Top 5 Best Face washes for Oily Skin | Top Picks and Reviews

Oily skin is some of the highest maintenance skin out there. Many people deal with blotting away the oil during the day and having to re-apply powders to keep the oil from overtaking their skin.

Of course, in order to treat the root of the problem, you’re going to need to look at face washes.

Face washes that are aimed at oily skin need to help get rid of the oil that has built up and prevent oil from coming back throughout the day. But in addition to that, you’re going to have to focus on oil-free products, which can sometimes be difficult. This article is going to give you a list to help you get started on finding the ideal face wash for your oily skin.


Our Five Favorites

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash – Most useful ingredient: salicylic acid. This wash may say that it’s for acne, but this wash will work great for anyone with oily skin. The salicylic acid makes this a great product for anyone that has major issues with oily skin and breakouts.

Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser – Most useful ingredient: glycolic acid + jojoba beads. While you may not think that this wash is for you, it really can be useful. Not only will the glycolic acid help remove excess oil but it will gentle on your skin as well. Even though it is an exfoliator, jojoba beads are known for being quite gentle on the skin as well.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser – Most useful ingredient: hyaluronic acid. This face wash has been recommended by dermatologists all over and that’s because it uses hyaluronic acid. This acid is naturally occurring when we’re young, so it makes sense that it can be a helpful ingredient in keeping your skin looking great and feeling clean.

Desert Essence Thorough Clean Face Wash – Most useful ingredient: tea tree oil. Although tea tree oil can leave skin feeling tight, when combined with a moisturizing routine this face wash can really get rid of that excess oil. The best part of this face wash is that it uses natural ingredients to help your face feel great.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser – Most useful ingredient: zinc pidolate. Because this face wash doesn’t use an acid, it will be much gentler. The zinc pidolate works to remove the oil and shine from your skin without getting rid of the moisture that your skin needs.




1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

2. Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

3. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

4. Desert Essence Thorough Clean Face Wash

5. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser

Reviews of The Best Face Washes For Skin

1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

You’ve probably seen variations of this product in the store. Neutrogena offers a ton of products that are meant to help everyone out with their skin.

This acne wash may be more focused on helping those that deal with acne, but the product can be used by anyone that needs to really get their pores clean.

Something that you need to know about this product is that it often works best when in conjunction with a whole regimen of products. You’ll need at least a moisturizer to help make sure that you’re providing your skin with hydration in case the wash has dried it out a little bit.

The people that find the most success with this product have been dealing with breakouts or really oily skin. The product does contain 2.5% salicylic acid which is quite a bit for a typical product.

But if your skin isn’t quite as oily or extremely sensitive, then you might want to not use this product. It can be a little bit rough at times, especially if used twice a day as the directions state to use.


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    Can be used with other acne products
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    Gets into the pores to really fight acne at the source
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  • Rougher on skin
  • Dries out some skin types
  • Stronger acid can really damage more sensitive skin

2. Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser - Anti-Aging + Acne Face...
  • A great skincare routine begins with a great face...
  • Instead of using a basic face wash that cleans...
  • Our facial cleanser uses robust ingredients to not...

This cleanser combines glycolic acid, and essential oils to create a wash that will work great for those that suffer from oily skin. Because this wash uses glycolic acid, it is much gentler than other products that are on the market.

The essential oils work to help leave your skin feeling refreshed. But even with those oils, you will likely need a moisturizer and a sunscreen to help protect your skin. This wash is great for those experience acne with their oily skin.

Many users reported that it didn’t just work well for their skin, but for their partner as well (even if they had very different skin types). What you need to keep in mind is how often you use this product.

While some people will be able to use this as a daily face wash, there are many more people that might find that that wears out their skin a little too much. You might have to experiment with how often you use this product to see how it affects your skin.


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    Helps get rid of discoloration and signs of aging
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    Gentle ingredients
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    Even though the bottle is small, it should last a while


  • Strong smell
  • Doesn’t always work for combination skin
  • Has caused cystic acne in some users

3. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser 12 oz for Daily Face Washing,...
  • Unique formula with three essential ceramides (1,...
  • Formulated with hyaluronic acid to help retain...
  • Foaming action gently refreshes

This cleanser is often recommended by those that are dealing with acne to help treat their skin on a day-to-day basis. This cleanser is especially nice because it doesn’t have that strong of a smell. More natural cleansers tend to smell strongly and that be a turn off for some people.

This cleanser is meant to be used by anyone that wants to keep their face clean of acne, so the product is designed for the normal to oily range of skin. This may seem like a downside, but there are many people that were so happy with it.

But because it is designed for a range of skin instead of just oily skin, it can be a little bit drying for those on the normal end and not do enough cleaning for those on the oily side of the scale. When used as part of a regimen, it can really work wonders.


