Your face wash is the foundation of your skin care routine, particularly if you have oily or acne prone skin. With the huge range of product offerings out there, it can be difficult to pick the best acne face wash for your skin.
It took a LONG time before I found the best face wash for acne to suit my particular skin type. What type of face wash is better, creamy or gel? Which ingredients should you be looking for and which should you avoid? Do natural, holistic products work better or do commercial acne treatment face washes work best? There’s a lot to consider.
As it turns out, a lot of the answer to these questions can be found through experimentation, personal preferences and by listening to your own skin.
Just because 1,000 people loved a product, it doesn’t mean it will work the same way for you. Bearing those things in mind, we’re going to check out what to look for in the perfect face wash for your skin and take a look at some great products for all types of skin.
Art Naturals Clarifying Acne Face WashClick for price
- Aids the reduction of oily and acne prone skin while cleansing and nourishing
- Natural extracts of aloe and cucumber soothes and moisturizes dry skin
- Penetrates deep into skin to cleanse pores of dirt and oils
Incredible By Nature
African Black Soap from Incredible by NatureClick for price
- Health and Beauty
Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser by Body MerryClick for price
- A great skincare routine begins with a great face wash to help your other beauty products work more effectively. Add Body...
- Instead of using a basic face wash that cleans only surface dirt, this cleanser uses potent ingredients for a DEEP CLEAN...
- Our facial cleanser uses robust ingredients to not only clean your skin but give your complexion LASTING BENEFITS. This...
CeraVe Foaming Facial CleanserClick for price
- Unique formula with three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) that cleanses and removes oil without disrupting the skincare...
- Formulated with hyaluronic acid to help retain skin's natural moisture and niacinamide to help calm skin.
- Foaming action gently refreshes
Christina Moss Naturals
Facial Wash by Christine Moss OrganicsClick for price
- NEW TUBE PACKAGING. SAME GREAT PRODUCT. ESPECIALLY GREAT FOR THOSE WITH VERY SENSITIVE SKIN: NO harmful chemicals of any kind...
- OUR PRODUCTS ARE CONCENTRATED AND EFFECTIVE: Gently & thoroughly cleanses your skin without stripping, drying or leaving...
- MADE WITH CERTIFIED ORGANIC & 100% NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Our products are prepared every week to ensure they are at their...
What is Acne?
Acne is a condition that affects the pores and oil glands (sebaceous glands) in the skin. The highest volume of oil glands can be found on the face, neck, chest, and back. So it follows that these are the most common locations for acne breakouts.
Beneath each hair on your skin is a tiny oil gland. Essentially, pimples form when the pores (hair follicles) become blocked with dirt, oil, or dead skin cells. When these pores become inflamed, the immune response that causes the inflammation may also cause zits. (source)
There are several different types of pimples. Blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules are the main varieties. The extent of the infection in the oil gland and how deep into the skin the infection lies often determines which kind of zit forms.
Why does Acne Form?
There are many potential causes of acne, most of them far beyond our control. Genetics can determine your likelihood for developing acne. Hormonal fluctuations also contribute.
When the pores get clogged, bacteria stuck inside of them begins to grow. At this point, your immune system causes an inflammatory response to try to kill off the infection. The inflammatory response causes redness, pain, swelling, and potentially actual zits.
Who gets Acne?
Whatever the cause of acne, it has got to be one of the most common skin conditions out there. Though acne breakouts are more common in teenagers and younger adults, people of all ages, races, and skin types suffer from acne. Up to 80% of people have suffered at some point in their lives. (source)
It follows that there are very few people on the face of the planet who haven’t had to deal with acne. A good skin care routine is important for darn near everyone. Whether you suffer from chronic acne or the occasional localized breakout, you can likely benefit from a great skin care regimen.
Since both genders can experience acne breakouts, a good face wash is no less important for men. Women seem to be more apt at starting and sticking to a skin care system. However, guys can definitely benefit from the confidence that comes with a fresh face the same as all the ladies out there.
How Do You Stop Acne?
There is no foolproof, one size fits all, instantaneous plan to get rid of acne for good. The best way to take control of your acne is to put together a skin care routine that works for your particular needs.
Most commonly, skin care routines consist of, at the very least, a face wash, toner, and moisturizer. Face wash, being the first step and the one acne sufferers should never go without, is a great place to start planning your skin care regimen.
What Makes a Face Wash Good for Acne?
The best face wash for acne is one that is gentle, non-drying, and tough on dirt and oil. You’ll want to check to make sure that your potential new face wash contains no comedogenic (acne-causing) ingredients, or very little of them. You can check the ingredients list against this scale.
If you have dry, acne-prone skin, you might consider a creamy face wash. They contain more moisturizing ingredients to help prevent drying of the skin. It may seem counter-intuitive when oil is linked with acne, but when your skin is too dry, inflammation increases and dead skin flakes can block the pores. A cleanser that gently exfoliates may be of assistance to dry skin as well.
If you have super-oily skin, a gel cleanser may be right up your alley. Clear gel face washes tend to be better at breaking down oil. Those with combination (a mix of dry, normal, or oily skin) should seek out a cleanser that is balanced between moisturizing and oil-fighting.
How to Find the Right Product for You
First, you should determine your skin type if you don’t already know it. This will help you pick a face wash that gives the results you expect. You can take a quiz or ask your dermatologist if you’re not sure which category your skin falls into.
Next, seek out mild cleansers that are suitable for your skin type. Check out what the net has to say about a product and see if it’s in your price range. When you find a product that sounds great and has some bonafide endorsements, go ahead and make a purchase.
