Unfortunately, acne doesn’t just affect the face. As many of us are far too aware, acne can plague the back, chest, shoulders…basically any spot on the body.
Thankfully, there are products that can help clear up and prevent these breakouts – and a targeted, well-formulated body wash can be your first line of defense. If you’re looking to fight body acne and achieve a clearer complexion, we’ve compiled a list of the absolute best body washes for acne.
A key part of fighting body acne is using a body wash that effectively cleanses while supporting the skin’s overall health, and that’s exactly what the Blu Atlas Body Wash is formulated to do. This natural body wash contains a blend of science-backed and nutrient-rich ingredients that help get rid of pore-clogging debris while boosting skin health so that it looks and feels its best. It’s also free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates, and is dermatologically tested.
Two of the key ingredients in this body wash are nourishing aloe barbadensis leaf and green tea extract, which both have powerful anti-inflammatory effects that can help soothe skin that is irritated by breakouts. These ingredients are also packed with antioxidants that can protect the skin and support overall skin health. Aloe also works to naturally moisturize the skin without clogging pores.
The Blu Atlas Body Wash also contains sugar cane extract, which gently exfoliates to smooth and brighten the skin while getting rid of debris that may clog the pores. Coco-caprylate and shea butter glycerides soften, soothe, and lock in moisture to ensure the skin is left feeling calm and hydrated.
France-based Typology makes sustainable, nature-powered skin and hair care products, and the Anti-Blemish Shower Gel is one of the company’s best sellers. This shower gel features two powerhouse ingredients that fight acne and promote a smoother complexion: glycolic acid and tea tree extract.
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that works on the surface of the skin to exfoliate away dead skin cells, helping to promote a soft skin texture and even skin tone. The 6% concentration of glycolic acid also helps get rid of excess debris that can lead to skin congestion, while also minimizing the appearance of enlarged pores. While this chemical exfoliator gets to work, tea tree extract (which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties) cleanses and refreshes the skin. Gentle plant-derived surfactants work to clean the skin without disrupting its barrier, leaving it feeling soft and comfortable. The Typology Anti-Blemish Shower Gel is vegan and free of parabens and sulfates.
For years, this classic body wash from drugstore skincare brand Neutrogena has been the go-to product for many with body acne. The super affordable Body Clear Acne Treatment Body Wash lathers into a nice foam that effectively cleanses the skin without causing irritation or dryness.
The hero ingredient of this oil-free Neutrogena body wash is salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (or BHA). Salicylic acid is a science-backed acne fighting ingredient that works deep in the pores, helping to break up and dissolve oil, dirt, bacteria, and other debris. It helps treat current breakouts while also getting rid of pore-clogging debris to prevent future blemishes from forming. As the salicylic acid gets to work, aloe leaf extract, glycerin, and chamomile help soothe and moisturize the skin.
Vegan skin and body care company Sade Baron crafts high-quality and effective products featuring superfood ingredients that are packed with skin-loving nutrients. Those with body acne should try the Vulcano Activated Charcoal Body Wash, a light yet powerful cleanser that has a refreshing herbal scent powered by tea tree, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils.
One of the key ingredients in this body wash is bamboo activated charcoal, which traps impurities, dead skin cells, and other debris on the skin that could clog pores and lead to breakouts. This natural ingredient also helps fight odor. The herbal blend of tea tree, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils further helps fight body acne, as these natural oils have antiseptic properties.
The Vulcano Activated Charcoal Body Wash also features a variety of nourishing and hydrating ingredients, which makes the formula particularly great for those with dehydrated skin that is prone to breakouts. This includes avocado oil, an antioxidant and fatty acid-rich ingredient containing vitamins A, C, E, and K. Cocoa butter, coconut oil, glycerin, and olive oil further moisturize the skin. The formula is free of silicones, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, and synthetic dyes and fragrances.
This cleanser from doctor-founded skincare brand Murad is one of the best body washes for acne, thanks to its expertly crafted formula, which features both chemical and physical exfoliants. The Murad Acne Body Wash is particularly great for those with normal, combination, or oily skin, and is free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, and sulfates.
A 1% concentration of salicylic acid (a chemical exfoliant) works deep in the pores to both treat current breakouts while also stopping future acne from forming. This refreshing body wash also contains the chemical exfoliant glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (or AHA) that exfoliates on the surface of the skin to clear away dead skin cells and pore-clogging oil and promote a smoother complexion. Natural date seed powder works as a physical exfoliant, further helping to smooth the skin. While this blend of chemical and physical exfoliants works to unclog pores and improve skin texture, green tea and licorice root extracts help soothe irritation.
