Blog /Beauty/ 15 Best Face Wash for Oily Skin in U.S. [December, 2023]
15 Best Face Wash for Oily Skin in U.S. [December, 2023]
By Aravind Pai -
Finding the right face wash is crucial for keeping oily, acne-prone skin clear and under control. While oily skin needs special care, the wrong face wash can cause dryness, irritation, and even worsened breakouts. A good face wash will gently cleanse away dirt, impurities, and excess oil without disrupting the skin’s natural moisture barrier. With so many products on the market claiming to be the solution for oily skin, how do you know which cleanser is best? We break down the top-rated face washes for oily skin to help you discover your new complexion-clearing favorite. Keep reading to compare our top picks and learn tips for choosing the best face wash for your oily skin type.
CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser is specially formulated for people with oily skin. It contains hyaluronic acid to help retain moisture, ceramides to restore the skin’s protective barrier, and niacinamide to calm inflammation. The gentle foaming action removes excess oil, dirt, and makeup without stripping the skin. It’s fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.
Users say this face wash leaves their skin feeling clean but not tight or dry. Many notice their complexion looks brighter and more even after regular use. It’s gentle enough for daily cleansing, even on sensitive skin. Dermatologists often recommend CeraVe products for acne-prone skin.
This foaming cleanser is one of the best for oily and acne-prone skin. The ingredients cleanse away oil without completely stripping the skin. Regular use can help maintain a clear, healthy complexion.
2. CeraVe Face Wash Acne Treatment 2% Salicylic Acid Cleanser with Purifying Clay for Oily Skin Blackhead Remover and Clogged Pore Control Fragrance Free, Paraben Free & Non Comedogenic| 8 Ounce
CeraVe’s Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid to unclog pores and reduce acne breakouts. The addition of bentonite clay helps absorb excess oil. This acne face wash is formulated to remove dirt, oil, and makeup without irritating the skin or causing dryness.
Reviewers say this cleanser helps clear up blackheads and acne. Many note their breakouts have reduced significantly with daily use. People with very oily, acne-prone skin say it keeps their skin balanced without over-drying. The cream-to-foam texture rinses clean without leaving residue.
With 2% salicylic acid, this CeraVe cleanser is one of the best for treating acne and preventing new breakouts. It deep cleans pores while maintaining the skin’s moisture balance.
3. Cetaphil Face Wash Daily Facial Cleanser for Sensitive, Combination to Oily Skin, NEW 16 oz, Fragrance Free,Gentle Foaming, Soap Free, Hypoallergenic
Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Cleanser is a dermatologist-recommended, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic formula. It’s very gentle on sensitive skin yet washes away dirt, oil, and makeup from oily areas without drying. The fragrance-free, soap-free formula contains no parabens or harsh irritants.
Users say this face wash cleans effectively while leaving their skin soft and comfortable, never tight or flaky. People with rosacea and eczema say it does not aggravate their skin. The lightweight foam rinses cleanly without leaving residue.
As a gentle, fragrance-free option, Cetaphil’s Daily Cleanser is one of the best face washes for oily yet sensitive skin. It cleans without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. The soap-free formula is ideal for everyday cleansing.
4. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin Alcohol Free Acne Face Wash, Oil Absorbing Deep Pore Cleanser, Oil Free, Light Scent and Safe for Sensitive Skin
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Facial Cleanser is made for oily, acne-prone skin. The oil-free formula contains zinc pidolate to target excess sebum production and lipo hydroxy acid to exfoliate pore-clogging dead cells. The foaming gel texture provides a deep clean without drying the skin.
Reviewers say this face wash leaves their skin feeling “squeaky clean” yet comfortable. Many noticed their breakouts and blackheads reducing after regular use. Those with very oily skin say it keeps excess oil under control without causing dry flakes. The light clean scent is pleasant.
With oil-absorbing actives, La Roche-Posay’s foaming gel cleanser is one of the best for keeping oily, acneic skin clear. It provides a refreshing deep clean that won’t strip the skin’s natural moisture.
Paula’s Choice RESIST Foaming Cleanser gently removes dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping moisture. It contains antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and soothing botanicals to calm inflammation. The rich foam lifts away impurities from the skin while leaving it smooth and hydrated.
According to reviews, this cleanser effectively cleanses oily areas while keeping dry patches comfortable. People with mature skin say it helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles and pores without irritation. Those with sensitive skin appreciate the fragrance-free, allergic-tested formula.
With anti-aging and hydrating ingredients, Paula’s Choice RESIST Foaming Cleanser is one of the best for oily, mature skin. It provides an invigorating cleanse while fighting visible signs of aging.
