Anywhere you have hair follicles and sebaceous glands is a place where you can develop 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 exfoliating ingredients.
One of the most common exfoliators that appears in body washes is salicylic acid. It’s the same component in many face washes. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. It’s a gentle way to cleanse skin without scrubbing. And it’s a smart choice if you have bacne.
Meanwhile, some acne body washes contain other pimple fighters like benzoyl peroxide that kills bacteria. But this ingredient has the potential to irritate skin. Oddly, if your skin has no moisture, you might end up with more breakouts. Therefore, remember to moisturize, too.
- Best Body Washes & Soaps for Acne Prone Skin That Actually Work
- 1. Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash with Salicylic Acid (Best Acne Body Wash)
- 2. Mountain Falls Clarifying Body Wash Salicylic Acid Acne Body Wash
- 3. Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash
- 4. pHisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash for Acne-Prone Skin
- 5. Murad Acne Body Wash
- 6. Alba Botanica ACNEdote Face & Body Scrub
- 7. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap – Tea Tree
- 8. Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap
- 9. Puracy Natural Body Wash, Sulfate-Free Bath, and Shower Gel
- 10. Chic Republic Natural Body Wash with Activated Coconut Charcoal
- 11. Humane Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment Body & Face Wash
- 12. SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar
- 13. Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar with Activated Charcoal & Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
- 14. DermaHarmony 10% Sulfur 3% Salicylic Acid Bar Soap
- 15. Dial Acne Control Deep Cleansing Glycerin Bar
- How to get rid of bacne (body acne)
- The active ingredients in body wash for acne-prone skin
Best Body Washes & Soaps for Acne Prone Skin That Actually Work
1. Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash with Salicylic Acid (Best Acne Body Wash)
Neutrogena’s Body Clear Wash may be the gold standard for getting rid of “bacne”, or body acne. It’s so good that other companies have cloned it.
This body wash relies on salicylic acid and Neutrogena’s Microclear technology that cleans out pores. It has a pleasant grapefruit scent. And it lathers nicely to leave your skin smooth and soft once you rinse.
2. Mountain Falls Clarifying Body Wash Salicylic Acid Acne Body Wash
As we mentioned, manufacturers have copied Neutrogena’s anti-acne body wash. This product from Mountain Falls is proof. It provides similar results at an accessible price.
The formula contains 2% salicylic acid to exfoliate dead skin and clean pores. It foams well to lather away dirt and oil. And it smells like grapefruit, too.
3. Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash
Proactiv’s Deep Cleansing Wash unclogs pores with microbeads and 2% salicylic acid. As a result, skin feels smoother and looks younger.
4. pHisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash for Acne-Prone Skin
The Anti-Blemish Body Wash from pHisoderm also contains 2% salicylic acid 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. Regular soap products can break down the protective layer causing the skin to get irritated.
Fans of the pHisoderm wash like its gender-neutral scent. Those with sensitive skin appreciate that it does not contain alcohol or dyes.
5. Murad Acne Body Wash
Murad’s Acne Body Wash has a somewhat gentler formulation with only 1% salicylic acid. Plus, it has biodegradable exfoliating beads for a deeper clean. And there are no sulfates either.
6. 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.
7. 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 acne breakouts. That’s because tea tree oil fights bacteria and fungal 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 cleared up their acne without irritating their skin. Some even had success using it on their faces.
8. 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 cells and excess oil. It also has oat protein to soothe irritation and ginseng to rejuvenate the skin. Finally, it also contains glycerin to attract moisture and prevent lack of moisture.
9. Puracy Natural Body Wash, Sulfate-Free Bath, and Shower Gel
Puracy’s Natural Body Wash isn’t specifically marketed as an acne treatment. Instead, it’s a mild cleanser 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 irritants, the formula relies on hypoallergenic and vegan ingredients. Just a little squirt foams up into a thick lather. And it’s ideal for use with a washcloth or loofah.
10. 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 inflammation by drawing toxins out of the skin. And it hydrates while it cleans.
11. Humane Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment Body & Face Wash
Humane’s 10% benzoyl peroxide wash is the strongest you can buy over the counter. It’s most likely too harsh if you have sensitive skin. But if you have problematic skin and nothing else is clearing up those breakouts, this is the one to try.
The company warns that the benzoyl peroxide will 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.
12. SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar
Although it smells a tiny bit like bad eggs, the 10% sulfur in the SAL3 soap bar kills acne and clears up irritated skin. It also resolves problems associated with psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and keratosis pilaris. Moreover, it contains 3% salicylic acid to remove dead skin.
As the manufacturer points out, a bar of soap is easier to manage on large areas of skin than liquid body wash. This particular product also reduces itchiness. Be sure to use moisturizer or reduce use to two or three times a week.
13. Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar with Activated Charcoal & Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
The Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar scrubs away oiliness and dead skin and removes impurities to cleanse 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.
14. DermaHarmony 10% Sulfur 3% Salicylic Acid Bar Soap
DermaHarmony’s soap bar is similar to the SAL3 in that it has 10% sulfur plus 3% salicylic acid. This mixture kills bacteria and removes dead skin cells. It clears up acne and also treats rosacea, fungal infections, whiteheads, and dermatitis.
15. Dial Acne Control Deep Cleansing Glycerin Bar
Dial Acne Control soap has a glycerin base that won’t overly irritate skin. 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 after using it for only three days.
How to get rid of bacne (body 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 the best body washes for acne, 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 skin can handle it. Using a body wash with alpha or beta hydroxy acid is gentler than a scrub with abrasive ingredients.
- 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.
The active ingredients in body wash for acne-prone skin
Salicylic acid may be the most popular active ingredient in acne control body washes. While it exfoliates dead skin 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 salicylic acid. 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 one of the best washes 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.