August 14, 2020

10 Best Salicylic Acid Body Washes

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When you search for the best product to solve those annoying red bumps, Salicylic acid will be one of the first answers to come up on skincare lists.

Its potent effects don’t stop at solving face acne though. It’s also an effective ingredient added to body washes.

Body acne is a problem that nearly everyone experiences at least once in their life. The harsh ingredients of shower products contribute to the formation of acne in the back and other parts of the body.

That’s why we went ahead and rounded up the 10 best Salicylic Body Washes. These products are the best antidotes to those pesky breakouts.

Table of Contents

10 Best Salicylic Acid Body Washes

Our Pick

We’ve always featured the CeraVe brand on many of our round-up reviews. All its products are lauded by dermatologists and skincare fans alike because of their gentle but effective formulas. This wash is no exception.

(We particularly love their moisturizer, which we reviewed in our Best Non-Comedogenic Moisturizers article.)

As seen from its name, the main ingredient of this body wash is Salicylic Acid. It’s perfect for exfoliating rough and bumpy skin texture without causing irritation. The nice thing about this product is that though it has an exfoliant, it doesn’t contain any microbeads that’ll damage the skin.

With regular use, you’ll notice fewer bumps and pimples on your body, especially on  your back. Your skin will look smoother and softer as well.

This also contains Ceramides, Niacinamide, and Hyaluronic Acid. They serve as added nourishment and moisture after sloughing off dead skin cells during the exfoliation process.

The best part is that this is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and paraben-free. And as with all CeraVe products, it was developed by certified dermatologists so it’s safe even for those with sensitive skin.

It definitely deserves to be our top pick for the best Salicylic Acid body wash.


  • Gentle, exfoliating formula
  • Smooths skin texture
  • Hydrating ingredients
  • No harsh chemicals


  • Product tends to leak during shipping

Best for Dry Skin

The usual problem we get with Salicylic Acid is that it can dry out our skin since it’s an exfoliant. It sloughs off dead skin cells but it can also remove healthier cells along with it. This product by Touch sets itself apart because it doesn’t do that at all.

This is the best Salicylic Acid body wash for dry skin because of the formula. Apart from 2% Salicylic Acid that smooths the skin, this also has 15% Glycolic Acid which decongests the pores and calms inflammation. Together, they brighten overall complexion and prevent acne.

Body washes also don’t usually contain moisturizing ingredients that can counter the drying effects of Salicylic Acid but this one does. Ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Aloe Vera are known to be hydrating on the skin. Vitamin E is also mixed in to provide protective antioxidants.

Another ingredient called Gotu Kola is also in this body wash. It contains Asiatic Acid which lessens inflammation caused by acne and enhances collagen production.

This product is mainly marketed as a remedy for those with Keratosis Pilaris, a condition that causes your skin to have dry patches and bumps. But it’s actually safe enough for all skin types because of the nourishing ingredients.

(We actually named this as our top pick in our review of the Best Body Washes for Keratosis Pilaris.)

With regular use of this body wash, you can expect clearer, smoother, and brighter skin. 


  • Deeply moisturizing ingredients
  • Prevents acne and breakouts
  • Targets dry patches caused by Keratosis Pilaris
  • Brightens overall complexion


  • Has a strong chemical scent
  • Expensive compared to other brands

Best for Men

Men’s skin needs just as much care as women’s skin does. This product by Every Man Jack is one of the best acne body washes we recommend for men.

It contains Salicylic Acid that calms down and prevents active acne breakouts on the skin. This ingredient also exfoliates dead skin off the body to make it feel and look smoother.

Activated charcoal is one of the key ingredients that deeply cleanses the body. It’s able to draw out impurities and oil without aggravating the skin. A blend of Coconut, Aloe, and Tea Tree extracts also further nourish and soothe your skin.

Unlike most men’s body washes for acne, this product doesn’t have parabens, phthalates, or aluminum. It’s completely vegan, cruelty-free, and dye-free as well. You can use it safely on sensitive skin as often as needed.


  • Designed for men’s skin
  • Exfoliates the skin to reveal a smoother texture
  • Prevents and soothes active acne
  • Highly nourishing and hydrating formula


  • The charcoal content tends to leave residue in the shower drain when rinsed off
  • Has a subtle fragrance

Neutrogena’s Body Clear line has actually been around for quite a while. You’re probably familiar with the Pink Grapefruit variant of this body wash, which we reviewed in our Best Body Washes for Sensitive Skin article.

This particular variant is perfect to use daily since it won’t cause dryness. Though it has Salicylic Acid that exfoliates to prevent acne, it also contains ingredients like Glycerin and Aloe. These two are highly moisturizing and soothing on the skin.

Most users say that this helped clear their back acne. It’s great at regulating the body’s oil production so that nothing gets trapped or clogged in the pores.

And though this creates a foamy lather, it doesn’t leave residue on your skin that can cause irritation. It leaves your body feeling clean and refreshed.


  • Exfoliates the skin for smoother texture
  • Deeply moisturizing ingredients
  • Doesn’t leave residue


  • Has a mild scent

We all know that Salicylic Acid is a chemical exfoliant that treats acne and gets rid of dead skin cells to reveal a better complexion. The Murad Acne Body Wash takes things a step further by including physical exfoliants in the formula as well.

