Anywhere you have hair follicles and sebaceous glands is a place where you can develop body acne. The problem is that pores clog with oil, bacteria, and dead skin. So that means most of the best body washes for acne-prone skin contain ingredients that exfoliate your skin.
One of the most common exfoliators that you’ll read about is salicylic acid which we call (SA). It’s the same component in many other products and it’s a smart choice if you have bacne.
If you’re in a hurry then check out our favorites in the table below:
Meanwhile, some acne body washes contain other pimple fighters like benzoyl peroxide that kills skin bacteria. But at the same time, this ingredient has the potential to irritate the skin. Oddly, if your skin has no moisture, you might end up with more breakouts. Therefore, remember to moisturize, too.
Choosing a body wash can be hard with so many different washes and cleansers on the market. We aim to help you with our reviews. We grade each product based on the key ingredients, price, and how effective users say it is.
Let’s jump in!
Best Body Washes for Acne Prone Skin (2023 Reviews)
Neutrogena Body Clear Body Washy
Neutrogena’s Body Clear Wash may be the gold standard for getting rid of acne on the back, or body acne. It’s so good that other companies have cloned it.
This product relies on SA and Neutrogena’s Microclear technology that acts as a cleanser to clean out skin. It has a pleasant grapefruit scent. And it lathers nicely to leave your skin smooth and soft once you rinse.
Solimo Clarifying Pink Grapefruit Body Wash
As we mentioned, manufacturers have copied Neutrogena’s body wash. This product from Solimo is proof. It provides similar results at an accessible price.
The formula contains 2% SA solution to exfoliate the skin and clean pores, preventing body acne. It foams well to lather away dirt and oil. And it smells like grapefruit, too.
Proactiv Deep Cleansing Acne Body Wash
Proactiv’s Wash unclogs pores with microbeads and 2% SA. As a result, the skin feels smoother and looks younger.
pHisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash
This one from pHisoderm also contains 2% SA plus it’s pH-balanced. This latter fact is important because it won’t disturb the natural barrier that the skin forms to protect itself against body acne. A regular soap or cleanser can break down the protective layer causing the skin to get irritated and making acne worse.
Fans of the pHisoderm wash like its gender-neutral scent. Those with body acne will appreciate that it does not contain alcohol or dyes which can irritate the skin.
Murad Acne Body Wash
Murad’s Acne Body Wash has a somewhat gentler formula with only 1% SA. Plus, it has biodegradable exfoliating beads for a deeper clean. And there are no sulfates either.
Alba Botanica ACNEdote Face & Body Scrub
Alba Botanica’s ACNEdote Scrub contains 2% salicylic acid derived from willow bark extract, a natural source. All the other ingredients are vegetarian as well.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap – Tea Tree
Dr. Bronner makes a variety of Castile soaps, but the Tea Tree version may be the very best at clearing up body acne or back acne breakouts. That’s because tea tree oil fights bacteria and fungal skin infections.
The all-natural Castile soap is made of organic coconut, olive, and hemp oils. It’s vegan and free of detergents and preservatives. Also, the bottle itself consists of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Aficionados of this soap say it can help clear acne without irritating their skin. Some even had success using it on their faces because it’s gentle.
Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap
Mario Badescu’s AHA Body Soap uses alpha hydroxy acids from papaya and grapefruit to remove dead skin cells and excess oil which can help fight body acne. It also has oat protein to soothe irritation and ginseng to rejuvenate the skin. Finally, the formula also contains glycerin to attract moisture and prevent a lack of moisture.
Puracy Natural Body Wash, Sulfate-Free Bath, and Shower Gel
Puracy’s Natural isn’t specifically marketed as an acne treatment. Instead, it’s a mild product that also exfoliates the skin. There are no sulfates, triclosan, phosphates, parabens, perfumes, dyes, salicylates, or synthetic preservatives. In other words, people prone to contact dermatitis might love this shower gel.
Instead of all the most common skin irritants, the formula relies on hypoallergenic and vegan ingredients. Just a little squirt foams up into a thick lather. And it’s best used with a washcloth or loofah.
Chic Republic Natural Body Wash with Activated Coconut Charcoal
The activated charcoal body wash from Chic Republic has a neutral scent, unlike so many other similar products that smell masculine. But it has the exfoliating power of white lava volcanic minerals to cleanse clogged pores. It also reduces skin inflammation by drawing toxins out of the skin. And it hydrates the skin while it cleans.
