasts some skin-hugging ingredients, from the calming and anti-inflammatory Aloe Vera to the deep cleaning Soap Tree Extract, both of which work together to leave you feeling fresh and fanciful. Oh, and the bottle? That’s sustainable, too - made with 100% post-consumer recycled materials.


(Image credit: Aesop)

3. Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser

Pricey, but a little goes a long way

Best for: Waking you up on a morning
Reasons to buy
+Super invigorating+Long lasting+Swish minimal branding
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive -Paper labelling can disintegrate in wet environments

Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser is an invigorating cleansing gel that gently banishes grime while delivering smells that make you feel better about spending soo much on a body wash. Available in 100ml or in a much larger 500ml bottle, this body wash has a wonderful concoction of fresh, citrussy aromas and leaves your skin feeling super refreshed. An ideal body wash for slapping you into action first thing on a morning.


(Image credit: Nuasan)

4. Nuasan Active Body Wash

Like a gong bath for your muscles

Best for: sweaty Bettys
Reasons to buy
+All natural ingredients +Great for post-workout muscle recovery+Doubles up as a bath soak
Reasons to avoid
-Not available in the shops yet-Pricey

Another body wash aimed at the more active people out there is the Nuasan Active Body Wash. Made from natural ingredients, it’s designed to relieve and repair sore, tired muscles and help with joint stiffness while offering you that all-important fresh feeling every shower should give you. This is achieved through its natural active ingredients, which include magnesium, arnica, L+pH Control (AHA/Lactic Acid), and peppermint. There’s also macro-algae and aloe vera for that extra soft skin feeling. The bonus here, however, is that it doubles up as a bath soak product when you’re feeling extra sore.

Dr Teal’s

(Image credit: Dr Teal’s)

5. Dr Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Body Wash with Lavender

A super soothing body wash for those who like to shower at night

Best for: relaxing
Reasons to buy
+Super soothing formula leaves skin feeling silky+Lavender version help relax and calm 
Reasons to avoid
-Lavender smell could be stronger 

With a super soothing formula that’s been designed to hydrate and condition, Dr Teal’s Relax and Relief Body Wash leaves your skin feeling silky smooth from tip to toe. This is thanks to its fusion of essential oils and nourishing additives including aloe vera, shea butter and vitamin E. This body wash comes in two different flavours, but our favourite is the lavender edition, which works to de-stress and relax - perfect for showering after a long day at work. It’ also long lasting, making it great value for money. 

How to choose the best body wash for you

It’s all good and well knowing what we think are the best body wash products out there, but how do you choose an offering that’s right for you? Here are some things to think about when scanning the shop shelves, be it physical or virtual!

Consider your skin type

The body you opt for shouldn’t just be down to smell alone. Be sure to think about your skin type - you will be rubbing it all over your body every day afterall so it’s im[ortant you don’t buy a product that will irritate your skin or lead to itches or rashes. 

For instance, if you have sensitive or dry skin, go for a product that contains a moisturising agent and is free of fragrances and dyes. Specific ingredients that can help people with these conditions include things like glycerin, which helps hold moisture in the skin, and sunflower seed oil, which has skin-softening vitamin E properties. Also, body washes containing oatmeal can prove especially calming for those experiencing irritation.  

Consider the result 

Every body wash is going to smell nice, or at least make you smell better than BO, but there’s more to consider than that. Most are marketed with a specific side effect, so to speak. From helping you to wake up on a morning with tingly menthol and peppermint ingredients, to helping you relax through injections of lavender, every product is different. Think about when you’ll be showering and what ideal outcome you’re looking for. Shower after the gym? Try a post-workout recovery body wash with magnesium for muscle recovery, for instance.

Lee Bell
Lee Bell

Lee Bell is a freelance journalist & copywriter specialising in technology, health, grooming and how the latest innovations are shaking up the lifestyle space. From national newspapers to specialist-interest magazines and digital titles, Lee has written for some of the world’s most respected publications during his 11 years as a journalist.