Though nobody can see them (for the most part) body breakouts can feel even worse than facial acne because you know they’re there and still have to deal with them, or worse, worry about being in a situation where somebody will be able to see them.
But with the best body wash for acne, you won’t have to worry about unsightly or uncomfortable body acne anymore.
The key difference between regular body washes and acne body washes stems from the inclusion of one of two active ingredients: salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
What are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid?
Salicylic acid is an organic chemical compound well known for its ability to peel skin, prompting the growth of new skin. That’s an incredibly useful feature when it comes to clearing skin of undesired elements like acne, discoloration or other blemishes.
Benzoyl peroxide is also an organic chemical compound with similar effects to salicylic acid. In short, it causes a chemical reaction on the skin that kills bacteria associated with acne. The ensuing skin irritation increases skin turnover, leaving you with smoother, blemish-free skin over time. Typically, benzoyl peroxide is considered stronger and harsher on skin than salicylic acid.
The best body washes for acne simply rely on one of these two ingredients to fight acne and promote new skin growth all over your body instead of on your face.
So, if you find you’re dealing with more body acne than you’d like, a body wash for acne can help. But there’s one caveat: These chemicals, by design, damage skin. That means, especially if you haven’t used these products in a long time (or ever before), they will leave your skin feeling red and irritated at first. It’s also critically important that you keep these body washes away from your eyes or other sensitive openings.
But if you can manage that, you won’t believe the results you’re seeing in the mirror in just a few weeks. That’s why we rounded up a few of the best body washes for acne below. Given how much they can help and how easily they can be swapped into your routine, there’s no reason to live with body acne any longer.
1. Proactiv Deep Cleansing Acne Body Wash
For the best body wash for acne, we like the Proactiv Deep Cleansing Acne Body Wash. Sure, it’s pricey and yes, the years of infomercials haven’t done anything for the brand’s image, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Proactiv is still in business because it makes acne products that work, including this body wash.
Whatever kind of breakouts you’re experiencing on your body, the Proactiv acne body wash will take care of them in no time.
2. CeraVe Body Wash with Salicylic Acid
CeraVe is one of the best brands for just about anything skin-related and that includes acne problems too. The CeraVe Body Wash with Salicylic Acid will do everything your skin needs: It’ll cleanse and hydrate it, of course, but more importantly, it’ll start to break down acne, blemishes and bumpy skin wherever you use it on your body. As long as you keep using it, you’ll continue to see increasingly smooth and acne-free skin.
3. Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash
Neutrogena makes a lot of great, different products, but the brand’s bread and butter have always been acne-fighting products. The Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash relies on salicylic acid to exfoliate and smooth skin all over your body. We’re lifelong users of Neutrogena’s anti-acne products and we’re confident the brand’s body wash for acne will deliver the same clean and clear skin to you that it gave to us, whether you’ll dealing with bumpy skin, acne or even ingrown hairs.
4. Amazon Solimo Clarifying Pink Grapefruit Body Wash
BUDGET SALICYLIC ACID PICK
When it comes to budget pricing, Amazon is hard to beat. The Amazon Solimo Clarifying Pink Grapefruit Body Wash relies on salicylic acid to break down acne and blemishes. Though it may seem a bit feminine with its pink color and grapefruit fragrance, this body wash works great on all skin and it doesn’t hurt that it’s extremely affordable too.
5. Amazon Solimo Daily Acne Control Cleanser
BUDGET BENZOYL PEROXIDE PICK
If you need the best body wash for acne on the cheap, you still can’t do better than Amazon’s Solimo brand. The Amazon Solimo Daily Acne Control Cleanser relies on benzoyl peroxide instead of salicylic acid. That means you get even stronger acne-fighting power for an equivalently low price. Though it’s not purposefully designed for bodies, it makes for a great spot wash, if not a full-on body wash.
But, for your second and last warning, we mentioned at the top that benzoyl peroxide is typically stronger than salicylic acid, so exercise caution when using it around more sensitive skin. If you’re looking for your first body wash for acne, we recommend going for a salicylic acid-based option first.
Read More: Best Body Wash for Sensitive Skin
6. Black Wolf Nation Activated Charcoal Body Wash
BEST ACTIVATED CHARCOAL ACNE WASH
Activated charcoal is well known for its cleansing properties, making it a perfect ingredient to help clear up skin. The Black Wolf Nation Activated Charcoal Body Wash capitalizes on that fact and adds salicylic acid into the mix for optimal results. While they’re working to cleanse your skin and minimize acne, plant-based ingredients work to hydrate your skin, leaving you with healthier and acne-free skin in the long run. Plus, it actually smells masculine and is something you’ll enjoy using in the shower.
Read More: Best Tea Tree Body Wash
7. Murad Acne Body Wash
BEST FOR MILD BODY ACNE
Most options here have 2% salicylic acid, good for most body acne, or 10% benzoyl peroxide, good for more severe acne, but the Murad Acne Body Wash only uses 1% salicylic acid, perfect for those with more mild body acne. But don’t be worried: Even though this acne body wash is weaker, it’s still highly effective. Many reviewers said as much, indicating that this body wash left their skin cleaner and smoother.
Read More: Best Unscented Body Washes
8. Humane Regular-Strength Acne Wash
BEST FOR MODERATE BODY ACNE
For those suffering from moderate to severe acne, the Humane Regular-Strength Acne Wash will be the best body wash for acne. Unique on this list, the Humane acne wash is the only one to rely on less than 10% benzoyl peroxide, with 5%. The end result is a weaker but still quite strong acne body wash suitable for more severe breakouts, if not the most severe.
Plus, it may seem like a minor note, but we also love the fact this bottle comes with a hand pump. Though the dispenser is rarely a make-or-break feature, it goes a long way to making something easy or annoying to use and the Humane acne wash is easy to use.
So if you’re finding salicylic acid body washes aren’t cutting it, the Humane acne wash will be the best body wash for acne for you.
9. Replenix 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Wash
We always like to include highly rated picks for almost any products we review because they’re the products that users actually praise and continue to buy. When it comes to the best body wash for acne, users loved the Replenix 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Wash.
Users raved about this product for the simple fact that it works well. Whether they were dealing with cystic acne, eczema, rosacea or garden variety severe breakouts, they all said the Replenix wash helped clear up their skin. Just use it every day until your breakouts have subsided and then you can use it just once or twice a week for maintenance.
10. Paula’s Choice Clear Back and Body Acne Spray
BEST BODY SPRAY
Though acne body washes will help, even the best body wash for acne will find it hard to compete with an acne body spray for expedited results. The Paula’s Choice Clear Back and Body Acne Spray can more easily target the usual suspects, nipping breakouts in the bud before they get worse. Plus, because this spray stays on your skin, your skin will absorb more of the 2% salicylic acid, making it more effective in the short term.