12 Acne Body Washes of 2022



acne body wash

Yaroslav Astakhov

There’s a particular type of joy that overwhelms you once you finally crack the code on how to get rid of acne and maintain clear, bump-free skin. It takes a lot of research, trial and error, and a few in-office visits to reach that place of peace. However, that moment of bliss can quickly dissolve to rage at the sight of breakouts cropping up all over your body.

In case you need reminding, breakouts can occur any and everywhere. Just as we reach for a powerful cleanser or pimple patches whenever a breakout emerges on our face, there are plenty of body washes that target stubborn acne on the back, shoulder, arms, and more. “An acne body wash is a type of body wash designed to treat and prevent acne,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Purvisha Patel tells ELLE.com. Because the skin on our face is not the same as the skin on our body, the two areas need to be treated differently. “The body has acne called folliculitis, and areas that are shaved often get small follicular infections,” she adds. Many body washes contain chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid, which gently exfoliates the skin to clear up acne and prevent any incoming breakouts, as well as other skin-saving ingredients.

Before you reach for any abrasive scrubs that can further damage your skin, we rounded up the 12 best acne body washes that give you clear skin from head to toe.

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Best Overall


CeraVe Body Wash with Salicylic Acid | Fragrance Free Body Wash to Exfoliate Rough and Bumpy Skin | Allergy Tested | 10 Ounce

Active ingredients Salicylic acid
Size 10 fl oz

Best For Smoothness


The Perfector Salicylic Acid Body Wash

Active ingredients Salicylic acid
Size 16.9 fl oz

Best For KP


Good Body Skin AHA + Enzyme Exfoliating Body Wash

Active ingredients Glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acid
Size 9 fl oz

Best For Stubborn Acne


Exfoliating Body Wash

Active ingredients Glycolic acid
Size 6.7 fl oz

Best For Bacne


Acne Control Acne Body Wash

Active ingredients Salicylic, glycolic acid
Size 8.5 fl oz

Derm Favorite

Visha Skincare

Top 2 Toe

Active ingredients Salicylic acid, bakuchiol
Size 9 fl oz

Best For Gentle Exfoliation

Mario Badescu

A.H.A Botanical Body Soap

Active ingredients Fruit enzymes
Size 16 oz

Best For Travel


Outer Space Foaming Body Cleanser

Active ingredients Glycolic, lactic, and malic acids
Size 8 fl oz

Best Drugstore Option


Body Clear Body Wash

Active ingredients Salicylic acid
Size 8.5 fl oz

Best For Inflamed Acne


Maximum-Strength Acne Wash

Active ingredients Benzoyl peroxide
Size 8 fl oz

Best Benzoyl Peroxide Formula


Acne Foaming Wash

Active ingredient Benzoyl peroxide
Size 5.5 fl oz

Best For Sensitive Skin


Atoderm Shower Gel


What are the benefits of acne body wash?

The number one benefit of acne body wash is exfoliation, of course, but there are plenty more benefits like killing bacteria. “Acne body washes help exfoliate the skin as well as decrease microbe growth on your body, which ultimately leads to less acne and leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed,“ says Dr. Patel.


Where does an acne body wash fall in the body care routine?

“You should use your acne body wash in the shower after you have washed your hair,” Dr. Patel adds. As the last step in your shower routine, “this ensures you will leave the shower with clean skin [after] washing off all the hair products,” she says.


What ingredients should you look for in an acne wash?

AHAs—glycolic, lactic, malic, etc.—and BHAs—salicylic—are the common powerful ingredients in most acne cleansers. Dr. Patel says to look for those acids, in addition to ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and bakuchiol, as these players help “to decrease microbe growth, decrease fungus and bacteria on the skin, and minimize body breakouts,” she adds.

Dr. Purvisha Patel MD is a board-certified dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and founder of Visha Skincare.


Why trust ELLE Beauty?

Nerisha Penrose is the Beauty Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Since joining ELLE.com in 2017, she has interviewed countless skincare professionals and has personally tested the latest and greatest products across makeup, skincare, and hair care.

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