What are the Best Soaps and Facial Cleaners for Acne?

We all know that cleansing is a very important part of any skin care regimen. This is especially true for people with acne. There are so many cleansers available on the market that it can be an overwhelming and confusing task to find one that actually works - without spending a veritable fortune!

We’ll take a look at some products and determine the best facial cleanser for acne available on the market, right after we talk about what cleansing should look like if you suffer from acne. Let’s wash away your doubts (pun intended!).

How Do Facial Cleansers Help Treat Acne?

With the right cleanser, you can help eliminate bacteria and debris that becomes stuck in the hair follicles (pores) and causes blackheads and whiteheads. A good acne soap will also help to remove the buildup of dead skin cells so that the pores are clear and treatments can get inside.

Many soaps and cleansers geared towards the treatment of acne contain common acne medicines like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sodium sulfacetamide. These ingredients have all been proven to help treat acne, so a gentle cleanser that contains one of these is a good bet.

A combination of the above acne-fighting ingredients, bacteria slaying soap, and exfoliants work together with other skin care products to rid you of unwanted bumps. Using moisturizer and toner, alongside soap, can go a long way towards keeping your skin clear.

Are There Cases Where A Skincare Routine Won’t Cut It?

There are absolutely cases where a great skin care routine may not eliminate acne. While acne is physically caused by blocked or infected hair follicles, there are factors inside the body that go on beyond the surface that washing can’t fix.

Hormones, or more accurately hormone imbalances, contribute to acne. Particularly during adolescence and pregnancy when hormones are naturally fluctuating, changes in the level of androgens (a particular type of hormone) can increase appearance of acne.

Some other factors that can affect acne are stress, diet, and some medications. In these cases, simply washing may not be as effective as you might hope. It’s important to keep a level head when dealing with acne. There are no miracle cures, and a combination of treatments is best.

What to Look For in the Best Facial Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin

When you’re shopping for face soap, there are some things you want to keep in mind to guide you to a product that is ideal for your skin (source). Certain properties of soap can actually make acne worse, so make sure to check reviews and take your skin type into account.

Most importantly, you want a product that is relatively gentle. A product with harsh chemicals or an abrasive scrub can make your face red and irritated (inflammation). Since acne is caused in part by skin inflammation, it makes sense that you would want to avoid intentionally roughing up your skin.

Choose a product with some moisturizing agents such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin to make sure your facial cleanser doesn’t dry out your face too much. This is particularly important if the cleanser also contains acne-fighting ingredients that are known to cause dryness.

Determine Your Personal Preferences

Would you prefer a liquid or a foam cleanser? Does creamy or gel cleanser suit you? There are so many different types of facial cleansers.

Foamy cleansers are quick to use and to rinse, but creamy cleansers tend to feel more luxurious. Before you determine which facial cleanser to invest in, you need to decide what you want out of it. So long as a cleanser is gentle and doesn’t dry acne prone skin too much, a lot of the decision-making is down to your own personal opinion.

Seriously, there is no one right product for every face. Make sure that you give new products a chance before hopping onto the next unless you have a reaction, though. It can take time for your skin to adjust and switching immediately to a new product won’t necessarily help.

How to Cleanse Your Skin Properly

Once you’ve found the best cleanser for acne, you might brush up on your face washing technique. While this seems relatively simple, I’ve got a few pointers to make sure you aren’t physically damaging the skin. - that could cause inflammation. We’ve already covered how inflammation is bad for acne.

Above all, make sure that you follow the directions on your cleanser of choice. Now, make sure you have the water set to lukewarm. Water that is too cold can close up your pores, thereby treatments out. Water that is too hot can cause skin damage.

Place some cleanser on your fingertips. Gently bring it to a lather using small, soft circles. Once you’ve washed, rinse gently with lukewarm water. Pat your face dry with a soft, clean towel. Now you can carry on with the rest of your skincare routine. You’ll ideally wash your face twice a day, morning and night.

