Top 13 Gel-Based Cleansers For Oily Skin You Must Try In 2023

These cleansers for oily skin fight excess sebum production to reveal healthy skin.

Medically reviewed by Dr. M. Khawar Nazir, MBBS
Written by Oyendrila Kanjilal, Certified Skin Care Coach
Edited by Shiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach
Fact-checked by Anjali Sayee  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

If you have oily skin, you must be aware that this particular skin type requires constant attention to keep your skin clean, fresh, and hydrated. Hence, you need to use the best gel cleansers for oily skin. Oily skin is sensitive and prone to breakouts and pimples. Therefore using an excellent cleanser should be the first thing you do in the morning.

Keep reading to check out the best gel-based cleansers for oily skin. Studies show that a gentle gel-based cleanser will control excess sebum or oil production and keep your oily skin in control while also offering deep pore cleansing (1).

Top Picks
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Best Anti-Aging: InstaNatural Vitamin C Cleanser
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La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser
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Best Acne-Resistant: Neutrogena Acne Proofing Gel Cleanser
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Best For Morning Routine: COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
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Simplified Skin Vitamin C Cleanser
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Best Non-Drying: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
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The Body Shop TeaTree Skin Clearing CleanserPrice on Amazon
Best For Sensitive Skin: SeboCalm Facial Cleansing Soap
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Best Detoxifying Formula: Odacité Black Mint face CleanserPrice on Amazon
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Best Skin Brightening Formula: Obagi Nu-Derm Foaming GelPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart

Here, we have listed the 13 best gel facial cleansers specifically meant for oily skin. Check them out!

13 Best Gel-Based Cleansers For Oily Skin

1. Best Anti-Aging:InstaNatural Vitamin C Cleanser

InstaNatural Vitamin C Face Wash Image: Instanatural

The InstaNatural Cleanser is enriched with potent antioxidants like vitamin C and natural organic extracts like aloe vera that rejuvenate the skin. Vitamin C penetrates skin and helps unclog the pores. It cleanses skin deeply and prevents blemishes and breakouts. The combination of soothing oils balances excess sebum formation and boosts hydration, leaving one feeling refreshed. Moreover, the invigorating blend of aloe vera with vitamin C softens and smoothes the skin, leaving it silky soft and plump. The extracts along with green tea restore skin radiance and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, and fine lines. The brand also does not test on animals. If you are still unsure about the InstaNatural Vitamin C Cleanser, this review video with the reviewer’s experience might help you to make a decision.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, aloe vera, green tea extract


  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • No synthetic dyes
  • No added preservatives
  • DEA/MEA/TEA-free
  • Natural organic ingredients
  • Maintains electrolyte balance
  • Anti-aging
  • Can be used both day and night
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Provides gentle exfoliation


  • May cause a burning sensation
  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

protip_icon Pro Tip
Rinse your face with warm water after using this cleanser, then apply the InstaNatural’s Vitamin C Serum and Vitamin C Moisturizer for ultimate skin-brightening results.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has gained over 5,167 positive reviews on Amazon, making it an all-time best-seller.

2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser


The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser is formulated with zinc pidolate (Zinc PCA), one of the active ingredients that purify the skin and remove excess oil. Zinc PCA, when applied topically, acts as an astringent and reduces acne breakouts and blemishes. It is a daily face wash that controls excess sebum formation. It exhibits antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that halt the production of acne-producing bacteria, and reduce redness and inflammation. This dermatologist-tested refreshing foaming gel is safe and gentle to use both day and night. Check out this video about the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser to know more about the benefits of the product through the tester’s experience.

Key Ingredients: Zinc PCA


  • Paraben-free
  • Dermatologically-tested
  • Tested on acne-prone skin
  • No alcohol
  • Gentle cleanser
  • Safe for using both day and night
  • Reduces acne-causing bacteria
  • Non-drying
  • Soap-free


  • Contains fragrances
  • May not suit sensitive skin type

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 4,341 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.

