Best Acne Face Wash

Best Face Wash for Acne

10 Best Face Wash for Acne

Whether you deal with consistent breakouts or just stress pimples, you know that finding an effective face wash for acne prone skin is an important step in improving your complexion. Our top picks for the best face washes for acne range from drugstore products to department store brands, but all have been personally tried and are recommended by us!

1How To: Ways to Wash Your Face

Even though it can be tempting to wash your face as much as possible with the strongest products, it is important to remember that over-washing and using harsh products can actually aggravate the problem. Dermatologists recommend that you wash your face 1 to 2 times a day to avoid stripping your skin of the oils it needs to maintain a healthy moisture balance. Cleansers that include strong acne-fighting ingredients like Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, or Tea-Tree Oil are usually safe bets, but make sure that you listen to your skin because sensitive skin does not always respond well to cleansers that include these ingredients. In fact, depending on your skin and the main cause of your acne (whether that be hormones, excessive oil, or something else!) sometimes the best cleansers for your acne do not contain specific acne-fighting ingredients and instead focus on protecting and nurturing your skin in general.

2Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

This amazing drugstore cleanser is one of the most popular face washes for acne. The cleanser has a refreshing scent and a smooth texture, which makes washing your face an enjoyable experience. The formula contains ingredients that not only fight pore-clogging bacteria, but also soothe and condition the skin. In addition to helping you treat the blemishes you have now, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash also helps to prevent future breakouts and it never leaves a residue!

3Clinique Liquid Facial Soap

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap is dermatologist-developed and uses special ingredients that protect the natural moisture balance within your skin while removing dirt and dead skin on the surface. The formula rinses away easily and leaves your skin feeling super clean and comfortable. This is a great face wash for acne prone skin because it removes pore-clogging dirt and oil extremely effectively, but it does not leave your skin dry and dull in the way that many acne-fighting cleansers do.

4Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

This exfoliating product is recommended for use 3-5 times per week, but it can be used as an every day cleanser if your skin is prone to excessive oil production and build-up. Although this product is marketed for use as an at-home substitute for microdermabrasion, it is gentle enough to use everyday as a cleanser to achieve a remarkable deep clean and sumptuously smooth skin. The formula contains papaya enzymes which break down dead skin cells and also work to even out your overall skin tone. Unlike most exfoliating products which have fairly large granules, this product uses dermatologist approved microderm crystals which are extremely gentle on the skin and feel amazing! In addition to helping remove the dirt and dead skin cells that clog your pores, this formula also actively works to brighten your skin and remove the frustrating red marks that are leftover even after your breakout heals!

5Paula’s Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser

If you have never heard of Paula’s Choice, you should definitely check out this brand! Paula’s Choice has an incredible range of skin care solutions that treat problems ranging from acne, to sun damage, to excessive dryness, and so much more! Paula’s Choice has a particularly effective acne fighting system, which begins with their awesome Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser. The cleanser comes in a refreshing gel formula and helps to treat your breakouts, and prevent future blemishes, by infusing your skin with a potent antibacterial agent. The cleanser also contains soothing ingredients that work to reduce redness and ensure that your skin feels comfortable and squeaky clean!

6Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser

This is one of our favorite drugstore face washes for acne. The Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser is refreshing, smells great, and effectively treats and prevents blemishes. Not only will your breakouts become less frequent when you use this cleanser, but also your overall skin quality will improve. This formula uses Aveeno’s patented “Active Naturals” soy formula to infuse your skin with moisture and ingredients that brighten and smooth your skin’s tone and texture. Furthermore, this gentle formula is oil-free, hypoallergenic, and noncomedongenic, which means that you don’t need to worry that there are any secret ingredients that will clog your pores over time.

7Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser Mask

This product is revolutionary because it can be used as both a cleanser and as a mask! This refreshing formula leaves your skin feeling tingly and clean and also treats your breakouts with a powerful anti-bacterial ingredient called Benzoyl Peroxide. The formula is thick and creamy which makes washing your face feel like a luxurious spa treatment! Although you will see positive results by using this product only as a cleanser, the mask is great to use for when you feel like your skin could use an extra deep cleansing treatment and a little extra oil control. Although Neutrogena markets this product as a cleanser and mask, it can also be used as an overnight spot treatment on particularly stubborn blemishes!

8Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser

If you are a skin care enthusiast, you have definitely noticed the buzz about using charcoal as a purifying agent for your pores. If you are interested in seeing what all the hype is about, the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser is a great place to get your charcoal game started. The cleanser contains a healthy dose of charcoal, which actively draws out oil and impurities and detoxifies your skin. In addition to charcoal, artichoke leaf extract works to tighten your pores, glycolic acid works to clarify and smooth your skin, and vitamin C works to brighten your skin and protect if from free-radical damage. You will definitely love the results you get from these awesome acne fighting and skin nurturing ingredients, but you will also enjoy the process of washing your face with the Boscia face wash. The cleanser creates an amazing warming sensation upon contact with your skin which indicates that it is working hard to open and declog your pores!

9Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser

Murad is a high-quality skin care brand developed by professional dermatologists, so it is no surprise that their Time Release Acne Cleanser is a winner! The formula contains an effective acne fighting ingredient, salicylic acid, which is released slowly and continuously to ensure that you enjoy maximum acne-fighting benefits, even after you rinse off the face wash. In addition to salicylic acid, the formula contains amino acids and hyalauronic acid which help to bind moisture to the skin and restore suppleness. Sometimes the topical treatments you use on your blemishes can dry out your skin, which means it is extra important to use a cleanser that is formulated to restore moisture to your skin!

10Kate Somerville Detox Daily Cleanser

This gel cleanser is amazingly effective at clarifying your pores! The advanced formula fights acne-causing bacteria and stabilizes your oil production which means your current breakouts will heal quicker and new breakouts will become less frequent. In addition to treating your blemishes, this cleanser contains a potent ingredient called Phytic Acid which helps to fade the scars leftover from previous breakouts!

11Cuticura Original Formula Medicated Antibacterial Soap


Out of all the face washes for acne on this list, this product is the least expensive. It retails at less than $3 per bar! In addition to its uniquely affordable price, this cleanser is special in that it comes in a bar form rather than a gel, foam or liquid. The formula contains antibacterial agents which help to fight your current breakouts and kill the bacteria that contributes to future breakouts. With amazing acne-fighting ingredients and an equally amazing price tag, this bar is definitely a steal of a deal!

As you can see from this list, there are many great face washes for acne! Since every person has unique skin needs, finding your perfect cleanser is often a matter of trial and error. While we can’t guarantee that the first cleanser you try will be your new acne-fighting holy grail, we are confident that you will find something on this list that will treat and improve your acne prone skin!


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