August 27, 2020

10 Best Body Washes for Oily and Acne-prone Skin

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While each skin type has its own set of problems and advantages, nothing is perhaps more evident than the issues of oily skin types.

When the skin produces excess sebum, the body reacts in unpleasant ways.

While most of those with oily skin concentrate their efforts on their faces, they still can’t deny the presence of oiliness in the rest of their bodies and the existence of body acne.

Body soap is not enough to solve the problem.

This is why emphasis should be given not only to oil-control face washes but also to finding the best body washes that leave your skin acne-free without the harshness.

Here is a list of the best body washes for oily skin to get you started.

Table of Contents

10 Best Body Washes for Oily and Acne-prone Skin

Our Pick

The Neutrogena Body Clear is arguably one of the best body washes designed for people with oily skin.

This is because it contains salicylic acid which gently exfoliates the skin to prevent pores from clogging. And it does this without leaving any significant residue behind after washing. The formula forms a good lather as well.

If you want to step out of the shower feeling and smelling fresh, this body wash is your best bet.

In terms of texture, this product can also be considered as a shower gel. It is not as moisturizing as others, but it gets the job done. Just like its name, this body wash can clear body acne to give smoother skin.
I love how gentle it is for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. Overall, it is mild but very effective.

However, there are some users who found it too drying. Although the product left their skin without acne, they were in need of moisture after application.


  • Has salicylic acid that clears the pores without being too harsh
  • Does not leave residue
  • Gentle enough for sensitive skin
  • Has a great smell


  • Can be too drying for some users

Best for Sensitive Skin

One of the main differences between a liquid soap and a body wash designed for oily skin is the fact that liquid soap alters the natural pH of the skin.

A liquid soap, just like any other kind of soap, is formulated to be alkaline. Body washes, on the other hand, keep the skin at its proper pH levels.

The Sebamed Paraben-Free Liquid Face and Body Wash effectively regulates the body’s sebum production, and it does not leave the skin without moisture after use.

This body wash has an active moisturizing complex that replenishes moisture lost through washing, leaving the skin smooth and nourished while keeping acne at bay.

It has a very gentle formula, and works well for those who suffer from skin sensitivity.

Also, if you enjoy smelling like a baby, then this face and body wash is a good way to go.

The wash smells like baby products if you’re into that kind of fragrance. However, some users dislike the smell since it’s too strong for their taste.


  • Has active moisturizing complex
  • Soap and alkali-free
  • Maintains a healthy skin pH
  • Soothing
  • Hypoallergenic


  • The smell may be too strong for some users

Best for Body Acne

With the combined power of glycolic and salicylic acid, this body wash effectively removes acne better than a liquid soap can.

This product is well-known for its special formula that specifically treats and prevents acne.

It is paraben and phthalate-free, which is supposed to make it good for sensitive skin, but it is quite strong in terms of formula.

The main goal of this body wash is to get rid of acne and prevent them from coming back. To do so, it has date-seed grains mixed in that help with exfoliation.

It is good to note this makes the wash effective in the removal of the acne, but if you have super sensitive skin, you may want to look for another body wash that is gentler.

With the salicylic and glycolic acid there, along with the physical exfoliants, it can be too exfoliating for some users. This isn’t good news, especially for those with oily skin.


  • Contains both glycolic and salicylic acid
  • Specifically formulated for body acne
  • Contains soothing green tea and licorice root extracts
  • Prevents future breakouts


  • Can be too exfoliating

This body wash from Proactiv not only strips away unnecessary oil from the body but also unclogs pores as it does so.

With a relatively high salicylic acid content, this product is one that is sure to exfoliate the skin and remove oil from large pores.

This body wash does not stop there though. As an additional exfoliant, its formula contains microbeads that keep the body clear from oil buildup in the pores.

However, be wary because double exfoliation may not be good for those who suffer from skin sensitivity.

This is perhaps why some users report it as being too harsh on the skin, especially for those with aging skin.

For teenagers, however, this is one of the best products out there to remove the extra oil produced by still growing, hormonal bodies.

This can be used both on the body and face, so you shouldn’t worry about having another foam cleanser in your kit.


  • Contains 2% salicylic acid that removes oil from pores
  • Contains exfoliating beads
  • Reduces shine


  • Mature users don’t see as much effect as younger ones do
  • Can be too harsh for those with sensitive skin

Even if you don’t have acne, you will still love using this body wash because it removes extra oil while giving you a fresh scent.

It contains grapefruit and papaya extracts to act as exfoliators which, just like other products that contain sweet-smelling ingredients, leave your skin with a pleasant aroma.

