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Make no mistake: Body acne is just as stubborn as facial acne. No matter if it's on your back, your chest, or your arms, body acne often proves itself to be frustrating (not to mention painful) to the person who is struggling with it. Luckily, in most cases, it can be alleviated with a few minor lifestyle tweaks and a good skincare routine consisting of potent anti-acne products.
To save you from trial and error, and even more frustration, we rounded up the best anti-acne body washes that money can buy. Peep our top picks, below.
Best Overall: Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash
Developed by dermatologists, this gentle cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid to clear pores and reduce excess oil while treating breakouts and preventing future ones. While the formula can be applied all over the skin (including the face) we recommend it most on body skin to clear away blemishes in no time flat. Plus, thanks to the inclusion of gentle exfoliating beads, dead skin cells are whisked away for soft, smooth skin you won't want to stop touching.
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 date seed powder to exfoliate and keep pores clear, as well as green tea and licorice root extracts to calm inflamed skin.
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.
Best Refreshing: Mario Badescu A.H.A Botanical Body Soap
When Byrdie senior editor Hallie Gould started using this formula, she never looked back. Yes, its citrus scent is super refreshing, but it's also very effective. Papaya and grapefruit extracts cleanse and exfoliate the skin, oat protein calms sensitive spots, and ginseng and linden provide a revitalizing boost.
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, excess oil, and enlarged pores without drying out the 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 salicylic acid to fight blemishes and prevent future ones, a glycolic acid complex to improve the appearance of discoloration, and extra-fine jojoba beads to exfoliate, which enables acne treatment products to absorb better.
Best Drugstore: 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 Gentle: CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser
This salicylic acid-based body wash tackles breakouts without over-drying, thanks to the inclusion of three crucial ceramides, which boost the protective skin barrier to lock in moisture. Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and antioxidant vitamin D also make an appearance in the fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and uber-gentle formula.
Best Calming: SheaMoisture African Black Soap Body Wash
African black soap is a master acne-fighter (it contains sulfur, which is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory), and it's also the hero of this SheaMoisture body wash. It can also dry you out—but, thanks to ingredients like organic shea butter, cocoa pod ash, oat extract, and aloe vera, that's not an issue with this formula. After application, your skin will feel calm, clean, and hydrated.
Best Bar Soap: Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Face and Body Soap
Forget everything you think you know about bar soap. Clinique’s Acne Solutions Cleansing Face and Body Soap earned loads of rave reviews for clearing up acne on both the face and body. It features encapsulated salicylic acid to gently wash away excess oil, dirt, and buildup, which are all common acne culprits. What's more, it soothes skin, leaving it happy and hydrated.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel for Face and Body
We love this soap-free cleansing gel because it eliminates dirt and oil without disturbing your skin's pH level—meaning it's especially great for sensitive skin. Glyceryl laurate refines pore size and helps to reduce sebum production, while the brand's proprietary Thermal Spring Water and zinc soothe the skin and calm any irritation.