Top 5 Best Soaps for Acne-Prone Skin in 2017 Reviewed

If you’re suffering from acne (whether you’re a teenager or adult), you’ve probably heard that it’s bad to use some soaps, since they can make you break out more.

If you have acne-prone skin, it’s not safe to cleanse your face with just any soap out there.

There are lots of bad soaps for acne, but there are also soaps specifically designed for acne-prone skin.

Such soaps can effectively control and prevent your acne.

Sure, you’ve probably tried numerous soaps, face washes, and scrubs. And none of them have worked.

But wait until you hear this…

We’ve selected the Top 5 best soaps for acne-prone skin.

So that means no more dried out or irritated skin.

No more oiliness just hours after you’ve washed your face.

And no more breakouts! Sounds incredible, right?


Short Overview: Top 5 Soaps for Acne-Prone Skin


Dial Acne Control Deep Cleansing Glycerin Body and Face Bar has been clinically proven to provide clearer-looking skin in just 3 days.

It contains salicylic acid that kills acne-causing bacteria. While salicylic acid is well-known as having over-drying properties on the skin, the right amount of glycerin in Dial’s revolutionary soap for acne-prone skin actually keeps your skin moisturized.

Cetaphil Antibacterial Cleansing Bar is ranked # 2 on our list of best soaps for acne-prone skin.

The soap is the perfect solution for acne sufferers with sensitive skin.

Cetaphil soap is even recommended by dermatologists to people suffering from rosacea and eczema.

But while the product is perfectly safe to use on sensitive skin, some users are not happy about the soap containing Triclosan, which has been linked to a few health issues.

If using an all-natural product is important to you, then check out our #3 soap for acne-prone skin – Bamboo Charcoal Soap by The Healing Tree.

The soap has been clinically proven for clearing the skin, thanks to its rich content of bamboo charcoal.

Charcoal is effective in removing toxins that are clogging your pores, so it prevents breakouts.

But using this product can be quite messy because charcoal is difficult to clean once it gets on tubs and white tiles.

Another great product on our chart is Braunfels Labs Premium 10% Sulfur Advanced Wash, which is free of any artificial fragrances and parabens.

While the soap is vegan and helps prevent breakouts, some users don’t like the scent of sulfur.

Grisi Sulfur Soap with Lanolin for Acne rounds out our Top 5 soaps for acne-prone skin.

The soap contains sulfur, so it may sometimes dry out your skin. But the rich content of lanolin counters sulfur’s drying effect.


Why does Acne Occur?


While the exact cause of acne has yet to be studied, it’s been scientifically proven that breakouts are associated with several factors:

  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and the use of birth control pills
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Side effects of certain drugs
  • A diet full of carbohydrates
  • Stress

While teenagers are particularly prone to suffering from acne because hormones skyrocket during puberty, adults also tend to develop acne.

Hormonal changes result in an increase in the size of the sebaceous glands, which leads to the production of excess oil.

Soaps specifically designed for acne-prone skin tend to control the production of oil — without drying your skin out.

So, both teenagers and adults can benefit from using such soaps.

The genetic aspect of acne hasn’t been thoroughly studied yet.

However, it’s common to see acne running in families. If either of your parents has suffered from acne, your chances of developing acne increase.

Taking certain drugs (most notably androgen hormones and lithium) is also associated with acne.

There are also several factors that can aggravate the existing case of acne:

  • Picking. Whether it’s whiteheads, blackheads, or spots, picking can cause your acne to get worse, and it can even leave ugly scars or discolorations. Touching your face with dirty fingers may also clog your pores.
  • Pollution. If you can, stay away from environments with air pollution or humid conditions, as they make your acne worse.
  • Oily Products. Oily makeup and skincare products clog your pores, which almost always cause breakouts.

Using the right soap for acne-prone skin ensures that your skin always stays moisturized without being dried out.

Such soaps also reduce that itchy feeling that makes you want to touch your face with dirty fingers.


How to Choose the Best Soap for Acne-Prone Skin


Do you want the soap you choose to actually work, rather than just waste your money?

If so, make sure it does all of the following:

  • Prevents breakouts
  • Dries out existing pimples (but doesn’t dry out your skin)
  • Doesn’t clog your pores
  • Doesn’t make your skin irritated or cause any redness
  • Doesn’t contain harsh ingredients (such as alcohol)
  • Lathers up well
  • Effectively unclogs your pores to eliminate toxins and dead skin cells
  • Hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic

Just because you’re using soap for acne-prone skin, that doesn’t mean you should abandon washing your face in a way that you’ve found to be effective.

In fact, dermatologists recommend alternating between different types of products (face washes, soaps, and scrubs).

Then your skin won’t get too used to any of them.

So find a soap that can effectively control and prevent your acne, then replace your current soap with it.