Humane Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment
Humane’s 10% benzoyl peroxide wash is the best strong formula you can buy over the counter. It’s most likely too harsh if your skin gets easily irritated. But if you have body acne and nothing else is clearing up those breakouts, this is one of the strongest body washes for acne to try.
The company warns that it has the potential to bleach fabrics. Additionally, it may take up to 6 weeks to see results. But they offer a 100% money-back guarantee. And their wash does not contain parabens, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic dyes or fragrances, or formaldehyde releasers.
Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar with Activated Charcoal & Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
The Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar scrubs away oiliness and removes skin impurities to cleanse pores and help clear pores. To this end, it contains mineral mud and activated charcoal plus lemongrass, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils.
The soap is vegan and free from preservatives and harsh chemicals. Instead, it has a base of organic shea butter, olive, sunflower, castor bean, and sustainable palm oils that lock in moisture.
Dial Acne Control Deep Cleansing Glycerin Body & Face Bar
Dial Acne Control soap has a glycerin base that won’t overly irritate skin cells. In fact, it’s mild enough to use on your face, not just your body. Customers report that it has a pleasantly clean scent that is gender-neutral. And Dial says you’ll see a positive difference in your skin after using it for only three days.
How to get rid of acne
How is it that we get pimples in such strange places? Pretty much your entire body is fair game for an acne breakout. Moreover, the times when hormones are in flux tend to be worse. But besides using one of our top picks above, what can you do?
Try these tips to keep your skin free from blemishes:
- Where are the worst outbreaks happening on your body? You might need to change your clothes, your sheets, and your pillowcases more often to solve the problem.
- Switch to natural fabrics like cotton and linen and avoid synthetics for now.
- Skip the bath and take showers for a while to make sure bacteria wash off your skin.
- Check the ingredients on the labels of your laundry and personal care products. Are there common irritants listed like fragrances, dyes, or mineral oil? Avoid these unless you’re sure they aren’t the cause.
- Are you tanning? Exposure to UV radiation can exacerbate acne.
- You might need to shower twice a day if you have acne-prone skin or perspire profusely. But don’t forget the lotion afterward. And wash with cool or lukewarm water, not hot.
- Exfoliate at least once a week, but do it more often if your dead skin cells can handle it.
- Combine beta and alpha hydroxy acids to exfoliate more effectively. Alternate days or use one in the morning and another at night.
- Cut back on processed foods, sweets, and smoking. Instead, add more water and fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Try techniques for managing and eliminating stress. Increasing your physical activity or meditating may help.
Let’s imagine that you’ve adjusted your habits and switched your skin care products to perfection, but you’re still experiencing acne on your body. The first thing to remember is that it takes time to clear up an outbreak.
Although some products promise results within days, a realistic expectation might be weeks. You might also need to consult with a dermatologist to get medication to control the acne. You can also check out our other best blackhead removal products.
The active ingredients to look for
SA may be the most popular active ingredient when it comes to body acne control. While it exfoliates dead skin cells and reduces oil, it does not kill acne bacteria. But it will help prevent future breakouts by keeping pores clear. That’s because it enters the pore and works from the inside out.
On the other hand, benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria. There’s also evidence to suggest that tea tree oil and sulfur do the same.
Some exfoliating washes contain alpha hydroxy acids (like glycolic and lactic) instead of SA. These tend to be milder because they are water-soluble. Plus, they reduce signs of sun damage.
In summary, abrasive washes with activated charcoal, Dead Sea minerals, or Himalayan salt are also useful in that they clear pores. But be careful because they may be too abrasive and cause irritation.
Eliminate blemishes with the best body wash for acne-prone skin. You’ll cleanse away the dead skin, oil, and bacteria that cause breakouts. Then you’ll be able to avoid pimples and have the benefit of flawless skin.
The Best Treatments for Acne Scars
It can be very frustrating to have acne breakouts. Not only does it feel horrible, it can leave scars on your face, neck and other parts of your body. Some people find that acne scars are an unwanted reminder of[...]
26 of the Best Smelling Body Washes for Men
Most of us don’t read the ingredients when we shop for bath soap. Instead, we pop the top on the bottle and take a sniff. That’s human nature. We want to use products that smell good. But fragrance is a[...]
Best Face Masks for Acne-Prone Skin: Reviews & Guide
If your face wash and scrub aren’t preventing breakouts, you might need one of the best face masks for acne-prone skin. A face mask can detox your complexion and clear up blackheads. It will also unclog pores and reduce oiliness.[...]