Are you dealing with oily skin and adult acne? You’re not alone. The struggle is real, but the good news is that you don’t have to live with greasy skin and persistent pimples. Establishing a consistent skincare routine tailored to your needs can make a significant difference. A crucial element in any effective routine is a reliable face wash. To make your search easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best face washes for oily and acne-prone skin. These products cleanse and leave your skin feeling soft and matte throughout the day. Say goodbye to shine and hello to a refreshed complexion.
What Causes Oily Skin?
First things first, everyone has oil in their skin. Under each of your pores is a sebaceous gland that produces sebum. However, in some people, the sebaceous glands produce too much oil. Sebum is essential in maintaining the skin’s overall health, although overproduction can result in oily skin, clogged pores, and acne breakouts. Oily skin may result from genetics, stress, humidity, fluctuating hormones, and poor hygiene (1). Moreover, using the wrong skincare products and washing your face too often can lead to oily skin.
How to Prevent Oily Skin?
This type of skin may be difficult to manage; however, there are several things you can do at home to reduce the oiliness.
- Wash your face every morning and evening.
- Wash your face after exercise.
- Wash your face with a gentle face wash and warm water.
- Don’t scrub your skin. Cleansing your skin may irritate your skin and thus trigger increased oil production.
- Use a toner.
- Use a facial mask for treating oily skin.
- Apply a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
- Use sunscreen every day.
- Opt for oil-free, water-based makeup.
- Use blotting papers throughout the day. Blotting papers will lift excess oil off the skin and make your face appear less shiny.
TRIVIA: Honey has antibacterial and antiseptic abilities that can fight acne and keep the skin moist but not oily. (2)
Benefits of Oily Skin
While excessive oil can contribute to a greasy appearance and potentially lead to clogged pores and acne, it’s essential to recognize the positive aspects of oily skin. Individuals with oily skin often benefit from its inherent characteristics. Oily skin tends to be thicker and smoother, offering increased resilience to wrinkles and signs of aging.
Moreover, the skin’s natural oil, sebum, contains vitamin E. This vitamin acts as a natural sunscreen, protecting against the harmful effects of UV rays. So, while managing excess oil is essential for maintaining a balanced complexion, it’s worth appreciating the protective and beneficial qualities of naturally oily skin. (3)
What to Look for in Face Washes?
Since your skin is oily and acne-prone, you need a gentle face cleanser that fights oiliness and infection without damaging your skin barrier. Some ingredients that can tackle oily skin are:
- Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (or BHA) known for reducing mild acne. It exfoliates the skin and dissolves the dead skin cells clogging your pores. (4)
- Glycolic acid is an effective exfoliant to combat hyperpigmentation, dullness, acne, fine lines, and wrinkles. (5)
- Benzoyl peroxide is a topical medication used to treat mild acne. It’s anti-inflammatory but can be irritating to sensitive skin.
- Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic. It can combat various pore-clogging bacteria, fungi, viruses, and yeast.
- Hyaluronic acid (HA) can hydrate the skin and can improve the appearance of the skin.
- Bentonite Clay removes impurities such as oils and toxins from the skin. It helps treat acne breakouts and oily skin but can also overdry skin. (6)
- Coconut oil repairs the skin barrier and locks in the right amount of moisture to keep your skin from producing excess oil.
- Since some of these ingredients may irritate some people, you should use them on a small area of skin first to see how your skin reacts. Moreover, it would be best to start slowly, allowing your skin to get used to the medication.
TRIVIA: A 2012 study found that applying a mask made of healing clay and jojoba oil two to three times weekly helped heal mild acne. (7)
8 Best Face Washes for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin
Using the correct face wash for your skin type can make a massive difference in the amount of acne and oil left on your face. It might sound counterintuitive, but the key is moisturizing your face and keeping your skin hydrated regarding oil control. Face wash for oily and acne-prone skin should thus gently cleanse the skin while also replenishing the skin barrier. To help you choose a face wash that will control your oil and acne without drying your skin, we have gathered a list of our top 8 favorite products.
1. Cetaphil: Daily Facial Cleanser for Combination to Oily Sensitive Skin
Cetaphil Facial Cleanser is ideal for sensitive skin and gently removes dirt, excess oil, and makeup. Dermatologists recommend it for everyday use. It serves multiple purposes:
- It can be used as a makeup remover
- Irritation-free and leaves no residue
- Comes with oil-free formulae
Price: $18.97 / Size: 20 Fl Oz
2. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, Makeup Remover, and Daily Face Wash for Oily Skin
This non-comedogenic cleanser effectively removes dead cells, impurities, and oil, thus giving an instant glow. In addition, it is fragrance-free and maintains the skin’s natural barrier.
- Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin.
- MVE Delivery Technology provides nourishment to the skin
Price $13.68 / Size 12 Fl Oz
3. Proactiv Acne Cleanser – Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash And Acne Treatment
Proactiv Acne Cleanser is highly effective in removing excess oil, dirt, and other impurities. It combats acne and prevents new breakouts and inflammation of the skin.
- It combats acne with its benzoyl peroxide formulae
- It contains hyaluronic acid, which helps maintain skin hydration.
- It removes dead skin, impurities, and unclogs pores
Price $36.00 / Size 6 Fl Oz
4. Bioré Charcoal Face Wash, Face Cleanser for Dirt and Makeup Removal From Oily Skin
Enriched with natural charcoal, this face wash removes dirt and unclogging pores from the skin.
- Comes with Japanese Skin Purifying Technology
- Effectively removes dirt and excess oil from the skin
- Do a patch test in case you have sensitive skin
Price $11.33 / Size 6.77 Fl Oz
5. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Face Wash Cleanser, Purifying Foaming Cleanser for Normal Oily & Sensitive Skin
This face wash gently cleanses the skin without disturbing the natural pH balance of the skin. In addition, it removes face and eye makeup, dirt, excess oil, and impurities.
- It contains ceramides that maintain the skin barrier, niacinamide, which can lower sebum excretion rates, and glycerin, which naturally attracts water to the skin.
- It contains no pore-clogging residue.
- Paraben & Fragrance-Free
Price $13.99 / Size 200 ml
6. Clean & Clear Essentials Foaming Facial Cleanser
This oil-free cleanser gently cleans skin and washes away dirt, oil, and makeup to help skin stay clean and healthy. It leaves skin clean and refreshed without overdrying it.
- It features glycerin and ingredients derived from coconut oil
- It does not leave any residue
- It gives you a squeaky clean feeling
Price $5.78 / Size 8 Fl Oz
Trivia – Hair shampoos and conditioners may trigger acne or breakouts. If you think your shampoo or conditioner is the reason behind it, make sure to use a oil-free formulae. (8)
7. Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash
Enriched with tea tree oil, this gentle face wash keeps skin soft and supple.
- Tea tree oil is an antibacterial agent
- It deeply cleanses grubby faces and clarifies the skin of all impurities
Price $16.00 / Size 8.4 Fl Oz
8. Banila Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original
Clean it Zero Original is a K-beauty hypoallergenic cleansing balm that exfoliates, hydrates, and cleanses the skin. It can easily remove waterproof makeup and all of your skin’s impurities without disturbing its natural moisture balance.
- It is formulated with Active botanicals, Hot Springs Water, Vitamin E, and vitamin C for a healthy complexion.
- It contains no parabens, sulfates, alcohol, mineral oil, and artificial coloring.
- It has a mild, fruity smell
Price $7.00 / Size 25 ml
Finding the right products for oily and acne-prone skin is vital as no one likes having a greasy face. While the skin looks fresh and bouncy in the morning, as the day passes, it tends to get all sticky. If you’re dealing with oily skin, choosing the right cleanser can make all the difference. Face washes designed for oily, acne-prone skin cleanse, hydrate, and control the sebum production without drying it. While everyone’s skin is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the best prevention is finding a consistent skincare routine that works for you and sticking to it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to treat oily, acne-prone skin?
The best way to address this skin type is to consistently follow a skincare routine that helps balance out the oil production while keeping the skin hydrated. For a simple and effective skincare regime, cleanse your face every morning and evening, exfoliating toner, moisturizer, SPF protection, and serum in the evening.
Should I use a toner every day?
If your skin is oily, you should use an astringent. Astringents are similar to toners but are made especially for oily skin types. They are a great way to control oil as they help remove sebum from the skin and tighten the pores.
- “How to Control Oily Skin” – aad.org
- “10 Home Remedies for Oily Skin” – healthline.com
- “4 Surprising Benefits of Oily Skin” – dermstore.com
- “Can Salicylic Acid Help Treat Acne?” – healthline.com
- “Everything You Need to Know About Glycolic Acid, Explained” – glamour.com
- “Bentonite clay: 11 benefits and uses” – medicalnewstoday.com
- “Clay Jojoba Oil Facial Mask for Lesioned Skin and Mild Acne – Results of a Prospective, Observational Pilot Study” karger.com
- “Acne-Prone Skin? Here’s How to Identify and Create the Right Routine” – healthline.com
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Keira Barr. Dr. Keira is a dual-board certified integrative dermatologist, certified as an Advanced Practitioner of Mind-Body Medicine, and a trauma-informed life coach.