If you’re like me, you wash your face every morning when you wake up, and every evening when you go to bed.

Additionally, what you use to wash your face is equally important, and using a well-formulated face wash can help prevent blackheads and whiteheads. Read on for the 5 best face washes for whiteheads.

What Causes Whiteheads?

Similar to other breakouts, whiteheads are just a type of acne. The causes of whiteheads are:

  • Excess oil production
  • Dead skin cell buildup
  • Bacteria buildup in your pores

Washing Your Face Helps Prevent Whiteheads

The main benefits of washing your face with a cleanser is to help rid the skin of dirt, oil, makeup, and other skin impurities that can cause whiteheads.

While you go about your day, the skin on your face gets covered with both environmental and naturally occurring impurities, such as pollutants, bacteria and viruses from the air around you and the things you touch, as well as dead skin cells, dirt and makeup. 

How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

Generally, you can wash your face in the morning and at night. But it ultimately will depend on your skin type.

For those with dry, to normal skin, you should wash your face once per day (at night). If you have oily, acne-prone skin, you can wash it up to two times per day.

Best Drugstore Face Washes for Whiteheads

1. CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash (Dry Skin)

CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash (Dry Skin)

This is my absolute favorite cleanser for dry skin and the only one I've used that didn't exacerbate dryness

CeraVe, the brand created with dermatologists, is known for being gentle on skin. I absolutely love the CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash because it is gentle, and perfect for those with dry, to normal skin. This cleanser comes with an easy to use hand pump and stylish packaging. This is one of the best face washes on the market for those who suffer from dry skin. The texture is silky and leaves your face feeling refreshed.

Not only does this cleanser remove dirt, oil and makeup, but it has essential ceramides that clean and hydrate while restoring your skin’s protective barrier that other cleansers can strip. It is perfect for both morning and nighttime washes, and helping to prevent whiteheads and other skin concerns. It cleans the skin while keeping it hydrated.

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2. Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Milk Face Wash (Normal to Dry)

Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Milk Face Wash (Normal to Dry)

Yes To is becoming a really popular brand in the skincare industry and for good reason. This cleanser is suitable for those with normal to dry skin. It's extremely affordable.

If your skin is slightly on the sensitive side and you love the fresh smell of cucumbers, then say yes to the Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser. This cleanser combines soothing cucumber, green tea for sensitive skin and soy proteins to help your skin retain its natural moisture.

Not only is it good for your face, but it’s also good for your life as it is paraben and cruelty-free. This cleanser will gently help you rid and keep your skin free from imperfections, and is the perfect face wash to get rid of whiteheads.

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3. Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam (Combination to Oily)

Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam (Combination to Oily)

This is my holy grail face wash. I absolutely love the silky foam and it does not make my skin feel overly dry or tight. You'll love this one if you have combination skin (like me) 🙂

Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam is a lightweight foaming cleansing face wash. A key to using this cleansing foam is to leave it on your face for a few minutes to penetrate the bacteria. Because it’s formulated for oily skin, it is more suitable to remove excess dirt and sebum, which ultimately leads to whiteheads and other acne breakouts. This cleanser has the same pH value of your skin, which stabilizes your skin’s protective acid mantle.

Even though it tackles blackheads, whiteheads, acne scars and brightens complexions, this lightly scented cleanser contains soothing panthenol, which makes it gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. Due to it's affordable price, I consider it one of the best cleansers for preventing whiteheads and blackheads.

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4. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser (Normal to Oily)

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser (Normal to Oily)

A cult favorite, Cetaphil has been making quality products since the 1970s. This is a great choice for those with normal, to oily skin.

Another great facial cleanser for normal to oily skin is the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, Normal to Oily Skin. This non-irritating formula rinses clean and takes oil, dirt and makeup with it. It is also non-comedogenic, does not contain drying soap, and has a neutral pH formula, which means it cleans the skin without a leaving the skin feeling tight or dry.

The light but clean scented Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser is relatively inexpensive,  and lasts for a long time. In addition to tackling whiteheads, it prevents breakouts, and it is recommended by dermatologists for those with normal to oily skin.

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5. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser (Normal to Oily)

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser (Normal to Oily)

Last, but certainly not least, is the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. This cleanser is ideal for those with normal to slightly more oily skin type.

And last, but certainly not least, is the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. This face wash, is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in the “facial cleansing” category. This non-drying and non-irritating cleanser contains creamides, hyaluronic acid and calming niacinamide which helps skin retain its natural moisture.

The ceramides hydrate your skin all day, while the foaming cleanser cleanses your face thoroughly, removing makeup, dirt and oil after just one cleansing. It also makes your face feel smooth to the touch with no tightness. Again, if you notice your skin is feeling dry after cleansing, try using less product, or less force when scrubbing your face.

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How to Choose the Right Face Wash

1. Evaluate your skin type

The face wash you need will ultimately depend on your skin type. For those with dry skin, look for a face wash that is gentle enough to remove dirt, makeup and other impurities. Your face wash should make your skin feel soft and subtle after use. For those with combination skin, it can go either way. You may have to try a few different face washes until you find something that works for you.

Lastly, for those with oily skin, look for a face wash that is able to clean your skin without making it overly dry or tight. If your skin is overly dry or tight after cleansing, you'll need to either use less force, or find something with a more gentle formula.

2. Look for well-formulated products

An ideal cleanser would be one that is affordable and doesn't contain irritants such as added dyes or fragrances. Fragrance is the most common cause of cosmetic contact dermatitis. The Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam (mentioned above), does contain a hint of fragrance, but it's still my favorite cleanser (I use it myself!).

How to Patch Test Your Face Wash

Patch testing is a really simple method to determine if a face wash will cause you to break out. Simply apply a nickle size amount of face wash to either your left or right cheek, and then wash it off. Check back on it in a few hours to see if you've had a reaction.


How much should I spend on a face wash?

Drugstore facial cleansers are definitely suitable to get rid of whiteheads. No need to spend excess amount of money on fancy face washes. Any active ingredient will get washed down the drain anyways.

Does washing your face remove whiteheads?

Washing your face clears your skin of impurities that can lead to whiteheads, so doing so is a great preventative measure. Targeted topical treatments are best for actually treating current blackheads.

Do I need to use a whitehead toner after using my face wash?

Toners are completely optional. They were originally designed to remove excess product after washing your face. However, if you're using a water soluble cleanser (as mentioned above), you don't need to use a toner.

The Bottom Line

If you're prone to whiteheads, the right face wash can help cleanse your skin to prevent whiteheads and other forms of acne. By consistently using a cleanser suitable for your skin type, you'll be able to keep whiteheads at bay.