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Everyone needs a great go-to face wash, but it’s especially important for those with acne to find a cleanser that works for them. Below, we’ve created a guide to the best daily face washes for acne.
1. Daily Face Cleanser
Cetaphil Face Wash for Daily Cleansing
Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser
For those with normal to oily skin, this is one of the best cleansers from Cetaphil. The gel to foam formula is clinically proven to deeply cleanse the skin, but is still gentle enough to not strip it of its natural oils.
Skin types: Normal, Oily, Combination and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals:
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
This is an excellent cleanser for daily use, particularly for those with normal to oily skin. It cleanses without irritating or drying out the skin and contains vitamins B3 and B5, as well as glycerin, which hydrate and nourish the skin.
The mild and low lather formula is dermatologist tested, and shown to be gentle on sensitive skin. Since it is also non-comedogenic, it won’t clog pores, making it a suitable choice for those with acne-prone skin.
If you’re acne-prone, you need a daily cleanser that will remove excess oils and impurities without further irritating breakouts or drying out the skin. This cleanser contains a 0.5% concentration of salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that helps gently unclog pores to minimize breakouts.
Vegan and cruelty-free
In addition to the salicylic acid, this cleanser contains willow bark water, tea tree oil, evening primrose extract, and other soothing skincare ingredients.
This cleanser is one of the best CeraVe products for oilier skin types, because it cleanses the skin without stripping it of its natural moisture. Maintaining the skin’s moisture is vital, as products that dry out the skin can actually trigger the skin to produce more oil. This cleanser allows you to protect your skin while still cleansing away excess oil, dirt, and debris.
This daily foaming gel cleanser contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and three essential ceramides. These ingredients help ensure the cleanser doesn’t strip the skin of its natural moisture. They also help calm and soothe the skin.
This gel cleanser contains the chemical exfoliator salicylic acid, which is a beta-hydroxy acid (or BHA). Salicylic acid sheds excess skin cells and decongests pores to fight acne and blackheads, leading to a clearer complexion.
May irritate sensitive skin
This cleanser has a 0.5% concentration of salicylic acid. The low concentration helps clear the skin of excess oil and debris without irritating it.
This cream-to-foam cleanser is gentle on the skin, but still effectively removes excess oil and debris. It contains replenishing ingredients that balance moisture levels and leave the skin feeling soft and balanced.
Skin types: Normal, Oily and Combination
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals:
How to use: First, wet the skin with lukewarm water. Dispense the cleanser into your palms, and then gently massage into the skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
People with oily to normal skin need a cleanser that effectively cleanses without stripping the skin of its natural moisture (which can actually trigger the production of more oil). This cleanser is formulated to gently cleanse while still maintaining moisturized skin.
Some reviewers noted it irritated their skin
One of the key ingredients in this cleanser is hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin retain moisture. It also contains ceramides, which work to restore the moisture barrier and strengthen the skin. Aloe also helps calm sensitive skin and reduce redness.
Yes, you should wash your face at least once a day. In the evening, you’ll want to cleanse away the dirt, sweat, sebum, and excess debris that has collected on the skin throughout the day. Some may also choose to wash their face in the morning, but this ultimately depends on whatever works best for your skin. In general, those with drier or more sensitive skin may find that cleansing once a day works for their skin, while those with oilier skin may choose to cleanse twice a day. Keep in mind that, if you workout and break a sweat earlier in the day, you should definitely wash your face in the morning after your workout to cleanse away debris that can contribute to breakouts. Avoid cleansing more than twice a day, as over-cleansing will irritate and dry out the skin.
Is salicylic acid good for acne?
Yes, salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid, or BHA) is a great skincare ingredient for acne. This chemical exfoliant is oil-soluble and works deep in the pores, so it can help unclog debris to fight acne and prevent future breakouts from happening. Salicylic acid is found in a few of the cleansers above, and can be beneficial when used in a face wash. However, you’ll get the most dramatic results by regularly using a leave-on product that is formulated with salicylic acid.
Which face wash is best for acne and oily skin?
All of the cleansers mentioned above are excellent for oily skin that is prone to breakouts, so it ultimately comes down to your budget and what seems best for your skin’s unique needs. If you’re looking for a cleanser with salicylic acid, try the COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser or the Paula’s Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser. Two other super effective daily cleansers that you can find at your local drugstore are the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser and the Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser.
The Bottom Line
Finding a great daily cleanser is key for maintaining a healthy and clear complexion. If you have skin that is prone to breakouts, consider adding one of our recommended face washes to your skincare routine.
About the author
Kyra is a content writer based in Los Angeles, CA. She works in the health and wellness sphere, and covers everything from beauty to skincare to fitness. She has been passionate about skincare since she was a teenager, and loves uncovering the absolute best routines and products available to help people reach their skin goals.