The 16 Best Salicylic Acid Body Washes to Say Goodbye to Body Acne

November 29th 2021 in Skin Care - 16 mins read

The 16 Best Salicylic Acid Body Washes to Say Goodbye to Body Acne

When you have oily skin, it’s not just the accumulation of excess sebum that’s troublesome. It’s also the fact that too much oil tends to cause acne. So if your skin type is oily, then it automatically becomes acne-prone too. And not just on your face, but the body as well.

Body acne is also a very common condition among adults. No wonder there are so many best salicylic acid body washes out there. Salicylic acid is nothing but a very gentle beta-hydroxy acid. It penetrates your skin to defend its layers against acne-causing bacteria.

There’s a lot more to it actually, which you can get to know simply by going through these top reviews below.

Top Salicylic Acid Body Washes & Soaps

Top Choice – CeraVe Salicylic Acid Body Wash

CeraVe Salicylic Acid Body Wash

The best of the lot is the CeraVe Body Wash with Salicylic Acid. It’s prepared by dermatologists specifically for bumpy and rough skin. What the body wash does is exfoliates and cleanses your skin to restore its natural protection barrier.

Also known as CereVe SA Body Wash, this formulation restores the skin barrier with the help of 3 essential ceramides. There’s MVE technology as well for replenishing ceramides to provide long-lasting protection.

As for the content of salicylic acid in here, the smoothing solution is enough for exfoliating and softening your skin. Even niacinamide contributes to calming the skin. Speaking of exfoliation, no amount of harsh microbeads is added. So expect no skin irritation of any kind.

On top of that, the body wash is non-comedogenic. And that means it doesn’t clog pores. Plus, it’s also paraben-free, fragrance-free, and non-drying. In short, gentle for oily, acne-prone, and even sensitive skin.

Key Features

  • Salicylic acid exfoliates while hyaluronic acid moisturizes

  • 24-hour moisturizing MVE technology

  • Non-comedogenic with no parabens and fragrances

Runner-Up Choice – Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash with Salicylic Acid

Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash with Salicylic Acid

For controlling breakouts on the body, another very effective solution comes in the form of this Neutrogena pink grapefruit formulation. It’s an incredibly refreshing body wash equipped with dermatologist-recommended, maximum-strength salicylic acid.

Neutrogena here targets acne on the back, chest, and shoulders. The lather of the formula is loaded with naturally-derived, uplifting grapefruit extract. Vitamin C is also included for treating your sensitive or damaged skin.

You can easily get rid of clogged pores and excess oil if you use Neutrogena on a daily basis. The formula’s special Micro Clear technology makes sure to cut through oil. Thus, allowing salicylic acid to penetrate your skin and get rid of the excess sebum and acne-causing bacteria.

Every Neutrogena product like this is known for preventing breakouts and fighting acne without excessively drying the skin.

Key Features

  • Naturally-derived grapefruit extract

  • Micro Clear technology for thorough, deep cleansing

  • A refreshing natural citrus smell

Best Budget Choice – CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser

CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser

The brand CeraVe appears once again. And just like the first choice, even this one has a budget-friendly price tag. So you don’t have to spend a luxurious amount in order to get a good quality and effective body wash formulated with salicylic acid.

This cleanser formulation gets rid of oil and dirt while also smoothing and softening your skin. The inclusion of hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, Vitamin D antioxidants, and niacinamide takes care of exfoliation. Together, they eliminate dead skin cells as well as hydrate and cleanse thoroughly.

The one thing that’s unique or special about CeraVe is that the manufacturer adds essential ceramides too. These go a long way when it comes to restoring and maintaining your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

To top it off, the cleanser is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, non-irritating, and non-drying. It’s the gentlest affordable choice you can come across for your sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Key Features

  • Exfoliating cleanser without any harsh beads

  • Essential ceramides for all-day hydration

  • Non-comedogenic and fragrance-free

Best for Body Acne – Murad Acne Body Wash

Murad Acne Body Wash

For acne-fighting action that also feels refreshing, you can’t go wrong with this body wash. You already know that salicylic acid is added for cleansing pores, clearing active breakouts, and preventing new ones.