It clears the skin without doing much damage because it contains oat protein that soothes the irritation as well. In addition, it also rejuvenates the skin because of ginseng extract in its formula.

As for texture, it almost looks like a shower gel, but still produces a very good lather.

What I love about this Mario Badescu body wash is you don’t have to struggle with rinsing as much because it does not leave any soapy residue. What it leaves instead is softer, smoother skin that smells divine!

A word of caution, however, especially if your skin is overly sensitive. Some users report that this particular body soap can cause itchiness, so it’s best to try out a sample first before committing to the full size.


  • Contains papaya and grapefruit extracts to exfoliate the skin
  • Soothes skin using oat protein
  • Leaves no residue
  • Leaves skin softer


  • Can cause itchiness in some users

This body wash has a formula that will benefit normal to oily skin.

Aside from being able to maintain the proper acidic skin pH, it has ingredients such as chamomile and vitamin E that restore the skin to its healthy state.

Those suffering from acne will thank this product as it can significantly reduce pimples in just a few days.

If you have dry skin though, I would not recommend this body wash because it has a formula that can dry out the skin so much that it does more harm than good.
The texture of this body wash is so watery that it almost has no flow resistance when dispensed from the bottle.

In fact, it’s almost like water, making it harder to control when dispensed. It’s a good thing then, that the plastic bottle it comes in has a lock mechanism that makes it safe to travel around with.


  • Has chamomile extract that acts as an antioxidant
  • Maintains proper skin pH
  • Cruelty-free
  • Travel-friendly
  • Reduces acne in just a few days


  • Not for dry skin
  • Hard to control because of the runny texture

This body wash has a formula boasting colloidal sulfur that helps keep the skin from breaking out.

Colloidal sulfur has been studied for decades by scientists and was found to be very effective in destroying fungus and parasites.

As used in this body wash, this substance can take care of acne by controlling oil production.

Combined with the force of camphor that acts as an astringent, this is one of those products whose formula would render pimples with no chance of survival.

The formula is undeniably quite strong. In order to effectively control oil in the skin without burning it, the wash has herbal components such as chamomile and aloe that soothe the skin.

This product is also safe for teens to use, but it’s not particularly effective for those with dry skin. With the strength of the formulation, those with a dry skin type can easily be stripped of oil to the point of irritation.


  • Contains colloidal sulfur that clears breakouts
  • Has camphor as an astringent
  • Herbal ingredients keep the skin from being irritated
  • Safe for teens
  • Paraben-free


  • Too strong for those with dry skin

Tea tree oil is a popular component of products used to treat acne.

It reduces inflammation and redness,and has antimicrobial properties as well. The tea tree in this particular wash is claimed to have been gathered from the Bungawalbyn Valley Basin in Australia.

To more effectively treat oily skin, it also has neem oil in addition to the tea tree oil.

Neem oil is used in traditional medicine and has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. This oil can effectively treat not only acne but also eczema and psoriasis.

Many users have reported that they used the TheraTree Tea Tree Oil Soap to treat their psoriasis and other fungal infections and that it worked well for them.

Aside from having good properties for skin health, it also has moisturizers that come in the form of omega 3, 6, 7, and 9.


  • Uses organic and natural ingredients
  • Contains moisturizing botanicals
  • Incorporates tea tree oil to alleviate skin discomfort
  • Has a pleasant smell


  • Can be too strong for some users

If you’re looking for a body wash to last you for a long time, the Neutrogena Rainbath should be on top of your list. A little goes a long way for this one, and it is available in bottles of up to 32 fluid ounces.

A lot of users have sworn by this product for years because it has kept their skin moisturized and pampered.

What really brings this to fame, though, is the five varieties of fragrances it comes in. They feel and smell luxurious. They also control the skin’s oil production without over stripping it.

However, many noticed that the new version of the product has a stronger smell and can sometimes be overpowering.


  • Does not over strip the skin of moisture
  • Creates a good lather
  • Comes in an extra big size
  • Expensive


  • New formulation has a smell that’s quite strong

Dove is known for its products having a gentle formula that works well for all skin types. This body wash is no exception and even has shea butter to aid in moisturizing.

The wash creates a rich thick lather with a sweet smell that makes any user feel pampered afterward.

The smell may be too strong for some, though, but before you judge, make sure you have an authentic product because a lot of people have bought a knock-off version online, giving this body wash a bad rap.

Just like a lot of other Dove products, this will keep the skin feeling moisturized even hours after you step out of the shower.

There are, however, some users who said the moisture effect does not last very long. I personally have not experienced this, but maybe those with dry skin might.


