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Best 7 Acne Body Washes for Clear and Smooth Skin

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Body acne can take a real toll on your self-esteem, especially when summer’s in full swing, and you want to feel confident in your swimsuit or tank top. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to deal with body acne, even during your daily shower. The right acne body wash can be an important weapon against breakouts. 

In this post, we’ve selected the best acne body washes to help clear your breakouts. These formulas contain effective and proven acne treatments that can reduce your blemishes and prevent their return. Are you ready to discover your next skin-clearing shower companion? 

Best acne body washes overview:

How we chose the best acne body washes

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including ingredients, formulas, types, and more, to create a short list of the top body washes for acne-prone skin. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best acne body washes for each category.

Our picks for the best acne body washes

Best overall
Cetaphil Acne Relief Body Wash

What we love

  • Unclogs pores and clarifies skin with salicylic acid
  • Gentle, non-irritating formula
  • Moisturizes the skin

What we don’t love

  • Doesn’t foam up a lot

When it comes to body acne, the best place to start is with a salicylic acid body wash. Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant with the ability to unclog pores and clarify the skin without causing irritation. 

This cleanser from Cetaphil includes 2% salicylic acid in a gentle, creamy formula that won’t dry or irritate the skin. It even includes a moisturizing blend of glycerin and shea butter to defend the skin barrier and prevent irritation. Note that it doesn’t foam up much, which may take some getting used to for some users.

Main ingredients: Salicylic acid | Type: Cream | Skin type: All | Size: 20 fl oz

Best budget
PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Maximum Strength

What we love

  • Budget-friendly
  • High dose of acne-busting benzoyl peroxide
  • Removes oils

What we don’t love

  • Can be drying

This powerful body wash is an excellent option for those with body acne and oily skin. It’s a budget-friendly option made with a powerful 10% dose of benzoyl peroxide, one of the most well-established anti-acne ingredients. 

Since it’s a foaming formula, it also clears away oils and rinses away easily, leaving the skin with a very clean feel. Keep in mind that this is a potent product that can be drying, so don’t forget to use a lightweight moisturizer post-shower to keep your skin hydrated.

Main ingredients: Benzoyl peroxide | Type: Foaming cream | Skin type: Oily | Size: 5.5 oz

Best exfoliating
Murad Acne Control Acne Body Wash

What we love

  • Very thorough exfoliation
  • Salicylic acid fights breakouts
  • Includes soothing ingredients

What we don’t love

  • May be too harsh for some

This acne body wash is a two-in-one physical and chemical exfoliant. It unclogs pores with a combination of mildly abrasive date seed powder and resurfacing glycolic and salicylic acids. Salicylic acid also acts as an anti-acne treatment which can address breakouts. This makes it a phenomenal treatment if you find that your skin is prone to rough, dead skin buildup. 

It features additional ingredients to soothe the skin, like licorice root extract and green tea. That said, while it’s not harsh for a body scrub, we still wouldn’t recommend it for those with sensitive or highly inflamed skin.

Main ingredients: Salicylic acid, glycolic acid, date seed powder, green tea | Type: Exfoliating | Skin type: Oily, combination, balanced | Size: 8.5 fl oz

Best for sensitive skin
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Wash AP+ Moisturizing Body & Face Wash

What we love

  • Gentle, non-drying formula
  • Niacinamide soothes and balances
  • Lightly foaming and easy to rinse

What we don’t love

  • No specific anti-acne ingredients

Sensitive skin and acne often go hand in hand. Unfortunately, dealing with both at the same time can get pretty complicated. This dermatologist-recommended body wash allows you to cleanse your skin without aggravating inflammation, which keeps acne-prone skin calm. It’s made with niacinamide, a soothing, balancing ingredient that’s beneficial for breakouts

The milky gel formula foams lightly and rinses away easily, leaving the skin soft and clean. It doesn’t contain any medicinal acne-fighting ingredients, so it’s probably not ideal as your only treatment. That said, it’s an ideal option if you’re using anti-acne medications that leave your skin a little sensitive.

Main ingredients: Niacinamide | Type: Foaming wash | Skin type: Sensitive, dry | Size: 13.52 fl oz

Best splurge
Replenix BP 10% Acne Wash + Aloe Vera

What we love

  • Fights bacteria with benzoyl peroxide
  • Aloe vera soothes the skin
  • Creamy, non-drying formula

What we don’t love

  • Can cause redness and itchiness on sensitive skin

If you want to splurge on your body care routine, this body wash from Replenix offers a luxurious experience while also kicking acne to the curb. It’s made with medical-grade benzoyl peroxide to kill the acne bacteria but with a soothing touch of aloe vera to keep it gentle. 

The creamy formula is gentle and non-drying, making it a fantastic option for those who want a powerful anti-acne treatment but are worried about dryness and dehydration. Start by using it once daily and work up to twice daily when your skin feels ready.

