Why does a salicylic acid body wash work so well to unclog pores? It’s an oil-soluble beta hydroxy acid that penetrates into pores and the skin. Then it dissolves the glue that holds skin cells together to help you exfoliate your body and remove excess oil. The cleaning action works best and whiteheads and blackheads.
Also, salicylic acid reduces sebum production, and it’s an anti-inflammatory. So not only does help your skin be less oily, but it also helps it heal.
But salicylic acid body washes aren’t for everyone. Avoid them if you have very dry skin, if you’re pregnant, or if you’re taking blood thinners.
Best Salicylic Acid Body Washes (2023 Update)
Keep scrolling to see reviews of the top body washes with salicylic acid. We hope we can help you find the one you need.
1. CeraVe Salicylic Acid Body Wash
CeraVe’s Salicylic Acid Body Wash is one of our best picks because it’s dermatologist-recommended. It’s also a favorite choice for people with keratosis pilaris. (In case you’re wondering, it’s a skin condition that results in bumpy, dry patches.)
This body wash not only removes dead skin cells, but it also unclogs hair follicles that have too much keratin. Moreover, it contains ceramides to protect the skin against too much moisture loss or infection. That’s important since salicylic acid can be quite drying.
2. Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash
Proactiv’s Body Wash contains exfoliating beads to enhance the action of the salicylic acid. It works quickly to unclog pores and soften the skin. It should help shrink the appearance of pores and clear up blackheads, too.
3. Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash
pHisoDerm’s body wash contains 2% salicylic acid for maximum effect. This concentration isn’t the highest allowed in an over-the-counter product, but it’s typical for soap. Also importantly, the formula is free from oils, drying alcohols, and artificial dyes. The inclusion of chamomile, vitamin E, and aloe make it soothing and moisturizing for the skin.
4. Touch Exfoliating Body Wash
Touch’s Exfoliating Body Wash is another product made to treat bumpy dry patches caused by keratosis pilaris. It contains both salicylic and glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells, diminish excess oil, and unclog pores. It’s actually quite good for body acne, too.
Fortunately, this body wash does not contain drying sulfates or alcohols, artificial dyes, or parabens. But it has moisturizers like hyaluronic acid and aloe. Moreover, the manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee.
5. BumpKlear Bumpy Skin Wash
BumpKlear’s Bumpy Skin Wash blends alpha and beta hydroxy acids to treat keratosis pilaris. Therefore, it not only cleanses away grime, but it also exfoliates and smoothes the skin. Plus, it reduces redness and irritation while it nourishes with aloe and vitamin E. There are no parabens, artificial fragrances, or sulfates in the formula.
6. ReTone KP Body Wash
The KP Body Wash from ReTone combines salicylic acid with glycolic acid for powerful exfoliation. Additionally, it uses natural apricot microbeads to enhance the removal of dead skin cells. But it’s not only about unclogging pores. It also rejuvenates your body with natural ingredients. If you don’t notice a significant difference within 30 days, you may get a refund.
7. Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap
Mario Badescu’s AHA Body Soap keeps it natural with alpha hydroxy acids derived from fruit. The gentle formula soothes with oat protein, too. And while glycerin hydrates your body, ginseng tones and brightens your skin.
8. Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash with Salicylic Acid
With a refreshing, clean formula, Neutrogena Body Clear salicylic acid body wash helps to treat and prevent breakouts without drying out or irritating the skin. It contains salicylic acid, also known as beta hydroxy acid as the active ingredient. It features a non-comedogenic formula that won’t clog pores.
9. Mountain Falls Clarifying Body Wash
If you don’t want to pay full price for Neutrogena’s body wash, try this clone product from Mountain Falls. It relies on 2% salicylic acid plus vitamin C and tea leaf extract to wash, exfoliate, and calm the skin. And it smells like grapefruit just like the other brand.
10. Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body and Face Cleanser
Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body and Face Cleanser came into being to solve a big problem for a person with a spinal injury. The injured person was unable to sweat and suffered from clogged pores. But he collaborated with his father, a doctor, to create an exfoliating body wash. This product contains salicylic acid and citric acid. As a result, not only does it clean the skin, but it’s also very nourishing, and it shrinks pores.
11. Solimo Clarifying Pink Grapefruit Bodywash
The Solimo Clarifying body wash comes with pink grapefruit scent and isn’t only used by men. It’s gentle enough for daily use although it contains 2% salicylic acid. It cleans and polishes the skin without stripping the natural oil necessary to prevent dryness.
