10 Best Bar Soaps For Treating Acne

Your face is the very first thing that people see when they meet you, and if you struggle with acne prone skin, you might be suffering from low self-esteem and worries about your appearance.

Those with problem acne need to develop a skin care routine that addresses their skin condition, and that means selecting a soap which has been formulated to eradicate the bacteria which can cause and aggravate acne to improve the condition of the skin, prevent breakouts and create a smoother, softer feel.

The best soap for acne is one which removes bacteria from clogged up hair follicles and which removes the dead skin cells to allow acne treatments to be better absorbed. The best products are also those which do not aggravate the condition further by causing dryness, redness and blemishes which can then lead to further breakouts and soreness on the facial skin.

Best Soaps for Acne Prone Skin

In order to control breakouts of acne on your face, you need to choose a bar which is powerful enough to clean the skin and remove dirt but without causing further damage to this delicate part of the body.

Although foaming soaps feel great on the skin, they aren’t a good idea if you have acne-prone skin since foamy lathers and bubbles can damage dry and sensitive skin types by sticking to the skin’s surface causing dryness and tightness when they are washed off.

The best soap for acne is one which produces small bubbles and a creamy lather which washes off the skin easily to leave it clean and fresh, and which does not result in redness, soreness and tightness.

1. African Black Soap With Shea Butter

african black bar with shea butter

Able to moisturize, comfort and cleanse irritated, acne prone skin while absorbing any excess oil, this soap calms and clears blemishes on troubled skin.

It is ideal for relieving the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema as well as acne, to ensure radiant, smooth skin.

Using a natural remedy handed own over the generations from a healer but given a twist for the 21st century, this product uses high quality ingredients sourced from around the globe to provide a fantastic, high performing product.

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2. Submission Premium Tea Tree Oil Soap

submission soap

Offering all-natural protection for acne sufferers and anyone else who wants to combat bacteria, viruses and fungus, this high-quality soap is made by hand in the USA from a blend of eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil.

Made only in small batches, this soap has a delightful peppermint leaf finish to lend you a minty fresh aroma as you wash, and as a bonus, your skin’s natural defenses will be reinforced.

With no harsh chemicals involved in its production, this 100% natural soap is ideal for anyone with sensitive skin and it’s even guaranteed for life for your peace of mind.

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3. Nubian Heritage/Sundial Creations

nubian heritage sundial creations

This range of soaps for acne combines ancient medicinal properties found in black soap with shea butter’s hydrating qualities for better balancing of acne prone skin.

Aiding exfoliation to reveal even, healthy looking, fresh and radiant skin, it promotes healing and detoxification while reducing blemishes.

This bar soap offers deep cleansing using aloe, vitamin E and oats as well as tamarind extract, palm ash, plantain peel and tar – ingredients that have been used for centuries in Africa to treat acne, psoriasis, eczema and oily skin.

When paired with the naturally hydrating and healing properties of shea butter, this black soap resolves problem skin by aiding exfoliation and promoting new cell growth.

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4. Activated Charcoal Soap Bar

yellow bird activated charcoal

Clearing skin naturally to produce a soft, healthy glow, this charcoal bar works for both sexes and all types of skin. Ideal for use every day, this organic cleaner is ideal for anyone suffering from rosacea, psoriasis, eczema and acne.

Made without chemicals, this soap uses only high grade certified organic and natural ingredients which will not dry out or irritate sensitive skin. Made using moisturizing shea butter and activated charcoal, this soap removes impurities and blemishes for a flawless result.

Made by hand, this soap is produced in the USA in small batch, traditional, cold processed methods to preserve the effectiveness and quality of the ingredients.

It boasts a calming aroma of lavender and lemongrass, two essential oils which have antibacterial, astringent and antifungal qualities.

The activated charcoal it contains naturally detoxes the skin by absorbing oil and dirt to eradicate bumps, blackheads and acne, while the shea butter leaves the skin buttery soft and youthful.

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5. Dudu Osun

dudu osun

This African black soap contains natural ingredients like honey, shea butter, osun, aloe vera, palm kernel oil, palm bunch ash, cocoa pod ash, lemon juice, lime juice, fragrance and water for a natural remedy to resolve many skin issues and works on all skin types for smoother, silky skin.

Restoring damaged skin, this bar has antibacterial qualities and can guard against dry skin, dark spots, freckles, dermatitis, acne, psoriasis and eczema.

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6. Grisi Sulfur

grisi sulfur

Made with lanolin for an affective acne treatment, this sulfur soap is very effective if used regularly for up to 8 weeks.

It boasts antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties which remove dirt and built up oils and is suitable for use in anyone aged over 12 years.

Powerful and effective, this bar can be used with other Grisi products for the best possible effect.

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7. Purpose Gentle Cleansing Bar

purpose gentle cleansing bar

Effective and mild, this lathering purpose soap bar can remove oil and dirt without causing excessive dryness of the skin. As it is 100% free from oils, it leaves no residue and will never clog pores.

Designed to be hypoallergenic, this acne soap is recommended by dermatologists for its gentle cleansing properties.

It can even be used by people with sensitive skin as part of their everyday skincare regime for a healthier complexion.