  • The presence of shea butter makes it highly moisturizing
  • Has gentle formulation
  • Has a pleasant scent
  • Sulfate-free


  • Has a lot of knock-off versions online
  • Not for those suffering from oversensitive skin

Our Love-Hate Relationship with Sebum

When it comes to oil, our skin needs just about the right amount.

Anything significantly higher than the norm can lead to breakouts, clogged pores, and blackheads. Too little of it may lead to more wrinkles and dry patches.

Our skin definitely needs to have oil in order to function properly. However, the problem arises when there is excess oil that is not handled properly.

With oily skin being a common issue, it affects a person’s overall appearance and self-esteem. Too much shine on your face can make you feel more self-conscious than usual.

There are advantages, however, to having oily skin. More sebum means more oil. An oilier skin surface will delay the development of wrinkles and fine lines.

If you’ve looked at aging skin up close, especially those crepey ones, they are usually dryer than usual. So having oily skin can be advantageous to those with advanced age.

What Causes Oily Skin?

There are many causes of excess oil on the skin. Perhaps the trickiest to solve is genetics. The hormone commonly called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) controls sebum production and is genetically determined.

If your family has oily skin, then it is natural for you to have it too. DHT is higher during puberty, which explains why a lot of teenagers have acne problems.

Another cause of oily skin is over-washing.

Those who like the squeaky clean feeling after a long shower are more likely to experience dryness, and as a result, the skin overcompensates by producing excess oil.

Some also strip the body of the natural oil levels by being too harsh when drying. The key is to pat dry, not scrape.

Stress is also a factor in making the skin extra oily. When you’re stressed out a lot, chances are you’re going to have oilier skin, which explains why students have more pimples during exam week.

Ways to Care for Oily Skin

The key to caring for oily skin is to achieve the proper balance – not too much, not too little. Both your body and face can benefit from these techniques.

Avoid over-washing and over-drying. While you have to be wary of the excess oil, your skin still needs it.

Use a low pH cleanser and body wash to strike that balance. Also, avoid washing the face more than twice daily. The more you get rid of the oil, the more your sebaceous glands produce it to replace what was lost.

Moisturize. Although it may seem counterintuitive, moisturizing is something all people with oily skin should be doing regularly.

After washing, the skin should have less than the normal levels of oil. The best body washes try to maintain a normal level, but it’s still helpful to keep the skin moisturized for good measure.

Use a mattifying primer. Even when you find the best face and body washes for oily skin, there are still other products in our skincare routine that can contribute to the excess oil. (We made a list of the best Korean primers here, but for those of you with acne-prone skin, we’ve also put together an article on the best non-comedogenic primers.)

One of these is makeup, especially those that are oil-based. In order to reduce the number of touch-ups needed for the day, it’s best to start off with a mattifying primer.

Exfoliate. When you have oily skin, the chances of having clogged pores increase. The oil and sebum could get trapped deep inside your pores. It’s hard for normal cleansers to get rid of them.

That’s why it’s important to exfoliate once a week if you have oily skin, especially if you suffer from body acne.

The best body washes strive to add in ingredients that help with exfoliation, but most of them do not. So try cleaning out the pores weekly to avoid clogging them.


Ingredients to Look for When Buying a Body Wash

There are certain ingredients in body washes for oily skin that are specifically added to maintain a healthy level of oil in the body and to prevent body acne.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a mighty ingredient for any product manufactured for those with an oily skin type.

Its molecules are small enough to penetrate into the skin to remove excess oil.

From the surface, salicylic acid works to remove dead skin cells, so in a way, it helps exfoliate oily skin.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA).

The reason why it’s a good ingredient for washes for oily skin is because of its ability to exfoliate the skin gently. It helps rejuvenate skin cells and works well even for those with sensitive skin.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which help soothe irritated skin.

In fact, it is a popular ingredient in skincare to help keep breakouts at bay. If you have tea tree oil, you can mix it with other products to see improvements in your skin’s oiliness.



Having oily skin is no joke, especially when you suffer from body acne.

If you’re insecure about exposing your pimples, you’ll have to limit your options and choice of clothes. This can have a negative impact on your self-esteem.

Body washes that help control the skin’s oil production are a great help to solve these problems.

If acne is one of your biggest concerns, go for the Murad Acne Body Wash because not only is it effective in removing pimples, it also has ingredients that help soothe irritated skin.

This powerful combination makes it a must-have for those who are struggling with body acne.

If, in addition to oily skin, you also suffer from skin sensitivity, the Sebamed Paraben-Free Liquid Face and Body Wash is your best bet.

It maintains a healthy pH level so as not to irritate the skin too much and is hypoallergenic.

And if you’re interested in a shampoo that you can pair with your body wash, then check out our Best Straightening Shampoos article for options.

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.