6. Paula’s Choice SKIN BALANCING Oil-Reducing Cleanser with Aloe Face Wash for Oily Skin & Large Pores, 8 Ounce
Paula’s Choice SKIN BALANCING Oil-Reducing Cleanser gently removes excess oil, makeup, and debris from pores. It contains antioxidants and botanical extracts to soothe inflammation and regulate oil production. The rich foam cleanses without stripping moisture or over-drying.
According to reviews, this face wash leaves oily skin feeling clean and fresh, not tight or parched. Many noticed their pores looking smaller with continued use. Those with acne-prone skin say it helps prevent new breakouts without causing dryness or irritation. The light citrus scent is refreshing.
As a gentle daily cleanser for oily skin, Paula’s Choice Oil-Reducing Cleanser is one of the best for keeping pores clear while maintaining optimal moisture balance. It leaves skin clean, smooth, and healthy-looking.
7. Cetaphil Pro Oil Removing Foam Wash Foaming Facial Cleanser, Fragrance Free Formula Suitable for Sensitive Skin, 8 Fluid Ounce (Pack of 3)
Cetaphil Pro Foaming Facial Cleanser is clinically formulated to remove dirt, oil, and makeup without irritating sensitive skin. The oil-free foaming wash contains no fragrances, soaps, sulfates, or parabens that could trigger reactions. The non-comedogenic formula is safe for acne-prone skin.
Reviewers say this face wash leaves their oily skin feeling clean and fresh without causing tightness or dryness. Those with eczema and rosacea say it does not exacerbate their conditions. Many notice their skin looks brighter and pores appear smaller over time. The foam rinses cleanly without residue.
As a hypoallergenic foaming cleanser, Cetaphil Pro is one of the best face washes for oily, acne-prone skin that gets irritated easily. It provides an invigorating cleanse while maintaining the skin’s natural moisture balance.
8. Clean & Clear 2-Pack Day and Night Face Cleanser Citrus Morning Burst Facial Cleanser with Vitamin C and Cucumber Relaxing Night Facial Cleanser with Sea Minerals, Oil Free & Hypoallergenic Face Wash
This 2-pack from Clean & Clear contains both a morning and nighttime cleanser formulated for oily skin. The Citrus Morning Burst cleanser contains energizing vitamin C and cucumber. The Night Relaxing cleanser contains sea minerals to soothe and remineralize. Both provide an invigorating foaming cleanse to remove impurities without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. The oil-free, hypoallergenic formulas are safe for sensitive skin.
Users say these cleansers leave their skin feeling refreshed and clean without tightness or drying. Many noticed their complexion looks brighter and more even after regular use. Both formulas have light pleasant scents and rinse away cleanly. This 2-pack provides an affordable cleansing duo for oily, acne-prone skin.
With one cleanser for morning and another for night, this Clean & Clear pair is one of the best options for oily skin. Both provide deep cleansing and help maintain a clear, healthy-looking complexion.
9. Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Face Wash Facial Cleanser for Dirt and Makeup Removal From Oily Skin, 6.77 Ounce
Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser is formulated especially for oily, acne-prone skin. Activated charcoal draws out dirt, oil, and impurities from clogged pores. Salicylic acid exfoliates dead skin cells that can lead to congestion. The foaming gel formula rinses clean, leaving skin smooth and refreshed.
Reviewers say this cleanser leaves their oily skin feeling “squeaky clean” without dryness or irritation. Those with large pores say it helps minimize their appearance over time. Many notice a reduction in acne breakouts with regular use. The minty scent is cooling and refreshing.
With detoxifying charcoal and salicylic acid, Biore’s Deep Pore Cleanser is one of the best for clearing congested oily skin and minimizing pores. The deep cleansing gel helps maintain a clear complexion.
10. EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser Foaming Face Wash for Oily Skin, Gently Cleanses and Helps Remove Oil and Dead Skin Cells, Daily Face Wash for Morning and Night Use, For All Skin Types, 2.7 oz Pump
EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser gently lifts away dirt, oil and makeup from oily areas, leaving skin clean and balanced. It contains amino acids to improve texture and antioxidants to nourish the skin. The foaming gel formula rinses away cleanly without leaving any greasy residue behind. It’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and safe for sensitive skin.
Users say this cleanser leaves their skin feeling refreshed and clean without drying it out. People with rosacea find it very gentle on their skin. Many notice their complexion looks brighter and breakouts have reduced after regular use. It’s effective at removing makeup, including waterproof mascara.
