Certain parts of your body, like your shoulders and back, have even more sebaceous glands than your face, which makes them more prone to getting clogged and forming pimples. "Facial and body acne share several similarities and both can be driven by overactive oil glands, delayed sloughing of dead skin cells, and colonization with P. acnes bacteria," Marla Diakow, MD, board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology previously told Well+Good. Besides overstuffed pores, acne-causing bacteria, and a buildup of dead skin cells, body acne can also come from things like your laundry detergent, shower habits, and how often you're exercising.
- Robert Anolik, MD, board-certified dermatologist and professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine
Whatever the cause may be behind your body breakouts, it doesn't take a full-on skin-care routine in order to deal with them. All you'll need? A bar soap with the right acne-squelching ingredients. The editors at Well+Good and our readers alike are really into this $10 soap bar by Vanicream for doing the trick—so much so that we've asked a dermatologist for more recommendations in the product category. As you're hunting for the perfect bar, Robert Anolik, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, says to look for one of two active ingredients: benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
"Bar soap with either ingredient are excellent options for patients with acne," he says. "I favor salicylic acid cleansers for those with more clogged pores, and benzoyl peroxide for those with more pink, tender acne cysts." When you're sudsing up with your bar soap of choice, just be sure to rinse it off thoroughly. "Use it daily in the shower, but wash everything off after use so it's less irritating. Afterward, use a non-comedogenic moisturizer to soothe the skin." Keep scrolling to shop for your body acne hero.
5 of the best bar soaps for body acne
1. Vanicream Z-Bar, $10
This active cleansing bar quickly grew a cult following among our readers—for good reason. It's got a potent blend of zinc pyrithione (an antimicrobial) that stops fungal breakouts and itchiness.
Dr. Anolik recommends this drugstore find for sloughing off grime buildup and zapping acne-causing bacteria, thanks to its active ingredient benzoyl peroxide.
It may look like a simple bar of soap, but this one—which Dr. Anolik likes for quashing clogged pores—uses salicylic acid to banish zits along with oat extract to soothe your skin.
This buttery-soft soap gently delivers salicylic acid into your skin to help fight acne, and you can use it from your head to your toes.
With its star ingredient as African black soap, this body acne-zapper works to clear your pores as it balances your skin with hydrating ingredients like shea butter, oat extract, and aloe vera.
Watch the video below to learn more about quashing body acne, according to a dermatologist:
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