Whatever age you are, you are entitled to clear, acne-free skin. Acne is something that affects most of us at some point in our lives and can leave you feeling self conscious. Fortunately, there are face washes designed to promote healthy skin and prevent breakouts that don’t require a lot of effort, and can cure your acne and prevent acne from coming back. The best part is, the best face washes for acne don’t require a trip to the dermatologist or doctor and fit right in with your home skin care routine.
Choosing The Best Face Washes For Acne
The face wash you need varies depending on your skin type. Whether you have dry, combination or oily skin, there is a cleanser for you to leave your face blemish free. If you have dry skin, you will want to look for a cleanser that is gentle and moisturizing. For oily skin, you will want a face wash that combats the oil production but still leaves the skin smooth, and for combination skin, you’ll want to find a face cleanser that helps balance the skin’s complexion. Below we have listed the ten best acne face washes to ensure your skin is left radiant and glowing, while preventing your acne from coming back.
10 Best Acne Face Washes
Created for oily skin, the PanOxyl Foaming Acne Wash is designed to help you take control of acne on your face, neck, back and chest. With 10% benzoyl peroxide, this cleanser contains the strongest formula available over the counter. Benzoyl peroxide is widely recognized as one of the leading acne-fighting ingredients and it’s antibacterial properties help to prevent acne forming, while also clearing existing breakouts and leaving your skin blemish free.
PanOxyl Foaming Acne Wash also contains Glycolic acid and Lactic acid to exfoliate the skin, which gently remove dirt and excess oil to unclog pores, leaving the skin brighter and clearer. To avoid excess drying of the skin, start by using PanOxyl Foaming Acne Wash once daily for best results.
With maximum strength salicylic acid, the Neutrogena Oil-free face wash both treats and helps to prevent acne, including blackheads. As the name suggests, this face wash is oil-free and therefore won’t add any more unwanted or excess oil to your skin. Although this product is non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores, the salicylic acid targets deep down and penetrates pores to remove oil, still leaving the skin feeling fresh.
Also included is naturally derived grapefruit extract and Vitamin C, which helps to balance out T-zone oil, getting rid of unwanted oil and dirt. This cleanser is specially formulated for acne prone skin and will cleanse your face without over-drying. When using this acne wash, you should see results within just one week.
Although this face wash is not recommended for those with sensitive skin, the Humane Benzoyl Peroxide acne cleanser helps to treat and prevent moderate to severe acne. This wash helps to prevent future breakouts by killing the acne-causing bacteria directly with benzoyl peroxide, before they form pimples and blemishes. The non-foaming lotion absorbs quickly and is effective when used once or twice a day. This face wash should be tested on a small affected area for 2-3 days and redness and peeling are expected. Humane’s face wash contains no parabens, fragrance or animal products and is cruelty free.
Christina Moss Naturals’ face wash is formulated with pure natural ingredients to tackle acne prone skin organically. As this face wash does not contain any active ingredient, it is perfect for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. This cleanser gently washes the skin to soothe it, without stripping, drying, clogging or leaving any build up on the skin and therefore both removing acne and preventing it from resurfacing. It can be used twice a day in your regular skin care routine and a little goes a long way — just a dime size drop will clear your whole face.
Beauty by Earth Foaming Face Wash is non-drying and all natural, making it perfect for all skin types, even the most sensitive. Without any harsh ingredients, this face wash calms the skin and any acne pimples or belmishes. Aloe-vera leaf juice helps to remove any build up of dirt and oils without over-drying the skin, still leaving your skin clean and smooth. This face wash can be used twice daily during your regular skin care routine.
This face wash gently cleanses the skin without leaving it feeling dry or tight, making it perfect for acne-prone skin. Infused with vitamins and skin conditioners, the Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser softens as it cleans without disrupting the skin’s natural moisture balance and therefore prevents acne from forming. This face wash is fragrance free and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores or encourage bacteria to build up and acne to form. You can use Cetaphil twice a day for maximum efficiency.
Perfect for sensitive skin, the Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Facial Cleanser is designed to tackle blemishes and help clear the skin. Made with acne-fighting salicylic acid, this face wash is perfect to treat breakouts and prevent them from reoccurring. Also included is ACTIVE NATURALS®, Aveeno’s moisture-rich soy formula that not only nourishes the skin, but also helps to improve the texture of your skin and reduce the look of discoloration and redness. Gentle enough to use every day, it is also oil-free and hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, and therefore won’t clog pores or encourage oil production.
Health Priority Natural Products Facial Cleanser is 100% natural and sulphate-free, cleaning your face and lifting any dirt and impurities without aggravating the skin or drying it out. Created with organic oils, mild mineral clay and a naturally derived soap, this face wash helps to get rid of acne and prevent it from coming back. Furthermore, you will see the benefits of Vitamin E Oil, including the smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles and the evening of your skin tone. The herbal extracts and colloidal oatmeal calm your skin and naturally hydrate and moisturize, healing any previous acne scars and stopping any more from arising.