Keep in mind:

Dermatologists recommend washing your face no more than twice a day.

Even if your skin feels greasy all the time, it’s best to avoid too much scrubbing.

Washing your face too frequently may leave you feeling fresh and clean for a couple of hours, but it makes your glands produce even more oil in the long run.

If your face becomes way too oily throughout the day, it’s best to use blotting papers to remove the unwanted oil from the surface of your skin.


Top 5 Soaps for Acne-Prone Skin


Dial Acne Control Deep Cleansing Glycerin Body and Face Bar


With its high content of salicylic acid and glycerin, this soap serves as the perfect solution for treating your acne while moisturizing the skin.

Another reason why Dial Acne Control Deep Cleansing Glycerin Body and Face Bar reached the top of our chart is that it gives you long-lasting deodorant protection (in addition to its antibacterial properties).

You can use this soap for both your face and your entire body.

In fact, this soap can easily prevent acne on your chest and back.

And it’s been clinically proven to give you clearer skin in just 3 days.

Users claim that this soap’s pleasant scent keeps them smelling fresh throughout the day.

However, the scent is so powerful that some users complain that it interferes with their perfume.


  • Contains salicylic acid that treats acne
  • Clinically proven to give you clearer skin in just 3 days
  • Controls breakouts
  • Doesn’t dry out your skin
  • Gives you deodorant protection
  • Lathers up nicely


  • Some users find the scent to be too overpowering.
  • Others complain that this soap may leave a waxy film on the skin.
  • Some users also complain that this soap doesn’t last long, since it’s smaller than regular soaps.



Cetaphil Antibacterial Cleansing Bar


Cetaphil Antibacterial Cleansing Bar (which boasts powerful antibacterial and moisturizing properties) has a non-soap formula that contains 0.3% Triclosan.

This soap has been proven to be able to prevent breakouts and sooth acne-prone skin.

In addition to moisturizing your skin, this soap eliminates excess sweat and oil.

Despite its powerful acne-killing properties, this soap doesn’t irritate, nor does it leave your skin dry.

Users who have used this soap on a regular basis found it to be effective for getting rid of their everyday breakouts.

If that’s any indication of the soap’s safety, even users with polycystic ovary syndrome and misbalanced hormones can use this soap.

In fact, even users suffering from rosacea and eczema are encouraged to use this soap.

Unlike our #1 pick, this soap is not heavily scented. That means its smell won’t interfere with even the softest perfume.

However, there are many people who refuse to use this soap because of its Triclosan content.

This chemical has been linked to a few health issues, including causing bacterial resistance and damaging the immune system.

Cetaphil Antibacterial Cleansing Bar has a very low concentration of Triclosan that blocks bacteria from utilizing fatty acids, which makes it impossible for bacteria to survive.


  • Effectively kills acne-causing bacteria.
  • Controls breakouts.
  • Recommended by dermatologists for people with rosacea and eczema.
  • Moisturizes the skin while removing excess sweat and oil.
  • Doesn’t leave your skin dry or irritated.
  • Doesn’t have an overpowering scent.


  • Some users are concerned about the Triclosan content, which has been linked to a few health issues.
  • Others complain about the soap’s price.



Bamboo Charcoal Soap by The Healing Tree


Bamboo Charcoal Soap by The Healing Tree has a high all-natural content of bamboo charcoal, which prevents breakouts by eliminating toxins, removing excess oil, and getting rid of dead skin cells.

This hypoallergenic and cruelty-free soap is said to be able to clear out acne within just one month.

In addition to its natural content, this soap is free of fillers and fragrances. So it doesn’t make your skin feel greasy or dry.

In fact, this soap makes your skin feel clean and soft after use, and it’s a perfect solution to treat acne on your face, chest, and back.

Many users also praise this soap for its ability to clear out blackheads.

While charcoal is highly effective in eliminating toxins and unclogging your pores, this soap can be quite messy.

Some users find it annoying that bamboo charcoal (also known as Black Diamond) can be quite difficult to clean after it gets on tubs and white tiles.


  • Effectively unclogs your pores to eliminate toxins and dead skin cells.
  • Prevents and controls breakouts.
  • Clears out acne within just one month.
  • Eliminates excess oil without drying out the skin.
  • Contains only four ingredients: vegetable oil, water, glycerin, and bamboo charcoal.
  • Is a hypoallergenic, all-natural soap.
  • Is free of fillers, alcohol, chemicals, parabens, preservatives, colors, and cruelty.


  • Some users complain that this soap can be a bit messy to use, due to bamboo charcoal’s tendency to stain tubs and white tiles.
  • Some users complain about the not-so-pleasant scent.



Braunfels Labs Premium 10% Sulfur Advanced Wash


Braunfels Labs Premium 10% Sulfur Advanced Wash sits at #4 on our chart, is vegan, and is free of any artificial fragrances and parabens.