What’s not known about the current formula is that the list of ingredients contains licorice root and green tea extracts. Both of which are ideal for soothing irritated skin. Also a part of the blend is glycolic acid and date seed powder that exfoliate to make the skin smooth and clear.

The formulation works best in the case of oily skin, normal skin, and combination skin. It’s also the best body wash for dark spots often left behind by acne scars. And the favorable results show up only in a few days. Isn’t that better than spending hundreds of dollars at an expensive dermatologist?

Key Features

  • Triple-action body wash treats and prevents acne

  • Fine-grained date seed powder for exfoliation

  • Gentle and soothing for irritated skin

Best for Keratosis Pilaris – Touch Keratosis Pilaris & Acne Exfoliating Body Wash

Touch Keratosis Pilaris & Acne Exfoliating Body Wash

Here’s the best acne body wash formulated with salicylic acid and glycolic acid. What glycolic acid does is exfoliates away your surface bumps to reveal smooth, radiant-looking skin. Top it off with oil-soluble salicylic acid, and you get deeper exfoliation to work with.

Your pores and hair follicles receive thorough cleansing to eliminate not only acne but also inflammation and redness often accompanied by keratosis pilaris. Speaking of which, skin-soothing ingredients like Gotu Kola, Vitamin E, and aloe vera are added.

Aloe vera moisturizes, Vitamin E antioxidants protect, and Gotu Kola offers relief from inflammation. Then there’s hyaluronic acid as well for preventing the loss of moisture.

In all, the formula contains the perfect amount of humectants and surfactants for a deep, thorough cleanse without drying out your skin.

Key Features

  • Triple-action body wash treats and prevents acne

  • Fine-grained date seed powder for exfoliation

  • Gentle and soothing for irritated skin

Best Salicylic Acid soaps – Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap

Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap

Presenting the best salicylic acid soap with grapefruit extract. Salicylic acid is naturally present in grapefruit. So all the oil build-up and clogged pores receive the attention they demand in a natural manner.

Then there’s ginseng extract as well for rejuvenation. And oat protein for soothing irritated and sensitive areas. No doubt, the botanical soap smells refreshing and gets the job done when it comes to controlling body acne.

Key Features

  • Crafted with a blend of fresh fruit extracts

  • Oats for soothing skin sensitivities

  • Gentle exfoliation with a light fragrance

Best for Blemishes – Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash

 Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash

With the help of 2-percent salicylic acid, which is the recommended amount, this cleansing wash by Proactiv clears your body acne blemishes. The formula also unclogs pores for clearing and preventing blackheads, whiteheads, and potential breakouts.

Even your large, blocked pores stand no chance here. The body wash dissolves impurities. And that means purifying pores and refining their appearance go hand in hand. The gentle beads make it a point to eliminate dead skin cells to make way for smoother, softer skin.

To say the least, it has the ability to treat severe acne on the chest and back. Even sensitive skin is bound to feel thoroughly cleansed without flaring up. The smell too is unbelievably refreshing.

Key Features

  • Gentle exfoliating beads

  • 2-percent salicylic acid safe to use

  • Suitable for getting rid of large pores

Salicylic Acid Is Not Just for Acne Breakouts

It’s true that salicylic acid is the best anti-acne ingredient. But that doesn’t mean this particular beta-hydroxy acid offers no other skin benefits. Its exfoliating properties are also very useful. This is how salicylic acid helps other ingredients present in the body wash to penetrate deeper into your skin.

Salicylic acid’s anti-inflammatory benefits are also one of the reasons why the ingredient is so commonly used in skincare products. It helps in loosening and removing dead skin cells to make the skin look smooth, soft, and well-moisturized.

That explains why the treatment of keratosis pilaris, a common condition where the skin becomes dry, patchy, and bumpy, involves using creams with salicylic acid.

Important Features to Consider

Taking care of your skin is a priority here, right? In that case, it’s also a matter of greatest importance to understand what goes into an acne-fighting wash. So these are the factors you should be looking for in a body wash that treats and prevents body acne.

Active Ingredients Like Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid

What is the meaning of an active ingredient in this context? It’s a pharmaceutical component that’s biologically active. The most common ones used for fighting body acne are salicylic acid and glycolic acid.

