Top 10 Best Body Washes for Acne – 2019 Review

Anywhere on your body where you have hair follicles and sebaceous glands, you can develop acne.

Anywhere there are pores, they can get clogged. And once your pores clog with oil, bacteria, dead skin cells, or other impurities, acne appear.

The best body wash for acne always contains exfoliating properties, so that it can unclog your pores.

Acne body washes contain other pimple fighting ingredients as well, including benzoyl peroxide, or some vitamin C.

The body wash has to clean your skin, but also retain the moisture and softness of the skin.

Top 10 Body Washes For Acne

1. Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash

Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash

This body wash is considered by many the gold standard for getting rid of body acne. Some companies have even tried to clone the product. The main active ingredient is salicylic acid, and the product uses Neutrogena’s Microclear technology to clear pores.

This body wash comes with a pleasant grapefruit scent. Lathers nicely, and leaves your skin soft and smooth. The formula also contains vitamin C for prevention of bacteria and infection. Dermatologically tested, the product is also recommended by many skin care experts around the world.


  • Pleasant citrus scent
  • Rich in active ingredients
  • Recommended by dermatologists


  • Some users report their body is dry after usage
  • Doesn’t clear as good 
  • The bottle is very small

2. Alba Botanica AcneDote Face & Body Scrub

alba botanica

If you are looking for something of a budget solution, look no further. Walmart sells one of the best drugstore body washes for acne. With active ingredients like salicylic acid, fruit extracts, aloe leaf juice, and sodium hydroxylpropylsulfonate, the body wash will moisturize and exfoliate your skin.

Use it to treat bacne (body acne), but also prevent future breakouts. It will keep your pores clear if you use it on a regular basis.

Scrub gently to exfoliate, and enjoy the finely ground walnut shells inside the product. Aloe and chamomile will make sure to calm down the inflammation of the skin.


  • Budget buy
  • Contains aloe and chamomile for calming inflammation
  • Prevents future breakouts


  • Can cause dry and flaky skin
  • Some users can be allergic to the ingredients

3. Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap

Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap

Unlike most body washes for acne, this one gets the job done thanks to papaya, ginseng, and grapefruit extract. Most body washes get the job done thanks to salicylic acid. But this product comes with a different set of active ingredients.

It will smooth the skin, treat stubborn acne, and soothe the skin as well. The formula contains oatmeal, and other exfoliating and soothing ingredients. Made with natural botanicals, it will rarely cause any adverse side effects. Make sure to avoid face and eyes when applying.


  • Cheap
  • Made with natural botanicals
  • Exfoliating and soothing for the skin


  • Some users report it made their skin itchy
  • The smell is not as pleasant 

4. Mountain Falls Clarifying Body Wash Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment

Mountain Falls Clarifying Body Wash Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment

This company even markets its product as “a cheaper and more affordable similar option to Neutrogena Clear Body Wash”. We mentioned previously some companies try to copy Neutrogena, and this is a proof of that. You will find almost the same ingredients, and scent in the product. The results are similar, and the price is much more affordable.

Same as Neutrogena, the body wash contains 2% salicylic acid, and smells like grapefruit.


  • Helps with acne breakouts
  • Cheaper than Neutrogena
  • Made with naturally derived grapefruit extract


  • Doesn’t foam as good
  • Can be too drying

5. CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser

For those who want gentler option, the CeraVe cleanser is the way to go. The chances of irritation, rashes, and similar side effects are minimal. In addition to salicylic acid, this product contains vitamin D that will protect your skin and lock in moisture. Designed specifically for rough and bumpy skin, it is fragrance free.

Removes dirt and oil while softening the skin. The formula contains three essential ceramides that will restore the protective barrier of the skin. There are no harsh chemicals or microbeads that can irritate the skin.


  • Contains Vitamin D
  • Contains essential ceramides that restore the barrier of the skin
  • Gentler cleanser


  • Icky smell
  • Little too moisturizing for some users

6. Humane Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment Body & Face Wash

Humane Benzoyl Peroxide

We mentioned before that if your acne is caused by bacteria, you need the body wash with benzoyl peroxide. This is the one. It can help decrease acne bacteria, and keep your pores clear. All in all, it will reduce the chances of acne.

Great for teens and adults. Made with no animal-based ingredients or other harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.

Designed for both face and body wash, it is a non-foaming cleanser. Do not expect foam, it is clearly written on the label it is a non-foaming cleanser.

Dermatologically tested, this product was made in the USA in a FDA-compliant facility.


  • Made in the USA
  • Vegan
  • Potent formula with 10% benzoyl peroxide


  • Doesn’t work for sensitive skin
  • If acne is not bacterial, it can cause even more breakouts

7. Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash

Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash

You will have to pay a bit more for this product. And that is the reason why it has a lower grade. It is approximately 50% more expensive than the standard Neutrogena-grade products. However, you will get a quality product that will leave your skin soft, smooth, and feel and look younger.

The gentle body wash cleans acne blemishes thanks to salicylic acid, and unclogs pores at the same time. It can dissolve impurities easily, and refine the appearance of pores. Gentle beads will exfoliate your dull skin.