It also effectively prevents breakouts by keeping acne-causing bacteria at bay.

Thanks to its plant-based ingredients, this soap dries out acne in no time.

However, due to its powerful acne-killing content, this soap is not recommended for people with dry skin.

The soap’s drying effect is a great thing if you have oily and acne-prone skin, it can aggravate your breakouts if you have dry or sensitive skin.

The soap leaves your skin feeling tighter than usual after use, but there’s no reason to be concerned unless you start developing redness, a burning sensation, or any other signs of discomfort.

Since this soap doesn’t contain any artificial fragrances, some users complain about the overpowering scent of sulfur.


  • Vegan.
  • Free of artificial fragrances and parabens.
  • Effectively prevents acne, due to its powerful drying effect.


  • This soap cannot be used by people with dry or sensitive skin.
  • Some users complain about the unpleasant sulfur scent.



Grisi Sulfur Soap with Lanolin for Acne


Grisi Sulfur Soap with Lanolin for Acne rounds out our chart of the Top 5 soaps for acne-prone skin.

It’s another product that fights acne with sulfur.

Just like Braunfels Labs Premium 10% Sulfur Advanced Wash, this soap has a potent drying effect.

So people with dry skin should stay away from it, unless they want to make their acne worse.

However, Grisi Sulfur Soap with Lanolin for Acne is a very effective acne-killing soap that dries out your pimples within a week or so.

Despite its powerful drying effect, this soap doesn’t irritate your skin, nor does it cause any redness.

Unlike our #4 soap, this soap contains lanolin, which slightly reduces the product’s drying effect.

Since it’s a sulfur-based soap, it doesn’t have the most pleasant scent.

Some users also noted that the soap doesn’t contain enough lanolin to moisturize their skin, so make sure you use a moisturizing cream after washing your face with this soap.


  • Effectively dries out pimples in a matter of days.
  • Has a potent drying effect.
  • Doesn’t cause any redness or irritation.


  • Due to its potent drying effect, this soap is not recommended for use by people with dry skin.
  • Some users complain about the soap’s scent.



Why You Shouldn’t Use a Regular Soap


You’ve probably wondered why regular soaps could aggravate acne.

There’s a reasonable explanation.

To thoroughly cleanse the skin from within, regular soaps lack ingredients that can penetrate deep into your skin.

They’re unable to effectively remove excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells from your pores.

Basically, unlike soaps for acne-prone skin, regular soaps don’t unclog your pores.

In other words, you still get inflammation and acne when using regular soaps.

Some regular soaps can be too harsh for your skin, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin.

You can easily develop allergies, rashes, and redness when using non-hypoallergenic and comedogenic soaps.

Regular soaps usually lack moisturizing ingredients, which means they don’t nourish your skin.

Since regular soaps tend to create huge bubbles, there’s a high risk that the soap can get into your pores.

As a result, your pores shrink, and the sebum is trapped inside, which results in inflammation and acne.

Meanwhile, soaps for acne-prone skin have very small bubbles.


Signs Your Soap is Making Your Acne Worse


If you’ve bought soap for acne-prone skin and want to test it on your skin, you should keep an eye on the following signs after application:

  • If you see scaling or flaking on the skin after washing your face with a soap, it most likely contains alcohol or other harsh ingredients, which may aggravate an existing case of acne.
  • Make sure there’s no redness or irritation on the skin, both of which signal that you’re using the wrong soap. You also shouldn’t feel any tightness in the skin after using soap.
  • If you’ve developed small bumps, hives, or redness after using a soap, you’ve had an allergic reaction to one of the So stop using this soap right away.

There are also a few guidelines to follow when properly using soap for acne-prone skin:

  1. Before applying soap onto your face, work it into lather first.
  2. Don’t rush. Always make sure the soap stays on the skin for at least 15 seconds before rinsing it off.
  3. When rinsing the soap off, use lukewarm water.
  4. Never use a washcloth to rub the soap in. It’ll just damage your skin.

Never scrub your face too hard when applying or washing off soap.




When shopping for the best soap for acne-prone skin for you, make sure it’s capable of both treating the existing acne and preventing everyday breakouts.

Keep an eye on how your face and acne react to the soap.

If it makes little to no difference in preventing breakouts, it’s probably a good idea to try another one.

The right soap will never leave your skin dry, nor will it irritate it or cause redness.

A good soap for acne-prone skin will never trigger allergic reactions or make your skin feel too tight.

In addition, make sure the soap you’re using removes excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells.

Last but not least, your soap shouldn’t contain any harsh ingredients that can be too hard on the skin.

While that doesn’t necessarily mean the soap should contain all-natural ingredients (though that’s a good idea), make sure it has a mild formula.

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One Response

  1. Amani Bell