That said, what is the better choice between salicylic acid and glycolic acid? For oily and acne-prone skin, the answer is salicylic acid because this beta-hydroxy acid is oil soluble. Meaning it dissolves the oil present within your skin’s layers to get rid of acne-causing bacteria.

As for glycolic acid, this is an alpha hydroxy acid that works as a mild exfoliant. Since it’s not oil-soluble, chances are it doesn’t cut through your skin’s excess sebum to cleanse your pores thoroughly.

But glycolic acid contributes greatly when it comes to minimizing the appearance of acne scars and age spots. Nevertheless, both are effective as far as clearing body acne is concerned. It’s just that salicylic acid is more commonly used because of its oil-soluble quality.

No artificial fragrances

It goes without saying that artificial scents in body washes trigger skin sensitivities. As a matter of fact, even some natural, plant-based fragrances tend to cause irritation. And you don’t want that if your skin is already prone to acne, redness, etc. So it’s best to choose fragrance-free body washes and lotions at such times.

Non-comedogenic and dermatologist-recommended/tested

What non-comedogenic means is the body wash doesn’t clog your pores, thus preventing acne breakouts.

Another label that matters is dermatologist-tested or dermatologist-recommended. This implies that the formulation is safe, gentle, and effective for sensitive, delicate, or troubled skin. Meaning it doesn’t cause unwanted flare-ups.

Also, when a body wash with salicylic acid is dermatologist-recommended, you know not more than 2-percent salicylic acid is used. This much amount is perfect when it comes to treating and preventing body acne without causing excessive dryness or skin irritation.

Moisturizing ingredients

Salicylic acid offers deeper penetration into your skin. No wonder it’s the best for those dealing with extremely oily and/or acne-prone skin. And deeper penetration means cleansing your pores from deep within. That means your skin also requires ingredients to maintain its moisture levels.

So it’s only logical to go for a body wash with salicylic acid that also contains moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, shea butter, coconut oil, aloe vera, etc.

How to Use the best Salicylic Acid Body Wash?

Let me get straight to the point here. Since salicylic acid tends to get rid of oil from deep within, it’s very important to moisturize your skin after every application.

Also, if your skin type is oily or acne-prone, then select a body wash with an optimal concentration of salicylic acid (not more than 2-3 percent).

You should start slowly just to check if the formula suits or troubles your skin. Begin by using the body wash every alternate day. If it suits, then there’s no harm with daily application.

Since this active ingredient performs the task of exfoliation also, you might want to refrain from scrubbing too hard. Simply follow the instructions printed on the packaging. And don’t rush when it comes to seeing results. The process usually takes a few days, if not weeks.

Tips for Getting Rid of Body Acne

Acne sometimes takes form in the most unpredictable or strange places, right? But there’s no rule or set of instructions body acne follows. As long as there’s acne-causing bacteria or excess sebum in your pores, breakouts are going to trigger.

With that in mind, you can take a few necessary steps for making sure your body remains free of acne and blemishes.

  • Choose skincare products like body lotions, body washes, etc. that don’t contain artificial fragrances. Along with no mineral oil and synthetic dyes.

  • Apply sunscreen on your body when exposing your skin to the harmful rays of the sun. Speaking of which, never ditch sunscreen when tanning, even if you’re using a tanning bed. Both natural and artificial UV light tends to damage the skin and cause acne.

  • Exfoliate your skin 1-2 times a week. But as long as your body wash is equipped with salicylic acid, you don’t have to exfoliate separately.

  • Choose skincare products infused with both alpha and beta hydroxy acids. That means both salicylic acid and glycolic acid. The latter exfoliates surface bumps. While the former offers deeper penetration for thorough cleansing.

  • Make sure your clothing is made of natural materials such as linen and cotton. In short, avoid synthetic fabrics.

  • Reduce or eliminate the intake of processed foods and sugar. Even smoking is doing no good when it comes to keeping your skin healthy, hydrated, and nourished. Instead, incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies into your diet. And drink plenty of water.

  • Ditch baths for showers to wash off bacteria from your skin.

  • Allow your pores to open up and release stress by increasing physical activity. You can exercise on a daily basis to make sure this happens the most naturally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it Safe to Use Salicylic Acid Body Wash During Pregnancy?

