Best Salicylic Acid Body Washes

Best Salicylic Acid Body Washes 2021 to Fight Body Acne

Now I know that many shudder at the sound of the word acid in salicylic acid, but let me assure you that there’s nothing dangerous or harsh about this very popular and effective acne-treating skincare ingredient. Be it in face washes or the best salicylic acid body washes I’ve reviewed for you below. Still don’t believe me? Then here’s science-backed proof!

Now that you know it’s a safe and gentle ingredient when used in the right amount, let me tell you a little bit about its benefits. What salicylic acid does is pave the way for the shedding of your dead skin cells that often clog pores and cause acne. It even treats acne in the form of blackheads and whiteheads. Along with regulating your skin cells.

And these potent effects of this particular beta hydroxy acid are not just limited to fighting face acne but also body acne. So let’s get to know the most effective salicylic acid-infused body wash formulations to cure your pesky breakouts.

Top 12 Body Washes with Salicylic Acid

1. Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash

Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash

I always feature a Neutrogena formulation when it comes to treating facial acne. As for body acne, this naturally-derived grapefruit extract concoction by Neutrogena fights acne breakouts on the chest, back, shoulders, and the rest of the body. Its Micro Clear technology cuts through oil to unclog congested pores.

The micro scrubs infused into the body wash gently exfoliate your skin. Even though it doesn’t moisturize the skin, it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry either. The perfect options for hot summer days and hot, sweaty workout sessions.

Key Features

  • Contains natural grapefruit extract and Vitamin C
  • Paraben-free and dermatologist-recommended
  • A refreshing, clean, crisp scent

2. Murad Acne Body Wash

Murad Acne Body Wash

You only need to wait for a week to see the magic of Murad Acne Body Wash unfold right before your eyes. It makes painful zits disappear like no other salicylic acid formulation for the body. Even in the case of frequent back acne, this formula works like magic by preventing breakouts from the time you start using it in the shower.

The body wash also contains fine-grain date seed powder for exfoliation and deep cleansing pores. Apart from keeping future acne at bay of course.

Key Features

  • Salicylic acid with biodegradable beads for exfoliation
  • Glycolic acid and date seed powder unclog pores
  • Formulated without sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, etc.

3. CeraVe Body Wash with Salicylic Acid

CeraVe Body Wash

If CeraVe here can treat a skin condition as problematic as Keratosis Pilaris, then the gentle body wash can certainly restore your skin’s natural protective moisture barrier. After all, it’s got essential ceramides to maintain this natural protection.

Also added to the mix is CeraVe’s patented MVE controlled-release technology. It replenishes the ceramides to boost hydration levels even further and for longer. The formulation does have gently exfoliating salicylic acid but no harsh microbeads to cause any skin irritation or damage.

Key Features

  • Gentle, non-comedogenic, and non-drying
  • Free of fragrances and parabens
  • MVE technology for long-lasting moisture protection
  • 3 essential ceramides restore skin’s moisture barrier
  • Salicylic acid for exfoliation and niacinamide for soothing

4. Salimo Clarifying Pink Grapefruit Body Wash

Salimo Clarifying Pink Grapefruit Body Wash

Now here’s another grapefruit-infused body wash, but it’s not superior to the Neutrogena formulation I reviewed earlier. Nevertheless, this Amazon brand has indeed prepared a solution for clearing up your body breakouts and preventing the formation of more comedones.

Just one wash is enough to keep your skin from feeling irritated. Even acne scars start to fade. Gentle, light exfoliation and a deep, thorough cleanse are benefits to look forward to with this cruelty-free Solimo body wash with salicylic acid.

Key Features

  • An uplifting, refreshing pink grapefruit scent
  • Gentle and cruelty-free
  • 2-percent salicylic acid fights body breakouts

5. Touch Keratosis Pilaris & Acne Exfoliating Body Wash

Touch Keratosis Pilaris & Acne Exfoliating Body Wash

The most common problem with salicylic acid-infused skincare products is that they tend to dry out your skin since salicylic acid is an exfoliant. However, this product doesn’t do any of that simply because it’s got skin softening and moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, Vitamin E, and Gotu Kola.

The perfect skin-friendly combination of salicylic acid (2%) and glycolic acid (15%) is added. The former gets deep into your pores for eliminating the root cause of Keratosis Pilaris, acne, and redness. As for glycolic acid, it does away with your surface bumps by gently exfoliating them.

Key Features

  • pH-balanced, foaming body wash
  • Oil-soluble salicylic acid activates deep exfoliation
  • Glycolic acid targets surface bumps
  • Formulated with aloe vera, Vitamin E, and Gotu Kola to soothe skin
  • Also contains hyaluronic acid for preventing moisture loss
  • No parabens, sulfates, phthalates, drying alcohol, or dyes

6. Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash

Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash

If your skin type is acne-prone and oily, then this is just the body wash you need with salicylic acid. The medicated formulation prevents and treats acne blemishes on your body as well as the face. The Skin Balancing technology that Phisoderm uses cleanses gently and calms without disrupting or damaging your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Skin-soothing chamomile, aloe, and Vitamin E are also a part of the natural ingredients list. And you’re highly likely to also appreciate the revitalizing, fresh fragrance in the shower, and even after it.

