15 Best Face Washes For Acne In 2021

Written by Khushboo Jugran
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We all want that clear and beautiful skin that is flawless. But climatic changes, pollution, and hormones have other plans. Acne is a common problem nowadays. Pesky pimples, clogged pores, itchiness, and painful redness and swelling make us lose our dream of a flawless appearance. That is where face washes come in. There are lots of cleansers on the market that have vital ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid that help combat acne.

Top 10 Products
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Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
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Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser
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Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser
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La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser
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Differin Daily Deep Cleanser
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Acne Free Oil Free Acne Cleanser
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MamaEarth Tea Tree Face Wash
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Oxy Acne Medication Face Wash – Maximum Action
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Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser
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Neutralyze Breakout Clearing Facial Cleanser
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To make your day easy, we have researched and reviewed a few face cleansers for acne-prone skin that are worth it. Check out our list of the 15 best face washes for acne-prone skin below! But first, let’s find out how they work.

How Does Acne Face Wash Work?

Cleansers that are specifically formulated for acne-prone skin contain ingredients that help fight acne such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and sodium sulfacetamide. These ingredients clear up your skin while cleaning it. They work by clearing clogged pores and reducing swelling and redness. They further exfoliate your skin and get rid of the bacteria that clog your hair follicles and cause breakouts.

Now, let’s check out the 15 best face washes for acne!

15 Best Face Washes for Acne

1. Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

The Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser by Botanic Tree is specifically formulated for cystic acne-prone and oily skin. It is infused with 10% glycolic acid, bamboo, shea butter, tea tree oil, seaweed, willow bark, and peppermint extracts. These ingredients help remove excess sebum, oils, impurities, and makeup from your face without stripping away the natural moisture. Glycolic acid is an AHA exfoliator that penetrates your skin and brightens your complexion. It further eliminates and lightens dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Tea tree, shea butter, and bamboo extracts unclog your pores, clear acne, reduce blemishes, and calm irritation and redness. This cleanser also helps fade evident scars caused by hormonal acne and improve your skin’s texture. The mild formula of the cleaner does not have any harmful chemicals that irritate or damage your skin.

Pros

  • Removes dead skin
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Cruelty-free
  • Smoothens the skin
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May dry out the skin

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2. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser

The Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser by Neutrogena is infused with 10% benzoyl peroxide. The potent formula of this face wash helps prevent breakouts while clearing acne. This facial cleanser reduces redness and the overall size of the pimples in just one day. Benzoyl peroxide is a gentle exfoliant that has antimicrobial properties that help unclog pores and fight the acne-causing bacteria.

Pros

  • Reduces dark spots
  • Does not dry out the skin
  • Prevents breakouts
  • Removes excess oil
  • Lathers well
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May cause irritation

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3. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser contains salicylic acid. It helps fight breakouts and clears visible redness due to acne. This face cleanser is infused with aloe vera and camomile, which calm irritation and clear your skin. The formula eliminates excess oil production by penetrating deep into the skin. It unclogs pores and removes dirt and impurities without stripping away your skin’s moisture. The Clear Micro Technology used in this cleanser boosts the benefits of salicylic acid and provides healthy-looking skin.

Pros

  • Reduces irritation
  • Clears redness
  • Soothes the skin
  • Prevents breakouts
  • Does not dry out the skin
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

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4. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser

The Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser by La Roche-Posay is infused with salicylic acid and lipo hydroxy acid. Salicylic acid helps clear acne and breakouts. It also eliminates blackheads and whiteheads to reveal clearer skin. The lipo hydroxy acid in this cleanser concentrates on the oily areas to gently exfoliate and remove any dirt or impurities. It also does not contain any harmful chemicals that irritate or aggravate your acne. This cleanser soothes your acne and makes you feel refreshed after every wash.

Pros

  • Removes dead skin
  • Reduces blackheads
  • Controls sebum production
  • Soothes redness
  • Clears blemishes
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Allergy-tested
  • Gentle on the skin
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May dry out the skin

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5. Differin Daily Deep Cleanser

Differin Daily Deep Cleanser contains 5% benzoyl peroxide. It ensures less dryness and irritation and is the go-to daily cleanser for sensitive skin. This dual-action deep cleanser uses a micronized formula that penetrates deep into the skin and absorbs unwanted oil and controls sebum production. This cleanser repairs acne-prone skin by going after the acne-causing bacteria in the pores and reduces inflammation. It acts as a gentle moisturizer that keeps your skin hydrated and does not clog your pores. This cleanser provides a deep cleanse that won’t strip off your skin and leave it dry. This means you get the clearer skin you want with no redness and irritation. This deep cleanser by Differin is dermatologist-tested and perfectly safe for daily use.

Pros

  • Absorbs excess sebum
  • Hydrating formula
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Reduces redness
  • Reduces breakouts
  • Dermatologist-developed
  • Dermatologist-approved

Cons

  • May cause itching
  • May cause peeling

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6. Acne Free Oil Free Acne Cleanser

The Oil-Free Acne Cleanser by Acne Free contains 2% benzoyl peroxide and is specifically formulated to eliminate mild to moderate acne. It helps treat breakouts, pimples, cystic acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. The micronized benzoyl peroxide in this cleanser penetrates into the pores, clears excess sebum and impurities, and helps fight the acne-causing bacteria. This cleanser is light and airy in texture and creates a gentle cleansing foam.