1% Salicylic Acid is mixed with Date Seed Powder and Glycolic Acid. The combination of these physical and chemical exfoliators de-clog oil from the pores and smooth out rough texture.

To prevent the skin from drying out, Green Tea and Licorice Root extracts are added into the formula. They soothe irritation and add nourishment to the skin to keep it healthy.

The best part is that this body wash doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. It’s safe to use on all skin types as well so you don’t have to worry if you have sensitive skin.

Many people who’ve tried this product say that it’s great at treating acne for back and torso areas. They also noticed no negative reactions on their skin despite using it every day.


  • Has Date Seed Powder as a physical exfoliant
  • Treats active acne and breakouts
  • Nourishing formula


  • Expensive
  • Has a mild fragrance

Proactiv is probably the most famous brand for targeting acne and skin issues. Many celebrities have endorsed their effective products. This Deep Cleansing Body Wash is the perfect choice for solving acne on the body.

The star ingredient is 2% Salicylic Acid which decongests pores to prevent pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads from forming. Though it’s an exfoliant, it’s gentle enough to use for everyday use to prevent acne.

Body acne is often tricky to solve since not all formulas will be compatible with your skin. You can rest assured that this product will ease your problem though since it was specially designed to not cause dryness or irritation.

As you begin to use this daily, you’ll notice less oil and dirt congestion in your pores. The skin on your entire body will surely look clearer and smoother.


  • Declogs dirt and oil from pores
  • Prevents and treats acne on the body
  • Gentle formula


  • The dispenser makes it hard to control how much product you get
  • Has a chemical scent

Unlike a body soap that can dry out your skin, this body wash from Phisoderm will nourish your skin while treating it for acne.

With 2% Salicylic Acid, it gently exfoliates the skin by removing dirt and oil from the pores. Pimples and acne are less likely to form because of this.

To nourish the skin after exfoliation a hydrating blend of ingredients is mixed into the formulas as well. Vitamin E, Aloe, and Chamomile soothe the skin with their nourishing benefits. They help restore the skin’s natural pH balance to combat dryness and redness.

This body wash is best recommended for those with combination to oily skin types. Not only does it get rid of dead skin cells, but it also ensures that the renewed skin is healthy and glowing.


  • Gently exfoliates to reveal healthy skin
  • Nourishing formula
  • Prevents body pimples from forming


  • Some users find the consistency to be too runny

What we love about this body wash is that it’s also gentle enough to use on your face. The formula is pH-balanced and doesn’t contain parabens, fragrances, or dyes.

But even though it’s mild on the skin, it’s still effective at preventing acne. The Salicylic Acid content of this body wash  treats active acne and exfoliates the skin to de-clog the pores.

Citric Acid is also added to nourish the skin and refine texture. Many users report that they noticed smoother skin and smaller pores once they started using this product regularly.

A slew of Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs) and Ceramides are also part of the ingredients. They not only hydrate the skin, but also strengthen it for the best protection against damage.


  • Mild but effective exfoliation
  • Treats acne and pimples on the body
  • Intensely moisturizing ingredients


  • Still has a mild scent despite being marketed as “fragrance-free”
  • Doesn’t lather up as a normal body wash does

If you’re looking for a potent Salicylic Acid body wash at an affordable price, then this product by Mountain Falls is perfect for you.

Many users actually think of it as a good alternative to the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Body Wash since they have almost the same formula. It contains Salicylic Acid as the main exfoliating ingredient to de-clog oil and dirt from the pores.

Vitamin C and Tea Leaf extract are also added into the ingredient list. They work with each other to further cleanse and soothe the skin. And much like the Neutrogena counterpart, this also has a grapefruit scent.


  • Affordable price
  • Effectively decongests the skin
  • Soothing formula


  • Doesn’t create thick lather as other washes do

This body soap wash by Mario Badescu comes highly recommended because of its potent formula. Apart from Salicylic Acid, this also contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) which enhances exfoliation.

It’s best at eliminating oil and dirt from your pores without causing irritation. Also, a unique combination of plant-derived extracts like Ginseng and Linden give you a refreshing feeling as you shower.

And, again, like Neutrogena, this has a grapefruit scent that many users enjoy.


  • Has AHA for better exfoliation
  • Treats breakouts


  • Contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Is There an Alternative to Salicylic Acid?

Though Salicylic Acid is one of the best antidotes for acne, it might be enough for those with more severe breakouts. Stronger alternatives might be needed to treat more serious acne.

This is where a popular Peroxide substance comes in. We can define it better by comparing it with Salicylic Acid.

Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) that clears acne by decongesting the pores. It dissolves trapped oil and dirt to reveal a smoother complexion.

On the other hand, Benzoyl Peroxide is an antimicrobial ingredient that targets acne-causing bacteria and kills it on the spot. It also soothes inflammation faster so that your skin looks clearer faster. This is the reason why it’s perfect to treat more severe breakouts.

(It’s also good to remember that neither of these ingredients are safe for people with extra sensitive skin or by pregnant women. We discussed this in our Best Face Washes for Pregnancy article.)


We hope that this article has helped you find the best product for you. Now, body acne is ready to become a part of your past.

Just take your pick and enjoy clearer skin now!

If you want more options, we also wrote reviews on the Best Antibacterial Body Washes that you can check out.

And if you’re looking for something gentle to exfoliate your face, then you can check out our review on the Best Glycolic Acid Products as well.

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.