SheaMoisture has been in business for over 30 years, creating skin and body care products featuring raw shea butter and other nutrient-rich, natural ingredients sourced from Africa. The company’s African Black Soap Soothing Body Wash is an excellent choice for those looking for a natural product that will help keep body acne at bay. It is paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, and cruelty-free.
This body soap helps fight breakouts using the power of African black soap. This soap is made from cocoa pod ash, which has antibacterial properties, as well as shea butter and palm oil, which soften the skin and lock in moisture. The African Black Soap Soothing Body Wash also contains aloe leaf juice, which conditions, moisturizes, and soothes the skin, as well as oat bran extract, which further calms. These soothing ingredients are particularly beneficial for calming the inflammation that comes with body acne.
If you’re looking for a high-strength acne cleanser that can treat and prevent breakouts on both the face and the body, check out the dermatologist-recommended PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash. This budget-friendly foaming face and body cleanser contains a 10% concentration of benzoyl peroxide – the highest concentration you can get over-the-counter.
Benzoyl peroxide is a super powerful acne-fighting ingredient that kills acne-causing bacteria on the skin. It also unclogs pores, and helps the skin more effectively shed dead skin cells in order to prevent pores from becoming clogged again. This research-backed skincare ingredient will help treat current breakouts and keep the skin clear and healthy.
Alba Botanica is a cruelty-free skincare company that is dedicated to using effective botanical, plant-based ingredients in its formulas. The company’s super affordable Acnedote Face & Body Scrub is a powerful (yet gentle enough for daily use) cleanser that contains acne-fighting ingredients that work to clear breakouts from head to toe.
This scrub contains a 2% concentration of the acne-fighting chemical exfoliant salicylic acid. It also features willow bark extract, which is rich in salicin – a substance that can be converted to salicylic acid. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, and is excellent for fighting acne and soothing the skin. This face and body wash also provides physical exfoliation benefits with the power of ground walnut shells, which help to smooth the skin. Aloe leaf juice, glycerin, licorice root, and witch hazel work to soothe irritation and moisturize the skin.
The Alba Botanica Acnedote Face & Body Scrub is non-comedogenic (meaning it doesn’t contain ingredients known to clog pores) and dermatologist tested. It’s also free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, artificial colors, and synthetic fragrances.
Skincare brand Proactiv was launched to create products that fight acne and promote a clearer complexion, and the company’s Acne Body Wash does not disappoint. It contains chemical exfoliants that unclog pores and clear debris, as well as a blend of moisturizing and nourishing ingredients. The result is acne-free skin that is smooth, soft, and hydrated.
Two of the star ingredients in this body wash are salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid) and glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid). The 2% concentration of salicylic acid helps unclog sebum, dirt, and bacteria deep in the pores to treat and prevent breakouts, while the 1% concentration of glycolic acid works on the surface of the skin to clear away debris that can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
In addition to these powerful exfoliants, the Proactiv Acne Body Wash contains shea butter, which hydrates and softens the skin, as well as antioxidant-rich vitamin E, which protects and strengthens the skin’s barrier. Sweet almond oil and cocoa butter further help nourish, strengthen, and moisturize the skin.
The Positively Radiant Soap-Free Exfoliating Body Wash from popular drugstore personal care brand Aveeno is an excellent option for those with dry skin looking to prevent body acne while exfoliating the skin. The affordable exfoliating body wash is formulated to improve dull and uneven skin tone for a brighter, more radiant complexion, while also washing away bacteria, oil, and debris that can clog pores.
The Positively Radiant Soap-Free Exfoliating Body Wash contains crushed walnut shells, which naturally exfoliate the skin to help smooth and soften. A soy complex also helps to moisturize the skin while promoting a more even skin tone. The hypoallergenic formula has a light, fresh scent, and is also free of dyes and soap.
If you want to take a more natural approach to fighting body acne, check out the Pure Eucalyptus Shower Gel from 100% Pure, a natural and organic beauty, skin, and body care company. This invigorating eucalyptus and peppermint-scented shower gel uses gentle coconut-derived surfactants to wash away impurities on the skin that can lead to breakouts, without disrupting the skin’s barrier.
Eucalyptus oil is one of the most powerful natural acne-fighting ingredients in this foaming shower gel. It has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, so it effectively tackles breakouts while soothing irritation. Another notable ingredient that can help minimize body acne is honey, which has antibacterial effects. It also soothes and moisturizes the skin, leaving it feeling calm and soft. Additionally, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial rose hydrosol tightens pores while toning the skin.
