Skip to Content

How Does Acne Soap Work: Ways To Improve Your Skin

How Does Acne Soap Work: Ways To Improve Your Skin

Deal with that acne prone skin once and for all, and find the acne soap that will work for you. Acne-prone skin can be hard to deal with. Flare-ups seem to happen at the worst times, and no matter what products you try, you still get breakouts. Persistent acne break can really affect confidence and self-esteem. It can leave you wondering: “Why does this happen to me?” Let’s find out how does acne soap work.Your Laundry Can Be an Acne Culprit. Yup, that’s right. Your LAUNDRY.

Why Does Acne Occur?

This post may have affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission on purchases through the links (at no extra cost to you). This does not change our opinion but does help support the site. Thank you!

Acne occurs when the hair follicles within the skin become blocked, usually with excess oil (sebum) and debris, such as dead skin cells. These blocked follicles will either result in a whitehead, blackhead or if contaminated with bacteria, cystic acne.

Did you know that there is a strong familial association when it comes to acne? If one or both parents experienced adolescent or adult acne, it is highly likely that their children will too. However, there are a number of other factors that can trigger or exacerbate acne outbreaks. These include hormones – particularly the changes in androgen levels that occur during puberty – periods and polycystic ovary syndrome, pregnancy, and certain medications.

What Can Be Done About Acne?

There are so many over the counter acne face washes and acne soaps, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. There are a number of active ingredients for acne soaps and washes, that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of problem skin. These include salicylic acid, tea tree oil, sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, and alpha-hydroxy acids. So, when looking for the best soap for acne, a good choice would be one that contains one of these active ingredients.“Looking back, the biggest mistake I made was feeling embarrassed about it. Acne is a part of life. You don’t need to be embarrassed by it.”
– Cameron Dallas

How Does Acne Soap Work?

For an acne soap to be effective it needs to remove excess sebum, exfoliate the blocked pores to clear the debris, decrease inflammation, and kill the bacteria that causes acne (P. acnes). So, how do these active ingredients do that?

Salicylic Acid – Also known as Beta-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid is very effective and powerful exfoliant. It helps treat acne by exfoliating the pores from the inside, which makes salicylic acid great in clearing blackheads and clogged pores. Furthermore, they increase the rate of skin cell turnover, which greatly helps the skin to heal. Finally, salicylic acid has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to soothe angry and irritated skin.

Tea Tree Oil – For those that prefer a natural acne-fighting ingredient, tea tree oil is an obvious choice. It has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making it ideal for dealing with the P. acnes infection. Furthermore, it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, helping to soothe red and angry spots. You don’t have to buy a special tea tree containing acne treatment. You can add a few drops of the oil to your cleanser or wash, to boost its anti-acne action. However, tea tree oil can be too harsh from some skin types and it should never be used neat, as it will burn.

Sulfur – Sulfur is excellent at removing the dead skin cells that can block pores, as well as being effective at removing excess sebum. However, sulfur can dry out areas of skin surrounding the acne breakouts. Therefore, it may be better used as an ‘on the spot’ treatment, or in conjunction with an oil-free, nourishing moisturizer. As the smell of sulphur-based acne products can be unpleasant, it is often combined with other ingredients or treatments to rectify this.

Benzoyl Peroxide (BP) – BP is considered to be the most effective anti-acne soap/wash ingredient, as it treats as well as prevents. It has a number of beneficial effects including removing excess sebum, exfoliating dead skin cells and killing bacteria. The P. acnes bacteria only thrives in an oxygen deprived environment, BP kills it by flooding the pores with oxygen. It needs to be used long term to prevent and clear acne, as the bacteria can return.

Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – AHAs, which include lactic and glycolic acid, work by exfoliating the outer skin layer. The slough away the dead skin cells that block pores leaving them clean and clear, making them less likely to cause acne. With continued use with of acne soaps containing AHAs, the skin will feel smoother and softer, with fewer outbreaks. AHAs have an advantage over manual exfoliation, as it is gentler, with less chance of causing abrasions, that can result in the spread of acne-causing bacteria.

Boosting Your Skin Care Routine

Acne soaps and products are just one part of a successful skin care regime. To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your acne treatment regime, there are a few extra things you can do.

  1. Gentle washing of the affected area twice daily, day and night, to keep the area clean. Avoid any harsh scrubbing, as this may damage the area further. If you are using an acne cleanser, make sure it is rinsed off thoroughly, and you dry the affected area by patting with a towel.
  2. Use a water-based as opposed to oil-based moisturizer and steer clear of oily beauty products, as they can contribute to the blocking of pores. Acne prone skin is already excessively oily, adding more oil will not only exacerbate acne but will also contribute to a greasy appearance.
  3. Never squeeze or pick at spots as this is a sure fire way to spread bacteria, and it may result in scarring. Additionally, make a conscious effort not to touch your face, as this can introduce further bacteria to problem skin.

Before going ahead with any treatment with the best soap for acne or cleanser, discuss with a medical professional, or skin care specialist if it will work for your skin. They may feel that you will benefit from prescription acne treatments, such as antibiotics, in tandem with over-the-counter cleansers. Also, make sure you do a patch test on you skin with any new treatment before using it, to ensure that you don’t have an adverse reaction to any of the ingredients. You can do this by applying a small amount of the product behind your ear, and be waiting 48 hours to see if any reaction occurs.


Success Story

“I am 33 years old now and it has only been in the last few years that I have finally got control of my acne prone skin. It would break out quite badly if I used to the wrong products, or if I was feeling stressed. After a few visits to the doctor, I was prescribed an antibiotic topical cream and a certain contraceptive pill. Whilst this helped calm the acne, it didn’t prevent the breakouts altogether.

It definitely affected my confidence; I felt like I couldn’t go places without makeup without people staring at my skin. It was all I could see when I looked in the mirror and no matter what people told me, I felt unattractive. It wasn’t until I started using a skin care regimen that contained a combination of the AHA, glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide that I started to notice an improvement in my skin.

Within the first few months the breakouts were greatly reduced, and within 6 months they were few and far between. A year on my skin was clear and even the red scarring was improved. My self-confidence came back and I don’t rely on upon make-up to face the world.”


Acne is difficult, it can really affect how you see yourself. By using a good acne soap, you should begin to see an improvement in your skin. But, the important thing to remember, is that it won’t last forever; one day you will notice that your skin is looking better. The angry redness will calm and the break outs will become less frequent. Finally, if I looked back on my journey with acne, and I could tell myself one thing, it would be not to let acne affect how I see myself. You shouldn’t either.

Acne is something that I have a personal journey with, so I know how it feels. I hope it will help you find a solution to your own acne problem and find how does acne soap work like Clinique Acne Solutions worked for me.

Leave a comment below if you have found something that really helps with your break outs.

Is your skin prone to breakouts? With the right soap, acne can be a thing of the past. Clinique Acne Solutions Soap packs its pimple-fighting formula into a convenient bar soap that leaves your skin feel smooth and clean. But even though it’s tough on acne, it won’t dry out or damage skin.