  • Leaves skin refreshed
  • Makes your skin look younger
  • Gentle exfoliation


  • Awful smell
  • High price tag

8. Best for Blackheads: Murad Acne Body Wash


This product was voted Allure Best of Beauty Award, and there is a good reason for that. The body wash helps eliminate acne thanks to a triple-action technology. In addition to salicylic acid, this product also contains glycolic acid, and gets deeper into the skin. The formula also contains date seed powder, a perfect exfoliating agent, as well as green tea and licorice root extract that will calm your inflamed skin.

There are no parabens or phthalates in the formula. Scientifically proven, dermatologist developed, and tested on people. There were no animals testing done.


  • Triple-action acne technology
  • Salicylic and glycolic acid
  • Not tested on animals


  • Medicated smell
  • Expensive
  • Not effective on severe acne

9. PanOxyl Acne Cream Wash


This drugstore product can be found at Walmart and similar stores. And it is the best BPO wash formula, prescribed by many dermatologists. It contains just 4% benzoyl peroxide, but that makes it gentler than other formulas.

Designed to treat bacterial acne, and prevent irritation and infection. You can also use it to unclog pores. Just be careful, the product can bleach your clothing, so make sure to wash it off completely before using any towel or putting any clothes on.


  • Drugstore product with high quality
  • Gentle formula
  • Treats bacterial infections


  • Harsh for sensitive skin
  • Foams a lot

10. pHisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin


This medicated and gel body wash will help you with acne blemishes on both the body and the face. Rinses easily and leaves no residue behind. Designed with skin balancing technology, this product is specifically designed for those with oily and acne-prone skin.

If you have oily skin, you know that choosing the right product can be a challenge. Oily skin is different in so many ways. Therefore, you want a special product.

The active ingredients list include salicylic acid, but also vitamin E, aloe vera, and chamomile. You will also find some fresh revitalizing fragrance in the formula. This can be a problem for those with sensitive skin.


  • pH balanced
  • Gender-neutral scent
  • Smells nice


  • Very irritating to the skin
  • Doesn’t clear up acne as effectively

Why do we get body acne?

Body acne is tricky to hide. And they can ruin your self-esteem and confidence. When they appear on your body while on vacation, you might be reluctant to put on that new swimsuit on.

Why are they appearing?

The causes for body acne are the same for facial acne, and that is overactive oil glands in the first place.

Dead skin cells, bacteria, and other clogging ingredients can also cause body acne.

Body acne appears when oil and dead skin cells become trapped within the hair follicle or pores.

They create blockage, and it soon becomes a blackhead. Soon after, the blackheads progress to an inflamed pimple, especially if bacteria come near it.

Body acne usually appears on the back and upper half of the body. They rarely appear on your legs.

 The reason is simple, the upper half of the body has more sebaceous glands and follicles.

In addition to pore clogging caused by oil and debris, there are other factors that can contribute to body acne.

For example, certain types of clothing sports equipment, and other gear can trigger body breakouts.


By rubbing or applying pressure on the skin, combined with the heat and sweat, certain clothes can irritate your skin and inflame follicles.

Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid friction when you are dealing with body acne. That means no tight clothing, backpacks, purse straps, and athletic gear.

Sweat is another factor that can contribute to body acne, but also irritate body acne.

It is best that you shower immediately after a workout or any other sweat session. Just be careful, do not aggressively scrub the skin.

Depending on the severity, body acne can appear as whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, nodules, or pimples.

Tips for Getting Rid of Acne

We will talk about how the best body wash for acne can help with the condition. But in addition to using the best body wash for acne, you want to follow some rules and tips for getting rid and preventing acne.

Here are some tips for acne-free and blemishes-free skin.

  • Change your clothes, sheets, and pillowcases more often to prevent acne appearing due to bacteria and infection
  • Switch to natural fabrics that allow your skin to breathe, and avoid synthetics
  • Switch to showering, as it is much better to wash off impurities from your skin. If you take a bath in a tube filled with water, bacteria can stay on
  • Check ingredients on laundry products, and try to avoid irritants like fragrances, dyes, and mineral oils. The same applies for personal care products
  • Avoid sun exposure during peak hours, harmful UV rays can irritate acne and cause skin damage
  • Shower two times per day if you have oily skin
  • Exfoliate at least once per week, and if your skin can handle it, do it more often
  • Reduce consumption of processed foods, sweets, smoking, and alcohol
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables, and try to drink at least 2l of water per day
  • Employ techniques for eliminating and managing stress

What to look for in the best body wash for acne?

What exactly makes a body wash the best body wash for acne? It is all about the ingredients.

One of the most popular active ingredients for acne is salicylic acid. It helps exfoliate the skin and eliminate impurities, all while reducing and managing oil production. However, salicylic acid does not kill acne bacteria.

If your acne problem is caused by bacteria, salicylic acid will not help. It will keep the pores clear although.

For bacteria caused problems, look for benzoyl peroxide, an ingredient that is proven to kill acne bacteria.

Other ingredients for bacteria caused acne include tea tree oil due to its potent antimicrobial properties, and sulfur.

Alpha hydroxyl acids, including glycolic and lactic acids are also good for exfoliating. Last, but not least, natural abrasive and exfoliating ingredients like sea salt minerals,

Himalayan salt, and activated charcoal can all work. Just be careful, they can also cause irritation if you are too harsh on rubbing.

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