12. Murad Acne Body Wash
Murad’s body wash treats your whole body with 1% salicylic acid and glycolic acid. It also contains biodegradable exfoliating beads for efficient removal of dead skin. The addition of green tea and licorice root eliminate redness and calm irritation. Moreover, it lathers nicely although it lacks sulfates.
13. Nubian Heritage Body Wash, African Black Soap
The Nubian Heritage body wash uses both traditional African Black Soap along with salicylic acid. In this blend of old and new technology, you’ll also find Shea butter, papaya enzymes, planting peel extract, and palm ash. It’s the best of both worlds to unclog pores and still moisturize the skin. In addition, some of the ingredients are certified organic.
14. SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar
The SAL3 soap unites 10% sulfur with 3% salicylic acid. That makes this bar excellent for clearing up keratosis pilaris, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and acne. It fights bacteria, cleanses pores, reduces inflammation, and unclogs follicles.
15. DermaHarmony 10% Sulfur 3% Salicylic Acid Bar Soap
DermaHarmony’s bar soap also contains 3% salicylic acid and 10% sulfur in a base of palm and coconut oils. The manufacturer points out that besides the obvious, the soap also clears up fungal infections, intertrigo, and rosacea. But it’s gentle enough for children to use. Just be sure to moisturize after bathing.
16. DermaHarmony Salicylic Acid Soap
DermaHarmony salicylic acid soap is especially for acne-prone skin. It’s a high-quality product and recommended by dermatologists. This bar has antiseptic properties to kill bacteria and fungi. Also, it reduces oiliness and unclogs pores.
17. Every Man Jack Body Wash, Activated Charcoal
The Every Man Jack body wash is minty fresh and soothing on the skin. That effect is due to the tea tree and spearmint oils. They refresh your body while the activated charcoal draws out impurities. Meanwhile, salicylic acid cleanses your pores. Altogether these ingredients not only clear up breakouts, but they also prevent new ones.
Also importantly, the formula lacks parabens, artificial dyes, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, and the ingredients are of non-GMO origins. The lather comes from coconut-derived surfactants.
Tips for getting the most out of your new salicylic acid body wash
If you’ve never used a salicylic acid body wash before, start slow. Some people find them drying. In the beginning, alternate days with your regular bath soap. Also, be sure to apply moisturizer as soon as you towel dry. Eventually, you’ll work your way up to using one daily if you need it.
Since salicylic acid is an exfoliant, you don’t need to scrub hard as you wash. Take your time to let the soap do its job. But don’t expect to see skin rolling off your body when you get out of the shower.
Do expect to have softer, smoother skin. It may happen after only one bath, or it may take a few days. In the case of keratosis pilaris, it could take a couple of weeks for it to clear.
Most importantly, read the label on your new product. Don’t go with what we say, follow their directions.
What’s the difference between salicylic and glycolic acid, and what’s best for acne?
As we mentioned at the top of the article, salicylic acid is oil-soluble, and it dissolves the glue between skin cells. That makes it excellent for clearing away excess oil and dead skin. Plus, it diminishes inflammation because it’s chemically related to aspirin.
Meanwhile, glycolic acid is another gentle chemical exfoliant. It’s an alpha hydroxy acid derived from sugar cane. In fact, glycolic acid is often the main ingredient in a chemical peel. It helps fade acne scars and age spots. Plus, it helps other skin care products absorb better.
There’s some evidence that glycolic acid could cause unwanted lightening of pigmented skin. And it increases sensitivity to the sun even when you only washed with it the night before.
Which acid is best for clearing up acne? Both are, although salicylic acid is more commonly used for that purpose.
How to get rid of body acne
One of the first steps in clearing up body acne is switching from a creamy body wash to a salicylic acid body wash. But if you need to alternate days to avoid drying out your skin, don’t worry. What’s important is that you’ve begun to exfoliate on a regular basis.
Next, when you wrap up at the gym, take a shower. You need to clear away all the bacteria that build up on sweaty skin.
Also, when you choose a moisturizer, avoid ones with mineral oil and other pore-clogging ingredients like thick oils. Stick to lightweight, fragrance-free lotions that absorb quickly. You might also invest in a moisturizer with glycolic or salicylic acid to apply in problem areas.
Now, if you struggle with repeated outbreaks, it’s time to invest in a topical treatment. Try a spot cream with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to take care of blemishes.
Finally, be sure to change your clothes if you get sweaty. It’s worth doing the extra laundry if it clears up the bacne and buttne.
There’s a wide selection of salicylic acid body washes available. If you’re not certain where to start, try one of the gentle products with just 1% concentration. We hope our reviews today help you find the perfect body wash for your needs.
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