The Best Body Washes For Psoriasis, According To Derms

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To help relieve psoriasis-associated symptoms like itching, dryness, and scaling, it’s important to use the right body wash. To sum it up, the best body washes for psoriasis should be gentle, unscented, and hydrating. “Many cleansers contain chemicals, fragrances, and dyes that could irritate your skin, so choose something that is fragrance-free and designed for sensitive skin,” dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Soung tells Elite Daily. Harsh, abrasive scrubs should be avoided, though a very mild cleanser with AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) can help remove the scales and dead skin where there are thick patches of psoriasis, Dr. Soung adds.

Dermatologist Dr. Macrene Alexiades, who also spoke to Elite Daily for this article, says that body washes that contain tar, pyrithione zinc, or salicylic acid (a beta-hydroxy acid) can help you shed the thick, silvery scales caused by psoriasis. In addition to using the one of the best body washes for psoriasis, both dermatologists say that applying moisturizer at least once every day is important to help repair your skin’s protective barrier, so look for gentle, fragrance-free body lotions to hydrate and strengthen your skin.

Keep track of the products you use every day, Dr. Soung advises. That way if something irritates your skin or your scalp, you can avoid it going forward. Finally, if over-the-counter products aren’t doing enough to alleviate your psoriasis, speak with your doctor to figure out the best way to treat it.

To shop the best psoriasis-friendly body washes, scroll on.

1. The Overall Best Body Wash For Psoriasis

CeraVe Psoriasis Cleanser uses both AHAs and BHAs to help remove patches of dry, scaly skin. Chemical, not physical, exfoliants — like the aforementioned acids — are the safest way to treat sticky scales without scratching or breaking the skin, which can worsen psoriasis, explains Dr. Alexiades. This best-selling wash also contains hydrating and calming ingredients like urea, niacinamide, and ceramides, the latter of which can help promote a strong skin barrier. To top it off, CeraVe Psoriasis Cleanser received the seal of recognition from the National Psoriasis Foundation, which Dr. Soung says can be a helpful resource for knowing which products to choose. The fragrance-free formula can be used on both your face and body, and it’s great for treating keratosis pilaris and generally bumpy, congested skin, too.

2. The Best Basic, Under-$15 Body Wash For Psoriasis

When in doubt, start by picking the gentlest fragrance-free cleanser with the fewest number of ingredients to cleanse your skin without irritating it, suggest Dr. Soung. Cetaphil’s body wash, another budget-friendly drugstore buy, is a reliably safe bet for all sorts of skin conditions, from psoriasis to run-of-the-mill dryness. It’s a soap-free, pH-balanced, fragrance-free cleanser that you can use on your face and body, with or without water, and it was developed especially for people with skin sensitivities in mind. At just $12 for a massive, 20-ounce bottle, it’s an unbeatable value, too.

3. The Best French Pharmacy Body Wash For Psoriasis

La Roche-Posay’s Lipikar Wash AP+ is made with shea butter, which Dr. Alexiades says is excellent for keeping dry skin moisturized, as well as glycerin, niacinamide, and the brand’s signature thermal water from France. Free of both fragrance and soap, it’s safe for use on your face and body and comes in a generously sized, 13.5-ounce bottle. This foaming wash boasts the Seal of Approval from the National Eczema Association, so it’s safe for people with skin sensitivities and conditions like psoriasis or eczema (most products that are good for one tend to be good for the other).

4. The Best Cleansing Oil For Psoriasis

If you prefer an oil cleanser, Mustela’s Stelatopia Cleansing Oil feels extremely soft and soothing against dry, itchy skin. It was developed for babies with eczema in mind, so you can rest assured that it’s an extremely gentle cleanser that won’t irritate your sensitive adult skin, either. Like all of the products on this list, it can be used on both your face and body, so it’s incredibly useful to have on hand. The formula is free of soap, fragrance, parabens, and other potential irritants, and it’s been approved by the National Eczema Association, as well.

5. The Best Bar Soap For Psoriasis

This bar soap from DermaHarmony contains pyrithione zinc, which can help restore the skin barrier and treat psoriasis, Dr. Alexiades explains. It can be used all over your face and body, including on the scalp, for psoriasis, as well as other skin conditions like dandruff, acne, and seborrheic dermatitis. In addition to the zinc, this vegan bar contains glycerin, olive oil, vitamin E, and coconut oil, and it's fragrance-free, like all the other body washes on this list.


Dr. Macrene Alexiades, M.D., Ph.D., FA.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City and Founder of MACRENE actives

Dr. Jennifer Soung, board-certified dermatologist, clinical professor at Harbor UCLA, and brand partner with Otezla for the INSIDE LOOK campaign