How do men's body washes moisturize skin?

Moisturizing ingredients in men's body wash typically make the cleanser gentler on the skin than a bar of soap. See more personal hygiene pictures.
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You may have noticed more and more personal hygiene products for men on store shelves and wonder how men's body washes moisturize the skin. For that matter, you may wonder what the difference is between bar soap and body wash. While soaps contain skin cleanser, body washes contain both cleaning agents and emollients that combine to lift dirt from the skin and lock in the body's natural moisture. Regular body wash moisturizes the skin to some degree, but those that are especially formulated to be moisturizing -- and generally labeled as such -- are essentially soap and lotion combined in one bottle.

Whether moisturizing body washes can leave your skin feeling oily depends on your skin type. Men's skin typically tends to be more oily skin than women's, which is probably why someone came up with the idea to design body wash especially for guys. Some moisturizing body washes work just fine as an all-in-one cleanser and moisturizer, but dry skin may require an additional, separate product for the job. The only way to know is to try a few different moisturizing body washes until you find the one that suits you.

Next up, we'll learn more about the ingredients in men's body wash.

 

Moisturizing Ingredients in Men's Body Wash

Moisturizing ingredients in men's body wash can vary, but their presence makes the cleanser gentler on the skin than soap. If you see glycerin, petrolatum, aloe vera, shea butter, or mineral, soybean, almond or olive oils listed in the ingredients, the body wash is definitely the moisturizing type. As you're scanning product labels, you'll want to avoid certain ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate and other detergents because they tend to be harsh -- stripping the skin rather than buffering it from the elements.

Some people use regular washcloths or even just the palms of their hands to apply and shower with body wash. But if you're using a moisturizing body wash, you probably want to get the maximum benefit from it. The secret is in the lather. To tap into the power of body washes, use a tool like a sponge that will create the most suds. The pouf is the ideal implement to allow body wash to condition the skin [source: Aral]. The nylon webbing allows the body wash to mix with water without washing away; when this happens, emollients, like petrolatum, lubricate the skin while humectants, such as glycerin, lock moisture into the skin.

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Sources

  • Aral, Birnul, PhD. "How to Use A Body Wash Properly." Good Housekeeping. Feb. 19, 2009. (Jan. 20, 2011).http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/product-testing/from-the-lab-blog/how-to-use-a-body-wash-properl
  • Montoya, Anthony. "Life's a drag: Men's Grooming." Oct. 12, 2010. (Jan. 20, 2011).http://303magazine.com/beauty/lifes-a-drag-mens-grooming/
  • Newman, Andrew Adam. "Adding a Masculine Edge to Body Wash." Sept. 8, 2009. (Jan 20. 2011).http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/business/media/08adco.html