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Acne Care: What Is the Best Acne Soap?

Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD · Aesthetics

Written by Jen Mallari · Updated Aug 25, 2022

    Acne Care: What Is the Best Acne Soap?

    Those who suffer from persistent acne often have difficulty finding the right treatment for their skin. But what is the best type of acne care soap? And what ingredients should you look for? In general, the best type of acne care soap should only include natural ingredients such as oils, lye (mixture of sodium hydroxide and water), with minimal fragrances and coloring, or none at all. They should also contain effective active ingredients that control excess oil production and kill bacteria.

    When it comes to fragrances, a good acne care soap should be unscented or scented with essential oils. Essential oils offer antibacterial properties that prevent bacteria growing on the skin. Some of the best acne care soaps include citrus essential oils such as orange and lemon that have powerful antibacterial properties. 

    Generally, the best acne care soap would be a mild soap with natural ingredients which do not contain chemical preservatives or added fragrances. Despite being gentle soaps, natural soaps do a good job of cleansing the skin without stripping away natural oils within the skin cells and they do a decent job of sloughing off dead skin cells. Look for soap that is colorless, unscented, and contains only a handful of ingredients.

    What Ingredients Should an Acne Care Soap Have?

    Several active ingredients work well in treating acne, namely, salicylic acid, sulfur, alpha hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, retinoid, and essential oils. 

    So what are the benefits of these active ingredients? 

    Salicylic Acid

    This active ingredient is found in most skincare products that target acne-prone skin. There are several acne care soap brands that also have salicylic acid as their active ingredient. The benefit of salicylic acid in soap is it prevents acne and treats blemishes


    You may have heard of acne care soaps that use sulfur as their active ingredient. Soaps like these specifically target acne-prone and oily skin since sulfur removes excess oil from the skin. Sulfur acne care soap also unclogs pores, exfoliates the skin, kills pimple-causing germs, and has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic properties. 

    Alpha Hydroxy Acids 

    Also known as AHA, this active ingredient treats acne-prone skin by sloughing dead skin cells and reducing inflammation. It also improves skin texture by making it appear as if pores are smaller. 

    Benzoyl Peroxide 

    This active ingredient is responsible for eliminating bacteria-causing acne on the skin, removing excess oil, and exfoliating the skin, which keeps pores clean. 

    Tea Tree Oil

    This ingredient can be found in many skin care products that treat acne-prone skin since it has anti-inflammatory properties. 


    This ingredient is usually found in anti-aging products due to its benefits in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol is also added to soap that treats skin issues like acne. 

    Essential Oils

    These natural ingredients are responsible for giving an acne care soap its scent. On top of that, they also have antibacterial properties which keep acne breakouts from occurring. 

    All these ingredients are commonly found in acne care soaps and other acne products like facial cleansers, toners, and the like. These are safe on the skin and can help in keeping acne at bay. 

    Take note of the ingredients and always read the label on the boxes of acne care soaps you are going to purchase. Many people neglect this step when purchasing acne care soap. This could lead to one or more ingredients irritating the skin and triggering acne. (For example, palm oil in soaps can make skin dry, leading to increased sebum production and more acne.) 

    Key Takeaways

    When searching for an acne care soap, make it a habit to read the ingredients. This would tell you if the soap contains the right ingredients. Be wary of soaps that claim to be good for treating your acne-prone skin but have harmful chemicals like parabens

    Learn more about Acne here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Martha Juco, MD


    Written by Jen Mallari · Updated Aug 25, 2022

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