13 Best Facial Cleansers For African American Skin


by Khushboo Jugran
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Pollution, dirt, and impurities can affect your skin health. However, if you are African American, you need to be doubly careful. The eumelanin present in African American skin protects the skin from harmful UV rays, but often, it makes the skin more prone to acne, hyperpigmentation, and inflammation. Hence, you need a good face cleanser that not only gets rid of dirt and impurities from your skin but also does not aggravate any skin issues. We have compiled a list of the best cleansers for African American skin types that are gentle and help keep your skin healthy and refreshed. Scroll down to check them out!

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
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CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
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Cetaphil Facial Cleanser
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VANICREAM Gentle Facial Cleanser
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Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam
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philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser
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MARIO BADESCU Glycolic Foaming Cleanser
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First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser
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Proactiv Renewing Cleanser
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Differin Daily Deep Cleanser
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Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser
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13 Best Facial Cleansers For African American Skin

1. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

The facial cleanser from CeraVe works up a good foamy lather when massaged onto your skin. It effectively cleans your face of dirt, oil, grime, dead skin buildup, and makeup. The formula is perfect for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin types. It does not make your facial skin feel dry, tight, or stripped of moisture and nutrients.

This cleanser is enriched with essential ceramides naturally present in the skin, along with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. The ceramides restore the skin’s natural lipid barrier, while hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin and locks in moisture. Niacinamide repairs the skin barrier and improves the skin texture.

Pros

  •  Fragrance-free
  •  Non-comedogenic
  •  Non-drying
  •  Non-irritating
  •  Dermatologist recommended

Cons

  •  May cause redness.

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2. Cetaphil Facial Cleanser

The Cetaphil Facial Cleanser is formulated by experts to remove excess oil and deeply cleanse the layers of the skin, including the pores. This facial cleanser is suitable for oily skin types and provides the best skin care for black women. It lathers up to remove dirt, surface oils, residue buildup, and makeup.

Pros 

  •  Hypoallergenic
  •  Dermatologist-tested
  •  Non-comedogenic
  •  Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Contains sulfates
  •  May dry the skin out.

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3. VANICREAM Gentle Facial Cleanser

The facial cleanser from VANICREAM is safe to use on your facial skin as it does not contain chemical irritants and harsh cleansing agents. It is one of the best facial cleansers for oily skin. The cleanser washes off makeup, dirt, and excess sebum from the pores without drying the skin out. Instead, it leaves the skin feeling soft and clean. This facial cleanser is recommended by dermatologists and approved by the National Eczema Association.

Pros 

  •  Suitable for all age groups
  •  Dermatologist-tested
  •  Non-comedogenic
  •  Soap-free
  •  Oil-free
  •  Sulfate-free
  •  Betaine-free
  •  Gluten-free

Cons

  •  Feels greasy

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4. Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam

This cleanser from Sebamed forms a foamy rich lather that washes away germs, dirt, residue, and oil from your face. It contains Montaline C40 that penetrates deep into the skin pores and cleanses them from within. The formula also contains panthenol to soothe the skin and reduce irritation and inflammation. This cleanser has a pH of 5.5, which helps maintain the skin’s acid mantle and discourages the growth of acne-causing bacteria. The product comes in a handy pump bottle.

Pros

  • pH-balanced
  •  Soap-free
  •  Gluten-free
  •  Dermatologically tested
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Phthalate-free
  •  Propylene glycol-free
  •  Paraffin-free

Cons

  •  Contains fragrance

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5. philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser

The One-Step Facial Cleanser from philosophy contains eco-consciously harvested meadowfoam seed oil that conditions your skin and keeps it youthful and glowing. The botanical ingredients used are sourced directly from producers cultivating organic and non-GMO crops. The facial cleanser has a 3-in-1 action – it deeply cleanses the pores, melts away makeup, oil, and dirt, and lightly hydrates and tones the skin. It is formulated for normal to dry skin types and

Pros

  •  Non-drying
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Phthalate-free
  •  Formaldehyde-free
  •  SLS-free
  •  SLES-free
  •  Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Overpowering fragrance

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6. MARIO BADESCU Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

The main ingredient used in the MARIO BADESCU facial cleanser is glycolic acid. It dissolves dead skin cells and exfoliates the skin, leaving it clean and refreshed. It helps rinse off excess sebum buildup, dirt, oil, and dead skin. This cleanser is enriched with chamomile, yarrow, marshmallow, sage, and St John’s wort. While chamomile and St John’s wort have calming benefits, marshmallows, and sage condition and smoothen the skin. Yarrow makes your skin look healthy, youthful, and radiant. This cleanser is perfect for normal, dry, sensitive, combination, and oily skin types.

Pros

  •  Dermatologically tested
  •  Formulated with herbal extracts
  •  Smells good
  •  Gluten-free
  •  Phthalate-free
  •  Vegan
  •  Cruelty-free

Cons

  •  Triggers allergic reaction in some.

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7. First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser

The facial cleanser from First Aid Beauty is also an antioxidant booster. It effectively removes surface oils, makeup, dirt, and grime. The ingredients balance the skin’s natural acidity, preventing flare-ups, acne, and pimples. Aloe vera and allantoin soothe, calm, moisturize, and nourish the skin, while glycerin is a natural humectant. The licorice root, feverfew, and white tea extracts in the formula fight against environmental aggressors.

