While there are numerous body washes on the market formulated to clean skin, not all are targeted at reducing bacteria on your skin. If you want to remove pesky bacteria like E. coli from your skin, then consider an antibacterial body wash.
Body odor occurs from bacteria that multiply and feed off of the odorless sweat on your skin. The same happens to your feet when they are enclosed without the proper ventilation. Antibacterial body washes target foot and body odor and the bacteria that cause them.
If you are concerned that an antibacterial body wash or soap will leave your skin dry and itchy, then look for one of the several body washes below that are formulated to clean while moisturizing your skin and protecting your skin barrier.
The 10 Best Antibacterial Body Washes
Let’s take a look at the 10 best antibacterial body washes for your skin:
From the #1 recommended body wash brand, comes Dove Care & Protect Antibacterial Body Wash. This antibacterial body wash eliminates 99% of bacteria in a 20-second wash test vs. E. coli bacteria. It also moisturizes skin with Dove’s Moisture Renew Blend. The active ingredient in this body wash is Benzalkonium Chloride at 0.13%. For more details on Benzalkonium Chloride, please see the shaded box below.
This body is also formulated with lauric acid, which is a cleansing agent that shows promise as an anti-acne ingredient. This 2009 study showed that lauric acid needed a 15x lower concentration to prevent P. acnes bacteria (involved in inflammatory acne) when compared to the well-known acne-buster benzoyl peroxide.
This pH-neutral hydrating body wash also contains glycerin, a humectant, attracts moisture and helps skin retain moisture. It has a light clean and fresh fragrance and is an excellent choice for thirsty dry skin in need of moisture.
What is Benzalkonium Chloride?
Benzalkonium Chloride is a surfactant that is typically used in cosmetics and personal care products most often as an antimicrobial preservative. It offers antimicrobial properties to defend against organisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Dettol Anti Bacterial pH-Balanced Body Wash is a pH balanced body wash that targets germs while ensuring that skin stays moisturized. This antibacterial body wash protects against germs that cause skin infections, respiratory infections such as influenza, and gastroenteritis (Salmonella and Escherichia Coli). It is also available in a sensitive formula designed specifically for sensitive skin.
It contains glycerin, a humectant that draws in moisture, and salicylic acid which helps to exfoliate the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. The original Dettol pine fragrance is courtesy of menthol. Menthol is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Derma-nu Anti-Fungal Therapeutic Soap All Over Body Wash is formulated with 70% natural ingredients to protect against skin irritations and conditions that are caused by bacteria and fungus. These conditions include athlete’s foot, ringworm, psoriasis, jock itch, acne, toenail and nail fungus, and foot & body odor.
It uses a blend of tea tree, peppermint, menthol, wintergreen, eucalyptus, and spearmint essential oil to soothe dry and itchy skin. These aromatic oils also provide an uplighting scent. This antifungal soap & body wash is particularly good for athletes and sporting/gym enthusiasts who use shared equipment, which is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Hibiclens Antimicrobial/Antiseptic Skin Cleanser is a medical grade liquid antimicrobial cleanser. Hibiclens kills bacteria (including MRSA), viruses and fungi and safeguards skin against germs for up to 24 hours. It can be used for skin wound and general cleansing. While it kills germs on contact, it is gentle enough for daily use.
The active ingredient in Hibiclens is 4% Chlorhexidine Gluconate. This cleanser is used by doctors and hospitals for its antiseptic properties. Hibiclens binds to the skin and leaves a non-sticky layer of protection that kills miroorganisms for up to 24 hours and works great on body odor and is an excellent antibacterial hand soap, too!
Botanic Hearth Tea Tree Oil Body Wash is formulated with 100% pure tea tree oil, coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba seed oil, sea buckthorn berry oil and shea butter oil, plus cocoa seed butter, cranberry seed oil, peppermint oil, and oregano oil.
This shower gel is a body and foot wash that is formulated with several natural ingredients and plant extracts to address multiple skin issues and concerns. It targets body odor, athlete’s foot, ringworm jock itch, acne, toenail and nail fungus, yeast, and other skin irritations.
It is formulated to calm and soothe, dry irritated skin, and is formulated for all skin types. This antibacterial shower gel is ideal for athletes and anyone who engages in physical activity. The blend of essential oils fight bacteria and fungi while helping to get rid of itching, dryness, burning, and excessive odor.
Remedy Soap Tea Tree Oil Body Wash is a 100% natural cleanser formulated to provide natural relief for body odor, athlete’s foot, and jock itch. It uses organic oils to soothe dry itchy skin while reducing body odor from excessive sweating.