As a fragrance-free option that’s gentle on sensitive skin, EltaMD Foaming Cleanser is one of the best face washes for oily skin that needs gentle cleansing. It washes away impurities without disrupting the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
11. THAYERS pH Balancing Daily Cleanser Face Wash with Aloe Vera, Gentle and Hydrating Skin Care for Dry, Oily, or Acne Prone Skin, 8 FL Oz.
Thayers pH Balancing Daily Cleanser gently removes impurities while regulating the skin’s pH level. It contains purifying witch hazel, hydrating aloe vera, and chamomile extract to soothe inflammation. The lightly foaming gel formula leaves oily areas clean without tightness or dryness. It’s fragrance-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.
According to reviews, this cleanser leaves skin feeling fresh and clean without irritation. Those with hormonal acne say it helps prevent breakouts during their cycles. People with dry patches appreciate how it doesn’t over-dry their skin. Most saw improved skin texture and clarity over time.
As a pH-regulating, fragrance-free cleanser, Thayers Daily Face Wash is one of the best for oily yet sensitive skin. It provides gentle cleansing that won’t disrupt the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
12. Clean & Clear Oil-Free Deep Action Exfoliating Facial Scrub Cooling Face Wash for Deep Pore Cleansing, 7 oz
Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Facial Scrub is formulated for oily, acne-prone skin. It contains salicylic acid to penetrate congested pores and tiny exfoliating beads to slough away dead skin cells. The oil-free gel formula helps remove excess oil and impurities without over-drying. It leaves skin feeling clean, fresh, and renewed.
Reviewers say this exfoliating cleanser leaves their skin super smooth and fresh. Many notice their pores looking smaller with continued use. Those with acne say it helps prevent clogged pores and new breakouts. The cooling menthol effect is refreshing. This scrub cleanser is affordable yet effective for oily, congested skin.
With salicylic acid exfoliation, Clean & Clear Deep Action Scrub is one of the best cleansing and sloughing treatments for oily, acne-prone skin. It whisks away pore-clogging impurities to reveal smoother, clearer skin.
13. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser Moisturizing Non-Foaming Face Wash with Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides and Glycerin | Fragrance Free Paraben Free | 16 Fluid Ounce
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser gently cleanses while helping the skin retain moisture. It contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to hydrate and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier. The non-foaming gel formula removes dirt and makeup without stripping natural oils. It’s fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and ideal for normal to dry skin.
Reviewers with combination skin say this CeraVe cleanser leaves their dry areas comfortable without exacerbating oily zones. Those with sensitive skin appreciate the fragrance-free, non-irritating formula. Many notice their complexion looks brighter and feels softer after regular use. It rinses clean without leaving residue.
As a non-foaming gel cleanser, CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is one of the best for combination skin that needs gentle cleansing without drying or irritation. It provides moisturization where needed while keeping oily areas clean.
14. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Fragrance Free Hydrating Gel Facial Cleanser with Hyaluronic Acid Daily Foaming Face Wash & Makeup Remover, Gentle Face Wash, Non-Comedogenic, 16 fl. oz
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleanser gently cleanses while quenching dry skin with hyaluronic acid. The unique gel-cream formula transforms from gel to foam to lift away impurities without stripping moisture. It’s oil-free, non-comedogenic, and gentle enough for sensitive skin.
According to reviews, this cleanser leaves skin soft and hydrated, not tight or flaky. Many noticed their dry areas looking plumper and smoother. Those with combination skin say it keeps their oily zones clean without drying cheeks or forehead. The refreshing formula rinses clean without residue.
With ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Cleanser is one of the best face washes for combination skin. It provides customized cleansing and moisturization for smooth, balanced skin.
15. RUGGED & DAPPER – Premium Face Wash -2-in-1 Exfoliating Facial Wash and Foaming Face Cleanser for Men with Oily Sensitive or Combination skin made with Natural and Organic Ingredients
Rugged and Dapper Face Wash is a 2-in-1 exfoliating cleanser formulated for men’s skin. It contains aloe vera, willow bark extract, and vitamins to cleanse and nourish skin. Fine grains exfoliate dead cells and remove excess oil without irritation. The foaming gel formula rinses clean, leaving skin smooth and refreshed. It’s paraben-free and contains organic ingredients.
Men say this cleanser leaves their skin feeling energized and healthy. Those with oiliness and breakouts say it helps control excess shine and clear congested pores. Users with sensitive skin appreciate the natural, gentle formula. It’s lightly scented with invigorating essential oils. This cleanser helps men achieve a smooth, clear complexion.
With exfoliating and nourishing ingredients, Rugged and Dapper Face Wash is one of the best for cleansing oily, acne-prone men’s skin while maintaining optimal skin health. It sweeps away pore-clogging debris without harsh drying.
