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Review: The Best Soaps for Acne Prone Skin

Updated on July 24, 2016

If you are looking for the best soap for acne prone skin -- a bar soap for baths, showers, face or hand-washing at the sink that is also gentle on the skin -- this hub provides reviews of two soaps that are just what you are looking for.

1. Pears Soap

Pears is a tried-and-true gentle soap that has been around since the 1700s. It is in fact the oldest marketed personal care product in the world, having originated in Britain.

And in my experience it is also the best bar soap for oily skin. This soap was used in our home in my childhood and teen years, and my children use this soap today. You can use this soap for baths, showers, hand-washing, and it is also appropriate for face washing.

Cleansing Yet Gentle

Pears soap will help clear up your face and body of acne, and has a more neutral effect on the skin. If you have trouble with pimples, and are prone to blackheads or whiteheads, even on your back, Pears will be much more gentle for you (and less expensive) than medicated acne soap bars. I personally used this soap into my 20s when my skin was fully oily.

Pears washes away clean and does not leave residue. It is not ultra-lathering but has enough for bathing, washing hands, and showering. It also has a pleasant, peachy, light, non-chemical scent.

Pears Soap advertisement from the 1800s
Pears Soap advertisement from the 1800s


I have found Pears soap to be difficult to find in stores, so I just buy it in bulk online to have a long-lasting supply of it on hand. Of my two recommendations this soap is much cheaper per bar.


Chances are your grandmother was familiar with Pears Soap. Its advertisements, such as the one to the right, were popular in the United States into the 1940s.

Many of the advertisements depicted children, because the soap was so gentle. The advertisements also often depicted women who were fussy about their appearance. Pears simply had a reputation for being soft on the skin. And it still is.

2. Dr. Bronner's Soap

Best for Combination Skin

Of the two bar soaps, this is my favorite. It took me many years to find it. As I got into my 30s, I found my acne-prone skin also dried out more easily in certain spots and became more of a combination skin. It was difficult for me to find a soap on the market that addressed acne yet still coddled my skin.

Mass market soaps like Ivory, Coast, and Dove did not work for me. Ultimately my cousin recommended Dr. Bronner's to me four years ago and I have used it loyally since then. These are my favorite aspects of the soap:

  • Made with organic ingredients, such as organic hemp oil and olive oils
  • Cruelty-free and not tested on animals
  • Will not clog pores
  • Does not dry out skin
  • No artificial ingredients or harsh chemicals
  • Some people with cystic acne have reported good results with this soap as well.
  • Lathers up nice and frothy


Unfortunately Dr. Bronner's soap is hard to find at mass retailers, so I purchase it online in a pack of six. It is available in seven scented varieties, my favorite being the lavender and peppermint varieties.


Dr. Bronner’s soap has roots going back to 1858 in Germany. It is a family-owned company to this day. Dr. Bronners focuses on all-natural body products, which are now highly popular with eco- and health-conscious consumers.

Adopting Pears or Dr. Bronner's soap into your routine will help acne-prone and combination skin to look its best!

The Best Soaps for Acne Prone Skin
The Best Soaps for Acne Prone Skin


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