Turning 14 marked the beginning of an angsty transitional period in my life. I started high school (it sucked), had my first kiss (it was gross), and to top it all off, started developing pimples all over my chest and back. Not-so-affectionely-nicknamed bacne, this skin issue has followed me into my adult years and now, at 23, I’ve only just begun to figure out what works when it comes to clearing it all up. Trial, error, and tons of research helped me put together this list of the best body washes for acne, which I hope will be of use to all the fellow angsty teens and frustrated adults out there.
No matter who you are — whether you have skin genes gifted to you from the heavens or, like me, have the pickiest, most sensitive skin of all time — odds are you’ve encountered bacne at one point in your life. Whether it was a cluster of zits where oil collected under your favorite T-shirt or the odd whitehead in the hot summer months, we’ve all had to deal with it at some point or another. And that means you’ve definitely thought to yourself, “how the heck do I get rid of it?”
Different kinds of body acne respond differently to certain ingredients. For example, when I pop a zit on my chest and it looks way more red and enflamed than it should, I use a tea tree oil-based acne wash because tea tree works as a natural disinfectant that keeps tiny wounds from getting bigger. For hormonal breakouts, I know that salicylic acids generally work best at calming and clearing, whereas run-of-the-mill body acne responds better to benzoyl peroxide. So check out the full list of body washes to treat acne of all kinds, below.