The Pure Eucalyptus Shower Gel also has a variety of ingredients that help rehydrate the skin as it is being cleansed, ensuring it feels supple and healthy after you shower. This includes aloe leaf juice, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. Green tea and red algae – which are both rich in antioxidants – further help protect the skin while locking in moisture. The cleanser is cruelty-free, and also free of sulfates and artificial colors and fragrances.
Phisoderm is the perfect choice for those looking for an acne body wash on a budget. The Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash is formulated for oily skin types, and is pH balanced so that it effectively cleanses without negatively impacting the skin barrier.
This affordable body wash fights acne with the power of the chemical exfoliant salicylic acid, which dissolves pore-clogging grime that leads to acne. As the 2% concentration of this beta hydroxy gets to work, a variety of soothing and moisturizing ingredients help to calm and hydrate the skin, including vitamin E, chamomile flower extract, glycerin, and aloe leaf juice. The Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash has a revitalizing, fresh fragrance, and is free of dyes, soap, alcohol, and oil.
Super popular drugstore skin and body care brand CeraVe offers a variety of effective body cleansers that target a range of skin concerns and types. The SA Body Wash for Rough & Bumpy Skin was formulated to exfoliate the skin to smooth texture and fight blemishes while gently cleansing without disrupting the skin’s barrier.
This affordable body wash gently exfoliates and unclogs pores using the power of the chemical exfoliant salicylic acid. The formula also includes a variety of ingredients that support, hydrate, and soften skin so that it looks and feels its best. Three essential ceramides work to restore the skin’s barrier, while hyaluronic acid attracts moisture to the skin and locks it in. Niacinamide also helps calm the skin. The body wash contains CeraVe’s patented MVE Technology, a delivery system that works to continually provide the skin with moisture for 24-hour hydration. The CeraVe SA Body Wash for Rough & Bumpy Skin (which was developed with dermatologists) is non-comedogenic, and free of fragrances and parabens.
If bar soaps are more your speed, consider the 5% Sulfur & 2% Salicylic Acid Body and Facial Bar Soap from DermaHarmony. This affordable bar soap has a simple list of ingredients that are scientifically proven to help tackle acne on the body and the face. It’s also particularly beneficial for those with seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.
A key ingredient in this bar soap is sulfur, which has antimicrobial properties. Sulfur gently absorbs excess oil and helps unclog dead skin cells that may be trapped in the pores. While sulfur notoriously has a not-so-pleasant smell, this bar soap has a natural odor eliminator (derived from soy) that works to neutralize the scent. Another key ingredient is salicylic acid, which exfoliates deep in the pores to unclog acne-causing debris. This DermaHarmony bar soap is free of fragrances and artificial colors, and is also cruelty-free.
The Body Shop has been creating effective plant-based beauty, skin, and body care products powered by naturally-based and ethically sourced ingredients since its opening in 1976. The company’s tea tree line is specifically created to help those with oily, blemish-prone skin tackle breakouts, and the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Body Wash is one of the most popular products in the range. It is formulated to cleanse and fight body acne without causing irritation or dryness.
Naturally, the star of this vegan and cruelty-free body wash is tea tree oil, which is ethically sourced from the foothills of Mount Kenya. This oil is commonly used as a natural alternative to many other acne-fighting ingredients, thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This purifying body wash has an invigorating scent that leaves you and your skin feeling refreshed.
Ready to tackle body acne for good? Here are a few things you should keep in mind to achieve a healthy and clear complexion.
This will depend on the formula, but typically, you should be able to use an acne-fighting body wash on a daily basis. Regularly using your body wash of choice will give you the best results, and help you achieve breakout-free skin faster.
That said, some acne body wash formulas do contain ingredients that can be drying or irritating when used too frequently (such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur). If you notice some dryness or mild irritation from using your body wash on a daily basis, consider using it every other day, and alternating your use with a gentler formula. When looking for an alternative body wash, seek out a formula that is free of more aggressive acne-fighting ingredients, and that doesn’t have ingredients that clog pores. You’ll find plenty of gentle (yet still effective) options on this list.
In addition to regularly using a body wash targeted towards diminishing acne, there are a few steps you can take and products you can add to your routine to help clear these breakouts (and prevent them from popping up in the future!). Here are some things to keep in mind when fighting body acne:
Unfortunately, acne doesn’t just affect the face. As many of us are far too aware, acne can plague the back, chest, shoulders…basically any spot on the body.