Because cleansing is so important in fighting acne, it's important that you choose the right kind of soap or cleanser. Acne soaps can help treat your acne and reduce the number of breakouts you suffer. For mild cases, an over-the-counter or herbal soap may work. If your acne is severe, you can ask your doctor about prescription-strength soaps.
Over the Counter Soaps
Many over-the-counter soaps contain acne-fighting ingredients, such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, antibacterial components or benzoyl peroxide, according to Virginia Tech Schiffert Health Center. Some of the over-the-counter soaps include Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Wash, Neaclear’s Liquid Oxygen Acne Wash and the Clearasil line of soaps. There are also acne bar soaps such as Cetaphil and The Purpose Bar. There are also more expensive over-the-counter products that include Mario Badescu’s Enzyme Cleaning Gel or Derma Doctor’s Medicated Acne Wash. You can buy these soaps at drugstores or skin care stores.
Acnex is a brand of prescription soap for treating acne. According to Drugs.com Acnex contains salicylic acid, a common anti-acne ingredient that removes dirt and dead skin cells from clogged pores. This helps to improve acne and decrease future breakouts. According to the Mayo Clinic, soaps or cleansers that are made with Retin A or with benzoyl peroxide are effective at cleaning skin and helping to remove bacteria that can lead to acne.
You can also try herbal soaps to help with acne. Tea tree oil soap is common, as tea tree oil helps to control bacteria on the skin. Also, soaps made with peppermint, castor oils or lemongrass are traditional remedies for clearing acne and keeping breakouts to a minimum. Aloe vera soaps may also help calm acne-prone skin.
Kristie Jernigan is a health writer with over 17 years of experience as a medical social worker. She has worked mainly with the elderly population and with children. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and early childhood from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in health care administration and gerontology from the University of Phoenix.