While numerous body washes on the market are 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 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 and cleansers below that are formulated to clean while moisturizing your skin and protecting your skin barrier.
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The 17 Best Antibacterial Body Washes
Let’s take a look at the 17 best antibacterial body washes for your skin, including liquid body washes and shower gels, no-rinse cleansers, body cleansing wipes, and bar soap.
1. Dove Care & Protect Antibacterial Body Wash
From the #1 recommended body wash brand, Dove offers a customer favorite: 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 wash is also formulated with lauric acid, 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) 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, fresh fragrance and is an excellent choice for thirsty dry skin in need of moisture.
WHAT IS BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE?
Benzalkonium Chloride is an antiseptic 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.
2. Dettol Anti Bacterial pH-Balanced Body Wash
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 due to menthol. Menthol is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
3. Derma-nu Anti-Fungal Therapeutic Soap All Over Body Wash
Derma-nu Anti-Fungal Therapeutic Soap All Over Body Wash is formulated with 70% natural ingredients to protect against skin irritation and conditions 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.
4. Hibiclens Antimicrobial/Antiseptic Skin Cleanser
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.
Antibacterial vs Antiseptic
Antibacterial products slow the growth of or kill bacteria. Antiseptics help prevent the growth of bacteria plus other organisms such as viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Antiseptics are antimicrobial products that are used on living things to prevent or treat disease.
You can use this antimicrobial body wash for skin wounds 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 antiseptic body wash 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 microorganisms for up to 24 hours, works great on body odor, and is an excellent antibacterial hand soap, too!
This shower gel is a body and foot wash 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 fights bacteria and fungi while helping to get rid of itching, dryness, burning, and excessive odor.
6. Remedy Soap Tea Tree Oil Body Wash
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 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 prevent 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.
7. Dove Men+Care Anti-Bacterial Body Wash
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 antibacterial body wash for men uses MicroMoisture technology that activates when the body wash is lathered to get rid of dirt and germs while ensuring that skin stays comfortable.
8. Oriso Anti-Fungal Tea Tree Oil Body and Foot Wash
Oriso Anti-Fungal Tea Tree Oil Body and Foot Wash uses 5% tea tree oil to remove fungus and bacteria present in various 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.
9. Purely Northwest Antifungal Tea Tree Oil Foot & Body Wash
Purely Northwest Antifungal Tea Tree Oil Foot & Body Wash is an anti-fungal body wash that targets skin 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, those who play contact sports, people in contact with exercise mats, or those who are physically active all day.
The body wash contains tea tree oil, aloe vera, and a variety of plant extracts to get rid of body and foot odor while soothing irritation.
10. Natural Riches Tea Tree Oil Body Wash
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 that rinses away dirt, microbes, and body odor.
It 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.
11. Defense Shower Gel
Defense Shower Gel was created to help wrestlers fight skin infections associated with the sport.
The body wash uses a coconut oil base to moisturize dry, irritated skin. It targets skin conditions like athlete’s foot, body odor, ringworm, foot odor, acne, jock itch, toenail fungus, and yeast.
This shower gel contains tea tree and eucalyptus oils for their antimicrobial benefits as they work to wash away bacteria and fungus. It has a thick and rich lather and defends against bacteria and fungus.
In addition to coconut oil, this gel cleanser contains jojoba and olive oils to replenish and moisturize the skin and aloe vera to calm the skin.
It contains 100% organic ingredients. It’s vegan and Non-GMO and made without parabens, sulfates, SLS, triclosan, or fragrances and is made in the US. It comes in an easy-to-use pump container.
NOTE: The brand recommends this shower gel instead of their bar soap if you have dry skin.
12. Dr. Lift Antibacterial Body Wash
Dr. Lift Antibacterial Body Wash is an antibacterial body wash that cleanses while moisturizing your skin.
The active ingredient in the body wash is Benzalkonium Chloride 0.13%. Benzalkonium Chloride is a common antiseptic ingredient used in antibacterial skin care products.