Acne during pregnancy is a common occurrence. All the more reason to choose your skincare products wisely, right? In that case, acne-fighting salicylic acid seems like a good option. But is this active ingredient safe for pregnant women? Fortunately, the answer is yes.

Just as long as the salicylic acid concentration in the formula is not more than 2-percent, you’re fine. Also, avoid using the product excessively.

Q. Is Salicylic Acid Suitable for All Types of Skin?

For one thing, the beta-hydroxy acid is oil-soluble, which means it works best for oily skin. Salicylic acid has the ability to get into blocked pores to remove the excess oil, bacteria, gunk, and other such impurities. At the same time, it exfoliates your skin by getting rid of dead skin cells.

The bottom line is that salicylic acid is the most suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. So those with dry skin might not benefit also due to the fact that it is likely to cause dryness. Especially if the body wash equipped with salicylic acid doesn’t also have moisturizing ingredients.

Even those with sensitive skin should stay away unless the formulation contains soothing, calming natural ingredients such as oats, green tea extract, chamomile, aloe vera, Vitamin E, etc.

Other Salicylic Acid Body Washes & Soaps We Reviewed

Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash

Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash

What happens when the solution consists of pH-balanced cleansers? The natural moisture barrier of your skin remains intact. Meaning your skin’s natural protection doesn’t get destroyed in the process.

The 2-percent salicylic acid content is effective against acne breakouts. The body wash is also infused with soothing ingredients like chamomile, aloe, and Vitamin E. What’s even more or equally convincing is the oil-free, soap-free, dye-free, and alcohol-free nature of the formula.

Your skin irritation, dry patches, oily T-zone, etc. are sure to leave with daily application. Unlike cheap-quality salicylic acid body washes that tend to either not work at all or work well but cause too much dryness.

Key Features

  • Triple soothing with chamomile, Vitamin E, and aloe

  • A mild, refreshing scent

  • Targets acne breakouts and blemishes

Mountain Falls Clarifying Salicylic Acid Body Wash

Mountain Falls Clarifying Salicylic Acid Body Wash

Fighting breakouts the natural way is always a better, healthier option for your skin. So it’s a relief to know that grapefruit-derived salicylic acid is involved. Along with Vitamin C, this helps in clearing and preventing breakouts of acne, whiteheads, and blackheads on the body.

The formula foams very well and has an incredibly uplifting, refreshing scent. Just a week of daily use, and you’ll find your stubborn back acne reducing. Even ingrown hairs stop growing.

Key Features

  • Naturally-derived salicylic acid

  • Dermatologist-tested and cruelty-free

  • Highly moisturizing, mildly scented formula

Nubian Heritage Body Wash

Nubian Heritage Body Wash

With only certified organic ingredients, this body wash beats all the others in terms of quality. The use of not only organic but also unique ingredients is appalling here. Black soap’s medicinal properties combine with shea butter’s hydrating properties.

Then salicylic acid combines with active botanical extracts for treating acne more effectively. And for improving your skin texture and balancing skin tone. It’s the liquid form of the traditional African black soap.

Key Features

  • Certified organic ingredients like aloe vera, oats, etc.

  • Consists of black soap medicinal properties

  • A refreshing, earthy scent that stays post-shower

BumpKlear Bumpy Skin Wash

BumpKlear Bumpy Skin Wash

This one is for common skin conditions like keratosis pilaris. The bumps and redness often caused by them are difficult to treat, soothe, and prevent. But not with BumpKlear, which is specifically created to get the job done.

Needless to say, it softens and smooths rough, bumpy, and dry skin. The solution is dermatologist-recommended since it’s infused with a blend of both salicylic acid and glycolic acid.

Key Features

  • Formulated with alpha and beta hydroxy acids

  • Vitamin E and aloe vera to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize

  • Dermatologist-recommended keratosis pilaris treatment

DermaHarmony 10% Sulfur 3% Salicylic Acid Bar Soap

DermaHarmony 10% Sulfur 3% Salicylic Acid Bar Soap

Of what good use is sulfur in your soap? This particular ingredient absorbs excess oil, thus eliminating the very cause of acne breakouts. It also unclogs your pores, much like its buddy salicylic acid.