Main ingredients: Benzoyl peroxide, aloe vera | Type: Cream | Skin type: All | Size: 6.7 fl oz

Best salicylic acid
CeraVe SA Body Wash for Rough & Bumpy Skin

What we love

  • Gentle exfoliation with salicylic acid
  • Niacinamide balances and soothes
  • Fortifies skin barrier with ceramides

What we don’t love

  • Undisclosed salicylic acid percentage

CeraVe’s acne body wash is a gentle option that keeps the skin barrier strong while addressing breakouts. The formula contains salicylic acid to exfoliate and clarify the skin, albeit at an undisclosed percentage. 

It also includes one of our favorite ingredient boosters, niacinamide, which has a balancing and soothing effect, as well as ceramides that help fortify the skin barrier and hyaluronic acid for additional moisture. Since it’s so gentle and soothing, we think most acne sufferers could use it on a daily basis, the perfect option for sensitive, acne-prone skin.

Main ingredients: Salicylic acid, niacianmide, ceramides | Type: Gel | Skin type: All | Size: 10 fl oz

Best experience
Truly Cherry Jelly Anti-Bacne Body Cleanser

What we love

  • Fun, scented cleanser
  • Features acne-fighting salicylic acid
  • Soothes skin with niacinamide and cherry extract

What we don’t love

  • Fragrance can be an issue

A lot of body washes for acne-prone skin can feel a little boring. If you’d like a formula that makes your shower fun while keeping acne at bay, this cherry-infused cleanser is a must-have. This joyful formula contains acne-fighting salicylic acid along with soothing niacinamide and cherry extract. Additional exfoliation comes courtesy of mandelic acid, a gentle AHA.  

What makes this body wash unique is its fun jelly texture, which lathers well, and the cherry scent that creates a delicious washing experience. That said, the fragrance could be overbearing for those who are sensitive to smells. 

Main ingredients: Salicylic acid, cherry extract, niacinamide, mandelic acid | Type: Foaming jelly | Skin type: Oily, balanced, combination | Size: 8 oz

Clear skin awaits 

You lead a busy life, so being able to treat your acne in the shower is a real time-saver. The key is choosing an acne body wash that has ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which are proven to reduce breakouts. Our top pick from Cetaphil, the Acne Relief Body Wash, is the best place to start. It has 2% salicylic acid in a balanced formula that’s gentle on the skin but tough on acne.  

How to pick the right acne body wash for you

When choosing the best acne body wash for you, the top factors to consider are the ingredients, your skin type, and the type of formula you want. 


  • Salicylic Acid. This beta-hydroxy acid is an oil-soluble chemical exfoliant that unclogs pores and reduces breakouts. This gentle option is the ideal first line of defense against acne, especially if you have sensitive skin.  
  • Benzoyl peroxide. This powerful anti-acne treatment is an OTC medication that kills acne bacteria while dissolving dead skin. It’s very effective (especially in combination with retinoids) but can be a little irritating and drying.  
  • Niacinamide. Also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinamide, this ingredient has a soothing, oil-balancing, and clarifying effect. It’s a gentle option that works well for sensitive acne-prone skin. 

Skin type

  • Oily. Choose foaming acne body washes that help remove excess oil from your skin to leave you feeling clean, like PanOxyl’s Acne Foaming Wash. 
  • Dry. Look for creamy acne body washes that keep your skin barrier strong while helping to address breakouts, like our picks from Cetaphil and Replenix. 
  • Balanced/combination. With balanced or combination skin, use body washes with non-drying but still lightly foaming textures, like our picks from CeraVe and Truly. 
  • Sensitive. If your skin is very reactive or quick to turn red, start with a more gentle acne body wash. Cetaphil’s Acne Relief Body Wash includes salicylic acid, which is a skin-clarifying treatment that also has a soothing effect. Our pick from La Roche-Posay is an even milder option without resurfacing ingredients. 

Formula type

  • Gel. Gel cleansers often do a better job of adhering to oils while giving the skin a very clean feeling, so they’re ideal for oily skin. 
  • Cream. Creamy formulas usually feel more luxurious and nourishing, with a tendency to work best for those with dry skin. 
  • Foaming. Both cream and gel cleansers can foam up to create a lather. This sometimes correlates with a more thorough cleansing. 
  • Exfoliating. Exfoliating cleansers like Murad’s Acne Control Acne Body Wash address acne while also removing dead skin, either with chemical exfoliants or with more abrasive pieces. They’re most effective on stronger skin that’s prone to dead skin buildup. 


What body washes have benzoyl peroxide? 

Our top pick, PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Maximum Strength, contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, an over-the-counter acne medication that’s considered incredibly effective at reducing body acne. 

What cheap body wash is best for acne control?

The best budget-friendly body wash on our list is PanOxyl’s powerful formula, Acne Foaming Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Maximum Strength. It’s made with 10% benzoyl peroxide to target clogged pores and acne bacteria. That said, Cetaphil’s Acne Relief Body Wash is also a budget-friendly option that’s gentler on the skin. 

Which cleanser is best for body acne?

Our top pick, Cetaphil’s Acne Relief Body Wash, is best for mild body acne. For more severe body acne, PanOxyl’s Acne Foaming Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Maximum Strength is the best choice.