If you’re looking for an oily skin-approved gentle face wash, this guide is for you. Here is a list of the best gentle face washes for oily skin.

Our Recommendations

1. Hydralight One Step Face Cleanser

Paula’s Choice Hydralight One Step Face Cleanser

Paula's Choice Face Wash for Daily Cleansing

Paula’s Choice Hydralight One Step Face Cleanser

For those with oilier and more sensitive skin, this gentle gel cleanser is one of the best Paula’s Choice products. It contains replenishing ingredients that leave the skin feeling refreshed and clean without irritation.

Skin types: Normal, Oily, Combination and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: No
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.
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This cleanser is incredibly gentle, even for those with more sensitive skin. However, the gel formula still effectively cleans, while soothing and replenishing ingredients calm the skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Gentle
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Some reviewers note that it doesn’t remove makeup

This cleanser contains sodium hyaluronate (the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid), which increases moisture levels in the skin. It also contains allantoin and niacinamide, which moisturize, soothe, and protect the skin.

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Glycine, Fructose, Urea, Niacinamide, Inositol, Lactic Acid, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Benzophenone-3 (Oxybenzone), Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Sodium Benzoate.

2. Daily Face Cleanser

Cetaphil 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: Yes
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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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.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gentle

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

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.

Water, Glycerin, Peg-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Masking Fragrance, Panthenol, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Disodium Edta, Methylparaben

  1. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 24, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations"

    Accessed Aug. 24, 2021.

3. Hyaluronic Acid Cleansing Foam

Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Cleansing Foam

Hada Labo Face Wash for Daily Cleansing

Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Cleansing Foam

This hydrating cleansing foam effectively cleanses the skin while maintaining moisture levels for balanced, supple skin.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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The star ingredient in this Hada Labo cleanser is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid pulls moisture to the skin, helping to increase hydration levels.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Hydrating
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May not be suitable for acne-prone skin

This cleanser contains additional ingredients that increase hydration (including glycerin), and is free of fragrance and color additives.

Water, PEG-8, Butylene Glycol, polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, TEA-Cocoyl Alaninate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Glycerin, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Starch Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Succinic Acid

4. Clear Face Cleansing Foam

Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam

Sebamed Face Wash for Daily Cleansing

Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam

This Sebamed cleansing foam is excellent for those with acne-prone skin that tends to be a bit oilier, as it deeply cleans pores while also hydrating for balanced skin.

Skin types: Normal, Oily and Combination
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: No
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This cleanser contains Montaline C40, an antibacterial ingredient that helps clean away impurities that clog pores. The mild soap also helps cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural oils.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Fights acne
  • Soothing

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

In addition to the Montaline C40, this cleanser contains vitamin B5 (panthenol), which soothes the skin.

Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betainamide MEA Chloride, Hydroxypropyl Oxidized Starch PG-Trimonium Chloride, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations"

    Accessed Aug. 24, 2021.

5. Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Face Wash for Daily Cleansing

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

This foaming cleanser is gentle and non-irritating on the skin, but still effectively removes dirt, debris, and excess oil without stripping it.

Skin types: Normal, Oily and Combination
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet the skin with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into the skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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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.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-irritating
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • If you’re acne-prone, this cleanser doesn’t contain any active acne-fighting ingredients

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.

Aqua / Water / Eau, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Niacinamide, Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl, Taurate, Propylene Glycol, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cholesterol, Disodium Edta, Propylparaben, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium Edta, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum

  1. American Academy of Dermatology. "How to control oily skin"

    Accessed Aug. 24, 2021.

FAQs

Can I wash my face three times a day if I have oily skin?

You should avoid washing your skin more than two times per day, even if you’re using a gentle cleanser (like one of the options listed above). While it can be particularly tempting to wash more frequently than that if you have oily skin, you’ll actually be doing yourself a disservice by over-washing. If you wash your face too frequently, you’ll strip the skin of its natural oils, which can actually trigger the skin to produce even more oil. Stick with washing once in the morning and once in the evening.

How do I choose a face wash?

If you’re on the market for a new face wash, you’ll want to take into consideration your skin type, as well as any skin concerns you may have. It’s also important to keep your budget in mind. From there, you can look for products that are formulated for your skin type that may target any concerns you might have.

Which face wash is best for oily skin that has acne?

If you have acne-prone oily skin and are looking for a gentle daily face wash, a great option for you is the Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam. This face wash is gentle on the skin, but still contains antibacterial ingredients that help fight breakouts.

The Bottom Line

There are many great gentle face washes that are suitable for oily skin. Consider adding one of the gentle cleansers mentioned above to your routine to maintain a healthy complexion.