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You’re not alone if you assumed that acne went the way of your locker after junior high school. But the reality is we are still getting breakouts long after the school bell has stopped ringing. What’s even more annoying is that the struggle isn’t just limited to your face—bacne is real. And unlike your face, it’s pretty tough to use concealer on your back, unless you’re a gymnast. The back isn’t the only place where we are prone to body acne—it can also pop up on the chest, arms, and even butt. Don’t worry, you can still treat body breakouts, though. The easiest solution is using an acne body wash, which can get to hard to reach places and prevent pimples and blackheads from forming in the first place.
To ensure that you’re using one of the best acne body washes, look for one that has active ingredients that are tough on breakouts but not too harsh on your skin, such as tea tree oil, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or charcoal. If you’re a workout warrior, be sure to jump in the shower right after your sweat sessions with an acne body wash, since waiting too long to suds up can trigger body breakouts. Also, don’t try using your face wash as a body wash, since the ingredient concentrations are different, and you’ll need stronger stuff for your body than your face. Be sure the body wash is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores, and opting for a fragrance-free formula is also a good idea since added fragrance can irritate sensitive skin. Give one of these top acne body washes a try to clear up your skin—and keep it that way.
Best Overall: Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash
There’s a pretty good chance you trusted Proactiv to take care of your acne during your teen years, so let their Deep Cleansing Wash handle your bacne now. Developed by dermatologists, the gentle cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid to clear pores and reduce excess oil to treat breakouts and prevent future ones. It also has exfoliating beads to wash way dead skin cells, which can otherwise clog pores. Even though it’s potent, this body wash won’t strip your skin, leaving it with that icky tight, dry feeling.
Best Budget: Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash
This OG acne body wash has been battling breakouts for years. The classic spotlights salicylic acid as the active ingredient to prevent breakouts and zap current ones on your back, chest, and shoulders. The non-comedogenic formula is safe for sensitive skin, won’t cause irritation, and also has glycerin to keep skin moisturized. The body wash lathers up easily and rinses off completely so skin feels extra clean.
Best for Blackheads: Murad Acne Body Wash
Murad’s Acne Body Wash gets down to business with glycolic and salicylic acids that go deep into the skin to clean out pores and prevent breakouts, making it especially potent for taking care of blackheads. The award-winner also contains data seed powder to exfoliate and keep pores clear, as well as green tea and licorice root extracts to calm inflamed skin.
Best Drugstore Option: Alba Botanica Acnedote Face & Body Scrub
One of the best ways to prevent future breakouts is to keep your pores clear, and Alba Botanica’s Acnedote Face & Body Scrub gets the job done by gently exfoliating every time you use it with finely ground walnut shells. By getting rid of dead skin cell buildup, oil and dirt, it keeps skin smooth. It also harnesses the power of 2 percent salicylic acid to clear clogged follicles, as well as aloe and chamomile to reduce inflammation.
Best for Sensitive Skin: CeraVe Salicylic Acid Body Wash
Ask a dermatologist for their favorite drugstore brand and there is a good chance it will be CeraVe. Dermatologists actually helped develop the line, which explains why it’s great for even the most sensitive skin, and their Salicylic Acid Body Wash is no exception. The salicylic acid-based body wash tackles breakouts without over drying, thanks to inclusion of three crucial ceramides, which boost the protective skin barrier to lock in moisture. The fragrance-free formula also is non-comedogenic.
Best Bar Soap: Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Face and Body Soap
Talk about raising the bar! Clinique’s Acne Solutions Cleansing Face and Body Soap has earned loads of rave reviews for clearing up both the face and body. It features encapsulated salicylic acid to gently wash away excess oil, dirt and buildup, which are all acne culprits. It soothes skin, leaving it happy and hydrated.
Best Scrub: Peter Thomas Roth Acne Face & Body Scrub
Before those dead skin cells and excess oil turn into a pimple, wash them away with Peter Thomas Roth’s Acne Face & Body Scrub, a triple threat that helps with acne, oiliness and pores without drying out skin. The super gentle formula contains the brand’s Sepicontrol complex, which works to absorb and control oil to keep skin balanced. There is also one percent salicylic acid to fight blemishes and prevents future ones, a glycolic acid complex to improve the appearance of discoloration, and extra fine jojoba beads to exfoliate and emulsify oil, which enables acne treatment products to absorb better.
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular acne body washes on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 18 different acne body washes overall, screened options from 16 different brands and manufacturers, read over 35 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 3 of the acne body washes themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.