The 8 Best Soaps for Acne of 2019

Fight acne with these powerful washes

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser at Amazon

"Lathers nicely and cleanses deeply without overly drying out skin."

Best Budget: Clean & Clear Bubble Foam Face Cleanser at Amazon

"Designed to work three ways—by removing oil, treating acne, and soothing skin."

Best Bar Soap: Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar at Amazon

"May also be effective in helping to treat eczema and psoriasis."

Best Face Soap: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Face Wash at Amazon

"Uses salicylic acid to provide pores with a deep clean to help treat acne."

Best Body Soap: Humane Acne Treatment Body & Face Wash at Amazon

"For all a full-body attack against acne."

Best Back Soap: Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash at Amazon

"Contains salicylic acid to take on tough acne, but it won’t leave most skin dry and irritated."

Best Sulfur Soap: Kate Somerville Daily Foaming Cleanser at Amazon

"Contains 3 percent sulfur, which has been proven to help fight acne."

Best Gentle Soap: Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash at Amazon

"It’s 100 percent soap-free, so it’s gentle on the skin."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Courtesy of amazon

Acne-fighting soaps are notorious for drying out skin, but this cleanser from CaraVe is a refreshing exception. While it removes pore-clogging oil, it also contains hyaluronic acid to help skin retain its natural moisture and niacinamide to help soothe it. It’s also fragrance-free and noncomedogenic, and many with sensitive skin say it’s gentle enough for everyday use.

While no one cleanser is going to be right for everyone, the vast majority of online reviews say this is an excellent cleanser that keeps their skin looking great. They note that it lathers nicely and cleanses deeply without being overly drying.

Best Budget: Clean & Clear Acne Triple Clear Bubble Foam Face Cleanser

For an effective acne soap that won’t break the bank, many say this cleanser from Clean & Clear is a top choice. The clear liquid is designed to work three ways—by removing oil, treating acne, and soothing skin. The main ingredient is salicylic acid, and customers rave about the results they get after first using it.

Best Bar Soap: Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar 100% Organic & Natural

This soap from Aspen Kay Naturals for is made of 100 percent pure Dead Sea mineral mud from Israel and is infused with organic moisturizing oils so it won’t dry out skin. Lemongrass, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils give it a fresh scent. The bar can be used on both your body and face and by teens and adults alike. An added bonus: it may also be effective in helping to treat eczema and psoriasis.

Best Face Soap: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Face Wash, Daily Cleanser with Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment

For an affordable, no-frills cleanser to treat acne, reach for this oil-free acne fighting face wash from Neutrogena. It uses salicylic acid to provide pores with a deep clean to help treat acne and prevent more blackheads and pimples from popping up.

The soap uses the company’s Microclear technology to remove up to 93 percent of oil, so it can be a little strong and drying for those with more sensitive skin. For those with oily skin and persistent cases of acne, however, many say it’s just what their skin needs and it’s their go-to cleanser.

Best Body Soap: Humane Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment Body & Face Wash

Acne isn’t always limited to your face. Pesky pimples can pop up on your chest, back, and just about anywhere on your body. For a full-body attack against acne, there’s this wash from Humane. It contains 10 percent benzoyl peroxide, so it’s super tough—those with sensitive skin are recommended to stay away. The company also warns that some peeling and redness may occur initially, and it could take up to six weeks to see results.

Those who stick it out and use it over the long haul, however, say the results are worth the wait. Customers call it a “lifesaver” and say it helps tackle even the toughest cases of cystic acne.

Best Back Soap: Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash for Clean, Clear Skin

Back acne can be hard to treat because of how hard to reach it is. This body wash from Neutrogena can help. It contains salicylic acid to take on tough acne, but it won’t leave most skin dry and irritated. Grab a scrub brush, body puff, or wash cloth to apply, then wash oil and impurities away while the medicine left behind does its job to prevent future breakouts. It has a fresh scent and leaves skin feeling squeaky clean.

Best Sulfur Soap: Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser

Kate Somerville, a Hollywood esthetician, is known for her high-quality, effective skincare products, and this foaming cleanser is no exception. It contains 3 percent sulfur, which has been proven to help fight acne. This soap cleans out pores and leaves them looking smaller, balances the skin’s oils, and banishes blemishes. It also contains honey, natural oat extract, and rice bran extract to help soothe skin and prevent over-drying.

Best Gentle Soap: Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash

Sometimes all the lotions and potions designed to clear up acne can leave your skin dry and irritated. This gentle cleansing wash from Purpose can help. It’s 100 percent soap-free, so it’s gentle on the skin—as gentle as water in fact. Despite its light touch, it’s still able to effectively remove dirt, oil, and makeup and leaves skin fresh and clean. It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores either.

Is your skin also suffering from sunburn? Read through our best sunburn relief gels and lotions article.

Our Process

Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular soaps for acne on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different soaps for acne overall, screened options from 15-20 different brands and manufacturers, read over 150 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 5 of the soaps themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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