The Neutrogena Acne Proofing Daily Scrub is unique in the fact that it not only clears breakouts, but it helps preserve the skin’s naturals defences so it can become more acne resistant over time. Used daily, the scrub contains exfoliators used for skin smoothing, all while gently removing dirt and impurities. It also contains the maximum amount of salicylic acid, fighting acne-causing bacteria and reducing the appearance of any pimples and blemishes. It is oil-free so perfect for oily skin, but at the same time will not clog pores.
This exfoliating daily cleanser is designed for oily and breakout-prone skin. It uses a special combination of gluconolactone and lactic acid that help to remove excess oil, environmental impurities and makeup, controlling the oil production of your skin without drying it out. Also present in the PCA SKIN Facial Wash is aloe vera extract, which soothes and calms the skin, reducing redness and inflammation and leaving the skin looking clear and bright.
Gently exfoliating, this formula is paraben and fragrance free and can therefore be used on even the most sensitive of skin types. It can be used in the morning and evening, with best results from using a dime-sized amount and working into a lather, concentrating on the T-zone area.
FAQ’s of Face Washing
What is my skin type?
No two people have the exact same skin and therefore it can be difficult to categorize your skin into a certain type. Generally speaking, there are five main skin type groups — normal, dry, combination, oily and sensitive. Making sure you pick a face wash designed for your skin type is very important, as often your skin type can be the cause of the acne and the cleansers you use are designed to help combat the side effects of your natural skin type. Take a look below at the different skin types.
Normal – Normal skin has a good balance of moisture, small pores and an even tone. It is not too oily and not too dry.
Dry – Dry skin if often flaky, sore and red, especially in the winter months. This happens because of a lack of sebum (the oil your face naturally produces). When your skin is dry, the pores close, often clogging them up. You should use a gentle exfoliator to rid the skin of dead skin cells but make sure it does not dry your skin out more.
Combination – Combination skin arises when you have a mixture of oily and dry skin. Often this will be in the form of an oily T-zone and dry areas on your cheeks. You will want to look for a face wash that balances out your skin and doesn’t leave it too oily or dry.
Oily – If you have oily skin, you will need to look for a cleanser that combats this by removing the excess oil, without completely stripping your face and leaving it dry.
Sensitive – For sensitive skin, you will most likely need to use natural and organic ingredients in your face. Sensitive skin reacts to the stronger chemicals, so these might be something you want to stay away from if you know you struggle with this.
Do I need a face wash?
The worst thing you can do for your skin, especially acne-prone skin, is to use your regular body wash or shampoo to cleanse it. These products have an array of ingredients in them that are too harsh to use on your face and often strip the skin of any natural balance, causing more breakouts. The skin on your face is thinner than anywhere else on your body and therefore more sensitive. Ingredients in body wash and shampoo are designed to easily strip your body of excess dirt and oils, but will leave the skin on your face dry and tight and are more likely to create clogged pores.
A face wash will gently clean the skin, getting rid of any excess dirt and impurities, but without stripping the skin. It is important that the face wash leaves some of your skin’s natural oils to retain moisture and a good complexion.
What Ingredients Am I Looking For?
The first thing people with acne-prone skin think is that they need products that will strip the face of any oil and moisture as these things will just generate more pimples and acne. This is not true. You want to clean your face without removing your skin’s natural oils but still removing the dirt and build-up on your skin.
There are a few ingredients you should look for in an acne face wash, all of which are available over the counter. If you have more severe acne, you may need to get special acne medication from your doctor. These ingredients below can be found in face washes in your local drugstore:
Benzoyl Peroxide is a well-known ingredient in acne face wash. It works to kill the bacteria that causes the acne to build up in the first place and stops this bacteria from coming back. It can be found in different strengths, normally between 2% to 10%. It can be very strong and harsh on the skin, so many dermatologists recommend adults go for a lower dose — around 3%. However, if you are struggling with moderate to severe acne, a higher dose of this in your face wash may be better at combating the acne.
Salicylic Acid is another ingredient that works to reduce the appearance of acne. It helps by exfoliating your face, removing the build of dead skin cells and other dirt and impurities and unclogging your pores. Again, it is quite strong and is therefore usually found in the strength of 2% in over-the-counter face washes.
Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid’s also work to exfoliate your face and remove any dead skin cells from the surface of your face. These AHA’s are normally found in the form of Glycolic acid and Lactic acid. They both help to reduce the appearance of acne scars and reduce the look of your pores over time, to leave your skin looking healthier and brighter.
However severe your acne is, there is an acne cleanser face wash out there that can help you. These easy to use cleansers will work to clear and smooth your skin and prevent acne coming back with the simple use of once or twice a day. Whether you have dry, normal, combination, oily or sensitive skin, you can most likely get your acne under control without a trip to the dermatologist or doctor.
Whatever face wash you decide to use to combat your acne, always check the ingredients. Make sure to wash your face no more than twice a day and always remember to use a moisturizer after cleansing.