This part is so important. You’ll have to use the face wash consistently, typically twice a day or as instructed on the bottle, for a couple weeks before you can really tell how it’s going to work for you. It takes time for your skin to adjust to new products. Don’t toss a potentially great product too soon!
Never Give Up Hope, But Be Aware
There is a great skin care routine out there for you, waiting to be discovered. If you assess each product from a logical standpoint by checking the ingredients, checking out others’ opinions, and keeping your budget in mind, you’re sure to find the best acne face wash for you.
Speaking of budgets, don’t ever think that an effective product has to cost a fortune. That’s just not the case. There are plenty of great products out there that can be found at reasonable price points.
Also, don’t fall into the trap of assuming that an expensive product must be a high quality product. Marketing being what it is, brands know exactly how to reel in unsuspecting buyers. They know how to play on their potential customer’s emotions and weaknesses. Always try your best to keep a level head when shopping for new products to avoid letting your heart make purchasing decisions. This face wash uses soothing botanical ingredients like cucumber and aloe along with deep-cleaning, exfoliating ingredients to give users a fresh feeling. This spa-like product is environmentally friendly. If all-natural products are your thing, Art Naturals is a good company to check out. Many people swear by African black soap, and I’ve actually had great luck with it myself in the past. This product is different from the rest on my list as it comes in bar form instead of in a cream or gel. If you’re looking to switch to bar soap for your face, African black soap is probably the best for acne. Along with its acne-fighting powers, this face wash uses glycolic acid to reduce the signs of aging. While still gentle, the glycolic acid and salicylic acid in this formula are proven successful ingredients for clear, beautiful skin. This product is thought by many to be the best face wash for acne on the market today. It contains oil fighting cleansers and moisturizing ingredients that work together to create well-balanced, acne free skin. This face wash is created from entirely organic ingredients. It uses essential oils and saponified oils to create an oil-cutting product that is still gentle on skin. It may work better for those with dry skin than people who deal with extremely oily skin.
Aloe and cucumber to reduce inflammation
Thick, creamy texture lathers into rich foam
Deep cleans without drying
No beads or scrub, exfoliates without irritating
Reminiscent of spa products, very luxurious
Doesn’t get rid of enough oil for some users
Texture can make bottle hard to pump
Texture can make it difficult to use
May cause dryness or excessive oiliness in some users
Green color is off-putting to some users
May be too much for twice a day use
Ships well, no spillage issues
Raw, organic ingredientsIdeal for all skin types
Nourishing formula full of vitamins and minerals
Fair trade certified
Moisturizes to leave skin soft and smooth
Contains palm oil, an environmentally objectionable ingredient
Physical exfoliants can damage skin if you don’t wash carefully
May dry skin if washing with hot water
Bar is gigantic, tough to hold
Contains some comedogenic oils
Color is unappealing for some users
Can make sink or shower yucky
Jojoba beads gently exfoliate skin
Salicylic acid fights acne
A little bit goes a long ways
Glycolic acid tones and helps improve overall look of skin
Cuts oil on skin gently
May cause sensitivity in some users
May cause skin drying
Potentially not good for those with dry skin
A bit harsh for twice daily use
Contains moisturizing hyaluronic acid
Lathers to a nice, foamy texture
Gentle enough for twice daily use
Many dermatologists recommend it
Uses ceramides to form protective barrier
Not an all-natural product
May cause issues with sensitive skin
Texture before lathering may be off-putting
May not remove some makeup well
Gentle enough to use morning and night
A tiny, dime-sized amount is enough for one wash
Doesn’t dry skin too much
Restores skin’s moisture
Rosemary essential oil regulates oil production
Essential oils may cause sensitivity
Coconut oil is a potentially comedogenic ingredient
May cause acne in some users
Drying and flaking skin may occur in some users
Doesn’t always rinse clean
This face wash uses soothing botanical ingredients like cucumber and aloe along with deep-cleaning, exfoliating ingredients to give users a fresh feeling. This spa-like product is environmentally friendly. If all-natural products are your thing, Art Naturals is a good company to check out.
Many people swear by African black soap, and I’ve actually had great luck with it myself in the past. This product is different from the rest on my list as it comes in bar form instead of in a cream or gel. If you’re looking to switch to bar soap for your face, African black soap is probably the best for acne.
Along with its acne-fighting powers, this face wash uses glycolic acid to reduce the signs of aging. While still gentle, the glycolic acid and salicylic acid in this formula are proven successful ingredients for clear, beautiful skin.
This product is thought by many to be the best face wash for acne on the market today. It contains oil fighting cleansers and moisturizing ingredients that work together to create well-balanced, acne free skin.
This face wash is created from entirely organic ingredients. It uses essential oils and saponified oils to create an oil-cutting product that is still gentle on skin. It may work better for those with dry skin than people who deal with extremely oily skin.
The Last Word on the Best Face Wash for Acne
Our pick for the best acne face wash is definitely the Art Naturals Clarifying Face Wash. The combination of soothing, moisturizing, and tough cleansing ingredients makes it ideal for most acne prone skin. I’d suggest only using it once a day to prevent skin from becoming too oily.
If you’re into trying a bar soap, the African Black soap is absolutely fantastic. You may even consider using the two in conjunction, the Black soap in the morning to keep your face shine free throughout the day, and the Clarifying Face Wash to leave skin moist and refreshed before you go to bed.
Keep in mind that almost any information on skin care products is subjective. No product will react the same way on everyone’s skin. By checking over the ingredients lists carefully and tracking potentially irritating product components, you can help narrow down which products are right for you and eliminate face washes that you are likely to have adverse reactions to.
Just remember, consistency in your skincare routine is the key to finding out if a product is really working for you. Give them time to get to work and you can find the product for your particular skin.