If you ask me, it’s the best Neutrogena alternative for those buying on a budget.

Key Features

  • Skin-soothing and acne-fighting body wash
  • Specifically formulated for oily and acne-prone skin
  • Oil-free, alcohol-free, soap-free, and dye-free
  • Triple soothing action with chamomile, Vitamin E, and aloe

7. Mountain Falls Clarifying Body Wash

Mountain Falls Clarifying Body Wash

It’s not the first time I’m reviewing a salicylic acid-infused body wash with naturally derived grapefruit extract or Vitamin C. Grapefruit contains antibacterial and antifungal properties. Plus, it regulates oil build-up in your pores, thus preventing acne and even dermatitis. As for Vitamin C, its antioxidants boost collagen synthesis.

The foaming formula, with its uplifting grapefruit scent, makes your shower time an enjoyable, relaxing experience; fighting body breakouts along the way.

Key Features

  • Foaming body wash with acne-fighting salicylic acid
  • Contains collagen-boosting Vitamin C antioxidants
  • Refreshing grapefruit extract unclogs pores
  • Dermatologist-tested; ideal for dermatitis, keratosis pilaris, etc.

8. ProActiv Deep Cleansing Acne Body Wash

ProActiv Deep Cleansing Acne Body Wash

Does it really deep-cleanse your skin? This ProActiv body wash has garnered so many positive reviews for a reason. It has the ability to bring down face and body acne by about 90%. And in my opinion, that’s a huge difference for anyone dealing with breakouts ALL THE TIME!

The salicylic acid in here clears existing acne and prevents new ones from forming. And it does so by targeting the root of the problem i.e. acne-causing bacteria. In that case, these antibacterial body washes with natural ingredients are perfect for the task at hand.

Key Features

  • Smooth exfoliating beads eliminate dead skin cells
  • 2-percent salicylic acid unclogs pores and reduces oil
  • Safe and gentle for adults and teens
  • Specifically formulated for acne-prone skin

9. Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Body Wash

Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Body Wash

This, no doubt, is a very effective African Black Soap body wash because if it weren’t so, the formula wouldn’t be able to hydrate your skin, treat acne, and even improve your skin texture as well as it does.

The formulation consists of only organic certified ingredients. And that includes black soap’s medicinal properties, shea butter’s hydration, salicylic acid’s acne-fighting action, and other active botanical extracts that balance tone and improve texture.

Key Features

  • African Black Soap treats acne, dark spots, fine lines, etc.
  • Shea butter for moisturizing the skin
  • Infused with active botanical extracts to improve complexion
  • Great for blemish-prone and sensitive skin

10. MenScience Androceuticals Daily Body Wash

MenScience Androceuticals Daily Body Wash

This may be a tad too expensive considering the small size of the bottle, but let me assure you that what’s in there definitely gets the job done. And that job is to effectively cleanse impurities while also unclogging pores to leave your rough, tough skin feeling smooth and restored.

It’s a professional-grade, advanced formulation packed with a skin-friendly level of salicylic acid, along with another gentle exfoliator known as glycolic acid.

Key Features

  • Blend of salicylic and glycolic acid for deep cleansing
  • Free of dyes, fragrances, and irritating or harsh ingredients
  • A hydrating formula that causes no dryness

11. SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar

SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar

Now it’s time for an advanced colloidal sulfur-based body wash in the form of a soap bar. What this miracle-worker does is treat your skin rashes that are often accompanied by conditions like contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and the like.

You can even use it on allergic reactions to witness the soap bar calming your skin like no other concoction I’ve reviewed so far. But it does indeed smell like something that cures rashes, meaning the scent is not wonderful since only natural ingredients are used, but that’s a good thing.

Key Features

  • 3-percent salicylic acid to treat acne
  • 10-percent sulfur eliminates bacteria for preventing acne
  • Natural scent with zero perfumes and fragrances
  • Treats rashes, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, etc.

12. Dermaharmony 2% Salicylic Acid Natural Soap

Dermaharmony 2% Salicylic Acid Natural Soap

I don’t know if Dermaharmony has been around as long as brands like CeraVe and Neutrogena, but what I do know for sure is that their Salicylic Acid Natural Soap is the best for acne-prone and oily skin. The soap keeps your skin oil-free while also treating blemishes. It’s gentle enough for everyday use; just make sure to moisturize your skin after the shower.

Simple plant-derived ingredients are added with no animal testing of the final product. On top of that, the formulation is void of parabens, preservatives, sulfates, etc.

Key Features

  • 2-percent salicylic acid for acne-fighting
  • Only natural ingredients with no fragrances
  • Gentle for daily use
  • Cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, etc.

What Is Salicylic Acid?

