Native Body Wash Review: "Natural" or Unhealthy?

Native Body Wash Review: "Natural" or Unhealthy?


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Native Body Wash is a popular product made by the same brand that makes Native Deodorant. The brand highlights their “naturally derived ingredients” and positions their product as a healthier alternative to drugstore body wash products.

But does Native Body Wash contain research-backed ingredients? Does it contain any questionable additive ingredients? How does it compare to other popular body wash products? And how do real users rate the smell and experience of Native Body Wash?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in Native Body Wash based on medical studies to give our take on whether it’s likely to be an effective cleanser and if it has any questionable additive ingredients.

We’ll also share real, unsponsored user reviews of the product and explain what retailer has it for the best price.

Ingredient Analysis

Native Body Wash ingredients

The ingredient list above is from the unscented version of Native Body Wash. It has a relatively simple formulation, with only six active ingredients other than water and salt.

Sodium cocoyl isethionate is an effective cleansing ingredient that’s naturally derived from coconut. It’s been shown in medical research to be especially mild to the skin barrier, making it a safe and non-toxic choice compared to some harsher alternatives.

Sodium salicylate is another sodium salt that may actually have an anti-aging effect on skin even though it functions as a preservative. A 2010 clinical trial found that this ingredient reduced wrinkle depth and reduced skin roughness when applied topically.

There are two ingredients in this body wash that we generally recommend avoiding.

Sodium benzoate is a synthetic preservative that may be irritating to the skin and be harmful when ingested according to a medical review published in the International Journal of Toxicology.

Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic detergent ingredient that was described as the “Allergen of the Year” in 2004 due to its potential to irritate skin, as we documented in our Monday Shampoo and Conditioner review article.

Fragrance may also be included in the scented versions of Native Body Wash, and a medical review on fragranced consumer products found that this ingredient may be toxic to humans depending on the scent compounds used. We hope that Native updates their product pages to clarify whether the scented versions of their body wash use fragrance or are naturally fragranced with ingredients like essential oils.

Native Body Wash has a simple and effective formulation for cleansing, and while the preservatives they use are rather mild, we do not recommend this product overall because we don’t recommend personal care products containing synthetic preservatives.

For consumers intent on purchasing this product, we recommend the Unscented version.

Does Native Contain Hidden Ingredients?

A TikTok user named “bubbysapothecary” scanned the barcode of Native Body Wash in-store, and found an ingredient list containing not only fragrance but also artificial dye Basic Violet 3, which was found in a medical review published in the International Journal of Toxicology to have “carcinogenic potential:”

@bubbysapothecary Harmful ingredients in native body washes (fragrance, synthetic ingredients). & healthy alternatives at the end. This video is for educational purposes only. #cleanskincare #yukaapp #yuka #bodywash #cleanproducts #naturalbodycare #healthiswealth #naturalremedies #SelfCare #bodycare #naturalbody #naturalbeauty #healthyliving #nativebodywash ♬ Lo-fi hip hop - NAO-K

We Tried Native – Our Take

Native Body Wash UGC

As the author of this article, I wanted to try Native Body Wash myself to share my thoughts on its scent and the overall product experience.

I purchased the Eucalyptus & Mint version from my local Target.

The smell is much more subtle than other body washes which I really like. As I documented in our article on is Dr. Squatch soap good, that brand had such a powerful scent that it filled my entire bathroom.

I really like the product packaging. It's sleek, and simply looks good in the shower.

My main complaint about this product is how short of a duration it lasts, and this is why I switched to bar soap from liquid soap. I shower daily, and finished this bottle in around two weeks.

At $9 per bottle, that can add up. My bar soap from Dr. Bronner's costs less and lasts longer.

I don't plan to buy this product again because I don't regularly use soap with fragrance, and the unfragranced version wasn't in any local stores. I would consider using this product again if I was traveling and had to pick something up at a drugstore.

Overall, I'd rate this body wash a 7/10.

Where to Buy Native Body Wash for the Best Price

Native Body Wash is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown for a 2-pack at the time of publishing this article:

Brand website: $18 (free shipping, link)

Target ($17.98, link)

Walmart: $17.94 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $17.94 (free shippinglink to official Amazon listing)

Native Body Wash is currently 1-10% cheaper on Amazon than at other online retailers when factoring in shipping fees.

Real, Unsponsored Native Body Wash User Reviews

Here’s a review from a man who used Native Body Wash, which includes ratings for lather, scent and moisture: 

Here’s a review from a woman who used Native Body Wash which includes an overall rating:

@adriannemg @Native body wash review I give it a 7.5/10, wasn’t bad just wasn’t a need. #nativebodywash #nativereview ♬ original sound - adriannemg

Our Clean Soap Pick

The clean soap brand we recommend is Truly Free Aloe Soap.

Use code LABS30 for 30% off your first order.

This soap is made with safe, botanically-derived ingredients like aloe vera and coconut-based cleansers.

Truly Free's soap is fragrance-free and contains no additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Interested consumers can check out Truly Free Aloe Soap at this link to the product page on the brand's official website, where it costs only $16.95 for a 2-pack.

Real Customer Reviews of Native Body Wash

Native Body Wash is sold on Amazon, which is a more objective resource for customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion.

The product has been reviewed over 5,500 times and has an impressive average review rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Susan” who appreciates the scent:

​​”Was looking for a product that was a little bit of a healthier version than the crap they sell at Walmart decided to give this a try. The smell is fantastic. It doesn’t leave my skin dry or anything out of the ordinary, it’s a little pricier than the crap on the shelves at Walmart but overall I’m pretty content.”

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “vinnie” who claims the product is irritating to skin:

“This product is not a bad product, however it does contain irritants that people with sensitive eyes and allergies might find harsh, as it did to me. The package also had leaked all over the bag it was in which was disappointing.”

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Native Body Wash contains some research-backed ingredients, but we don’t recommend the product overall due to the inclusion of synthetic preservatives and a potential skin irritant. 

We’re also concerned about the lack of clarity over whether the scented versions of this product contain fragrance and artificial dyes, because these ingredients are not currently listed on the Native website. We hope the brand clarifies this soon.

We still consider this product to be healthier than most commercial drugstore body washes which contain multiple artificial dyes, fragrance and harsher preservatives.

For consumers intent on purchasing Native Body Wash, we recommend the Unscented version, but it’s not currently available at Target which has the best prices on Native Body Wash.

Most customer reviews of this product online are favorable, and many reference a pleasant scent.