Pros

  •  pH-balanced
  •  Dermatologist-tested
  •  Allergy-friendly
  •  100% vegan
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Fragrance-free
  •  Sulfate-free
  •  Gluten-free
  •  Nut-free
  •  Mineral oil-free
  •  Talc-free
  •  Soy-free

Cons

  •  Does not remove eye makeup.

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8. Proactiv Renewing Cleanser

The Proactiv Renewing Cleanser contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide that deeply penetrates the pores and kills the acne-causing bacteria. It effectively treats and gets rid of skin issues, such as itching, acne, redness, inflammation, hyperpigmentation, and pimples. The hyaluronic acid present in the formula locks in moisture and makes your skin supple. The exfoliating beads scrub your face and get rid of dirt, grime, dust, blackheads, and dead skin.

Pros

  •  Dermatologist-tested
  •  Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  •  Dries out the skin.
  •  Causes redness

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9. Differin Daily Deep Cleanser

The Differin Daily Deep Cleanser is specially formulated for sensitive skin. It contains 5% benzoyl peroxide that treats acne without stripping the skin of its natural nutrients. The active ingredients instantly kill bacteria that cause breakouts and acne due to residue of sebum, dirt, and dead skin. The deeply penetrating formula reduces inflammation, itchiness, and redness considerably.

Pros

  •  Gentle
  •  Smells good
  •  Non-comedogenic
  •  Dermatologist trusted

Cons

  •  Non-foaming

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10. Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser

The Neutrogena facial cleanser helps in pore refining and deep cleansing due to its exfoliating properties. The alpha and beta hydroxy acids in the formula reduce the appearance of pores, and your skin feels even-toned, fresh, and clean. The glycolic acid formula with exfoliators sweeps away dead skin cells on the surface and smooths rough patches, bumps, pimples, and acne. This is the best exfoliator for black skin that targets pore-clogging impurities, leaving behind healthier-looking skin.

Pros

  •  Non-comedogenic
  •  No plastic microbeads
  •  Soap-free

Cons

  •  May cause burning sensation in sensitive skin.
  •  Dries out the skin.

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11. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

The Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is enriched with soy, cucumber extracts, rose water, and amino acids that effectively cleanse your skin and restore the lost nutrients. The cucumber extracts and rose water keep your face relaxed, smooth, and soothed.

The formula comes in a gel form that spreads well across the face and covers all areas for effective cleansing. It washes away everyday impurities, dirt, and bacteria without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. It is also effective in cleaning away everyday makeup and mascara, giving you a fresh face each day. The facial cleanser is suitable for all skin types. It gently cleanses the face and eyes and comes in an easy-to-apply squeeze tube.

Pros

  •  Extra gentle
  •  Non-drying
  •  Light fragrance
  •  A little goes a long way

Cons

  •  Expensive

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12. Boscia Facial Cleanser

The facial cleanser from Boscia contains detoxifying black activated charcoal and vitamin C to cleanse your face deeply. It also contains rose geranium oil, artichoke leaf extract, vitamin P, and licorice root. The activated charcoal absorbs all the excess oil from your face and blocks out unwanted pollutants in the environment.

This cleanser is infused with a fragrance of rose and geranium and is suitable for all skin types – oily, sensitive, dry, normal, and combination. It unclogs and minimizes pores and makes your skin clearer, brighter, and clarified. The gel-like consistency has a warming effect that kills impurities while being gentle on your skin.

Pros

  •  Smells good
  •  Imparts glow
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  100% vegan
  •  Artificial fragrance-free
  •  Chemical preservative-free

Cons

  •  May dry the skin out.

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13. Simple Kind To Skin Foaming Cleanser

This facial cleanser for black skin builds up a rich foam as you slather it on the skin. The formula eliminates oil, dirt, and other impurities from the surface and pores. It contains provitamin B5 that softens and smoothens the skin, and restores lost nutrients, while chamomile leaves your skin feeling refreshed and soothed. The glycerin in the cleanser hydrates the skin, and geranium provides the natural nourishment that it needs.

Pros

  •  Smells good
  •  No residue
  •  No artificial scent
  •  No artificial color
  •  No harsh chemicals

Cons

  •  May dry the skin out.

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In the next section, let’s look at the points to keep in mind while purchasing a cleanser.

What To Consider Before Buying A Cleanser For African American Skin

  •  Ingredients

African American skin is more sensitive and prone to acne, pimples, and allergic breakouts. Hence, it is wise to choose a face wash with natural ingredients. Formulas with plant-based ingredients work well on all skin types, whether oily, sensitive, dry, combination, or normal. Also, make sure the product has a mild fragrance or no fragrance to avoid irritation.

  • Skin Type

When buying a face cleanser, consider your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, a mild and gentle formula works best. For dry skin, a highly hydrating face wash is ideal. Avoid products containing alcohol, as it may further dry out the skin. For oily skin, choose water or gel-based facial cleanser that gets rid of the excess sebum.

  •  Purpose

If you want a facial cleanser that not only cleanses but also hydrates and treats your skin, check if it has ingredients like aloe vera or hyaluronic acid. If you only wish to wash off your daily makeup, dirt, dust, and pollution, a good exfoliating facial cleanser will do the trick. There are also other facial cleansers that scrub, exfoliate, hydrate, moisturize, and nourish your skin at the same time. Choose one, depending on your needs.

African American skin with its high melanin content requires special products to cleanse it without aggravating any skin issues. Keep the points discussed in the buying guide in mind and take your pick from the above list.

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Khushboo Jugran

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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