Sulfates were seemingly once found in every skin cleanser out there, but these days, it's not too difficult to find great face and body washes that are free of these potentially irritating surfactants. Today, we'll be focusing on the best sulfate-free body washes in particular, which all have gentle, nourishing formulas, thanks to the addition of moisturizing ingredients like ceramides, urea, niacinamide, aloe, and plant-derived oils. These body washes are free of parabens as well, since people who are sensitive to sulfates may also find parabens irritating.
“We see sulfates in so many skin care products because they create a lather that gives a stronger impression of cleaning power that most people love," explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kim Nichols, M.D., F.A.A.D., with whom Elite Daily spoke for this article. "Sulfates aren’t necessarily bad, but there is a lot of controversy behind the ingredient. They can often dry out the skin and cause skin and eye irritation. Some people may also find that sulfates can lead to acne in facial products. Without sulfates in body wash, the formula will keep the skin pH balanced which, in turn, will lower the risk of those dreaded blemishes."
Dr. Nichols (who recently launched her own sulfate-free body wash) says she generally recommends cleansers without sulfates to patients with eczema, psoriasis, or very sensitive skin, but she adds, “If you find yourself with skin or eye irritant issues, then it’s probably time to make the switch. [And] without sulfates or parabens in skin products, the benefit is that your skin will stay more protected and supple.”