ArtNaturals Clarifying Face Wash for Oily/Acne-Prone Skin

Quality

Price

Our rating

This thick, creamy facial cleanser uses natural botanical ingredients to soothe and moisturize skin while washing away debris and oil. ArtNatural’s formula leaves out a lot of yucky ingredients like parabens and harsh chemicals to create a luxurious, spa-like cleansing experience.

Pros


  • Light cucumber scent is nice but not overpowering
  • Gentle formula
  • Natural ingredients
  • Thick texture perfect for use in the shower
  • Eliminates oiliness without overly drying skin
  • A little bit of this cleanser goes a long ways
  • Cruelty free

Cons


  • Pump on bottle is not ideal for travel
  • Hard to get thick cleanser out of pump
  • May be difficult for some users to rinse
  • Unattractive color
  • Some users experienced dry skin

InstaNatural’s Vitamin C Facial Cleanser

Quality

Price

Our rating

This creamy cleanser is marketed towards people with all skin types. It uses free radical fighting vitamin C to eliminate toxins. This product also uses plant ingredients and non-comedogenic oils to soothe and hydrate skin. Most of the ingredients are naturally derived, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Pros


  • Formulated for all skin types
  • Reputable brand
  • Pleasant citrus scent
  • Does an exceptional job evening skin tone
  • Lathers well
  • Reverses dark spots from acne scars and sun exposure

Cons


  • May cause dry skin in some users
  • Can irritate eyes more than the average cleanser
  • May cause rash or irritation in some subjects
  • Vitamin C products can adversely affect some sensitive skin

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Quality

Price

Our rating

This common drugstore cleanser has something of a cult following. What starts out as a clear gel foams up when you begin to create a lather, hence the name. While this product is not a natural product, per se, it does use a gentle formulation.

Pros


  • Unique foaming action
  • Rinses easily
  • Uses ceramides to create a protective barrier
  • Commonly recommended by dermatologists
  • Does not create skin tightness
  • Fragrance free

Cons


  • Contains chemical ingredients
  • Ceramide coating may feel unpleasant to some users
  • Slippery texture
  • Contains parabens
  • Very inexpensive

Christine Moss Naturals Organic Facial Wash

Quality

Price

Our rating

This organic product is perfect if you’re really against using chemicals on your body or in your home. While the price point on this product is enough to make you think twice, the highly concentrated formula has the manufacturer claiming that it only requires half the amount as other cleansers.

Pros


  • Light, natural scent
  • Organic ingredients, no harsh chemicals
  • Only requires a small amount
  • Non-drying
  • Cruelty free

Cons


  • Packaging has some issues, not sturdy
  • Doesn’t create a clean feeling for some users
  • Can cause redness and skin flaking in some users
  • Contains soap, which can adversely affect some people’s skin

Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser by Body Merry

Quality

Price

Our rating

This cleanser takes a bit of a different path than the others highlighted on this list. If you’re looking for a cleanser that exfoliates through both chemical and physical means, this might be the perfect cleanser for you. It claims to be both gentle and a tough exfoliator.

Pros


  • Not too abrasive despite serious exfoliation
  • Leaves skin feeling fresh
  • Jojoba beads provide gentle physical exfoliation
  • Has salicylic acid for treating acne
  • Contains popular anti-aging ingredients

Cons


  • Not ideal for use twice a day
  • Directions recommend use every few days
  • May not be ideal for extra sensitive skin
  • May cause excessive skin drying
  • Shoddy pump

The Last Word on Soaps and Cleansers for Acne

The real winner of the best cleanser for acne award, in my opinion at least, is the ArtNatural’s Clarifying Facial Cleanser. This product, though a little more expensive than many others on the market, is of great quality and it seemingly produces great results for most users. Always remember that no product is right for everyone and to pick one that works well with your skin.

Helen Sanders
 

Chief editor here at Health Ambition, I'm a proud mother of two passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!