Seventeen posted "19 Best Acne Body Washes to Get Rid of Pimples." Because the bacteria that help to cause acne eat the same things we eat, Visha Skincare founder, Dr. Purvisha Patel recommends body washes specifically formulated to treat acne. Gentle exfoliation is fine, but, to avoid overdrying and irritation, stay away from fragrances all together.
Acne knows no bounds, and unfortunately, it doesn’t just appear on your the face. Yep, you can get pimples anywhere, from bacne to pimples on your chest and butt cheeks, too. How does that even happen? When it comes to blackheads, whiteheads, zits, and pimples, there is one common denominator: clogged follicles. Simply put, acne forms when the skin’s follicles are inflamed. "Bacteria and fungal growth... along with "oil, sebum, and sweat accumulation," contribute to the inflamed follicles better known as acne, Dr. Purvisha Patel tells Seventeen. This can happen in areas like your back, chest and butt too in part because of a mix of sweat and clothes. Factors like "friction from tight clothing and hormones" trigger body acne, celebrity esthetician Sarah Akram says. You may already use spot treatments and pimple patches to zap zits whenever they pop up on your face, but what about when breakouts strike in other hard-to-reach areas? The good news is that like facial acne, body acne is treatable. Since you may not want to put acne creams on under clothes (since some can cause discoloration like Benzoyl Peroxide and some areas can be hard to reach), bacteria-fighting body washes are a good option to try if you want to get rid of body acne.
What should you look for in an acne-fighting body wash?
If you're experiencing body acne, try swapping out your fave cleanser with one that's enriched with ingredients that are designed to treat active blemishes and combat future breakouts. Some every day cleansers can actually cause acne. Dr. Patel recommends steering clear of ingredients like "coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil" because they can make your breakouts worsen. Instead, try an acne body wash. Patel, founder of Visha Skincare, recommends body washes that boast tea tree oil, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid as they "help exfoliate your skin and decrease bacteria and microbes on your body."
When you're shopping for the best acne-fighting body wash, it's important to consider your skin type and condition. For dry and sensitive skin types, Dr. Patel suggests ingredients that gently cleanse and exfoliate, like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. According to board-certified general and cosmetic dermatologist Rachel Westbay, body washes enriched with ceramides work wonders for dry skin — she recommends hydrating ingredients like "glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E" that nourish the skin. Be sure to avoid fragrance and harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate, which can "strip the skin of its natural oils," further contributing to dryness and irritation." Fragrance is off limits, especially if you have sensitive skin," Westbay adds. According to Dr. Patel, the scented body washes we just can't get enough of can "irritate and dry out the skin.
On the other hand, oily skin has "more active sebaceous glands [so it can] tolerate more exfoliation," Dr. Patel says. In those cases, she suggests body washes that combine salicylic and glycolic acids with stronger ingredients like clogged pore-clearing retinol and bakuchiol to improve the skin's condition.
Exfoliating Body Wash
$34 AT GLYTONE.COM
Erase rough bumps and kiss uneven skin tone goodbye while gently cleansing and exfoliating.
2% BHA Cleanser
$35 AT SKINFIX.COM
Ingredients like salicylic, azelaic, and glycolic acids work together to banish breakouts and minimize excess sebum, which can clog pores and cause zits.
Neutrogena Body Clear Oil-Free Acne Body Scrub
$8 AT WALMART
This body wash and scrub hybrid is great for oily and combination skin. Not only can this body wash cleanse away pore-clogging gunk, but it exfoliates, leaving soft and smooth skin.
Panoxyl PanOxyl Bar 10%
$6 AT WALMART
Benzoyl peroxide helps this cleansing bar remove dirt and debris while delivering an added layer of exfoliation.
Great for Sensitive Skin
Vanicream Cleansing Bar
$20 AT AMAZON
Treat your sensitive skin with a little extra TLC courtesy of this fragrance-free cleansing bar. It gently cleanses and hydrates without the risk of further irritation.
Environ Botanical Infused Sebu-Wash Gel Cleanser
$42 AT JOANNA CZECH
Tea tree oil gently removes excess oils while salicylic acid exfoliates.
Murad Acne Body Wash
$44 AT SEPHORA
$48 AT ULTA BEAUTY
$48 AT NORDSTROM
Use the Murad Acne Body Wash to both prevent and eliminate existing zits. Its ingredients, including glycolic and salicylic acids and green tea extract, will exfoliate and soothe your inflamed skin.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Body Wash
$15 AT THE BODY SHOP
The Body Shop's Tea Tree Body Wash is completely vegan, so don't worry about harsh chemicals making your body acne worse. It's gentle enough to use daily to clear up acne and will leave you smelling minty fresh.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Soap-Free Exfoliating Body Wash
$18 AT WALMART
If you're dealing with both body acne and skin that needs its glow back, then try this exfoliating body wash from Aveeno. It's aimed at clearing out dead skin cells to make way for dewy and radiant skin. It's also hypoallergenic, so it's safe for sensitive skin types.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
$26 AT AMAZON
You can find Cetaphil's classic head-to-toe skin cleanser right in the aisle of your local drugstore. While harsher body washes may dry out the skin, this formula is gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Tree to Tub Refreshing Body Wash for Sensitive, Oily Skin
Now 20% Off
$16 AT TREETOTUB.COM
This wash from Tree to Tub relies on natural ingredients to maintain your skin's natural pH balance, which is usually around 5.5. It also contains hints of peppermint essential oil, which can be used to relieve itchiness and improve the overall health of your skin.
Mario Badescu A.H.A Botanical Body Soap
$8 AT ULTA BEAUTY
$8 AT NORDSTROM
$8 AT WALMART
Even though it's best to avoid fragrances, you don't have to sacrifice a nice after-shower smell. This body wash is infused with natural fruit extracts, like papaya and grapefruit, to break down dead skin cells and soothe irritated areas.
Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash
$39 AT SEPHORA
$39 AT ULTA BEAUTY
$37 AT WALMART
Salicylic acid works to exfoliate, while menthol and camphor in the formula gives the skin a cool and smooth feel.
Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash With Sea Minerals
$7 AT WALMART
$20 AT MACY'S
$22 AT NEIMAN MARCUS
Not only is this body wash from Dove super affordable, but it also contains gentle (non-plastic) exfoliating beads to help you clean out those clogged pores. It's sulfate-free so you don't have to worry about making your acne worse.
Proactiv Acne Body Wash
$31 AT PROACTIV.COM
This Proactiv body wash won't only prevent and clear current breakouts, whiteheads and blackheads, but it'll also help lighten up those acne blemishes you're so over. The key ingredient is salicylic acid so you can say goodbye to those clogged pores.
Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
$11 AT WALMART
This soap is more than just a body wash and that's why it's a complete bargain. You can use it on your hands and face and even as a multi-use cleaning product. It's full of tea tree oil, which has antimicrobial properties that can help you kick acne to the curb.
Alba Botanica Acnedote Maximum Strength Face & Body Scrub
$6 AT AMAZON
Ground walnut shell helps exfoliate while aloe and chamomile help to reduce inflammation and soothe the skin.
pHisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash
$11 AT WALMART
pHisoderm's low price doesn't mean it sacrifices any of the acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, vitamin E, aloe, and chamomile.
Avène Gentle Scrub
$24 AT AVENEUSA.COM
This body scrub made with jojoba beads is gentle enough for sensitive skin types. Ingredients include sodium salicylate, which creates a gentle chemical peeling effect that leaves your skin baby soft.