Whether you're dealing with acne on your face or body, the cleanser you use will be the foundation of your skin care routine — so make sure you choose yours wisely. Face washes, shower gels, and cleansing bars all fall under the "soap" umbrella, but note that the cleansing vehicle you choose matters a lot less than the formula itself. According to Dr. Sunitha Posina, M.D., the best soaps for acne usually contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or an alpha hydroxy acid like glycolic acid. "Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are the most common acne-fighting ingredients that have been clinically proven and historically used to control acne," Dr. Posina tells Elite Daily, and both are effective at removing dead skin cells and gently exfoliating. But she says that salicylic acid is best for treating blackheads and whiteheads, whereas benzoyl peroxide is her choice for all types of acne lesions including pus-filled acne (a.k.a. pustules). Finally, glycolic acid has antibacterial properties that are helpful for treating acne, and it too helps unclog pores and support skin cell turnover.
Depending on the type of acne you’re experiencing, and whether it's on your face or body (or both), there's an excellent soap out there that will suit your needs. To see the full list of the best cleansers for acne, including a doctor-approved pick, keep on scrolling.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.