Body acne, blackheads, clogged pores, blemishes, dermatitis, rosacea, etc.; these are all common skin conditions this DermaHarmony soap helps in treating and preventing. And the best part is that the solution is safe and gentle for both adults and children.

Key Features

  • Acne-fighting sulfur and salicylic acid

  • Moisturizing, hydrating coconut and palm oils

  • Glycerin gets rid of dull patches

MenScience Androceuticals Daily Body Wash

MenScience Androceuticals Daily Body Wash

There’s just no downplaying the effectiveness of 1-percent salicylic acid and 4-percent glycolic acid in this body wash formula. Together, both of these gentle exfoliating ingredients clean your pores from deep within. In fact, they also dissolve dullness that other soaps simply cannot.

It’s unscented, so those with skin sensitivities have nothing to worry about. And all the oil and grime get eliminated without destroying the natural moisture/protection barrier of your skin.

Key Features

  • Acne-fighting sulfur and salicylic acid

  • Moisturizing, hydrating coconut and palm oils

  • Glycerin gets rid of dull patches

SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar

SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar

This soap bar is a form of keratolytic therapy. Meaning it’s very useful for the treatment of warts and calluses on the skin. And salicylic acid is a form of keratolytic. Needless to say, the soap is very effective for treating acne, psoriasis, and even scalp dandruff.

The antifungal and antiseptic properties are the highlights of the show. The salicylic acid and sulfur blend offers the soothing and conditioning damaged skin demands. On top of that, no amount of perfumes or fragrances are involved.

Key Features

  • Soap is antifungal and antiseptic

  • Salicylic acid + sulfur for cleansing pores

  • Highly recommended by dermatologists

Asepso Sulphur Plus Salicylic Acid Soap

Asepso Sulphur Plus Salicylic Acid Soap

It’s the best over-the-counter treatment for body acne. The antimicrobial soap eliminates acne-causing bacteria right from the source. With the right kind and quantity of antiseptic properties, this salicylic acid and sulphur concoction cleanses the whole body thoroughly.

When used on a daily basis, for which the soap is gentle enough, it keeps your body itch-free and sweat-free. After all, sulphur is quite effective at getting rid of bacteria from the pores.

Key Features

  • Salicylic acid content purifies and exfoliates

  • Sulphur content clears bacteria and reduces sebum

  • Antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antibacterial

Home Health Psoriasis Medicated Scalp & Body Wash

Home Health Psoriasis Medicated Scalp & Body Wash

With an active ingredient like salicylic acid, this body wash can relieve symptoms associated with common skin conditions such as body acne and even psoriasis.

The latter is often accompanied by scaling, redness, and itching. And this medicated formulation offers much-needed relief from those symptoms.

Also, it’s a gentle cleansing solution for your scalp as well. Especially for concerns like seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.

Key Features

  • Medicated scalp and body wash

  • Formulated with natural, moisturizing botanicals

  • Suitable for treating psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, etc.

Amazon Brand - Solimo Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit Body Wash

Amazon Brand - Solimo Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit Body Wash

If you don’t have sensitive skin, then you should definitely give this pink grapefruit formulation a try. The oil-free body wash contains a combination of salicylic acid and grapefruit extract. It’s the best for treating breakouts, pimples, and acne.

The product is dermatologist-tested and bead-free. This means your skin is in safe, effective hands here. The runner-up choice, Neutrogena, is also formulated with grapefruit extract. So if you like that, then you’re bound to appreciate this one too.

Key Features

  • Vitamin-rich and antioxidant-rich grapefruit extract

  • Oil-free with a pleasant fragrance

  • Dermatologist-tested and cruelty-free


Any part of your body where there are sebaceous glands and hair follicles, acne is very likely to develop. No wonder body acne is such a common occurrence. The main problem is the underlying bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells.

All this just brings into the picture an effective active ingredient that unclogs and cleanses your pores to fight acne. Salicylic acid’s exfoliating properties are also very helpful at such times. In fact, it’s the most commonly used exfoliant in skincare products.

You only have to make sure the body wash is armed with moisturizing ingredients for boosting hydration. And the options I’ve reviewed contain these moisturizing ingredients in the most natural form in order to also fight skin irritation and sensitivities.

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