Nix Body Acne for Good With These 5 Derm-Approved Bodywashes


(Image credit: @jordanrisa)

Let's get something out of the way right from the start: There's nothing wrong with experiencing body acne. It's actually quite common, and it's nothing to feel bad about. Capeesh? With that being said, it's probably safe to assume that you'd rather get rid of it than keep it, right? Especially since, depending on the severity, it can range anywhere from being simply annoying to being outright painful.

While acne is a multifaceted skin condition with no single cure (more on that in a second), there are things you can do to minimize it and, in some cases, clear it altogether. Choosing the right acne-clearing products is a good start. While there are thousands of anti-acne products for the face, the body-acne options are, well, more limited. But that doesn't mean that there aren't effective (and in some cases, inexpensive) products to choose from. Keep scrolling to see the best acne bodywashes, according to dermatologists and editors. 


(Image credit: @aysha.sow)

What Is Body Acne, and Why Does It Happen?

"Even though it is most common for acne to happen on your face, acne can happen anywhere on the body," says cosmetic scientist and founder and CEO of Acaderma Shuting Hu. "Acne is usually caused by clogged pores, inflammation, and excess oil or sebum production. Stress, a poor diet, hormonal changes, or environmental pollutants are all contributing factors to why you might be experiencing a breakout anywhere on the body." 

Hu says body acne is most commonly found on the chest and back, due to a higher number of oil glands located in this area. "The higher amount of oil makes it easier for bacteria to grow, which leads to inflammation that causes acne to arise." 


(Image credit: @emmahoareau)

"While many forms of acne, including body acne, have a genetic component, there can be other factors," explains board-certified dermatologist Geeta Yadav. "These include overactive oil glands, fluctuation in hormones, friction or occlusion of the skin, and even the use of hair products, especially if you have longer hair. Although these factors play an important role, exactly what triggers acne has not been totally clarified in the literature. There have been linkages to food, but this has not been conclusively proven. I’ve noticed an uptick in acne in patients who wear athletic clothing that causes friction or that traps sweat from working out, against the skin."

So what can you do to minimize your own body acne? Yadav recommends washing your sheets frequently (more than once a week) to keep oil and grime from building up on the fabric and potentially clogging your skin. She also recommends exfoliating regularly to remove dead skin cell buildup and cleansing your skin often. "Get out of your sweaty fitness clothes and shower as soon as you can post-workout or use a body wipe if you're in a pinch," she says. "You should also do this if you live in a particularly hot and humid area or if you have a job that makes you particularly sweaty. It's okay to shower twice a day to help get the grime off!" 

That brings us to a humble, yet powerful, acne-clearing product—bodywash. 


(Image credit: @emmahoareau)

5 Derm-Approved Acne Bodywashes

5 Editor-Approved Acne Bodywashes


(Image credit: @kaytiemo)

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Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.