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    Cheaper product to get
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    Comes in bar form


  • Can leave a residue
  • Thick and hard to get it to foam up
  • Doesn’t work for everyone with oily skin

4. Desert Essence Thorough Clean Face Wash

Desert Essence Thorough Clean Face Wash Oily Skin 32 Oz
  • A gentle cleansing solution that leaves your skin...
  • Contains natural Organic Tea Tree Oil, a natural...
  • Includes soothing extracts of Goldenseal, Hawaiian...

This natural face wash is filled with natural ingredients to help your skin feel great, even while you’re getting rid of all of the oil and dirt. This face wash isn’t just for oily skin; it can work well for any skin type that has breakouts.

This particular face wash is a little bit runny, so you may find that you need a foaming soap dispenser go help you get the most out of this face wash. But even with its watery consistency, this face wash can work well for anyone.

This face wash is going to be gentler than ones with chemicals and may make your skin tingle a little bit with the tea tree oil. If you don’t want to worry about chemicals on your face, then this wash will be great for you.

If you find that it dries you out too much, then just reduce the number of times you’re using it. It should still work wonders, even if you’re using it less frequently.


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    Natural ingredients
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    Can be used for your whole body
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    Every day face wash


  • Stings eyes
  • Consistency is almost like water, which can make it harder to get out of a larger bottle
  • Can cause some people to have oilier skin than before

5. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Face Wash Gel...
  • Gently cleanses impurities while respecting skin's...
  • Helps remove excess oil
  • Soap-free. Alcohol-free. Oil Free.

This cleanser is going to be one of the gentler face washes that you can get. This wash specifically states that it has been tested on sensitive skin, which is good news for those of you that have sensitive skin out there.

The fact that this product is also very aware of the pH balance of skin is another plus. It does all the work it needs to do while not changing that balance. Your skin will still feel great after using this rinse.

Almost every review of this product is about how it helped them. Even if this wash isn’t strong enough to get rid of every blemish right away, it works well with their skin and keeps them looking fresh.


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    Respects the pH balance of your skin
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    Tested on sensitive skin
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    Can even take off makeup


  • Price
  • Not always as effective as stronger washes
  • Slight chemical smell

Best Sellers

How a Face wash can Help with Oily Skin

You may wonder how a face wash can really help you clear up that oily skin. Face washes are often formulated specifically for different skin types. The types of problems that come with oily skin can’t be treated with the same ingredients that are in face washes for dry skin.


There are many benefits to using acids in a face wash that is designed for oily skin.

  • Break down debris (like dead skin, dirt, etc.) that cause breakouts.
  • Penetrate through oil to clean pores.
  • Help restore hydration to skin.
  • Prevent breakouts.

The Different Kinds of Acids

Each acid has its own benefits. We at Beauty Shortcutips have three different types on our list, so let’s go through what they offer.

Salicylic acid

- Penetrates further into the pores than other acids

- Perfect for really oily skin

- Really great for preventing future outbreaks

Glycolic acid

- Has a smaller molecule, so it gets everywhere

- A gentler acid than others

- Has anti-aging benefits

Hyaluronic acid

- Already present in the body, especially when you’re a baby

- This acid is great for reducing the signs of aging

- When used in a wash, will keep your skin from getting dried out

Each acid is useful for slightly different types of skin. Which acid will be most useful to you will really depend on the kind of effects that you want to see.

If your skin is oilier, then you’ll want to look for products that have salicylic acid instead of the other two. If you’re not sure that an acid is going to be the best for your skin, then start with the gentler acid, glycolic. If you have combination skin, then hyaluronic acid will probably be the best fit since it won’t dry out the sky that isn’t oily.

How to Best Use Face washes

When you’re trying out a face wash for your skin, you’ll want to start by following any and all of the instructions that are put onto the label. However, these instructions are more like guidelines.


You may notice that when you use it more often that it dries out your skin a little too much. At that point, you should scale back how much you’re washing your face so you can avoid the dry out that comes with some of these washes.

Depending on the sensitivity of your skin and the specifics of your skin, you may find that using these products can actually cause a breakout. That doesn’t mean that the product is terrible, but rather that your skin just doesn’t agree with what it’s trying to do.

Generally, if you have a breakout after using a wash, then you should look for something gentler than the wash you were using before. So if you were to use a wash with salicylic acid and had a reaction, you might move to glycolic acid instead. And if any of the acids are creating a reaction, then you might need to move to products that are organic and use essential oils to rejuvenate your skin.

Unfortunately, finding the right face wash for any individual (oily skin or dry) can be a series of trial and error. Just because one wash doesn’t work with your skin doesn’t mean that you should give up. If you’re really struggling, then you may want to talk to a dermatologist about your skin and see what kind of recommendations they have.


Out of all the products on the list, the top choice for me would have to the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser. While there are many top quality types of face wash on this list, this one seems to be the fittest for getting rid of excess oil without making my skin completely dry. The fact that the product is also alcohol-free is a big plus for me.

But of course, even though it’s the top on my list, it might not be the right fit for your skin, so take my advice with a grain of salt and find the product that works the best with your skin.

Last update on 2018-07-22 - Details

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