Pros

  • Does not dry out the skin
  • Eliminates excess oil
  • Prevents breakouts
  • Lightweight
  • Mild formula
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Unpleasant scent

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7. MamaEarth Tea Tree Face Wash

The Tea Tree Face Wash by MamaEarth helps control pimples and acne. It is infused with tea tee oil, neem extract, vitamin B5, allantoin, lavender oil, and aloe vera extract. Tea tree oil has natural antibiotic properties that help fade the scars caused by breakouts. Neem and lavender have anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe redness, dryness, and itchiness. Allantoin helps in skin regeneration, smoothens your skin, and makes it look healthy. Aloe vera has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that speed up healing and reduce further acne. Panthenol or vitamin B5 creates a barrier over your skin and locks in moisture. It provides softness and elasticity to your skin. This facial cleanser does not contain any harsh chemicals that irritate or damage your skin.

Pros

  • Heals damaged skin
  • Nourishes the skin
  • Clears scars
  • Removes excess oil
  • SLS-free
  • Paraben-free
  • pH-balanced formula
  • Phthalate-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Fragrance-free
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May cause dryness

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8. Oxy Acne Medication Face Wash – Maximum Action

The Maximum Action Face Wash by Oxy Acne Medication is infused with benzoyl peroxide. The advanced formula of this face wash reduces acne and boosts skin regeneration to reveal clear and healthier-looking skin. Benzoyl peroxide fights and kills the acne-causing bacteria that clogs your pores and aggravates breakouts. It further soothes irritation and leaves your skin feeling fresh. Both men and women can use this face cleanser.

Pros

  • Fight acne-causing bacteria
  • Soothes irritation
  • Refreshes the skin
  • Mild fragrance
  • Gentle on skin
  • Does not cause redness
  • Lathers well
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May dry out the skin
  • Contains parabens

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9. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser

The Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser by Yes To Tomatoes is a gentle exfoliating cleanser formulated for acne-prone skin. It is infused with charcoal, salicylic acid, and tomato extracts. The salicylic acid in this cleanser helps unclog pores and prevents future breakouts. The charcoal mask detoxifies your skin and removes impurities, while the tomato extract gives your skin the much-needed antioxidants. This facial cleanser also contains jojoba beads that gently scrub away excess oil, dirt, and impurities from your skin. This cleanser is made of 97% natural ingredients and does not contain any harmful chemicals that damage or irritate your skin.

Pros

  • Unclogs pores
  • Softens the skin
  • Reduces blemishes
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • SLS-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Natural ingredients
  • Lathers well
  • Gentle on skin
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Strong fragrance

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10. Neutralyze Breakout Clearing Facial Cleanser

The Breakout Clearing Facial Cleanser by Neutralyze is infused with 2% salicylic acid, Nitrogen Boost Technology, and 1% mandelic acid. Both salicylic acid and mandelic acid are alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate dead skin and help prevent any further breakouts. It helps clear black spots, blemishes, fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. This facial cleanser helps fight against pimples, acne scars, cystic acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. The Nitrogen Boost Technology in this face wash contains the power of nitric oxide that helps in faster healing and reduces redness while improving your complexion. This facial cleanser does not contain any harmful chemicals that damage or irritate your skin and can be used by both men and women. The product also comes with a 100% refund policy in case you are not satisfied with it.

Pros

  • Prevents breakouts
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Unclogs pores
  • Clears acne scars
  • Lightens blemishes
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May cause flaking

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11. Tree To Tub Soapberry For Face

Tree To Tub Soapberry For Face is a balancing facial cleanser. It has a pH of 5.5 that is gentle on your skin. It is infused with shea butter, aloe vera, acai, coconut, peppermint, and chamomile extracts that hydrate your skin while balancing its natural oils. This deep cleansing formula is naturally scented with peppermint that gives a soothing and refreshing feeling. It is free from harmful chemicals and does not damage or irritate your skin. The natural facial cleanser can be used by anyone with any type of skin.

Pros

  • Clears acne
  • Fights blemishes
  • Hydrating formula
  • pH-balanced formula
  • Paraben-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Cruelty-free
  • Artificial fragrance-free
  • Natural ingredients
  • Gentle on skin
  • Silicone-free
  • SLS-free
  • Gluten-free
  • DEA free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Vegan
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May cause irritation

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12. PCA Skin BPO 5% Cleanser

The BPO 5% Cleanser by PCA Skin is a facial cleanser formulated for acne-prone skin. It is infused with active ingredients such as phytic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and gluconolactone. Benzoyl peroxide is a soothing agent that penetrates deep into your pores and eliminates acne-causing bacteria. Gluconolactone is a hydrating ingredient that helps calm your acne and clears your complexion. Phytic acid gently exfoliates dead skin cells and impurities to prevent further breakouts. It also has natural ingredients like cucumber extracts, chamomile extracts, and nettle extracts that help soothe inflammation and makes you feel refreshed.