Comparison of Best Face Washes for Oily Skin
Key Feature 1
Key Feature 2
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
Contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides
CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser
2% salicylic acid
Helps clear acne and blackheads
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
Leaves skin soft, not tight or dry
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser
Clean & Clear Morning Burst & Night Relaxing Cleansers
Hypoallergenic for sensitive skin
Biore Charcoal Cleanser
Contains salicylic acid
EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser
Amino acids for improved texture
Thayers pH Balancing Daily Cleanser
Aloe vera for hydration
Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub
Salicylic acid exfoliant
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
Hyaluronic acid and ceramides
Non-foaming cream cleanser
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cleanser
Hydrating hyaluronic acid
Oil-free gel transforms to foam
Rugged & Dapper Facial Cleanser for Men
Aloe vera and willow bark extract
How to Choose the Best Face Wash for Oily Skin
When choosing a face wash for oily skin, look for formulas that gently cleanse away dirt, oil, and impurities without completely stripping the skin. Avoid harsh, drying cleansers.
Seeking oil-free, non-comedogenic formulas with ingredients like salicylic acid can help keep pores clear of congestion that leads to shine and acne. Cleansers with added botanicals, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid are less likely to cause dryness or irritation.
The texture of the cleanser also matters. Gel, foaming, and cream-to-foam cleansers effectively whisk away excess oil and debris without leaving residue. They also tend to be gentler on reactive skin than bar soaps.
Getting a face wash tailored for your skin type and concerns ensures optimal cleansing results. Be sure to choose products free of fragrances and other common irritants if you have sensitive skin. With the right formulation, you can effectively cleanse oily skin without stripping its natural moisture barrier.
Different Types of Face Washes for Oily Skin
There are several types of face washes specially formulated for cleansing oily, acne-prone skin:
Foaming cleansers: Foaming cleansers provide deeper cleansing to remove excess oil, makeup, and debris from pores while leaving skin balanced. They come as gels or creams that lather into light, fluffy foam.
Gel cleansers: Gel cleansers are lightweight and oil-free. Their smooth gel texture glides over skin, lifting away impurities without heavy lather. Many contain exfoliants like salicylic acid to keep pores clear.
Clay cleansers: Clay cleansers contain purifying clays that draw out dirt, toxins, and excess sebum from pores. The clay also absorbs oil to help mattify the complexion after cleansing. They deeply cleanse congested skin.
Creamy cleansers: Creamy cleansers often contain active ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to treat acne while cleaning. Their creamy base ensures the ingredients won’t over-dry the skin. Many creamy cleansers transform into a light foam when lathered.
Cleansing oils: Cleansing oils dissolve oil-based impurities like sebum and makeup for easy rinsing. When mixed with water, the oils transform into a light emulsion that lifts debris without leaving an oily residue. They cleanse while maintaining natural moisture.
Micellar waters: Micellar waters contain tiny micelles that attract and trap oil, makeup, and impurities. These no-rinse formulas gently cleanse oily skin without harsh scrubbing. They often contain skin-soothing extracts as well.
Exfoliating cleansers: Exfoliating cleansers slough away dead skin cells and debris with chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid or physical beads/grains. Removing the buildup helps keep pores clear and minimizes oiliness.
Tips for Using Face Wash on Oily Skin
Using the right techniques while cleansing oily skin makes a big difference in results. Here are some tips:
Cleanse twice daily, in the morning and before bedtime to remove dirt, oil, makeup, and impurities that accumulate throughout the day and night.
Use lukewarm water instead of hot water when cleansing – hot water can stimulate oil production.
Avoid scrubbing or excessive rubbing when cleansing. Use gentle, circular motions instead. Scrubbing can exacerbate oiliness.
Rinse thoroughly after cleansing to wash away all soapy residue. Leftover residue can clog pores and cause acne flare-ups.
Apply toner after cleansing to help remove any remaining traces of dirt and oil. Look for oil-reducing toners with ingredients like witch hazel or salicylic acid.
Follow up your face wash with a oil-control serum or moisturizer suited to oily skin. This helps lock in cleanliness.
Exfoliate 2-3 times per week to slough off pore-clogging dead cells and excess oil. More frequent exfoliation may cause irritation.
Use any medicated acne treatments before washing face. This allows the actives to penetrate pores before washing them away.
With the proper face wash and cleansing routine, you can help keep oily skin clear, smooth, and healthy-looking. Be consistent for the best results over time.