This body wash avoids using harsh chemicals and instead uses a natural blend of tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and aloe oil to help with allergies and body rashes. To avoid drying out your skin, you can dilute the wash with 10-30% water.
This body wash uses a coconut oil base and does not use chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate to create an abundant lather, so don’t judge its effectiveness if it doesn’t lather as much as you’d expect.
Dove Men+Care Anti-Bacterial Body Wash, formulated especially for men, is clinically proven to eliminate 99% of bacteria. This body wash can be used as both a body wash and a face wash. The active ingredient in this body wash is Benzalkonium Chloride at 0.13%.
This lightweight Dove body wash uses MicroMoisture technology that activates when the body wash is lathered to get rid of dirt and germs while ensuring that skin stays comfortable.
Oriso Anti-Fungal Tea Tree Oil Body and Foot Wash uses 5% tea tree oil to remove fungus and bacteria that present in a variety of skin conditions like athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch, acne, nail fungus, eczema, and body odor.
It gets rid of dirt and grime while hydrating and soothing irritated skin. It works for all skin types including dry and sensitive skin. It can be used as a foot wash, nail wash or body wash to clean, hydrate and moisturize skin.
Purely Northwest Antifungal Tea Tree Oil Foot & Body Wash is an anti-fungal body wash that targets issues such as tines versicolor (a fungal skin infection), athlete’s foot, jock itch, foot odor, armpit odor, ringworm, itchy scalp, and more.
This antibacterial body cleanser is ideal for athletes, gym enthusiasts, and those who play contact sports, and people who are in contact with exercise mats, or are physically active all day. It contains tea tree oil, aloe vera, and a variety of plant extracts to get rid of body and foot odor while soothing irritation.
Natural Riches Tea Tree Oil Body Wash is formulated to nourish and moisturize with a combination of natural oils for hydration and healing.
This body wash is enriched with tea tree, jojoba oil, coconut oil, rosemary oil, olive oil, oregano oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and aloe. It is formulated without preservatives, thickeners, or detergents to heal dry, itchy, and irritated skin.
This moisturizing body wash creates a rich foam and rinses away dirt, microbes, and body odor, and helps with athlete’s foot, jock itch, psoriasis, nail issues, body acne, tinea versicolor, ringworms, and body odor. It’s also an effective foot soak.
BONUS: Best Antibacterial Body Soap (Bar)
If you prefer to use bar soap instead of body wash, consider a classic: Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Gold Bar Soap. This bar soap uses 0.10% Benzalkonium Chloride to get rid of bacteria and odor for a long-lasting clean.
This bar soap formula will leave skin feeling clean, refreshed, and moisturized. This antibacterial soap offers odor protection and has a clean fresh scent – Dial’s classic Gold fragrance that’s been around for decades. And you can’t beat the price!
The Benefits of Antibacterial Body Washes
Antibacterial body washes address many different skin conditions while removing dirt, oil body odor, sweat, and bacteria from your skin.
Whether you choose a product that contains antibacterial ingredients like Benzalkonium Chloride or a natural essential oil like tea tree oil, antibacterial cleansers zero in on dirt and grime and sweep away dead skin cells and odor-causing bacteria on your body and feet.
The trick with any antibacterial product is to not overuse use it, as it can not only reduce the number of bad bacteria on your skin, it can also reduce the number of healthy bacteria on your skin. This can cause additional irritation and can ultimately do more harm than good.
NOTE: Please patch test your skin to ensure that you don’t have a reaction and that you are not sensitive or allergic to any of the antibacterial ingredients in an antibacterial body wash, such as Benzalkonium Chloride, Chlorhexidine Gluconate, and essential oils like tea tree or peppermint oil.
What is Tea Tree Oil and is it Antibacterial?
You’ll see that many of the body washes and shower gels in this post contain tea tree oil. So what is tea tree oil and is it antibacterial?
- Tea tree oil comes from Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia. This essential oil is distilled from the leaves and has been traditionally used for many ailments, thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Tea tree oil has been shown to be helpful for a variety of skin conditions. It was proven to help improve symptoms of athlete’s foot .
- This study determined that 5% topical tea tree oil is an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne.
- Tea tree oil can even help to reduce nail fungus, as shown in this in vitro study.
Final Thoughts on the Best Antibacterial Body Washes
These antibacterial body washes and shower gels offer antibacterial properties to fight odor-causing bacteria, dirt, oil, debris, and other environmental pollutants. Depending on the formula, they work with dry skin, oily skin, or sensitive skin, banishing bacteria while protecting, soothing, and moisturizing the skin.
Thanks for reading, and here’s to your good skin health!
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