Pros

  • Exfoliates dead skin
  • Clears cystic acne
  • Quick results
  • Prevents breakouts
  • Tones the skin
  • Fragrance-free
  • Synthetic dye-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gentle on skin
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Expensive

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13. Krikura Acne Face Wash

The Krikura Acne Face Wash is specifically formulated for girls. It helps unclog pores, removes excess oil and impurities, and helps in faster cell regeneration. This facial cleanser is infused with salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and aloe vera that help clear acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and blemishes. The formula helps calm irritation and reduces redness and inflammation caused by the breakouts. With regular use, this cleanser will make your face look clearer and healthier. This cleanser does not contain any harmful chemicals that damage or irritate your skin.

Pros

  • Does not irritate the skin
  • Does not dry out the skin
  • Hydrating formula
  • Natural ingredients
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • DEA-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Gentle on skin
  • Refreshing feeling
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Unpleasant scent

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14. Dr Song Medical Acne Face Wash

The Medical Acne Face Wash by Dr Song contains 10% benzoyl peroxide. The micro benzoyl formula penetrates deep into your skin and clears excess sebum and acne. It further unclogs pores and helps soothe redness and inflammation. This facial cleanser does not contain any harmful chemicals that damage or irritate your skin. The product also offers a 100-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with it.

Pros

  • Prevents breakouts
  • Quick results
  • Long-lasting
  • Does not dry out the skin
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Gentle on skin
  • Value for money
  • Mild scent

Cons

  • Watery consistency

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15. Humane Acne Wash

Humane Acne Wash consists of 10% benzoyl peroxide that helps unclog pores, soothe inflammation, and fight acne-causing bacteria. It is a non-foaming cleanser that clears and prevents further breakouts. The gentle exfoliating cleanser promotes cell regeneration and reduces the pain and irritation caused by acne. This face wash does not contain any harmful chemicals that damage or irritate your skin. Thus, it is the best face wash for sensitive-skinned individuals. The product also comes with a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with it.

Pros

  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Clears blemishes
  • Unclogs pores
  • Fights acne-causing bacteria
  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraffin=free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Color=free
  • Synthetic fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • DEA-free
  • Vegan
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May cause dryness

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Now that you know all about the best face washes for acne, let’s check out what you need to know to pick the best one for your needs.

How To Choose The Right Face Wash For Your Skin?

  • Choose Acne-Combating Ingredients

There are a few ingredients that your acne face wash must contain for it to really work:

  • Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid works as an exfoliant. It helps to gently get rid of dead skin cells and unclogs pores.

  • Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide has antimicrobial properties. It helps fight the bacteria present under the skin’s pores. It also exfoliates the dead skin cells that clog pores.

  • Sulfur

Sulfur helps eliminate excess sebum and unclogs your pores. It also smoothens the skin surface and eliminates dead skin and impurities.

  • Alpha hydroxy acid

AHA promotes collagen production and also aids in removing excess sebum. It also has anti-aging properties and helps correct discoloration and hyperpigmentation.

  • Ingredients You Should Avoid

Few ingredients aggravate your acne instead of clearing it. Here are a few components you must avoid:

  • Alcohol

Alcohol helps remove excess oil from your skin, but it may irritate your skin, especially if you have acne.

  • Mineral oil

Mineral oils are comedogenic and mask your skin, making your acne and breakouts worse.

  • Silicone

Silicones clog your pores, aggravate acne, and cause irritation.

  • SLS

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate triggers breakouts and causes painful irritation. It strips away the natural oils from your face, making it dry and withered.

  • Choose A Face Wash That Suits Your Skin

Acne face washes generally work by clearing off excess sebum and contain a few chemicals for exfoliating. People with sensitive skin should prefer mild cleansers. Harsh chemicals can cause flakiness, itching, redness, and painful breakouts. Find an active ingredient that suits your skin type for the best results.

How To Wash Your Acne

  • Splash water on your face.
  • Take a pea-sized amount of a non-comedogenic, mild cleanser.
  • Gently rub the cleanser into your face in a circular motion using your fingertips.
  • Rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat dry.

You will not see an immediate change. Acne face washes take a while to work from within to control the breakouts.

How Often Should You Use An Acne Face Wash?

Excessive washing can dry out your delicate skin and make your acne worse. It is preferable if you wash your face using an acne face wash once in the morning and once at night. In case your face feels oily and sticky in the middle of the day, you can wash your face if needed.

Conclusion

Yes! Acne-prone skin can be painful, but choosing the right face wash to treat your skin will result in a better complexion and reduce breakouts. Every one of these products might not suit your skin, so review each product and treat your acne wisely.

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Khushboo is a blogger with over 6 years of experience. She started as hotelier and worked with several renowned hotel chains. She developed a passion for content writing, and as time flourished, made it her full-time career. She loves writing for the online media and specializes in lifestyle, health, travel, and beauty-related content.
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