FAQs about Best Face Wash for Oily Skin
Q. What is the best face wash for oily skin?
There are many excellent face washes formulated specifically for oily skin. The best face wash for oily skin will gently cleanse away excess oil, dirt, and impurities without over-drying. Ideal ingredients to look for include salicylic acid to keep pores clear of debris, oil-absorbing clays, charcoal, hyaluronic acid for moisture, and soothing botanicals like aloe vera. Foaming gel cleansers often work well to dissolve oil and rinse cleanly. Our top picks include CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleanser, Paula’s Choice SKIN BALANCING Cleanser, EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser and Thayers Daily Face Wash. Compare formulas to find the gentlest cleanser that keeps oily skin fresh and shine-free without causing dryness or irritation.
Q. Should I use a toner on my oily skin after washing?
Yes, using an oil-control toner after cleansing oily skin can help remove any excess oil, dirt, or makeup residue the face wash may have missed. Look for toners containing ingredients like witch hazel, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid to further cleanse pores and regulate oil. Gently apply toner to a cotton ball and swipe over face and neck after cleansing. Avoid alcohol-based toners as they can be overly drying to the skin. An astringent, oil-fighting toner is a great addition after face wash to keep oily skin clean.
Q. How often can I exfoliate my oily, acne-prone skin?
For oily, acneic skin, it’s best to limit exfoliation to 2-3 times per week at most. While exfoliating helps remove dead cells and debris that cause congestion, overdoing it can lead to dryness, irritation, and increased oil production. Use gentle physical scrubs or chemical exfoliators containing salicylic, glycolic, or lactic acid just a few times a week. Always moisturize after to counteract any dryness. Limiting exfoliation protects the skin’s moisture barrier while still keeping pores clear.
Q. Should I use different face washes morning and evening for my oily skin?
You can use the same gentle, non-drying face wash morning and night for oily skin if it works well for your skin. Some people prefer using a deeper-cleaning wash with exfoliators at night when skin needs cleansing the most, and a super mild cleanser in the morning. Just be sure not to over-dry your skin with harsh cleansers. Using a face wash with salicylic acid at night and a soothing, antioxidant wash in the morning can be an ideal combination for keeping oily skin balanced.
Q. Can I just use water to wash my oily skin instead of face wash?
Washing with water alone is not enough to effectively cleanse oily skin and remove impurities. Water does not have the ability to dissolve and rinse away oil, makeup, sunscreen, and debris that clog pores and lead to breakouts. A proper face wash formulated for oily, acne-prone skin is necessary to thoroughly cleanse the skin and regulate excess sebum. Choose a gentle foaming, gel or cream cleanser with ingredients like salicylic acid or oil-absorbing clays twice daily for clean, shine-free skin.
Q. Is it okay to wash oily skin twice daily?
Yes, dermatologists actually recommend cleansing oily skin twice daily – once in the morning and again at night. This helps remove excess oil, makeup, sunscreen, and pollutants that accumulate throughout the day and night. Washing twice daily can help minimize breakouts.
Q. Are foaming cleansers too harsh for oily skin?
Foaming cleansers are usually suitable for oily skin as long as they are oil-free and soap-free. Foaming cleansers lift away excess oil without completely stripping the skin. Avoid foaming cleansers with sulfates, alcohol, or fragrances as these can dry out the skin.
Q. Should I use a toner after washing my oily skin?
Yes, using a toner after cleansing can help remove any traces of dirt, debris, and excess oil left behind. Look for oil-control toners with ingredients like witch hazel, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid to keep pores clear. Avoid alcohol-based toners as they can be overly drying.
Q. Can I exfoliate my oily skin daily?
No, you should limit exfoliating oily skin to 2-3 times per week at most. Daily exfoliation can cause irritation and damage the skin’s protective barrier, leading to increased oiliness. Use gentle scrubs or chemical exfoliators no more than a few times a week.
Q. Is an SPF moisturizer necessary for oily skin?
Yes, it’s crucial to apply an SPF moisturizer to oily skin daily even though you may feel like you don’t need one. Oily skin is still vulnerable to UV damage which accelerates aging. Look for oil-free SPF moisturizers or hydrating formulas containing hyaluronic acid.
Q. Should I use different face washes morning and night?
You can use the same face wash morning and night as long as it’s a gentle, non-drying formula suitable for oily skin. Alternatively, consider a deeper cleaning wash with exfoliators at night and a more soothing wash in the morning. Just avoid overly drying cleansers.
Aravind Pai is a passionate blogger and content creator who has been writing extensively on technology topics since 2020, with a focus on Online shopping deals and product reviews. He graduated as a B.Tech 4 years ago and enjoys road trips and exploring latest gadgets.
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