Best Facial Cleansers for Acne and Oily Skin and How To Use Them

Our site is reader-supported. When you buy a product via our links, we may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Read full disclosure here.

Share the love

You’ve got some acne on your skin? Oh, that could be as a result of pores blockage due to excessive sebum (oil) production. Oily skin is more prone to acne due to regular oil production which at some point could block the skin pores which can automatically trigger acne overnight.  But you know what? Incorporating the best facial cleansers for acne and oily skin type into your skincare routine is just one step to keep acne at bay.

So What Causes Acne, Anyway?

Acne occurs when the pores of your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria.

“When skin pores get clogged, usually by dead skin cells, oil cannot discharge and accumulates in the pore and under the skin, creating a whitehead or blackhead,” explains Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, MD, a Kansas City dermatologist and editor DermBoard.org. “This is a perfect environment for [the bacteria] Propionibacterium acnes, which then flourishes and causes inflammation, creating pimples.”

Acne doesn’t only appear during our teenage age. They can also pop up at any age too. It all depends on your diet, skin type, hormonal change, environmental factors and stress.

According to Dr Alison Tam, a dermatologist in Las Vegas, says hormonal changes like perimenopause or menopause, or the use of hormones like testosterone, can cause adult acne. “Adult onset acne may also have no cause, which is extremely common, and progress from just a few pimples to full cystic acne over the course of months to years”.

Why Are Facial Cleansers Important?

A good facial cleansing routine is everything you need, to start up acne treatment. Using the right facial cleansers for acne and oily skin type will remove dirts, oils mixed with make-up and debris from the skin, and keep the skin pores clean and free from impurities.

According to Sejal Shah, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “Cleansing your face removes makeup, oil, dirt, and other debris, Even if you don’t wear makeup, the skin on your face comes into contact with residue from other skin-care products like moisturizer and sunscreen, as well as pollutants, microbes, dirt, and other debris, not to mention oils, sweat, and dead skin cells.”

How To Choose The Right Facial Cleanser For Acne and Oily Skin.

Go for mild Exfoliating Facial Cleansers:

The best facial cleansers for acne and oily skin should have low amount of exfoliating ingredients like fruit enzymes, alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHA) that gently exfoliate impurities from the skin pores.

According to Dr. Bailey, the best facial cleansers for acne should have at least one of these mild exfoliating ingredients: salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Cleansers with these ingredients can penetrate your pores and eliminate pore-clogging impurities—like dead skin cells, makeup, excess oil and bacteria—that irritate skin and make acne worse.

“Acne cleansers with these ingredients will gradually unclog pores, reduce the size of existing blackheads and slow or stop the formation of new ones,” she says. “Benzoyl peroxide is also the best ingredient for treating the acne-causing bacteria called p. acnes. In fact, study after study continues to show that benzoyl peroxide is more effective than prescription topical antibiotics at treating p. acnes.”

According to Park, having an excess of sebum can lead to clogged pores from dead skin cells sticking to the sebum, which which triggers acne. If you are prone to breakouts, she recommends looking for a facial cleansers that can gently exfoliate the skin to get rid of impurities, dirt, and oil. “Products that contain low amounts of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid will achieve this without being too harsh,” says Park. Dr. Tara Rao of Schweiger Dermatology Group.

Dr. Jennifer MacGregor of Union Square Laser Dermato­logy recommends trying light peeling agents like glycolic acid and salicylic acid to help with oil production. “For those with oily skin that tend to get blocked pores, I love gentle glycolic cleansers,” she says. She recommends “using it in the morning before applying a light oil-free sunscreen moisturizer.”

salicylic acid which is a type of beta-hydroxy acids (BHA) is derived from willow tree bark wintergreen oil or sweet birch and naturally occurs in fruits like raspberries, cantaloupe and granny smith apples, is an exfoliant that sloughs away dead skin cells and other pore-clogging impurities. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which addresses the inflammation which is the primary cause of acne.

Glycolic acid on the other hand which is a great exfoliant is a type of alpha-hydroxy acids which is derived from sugar cane. It penetrates deeply into the skin because of it’s smaller molecules and sheds dead skin cells and other pore-clogging impurities stucked in the pores.

“Of the AHAs, glycolic is the simplest in structure and the smallest; it has the lowest molecular weight,” says Kenneth Howe, M.D., a dermatologist at Wexler Dermatologyin New York City. That small molecular weight means “it’s easy for it to penetrate your skin and be super effective,” says Alix Shapiro, skin therapist at Heyday in NYC.

Asides that studies has proven that glycolic acid encourages and stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin
and quickens the restoration of dead damaged skin, thereby reducing signs of environmental damage with continuous use.

How To Wash Acne and Oily Skin Type.

First of all, if you have your make-up on, you should wipe it off using a makeup wipe.

Wet your face with either warm or cold water (note: don’t use hot water). Then apply your preferred acne facial cleanser on your finger tips. Then gently massage in a circular motion on your skin. Pay extra attention to your T-zone where tends to more oily, don’t forget pay attention to areas you sweat alot.