Glycerin moisturizes, while chamomile, marigold, and green tea extracts are plant extracts with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
An ideal antiseptic body wash and cleanser for post procedures. Made in California, vegan and cruelty-free.
Best No-Rinse Antibacterial Body Cleanser
13. Thera Antimicrobial Body Cleanser
Thera Antimicrobial Body Cleanser is formulated to reduce and inhibit bacteria growth and odor. It contains 0.13% benzalkonium chloride to target bacteria.
It is enriched with Aloe barbadensis leaf juice to soothe the skin, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) for hydration, and niacinamide to support a healthy skin barrier.
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (a vitamin C derivative) and vitamin E are potent antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage.
This no-rinse cleanser and topical antiseptic works as an all-over deodorant. It can be used in place of soap during a shower, too.
Just spray this antimicrobial cleanser onto a washcloth or directly onto your skin and wipe gently with a damp cloth until clean and pat your skin dry. Its easy-to-use spray bottle makes it ideal for camping, sports, and other activities where water is unavailable.
Antimicrobial vs. Antibacterial
Wondering what the difference is between antimicrobial and antibacterial products?
Antimicrobial agents work against a broader range of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi (like mold and mildew), algae, and some viruses. Antibacterial refers to a substance that works against bacteria only.
Best Antibacterial Body Wipes
14. Defense Body Wipes with Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Oil
Defense Soap’s Original Body Wipes are the perfect option when soap and water are unavailable.
These alcohol-free wipes contain the same natural oils as the brand’s body washes and bar soaps. While these body wipes aren’t intended to replace a shower, you can use them to cleanse your skin within four hours of training or competing.
The ingredient list is short: distilled water, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and coco glucoside.
Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral ingredient. Eucalyptus oil has antibacterial properties. Coco glucoside is derived from coconut oil and sugar and can be used as a cleansing agent.
The wipes are thick and sturdy enough for heavy use and do a great job of removing sweat from your face, neck, arms, legs, and body.
They’re ideal for travel and won’t leak like a liquid body wash. Made in the USA without parabens, sulfates, SLS, triclosan, or added fragrances.
15. Bravo Sierra Anti-Bacterial Body Wipes
Bravo Sierra Anti-Bacterial Body Wipes easily remove sweat, grime, and dirt with just a few simple swipes. The active ingredient in these body wipes is benzalkonium chloride, which kills 99.99% of bacteria in 60 seconds.
These body wipes are no baby wipes! They are sturdy wipes made of extra-thick biodegradable and sustainable materials. The package comes with 10 individually packaged wipes to maintain freshness, perfect for when you are on the go or traveling.
Whether it’s after a workout or on a camping trip where running water is not readily available, these wipes are formulated with aloe vera, energizing ginseng, and blue algae to soothe and replenish your skin.
These antibacterial body wipes are tested with US military service members to meet the needs of those with active lives.
Made in the US, vegan, cruelty-free, and does not contain phthalates, parabens, sulfates, silicones, or phenoxyethanol.
Best Antibacterial Soap (Bar)
16. Dove Care & Protect Antibacterial Beauty Bar
Dove Care & Protect Antibacterial Beauty Bar removes 99% of bacteria in a 20-second wash test vs. E. coli. thanks to the Benzalkonium Chloride in the formula.
It is also enriched with Dove’s signature ¼ moisturizing cream for extended moisture.
It produces a creamy foam and has a fresh, clean fragrance. This antibacterial soap is formulated for all skin types and is designed to protect against dryness. It’s suitable for the skin on your face, body, and hands.
This is my pick for the best antibacterial body soap.
17. Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Gold Bar Soap
If you prefer bar soap instead of body wash, consider a classic: Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Gold Bar Soap.
This antibacterial bar soap uses 0.10% Benzalkonium Chloride to get rid of bacteria and odor for a long-lasting clean.
This antibacterial soap for body will leave the skin feeling clean, refreshed, and moisturized. It 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 containing 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 not to overuse it. Antibacterial products can not only reduce the number of harmful bacteria on your skin, but they 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 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? Is Tea Tree Oil 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!