Drugstore Deathmatch: Creamy Body Washes - Beauty Addict

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Drugstore Deathmatch: Creamy Body Washes

Creamy body washes are all over the shelves of CVS these days! You'd be hard pressed to find a clear shower gel in the bath aisle; it seems that everything has gone the creamy route, though the marketing claims and "extra benefits" vary by brand and range. I've tried these five recently and thought I'd give you the scoop on each. So here they are, ranked from best to worst!

Dove go fresh Cool Moisture Body Wash wins hands down because, well, it gets right to the point. It does what it says it does, and it does it well! The packaging is green and there's a picture of a cucumber and a leaf on it; the product smells like green tea and cucumber, as advertised. It claims to be refreshing and it is; the scent is bright and crisp without being citrus-sharp. The name has the word Moisture in it, and yes, it moisturizes. Kudos to Dove for not needing to crap up the packaging or the marketing copy with hyped-up claims. It's also paraben-free, which isn't advertised, but check the ingredients and see for yourself.

Olay Calm Release with Violet and Lavender claims to help "release emotional tension" in addition to, you know, cleansing your bod. The back of the bottle instructs you to breathe deeply, stretch your neck, and massage your shoulders. This is an amusing touch, and an interesting attempt to turn a drugstore bath product into a "spa experience," but I buy body wash for its cleansing and moisturizing properties (and its scent), not for this. Anyhow, this product smells lovely, although nothing like violet or lavender, at least to my nose. It does an excellent job keeping my skin smooth and moisturized, and the scent lingers. I really wanted to hate it because of the cheesiness of the marketing copy, but I just can't. Love it!

Dove Cream Oil Body Wash in Ultra Rich is the thickest of the three in the Cream Oil range, and is scented with Rosewood and Cocoa Butter - a complete 180 from the crisp, refreshing scent of the other Dove product in this post. The Rosewood and Cocoa Butter scent is rich and creamy-woodsy; the closest comparison I can think of is Cashmere Mist. This low-lathering wash felt moisturizing without being oily - while I was in the shower, at least. Afterwards, the moisture didn't really last; it's very luxurious in the shower but I still needed a good coat of body lotion afterward. My other complaint is that after a whole bottle, I needed to flush out my shower drain with Drano! It's REALLY thick and didn't seem to want to rinse out of the pipes.

Caress Exotic Oil Infusions is the direct competitor product to the Dove Cream Oil wash. I tried the Moroccan, in its deep purple teardrop-shaped bottle. It performs nearly identically to the Dove Cream Oil, from the low lather to the deceptively moisturized feeling, to the drain-clogging. The scent, however, is spicier and considerably stronger. I liked the spiciness (some may not), but I felt the abundance of it was just a little too much. I far prefer this in bar form; contrary to popular belief, the bar soap version of this is more moisturizing than the wash! That said, I'd put the wash exactly on par with Dove Cream Oil (a tie).

Suave Exhale Calming Body Wash in Lavender Vanilla takes the same path as the aforementioned Olay, claiming to turn your shower into a "calming sanctuary." Please! The only thing that turns my bathroom into a calming sanctuary is a glass of wine and Miles Davis on the iPod. Anyhow, this body wash laughably claims to have the "same fragrance appeal as Bath & Body Works." Really? Because I found it to smell considerably cheaper and more generic. My lavender and vanilla dryer sheets smell better than this. Some Suave products really do mimic their competitors very well (try the copycat of Matrix SleekLook); this just isn't one of them.