Take your time to apply your facial cleanser thoroughly but gently. Don’t apply too much pressure to avoid skin redness.

You can as well use facial spin brush, we recommend (PIXNOR Facial Cleansing Brush). They offer a deeper and more thorough cleanse than just using your fingers or a washcloth.  The ultra-soft bristles penetrate further into the skin surface to remove more dirts, oils, and debris trapped in the pore.

Note: while using spin facial cleansing brush make sure to use gently, don’t press the brush too hard into your face, and don’t use it on your face for too long. Its best recommended to use it once or twice a week for acne and oily skin types.

After a thorough but mild cleansing, Pat your face dry with a clean towel (not totally dry), then you can go ahead with the rest of your skincare routine products.

For best results, dermatologists recommends washing your face twice daily. Morning and night (before retiring to bed).

Best Facial Cleansers For Acne and Oily
Skin Type.

1. Dr Song 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Wash  Treatment: Acne Face Wash & Body Wash.

Best Facial Cleansers for Acne and Oily Skin - beautysparkreview.com

Check Amazon for Best Price

According to Dr. Bailey, “Benzoyl peroxide is the best ingredient for treating the acne-causing bacteria called p. acnes. In fact, study after study continues to show that benzoyl peroxide is more effective than prescription topical antibiotics at treating p. acnes.”

This acne facial and body wash gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin. It contains 10% benzoyl peroxide which penetrates deep into the skin pores and eliminate pore-clogging impurities—like dead skin cells, makeup, excess oil and bacteria—that irritate skin and make acne worse.
This gentle facial cleanser never leaves your skin feeling dry or irritated.  And you know what? It comes in a large container size, which can be used on the body too as it’s also effective in treating back and body acne. Users said this is a life changing product, as it gives pimples the run of their lives.
A user said it also treats butt pimples too.

Pros

  • Non-drying formula.
  • Lathers up nicely.
  • A gentle formula.
  • Suitable for sensitive, acne & oily skin.
  • Contains 10% benzoyl peroxide.
  • Cleanses deeply but mildly.
  • Oil-free & Non-comedogenic.
  • Fragrance-free, Sulfates-free Paraben-free, Allergy tested, 
  • Dermatologist tested.

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Purified water, 10% benzoyl peroxide, coco betaine, glycerin, carbomer, potassium sorbate, disodium EDTA, sodium hydroxide.

2. Dr Song 10% Glycolic Acid Face Wash and Pore Cleanser.

Best Facial Cleansers for Acne and Oily Skin - Beautysparkreview.com

Check Amazon for Best Price

Another Dr song product. This gentle gel face cleanser contains 10% glycolic acid which pulls away oils, dirts, and other pore-clogging impurities from the pores without drying out your skin. This formula is gentle on the skin, according to users it cleared their acne break outs, diminishes blemishes and tightens their pores without drying out their skin.

Pros

  • Non-drying formula.
  • Lathers up nicely.
  • A gentle formula.
  • Suitable for sensitive, acne & oily skin.
  • Contains 10% glycolic acid.
  • Cleanses deeply but mildly.
  • Oil-free & Non-comedogenic.
  • Fragrance-free, Sulfates-free Paraben-free, Allergy tested, 
  • Dermatologist tested.

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Purified water, glycolic Acid, carbomer, glycerin. Coco betaine, polyglucose, aloe Vera,, phenoxythanol, sodium hydroxide.

3. IR LABS Exfoliating Gentle Glycolic Exfoliating Facial Cleanser – With AHA And BHA.

Best facial cleansers for acne and oily skin - beautysparkreview.com

Check Amazon for Best Price

If you’re seeking for a facial wash with combination of both AHA’s & BHA’s, then we recommend IR LABS gentle facial exfoliating cleanser.
This mild facial face wash combines both alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) and Beta-hydroxy acids (BHA) glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, which gently exfoliates the dead skin cells, removes dirt, dust and excess of oil built up and also improves the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin tone without drying out your skin. Users says not only does it works and worths every dime, but also very gentle on their sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Non-drying formula.
  • Lathers up nicely.
  • A gentle formula.
  • Suitable for sensitive, acne & oily skin.
  • Contains both AHA’s & BHA’s.
  • Cleanses deeply but mildly.
  • Hypoallergenic & Non-comedogenic.
  • Fragrance-free, Sulfates-free Paraben-free, Allergy tested.
  • Dermatologically tested

Cons

  • None

Ingredients:

Aqua, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Acrylates Copolymer, Jojoba Esters, Sodium PCA, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit), Peel oil, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids, Glycol Distearate, Steareth – 4, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxymethlglycinate.

4. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing Facial Cleanser – with 0.5% Salicylic Acid.

Best facial cleansers for acne and oily skin - beautysparkreview.com

Check Amazon for Best Price

“Salicylic acid exfoliates the stratum corneum [outer layer of skin] and penetrates into pores to remove sebum,” says Hadley King, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. “This helps to prevent pores from being clogged and can help remove clogs that have already formed.” Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, meaning it’s a chemical exfoliator. “It dissolves the bonds that hold dull, dead skin cells on the surface of the skin so the skin will gently shed, revealing smoother, brighter skin underneath,” says Hadley. She adds that salicylic acid is gentle enough for even sensitive skin types to use it.