This is a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) very popular for exfoliating your skin and cleansing your pores, thus preventing the formation of acne. Salicylic acid treats acne in the form of whiteheads and blackheads as well.

The ingredient is oil-soluble, so it penetrates deep into the skin and dissolves dead skin cells, oil, and other impurities that often clog your pores. No doubt, it’s a gentle chemical exfoliant.

Who Should Use Salicylic Acid Body Wash

Body washes formulated with salicylic acid are best for those who have acne-prone and oily skin. Simply because this particular potent ingredient targets acne breakouts by getting rid of the root cause of the problem itself, which often takes the form of pores clogged by oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and other such impurities.

These body washes are the most suitable for treating breakouts on the shoulders, back, chest, and the rest of the body. To be honest, body acne is also a very common skin concern among both women and men. So if you’re struggling with acne on a daily basis, then gentle salicylic acid-equipped body wash formulations should be your go-to solution.

Salicylic Acid or Glycolic Acid - Which Active Ingredients Is Better for Acne?

While it’s true that both glycolic acid and salicylic acid improve skin texture and tone, it’s the latter that’s the most common acne treatment for oily and acne-prone skin. As for glycolic acid, this AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid), is a more suitable choice for mature or aging skin since it focuses more on reducing wrinkles and fine lines.

Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, meaning it cuts through your skin’s oil to penetrate deep into your skin to unclog pores. On the other hand, glycolic acid is water-soluble, which means it can only target on-the-surface concerns like flaking, bumps, etc. This suggests that salicylic acid is better equipped to tackle acne.

Tips for Making the Most of A Body Wash with Salicylic Acid

Let me make one thing very clear before you start using salicylic acid. This chemical exfoliant tends to dry out the skin when used excessively. So it’s a good idea to begin slow. You can incorporate the body wash into your shower routine every alternate day. And whenever you use it, make sure to moisturize your skin afterward.

Once your skin grows accustomed to the ingredient and doesn’t show any negative signs, then it’s safe to use it on an everyday basis.

Another very useful tip is to avoid scrubbing too hard to prevent your skin from feeling too dry or peeling off. You have to let the body wash foam and cleanse naturally.

Every brand prints its own instructions and guidelines in terms of how to use the product. So go through these. And also go through the list of ingredients just to keep yourself a little more well-informed.

How to Get Rid of Body Acne

Body acne, fortunately, responds well to treatment methods like acne-fighting body washes and cleansers. But that’s only if the acne is not too severe. And also if these formulations are infused with gentle chemical exfoliants, such as salicylic acid. There is glycolic acid, lactic acid, and benzoyl peroxide as well that exfoliate the skin, thus minimizing the chances of pore-clogging.

But, to be honest, salicylic acid is the most effective of all because it’s an oil-soluble ingredient. So it gets through oily skin to unclog the pores. That means the best treatment for body acne presents itself in the form of body washes with salicylic acid.

Then other treatment methods include lifestyle and diet changes. Foods like orange and yellow fruits, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, nuts, tomatoes, lentils, peas, beans, sweet potato, carrots, apricot, whole wheat bread, brown rice, and more are skin-friendly choices.

As for lifestyle changes, make it a point to shower after a heavy sweat session i.e. after working out. Keep your skin away from anything that tends to rub against your acne-prone areas. And you should always refrain from squeezing or popping your pimples. This just creates more inflammation while also paving the way for stubborn acne scars.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Salicylic Acid During Pregnancy?

The topical form of salicylic acid is safe for pregnant women. As long as the product contains only a 2-percent concentration of salicylic acid, you can use it 1-2 times daily during pregnancy. For example, these pregnancy-friendly body washes and soaps that counterbalance hormone-induced skin changes.

Can I Use Salicylic Acid Everyday?

If it’s your first time using a body wash or face cleanser formulated with salicylic acid, then use start slow. Use it every 2-3 days. And if it reacts positively with no side effects whatsoever, then it’s completely OK to use salicylic acid on a daily basis, provided that the concentration of the ingredient is not over 2-percent.

How Often Should I Use Salicylic Acid?

If the dosage is below 2-percent, then you can use salicylic acid 1-3 times daily. But avoid washing your face and body too much with this chemical exfoliant as it can then cause skin irritation and dryness, which is even worse for those with sensitive skin.

Is Salicylic Acid Safe for All Types of Skin?

The thing about salicylic acid is that it’s an oil-soluble ingredient, thus it works best for those with oily and acne-prone skin. But that does’t mean women and men with dry, sensitive, and combination skin cannot benefit from using this gentle acne-fighting chemical exfoliant.


You can get rid of body acne simply by incorporating a body wash formulated with salicylic acid into your daily shower routine. The beta-hydroxy acid also helps a great deal when it comes to treating skin conditions like dermatitis, keratosis pilaris, psoriasis, and the like.

Salicylic acid’s potency and gentle exfoliating properties are the very reasons for its popularity. No wonder more and more skincare brands are using this particular ingredient in their formulations to improve the skin texture and tone of their loyal customers.

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