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8. Dead Sea Salt Charcoal Soap

dead sea salt

Do you want to purify, balance, exfoliate and cleanse your acne prone skin?

This premium quality soap contains Dead Sea salt and activated charcoal to produce the best results.

Dead Sea salt is known to be high in potassium, magnesium, sulfur, bromide and calcium – all ingredients which are known to promote the healthy growth of skin tissue and to combat skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.

Meanwhile, the activated charcoal draws out dirt, chemicals, poisons, bacteria and other forms of micro-particle to the skin surface where they can be cleaned away, aiding you in achieving a beautiful and flawless complexion.

This soap is gentle enough to use on all kinds of skin and it is suitable for use by men, women and children alike. As it’s also protected by a money back guarantee, you’ll enjoy complete peace of mind in your purchase.

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9. O Naturals Detoxifying Peppermint & Charcoal

o naturals

O Naturals have created this ultra-detoxifying soap which contains activated coconut charcoal to clean out the pores so acne, breakouts, blemishes and blackheads are effectively combated.

This soap also contains peppermint oil to balance the skin’s oil production and promote blood circulation so your skin will look brighter and more refreshed.

Peppermint oil will also soothe and calm your aching and tired muscles.

This soap bar is triple milled for a more luxurious lather that produces softer and smoother skin and as it is only made in the USA from organic, vegan-friendly ingredients that are all-natural and free of parabens, fragrances and sulfates, it is ideal for the whole family to use.

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10. Neutrogena Transparent Facial Bar

neutrogena transparent

Neutrogena’s Cleansing Bar for Acne-Prone Skin is gentle and pure for clearer, cleaner skin that looks as healthy as it feels.

Rich in glycerine, this facial cleansing bar contains no dyes, hardeners or harsh detergents but removes excessive oil before rinsing clean with no pore-clogging residues remaining.

Non-medicated, its formula does not overdry the skin, but instead leaves it looking smooth and clear.

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How to choose a good soap for acne?

natural cleansers

When choosing the right soap to clean acne prone skin, you should select one which is non-abrasive, free from alcohol and gentle for the best result.

Products which have an alkaline pH level or which contain alcohol can irritate and dry out the skin, so choosing a soap for acne which matches your own skin type – either dry, oily or combination – is best.

A medicated acne soap features added ingredients which fight acne to improve the appearance and texture of the skin. Containing ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, sodium sulfacetamide and salicylic acid, these bars clear the skin while cleansing it effectively.

Salicylic acid soaps clear the blocked pores, reducing redness and swelling, while sodium sulfacetamide prevents the growth of bacteria and benzoyl peroxide can exfoliate the skin while killing bacteria.

Acne soaps which contain petrolatum, emollients, mineral oil, glycerine, humectants or lanolin retain the skin’s moisture while alpha hydroxy acids exfoliate the skin to smooth rough patches.

How to use it?

Acne soap can be used in a similar way to traditional and standard bars.

Simply lather the bar and then apply gently to the face using your clean fingertips. Leave the soap on the face for between 15 and 30 seconds and then use warm water to rinse the lather from the skin.

Pat your facial skin dry using a clean towel rather than rubbing it dry as this can damage the skin further.

Why You Shouldn’t Use a Regular Soap

Cleaning the skin using regular soap (even one that describes itself as a facial bar) can be harmful.

This is because most bar soaps use binders to keep them in the correct shape and these have a naturally higher pH than the skin causing it to become alkaline and dry out.

Most people have a skin type which is around 5.5 pH. The pH range of soap is between 8 and 10, and this means that they can strip out the moisture from the skin. Healthy skin needs moisture to survive, and skin cells are very thirsty.

Dehydration and dryness damage the skin in the long term, spoiling its appearance and therefore avoiding regular bar soaps when washing the face is important.

Signs That Your Soap is Making Your Acne Worse

problem skinYou can see that your soap is causing your acne problem to worsen if your skin begins to feel tight around 5 to 10 minutes after you have washed and dried your face.

This tightness is the result of water being evaporated from your skin.

If your skin appears scaly or grey in colour, your soap is also damaging your skin – this is common with bars that contain alcohol, acetone and harsh alkalis.

If your skin looks irritated or red, or you develop hives following its use, this is also a clear sign that your acne is being exacerbated by your soap. Soaps which contain floral ingredients or herbal essences or fragrances are common culprits.

An acidic bar which has a pH of 4 – 6.5 (the same as your skin) is ideal for eradicating the bacteria that causes acne.


If you suffer from skin that is prone to acne or other skin conditions, you can help to treat the problem most effectively by starting your daily skincare regime by using a bar that is designed to combat the bacteria that causes acne in the first place.

A soap with an acidic pH to complement the skin’s own pH level which contains no harsh ingredients is the best choice to ensure that your facial skin is treated properly and suffers no drying or irritation that can trigger or exacerbate acne.

While many people still use standard bar soaps to clean their face, this is not the best way forward since they have a tendency to dry out the skin and leave your face looking red, sore and blemished.

A soap that has been specially designed to fight acne and to relieve the problems that acne causes is the best choice to ensure that skin looks and feels healthy, fresh and moisturized, free of breakouts and blemishes.