Paula’s choice pore normalizing facial cleanser will do wonders on your acne prone skin. This facial cleanser contains 0.5% salicylic acid which dissolves pore-clogging impurities to help prevent acne breakouts, and blackheads. This acne face wash gently removes dirt, makeup, and excess oil without drying out the skin. Users say this product is suitable for sensitive and oily skin and works greatly on pesky zits and blackheads.

Pros

  • Non-drying formula.
  • Lathers up nicely.
  • A gentle formula.
  • Suitable for sensitive, acne & oily skin.
  • Contains Salicylic acid.
  • Cleanses deeply but mildly.
  • Hypoallergenic & Non-comedogenic.
  • Fragrance-free, Sulfates-free Paraben-free, Allergy tested.
  • Dermatologically tested.

Cons

  • None

Ingredients:

Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 0.5% 
Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Glycerin, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Arginine, Butylene Glycol, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin.

Possible Questions and Answers.

Q: Does using cleansers with either AHA’s & BHA’s on acne prone skin cause more irritations?

A: Mostly facial cleansers for acne contains AHA’s and BHA’s ingredients (on low percentage) which perfectly suits an oily and acne prone skin.

By removing dead skin cells with a chemical formula, you’re encouraging cellular turnover and giving yourself a more youthful glow—all while scrubbing away dirt and oil that can clog your pores. “Acne-prone skin is usually oilier and can handle chemical exfoliation once or twice daily with ingredients like alpha and polyhydroxy acids,” says Dr. Nakhla.

Therefore using mild exfoliating facial cleanser won’t cause irritations.
However avoid physical exfoliant (a gritty scrub or a rough).
Scrubbing an acne prone skin could trigger more irritations and inflammations.

Q: Should I leave a facial cleansing wash on my face for a long-time before washing off?

A: Thats not really necessary. When you apply your facial cleanser on your face, massage it in a circular motion on your face for about 5-10 minutes before washing off with a clean water.

Q: How often should I cleanse my face?

A: When it comes to using a facial cleanser, in general, doing so twice a day – once in the morning and once at night is perfectly ok.

Q: Should I wash my face anytime I feel greasy?

A: Washing your face several times a day can further irritate your skin, leading to more breakouts.

Wash your face twice a day — when you wake up and before you go to bed. You’ll also want to wash your face when you finish an activity that makes you sweat.
However, if you should use the right acne facial cleanser you won’t have to worry about greasy face, because a mild exfoliating acne cleanser won’t dry out your skin which could result to excessive oil production.

Q: Should I use an exfoliating spin brush for acne?

A: Cleansing brushes can actually help treat acne by helping to eliminate excess sebum, which contributes to acne breakouts. You just have to pick the right one and the right cleanser to go with it.

However, using a facial spin brush on your acne prone skin depends on the severity of your acne. If your acne is reddish and painful. You can stick to using your clean finger tips to massage your facial cleanser on the affected area before washing off.

But if your acne condition is moderate, or isn’t worst, you can use a facial spin brush, however there are some certain factors you should consider:

Use a brush that has longer, softer bristles for which will be more gentle on your skin and reduce the likelihood of negative side effects. That’s why we recommend (PIXNOR Facial Cleansing Brush), it comes with 7 brush heads which serves different purposes. The ultra-soft brush head is meant for the face, while others are meant for the body, knee, elbow and heel area.

While using the brush on your acne prone skin, mind your technique, Don’t press the brush too hard into your face. Gently gliding the brush over your skin will have enough of an effect – you do not want to overdo it!.

Never use these brushes more than once a day or you’ll worsen the oil production of your skin, thereby forcing the skin to produce more oil, which could trigger more acne-build up. In fact, the maximum usage of a facial spin brush is 1-2 times a week.

“Too much of anything is never a good thing,” according Dr. Dennis Gross. “Overuse [of face cleansing brushes] can lead to broken capillaries, excessive dryness, irritation, redness, and sensitivity. If these warning signs occur, it is important to stop or alter your usage immediately.”

Remember to keep your brush clean. This is important!!. Using a dirty brush on your skin will send in more bacteria into the skin pores and this could trigger more acne flare-up

Because breakouts can occur as a result of the tool not being maintained properly, Dr. Gross recommends cleansing the brush with soap and water or alcohol to avoid acne-causing build-up. Another way to kill bacteria? After cleaning off the brush, Dr. Ostad says to place it into the microwave for a few seconds.

Note: It’s normal to experience an acne flare-up after using a cleansing brush for the first time. This is called the “adjustment period”, “transient acne” or “skin purging”.

Also Read: How To Pick The Right Facial Cleansing Products For Your Skin Type

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Share the love

Like what you just read? Then you'll love to like our Facebook page. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram.

You May Also Like