3. Best Acne-Resistant:Neutrogena Acne Proofing Gel Cleanser


The Neutrogena Acne Proofing Gel Cleanser is one of the best acne-fighting formulae that clear breakouts and blur blemishes. This dermatologically tested cleanser is infused with maximum strength salicylic acid, which is an effective beta-hydroxy acid that unglues the bonds holding dull, dead skin on the surface, and helps control excess oil production. Once these bonds are separated, the cleanser gently exfoliates and buffs away dead skin for smoother, younger-looking skin. Watch this video to know more about an unfiltered reviewer’s experience with the Neutrogena Acne Proofing Gel Cleanser.

Key Ingredients: 2% Salicylic acid


  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Buffs away dead skin
  • Clinically-proven formula
  • Fights breakouts
  • Safe for regular use


  • Unpleasant chemical smell
  • Not suitable for hormonal acne

protip_icon Pro Tip
This cleanser contains AHAs, which can trigger your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. So, use sunscreen after washing your face with this cleanser and wear protective clothing before stepping out to avoid sunburns.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 180 customers have given the product positive reviews on Amazon.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Cleanser
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser
Neutrogena Acne Proofing Gel Cleanser
Skin Type All, Oily, Sensitive, Dry, Normal Sensitive, Dry Acne prone
Dimensions 6.3 x 2.1 x 6.3 inches 2.36 x 2.36 x 2.36 inches 1.41 x 2.51 x 6.11 inches
Weight 8 Ounces 14.11 Ounces 7.83 Ounces

4. Best For Morning Routine:COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

Cosrx Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser Image: Cosrx

COSRX Good Morning Gel Cleanser is a low pH formula (5.0-6.0) that protects the skin from external influences from a virus, bacterium, or pollutant. It helps retain skin moisture content. It is also infused with tea-tree oil and natural BHA that reduces the size of the pores and offers a deep cleansing effect that helps in skin texture improvement. It provides gentle exfoliation and sloughs off dead skin cells for a more defined and refreshing look. The skin-purifying ingredients with mild acidic cleansing properties leave the skin feeling soft, smooth, and supple.

Key Ingredients: Tea tree oil, natural BHA


  • Low pH formula
  • Suitable for day and night use
  • Gentle on skin
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Free from SLS


  • May not suit sensitive skin

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The extensive 2,466 rave reviews on Amazon prove why we are vouching for this product.

5. Simplified Skin Vitamin C Cleanser

Vitamin C Facial Cleanser (8 oz) Gel for Daily Anti-Aging & Acne Treatment. Clear Pores on Oily, Dry & Sensitive Skin. Natural Makeup Removing Face Wash by Simplified Skin Image: Simplified Skin

The Simplified Skin Vitamin C Cleanser is an organic natural gel cleanser infused with a unique blend of natural ingredients aloe vera, cucumber extract, and avocado oil that deeply nourish and protect the skin. The potent formula is infused with antioxidant-rich vitamin C that heals breakouts and blemishes and fades away signs of aging. It suits all skin types but works exceptionally well on oily and combination skin types. It helps boost collagen, and prevents breakouts, blemishes, and redness. The cleansing gel offers a refreshed and rejuvenating look.  It also protects the skin from free radical damage. The cucumber extract and aloe vera soothe the skin. The cleanser also contains vitamin B complex that helps blur the fine lines and wrinkles and improves an uneven skin tone and texture in both men and women. The product is not tested on animals.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, aloe vera, cucumber extract, vitamin B complex


  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Suitable for gentle cleansing
  • Blurs signs of aging
  • Boosts collagen formation
  • Protects skin from free radical damage
  • Non-toxic organic ingredients


  • May dry the face

protip_icon Pro Tip
Lather the cleanser with warm water and massage it with upward strokes to remove all the debris. Use a retinol moisturizer after it to retain the cleansing benefits for a long time.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 235 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

6. Best Non-Drying:CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is the ideal gel cleanser for oily skin as it removes excess oil and impurities without drying out the skin. It contains ingredients that assist in strengthening the skin’s barrier, retaining hydration, and soothing irritated skin. This daily face wash is rich in fatty acids that moisturize the skin, promote skin regeneration, and improve skin texture and permeability. It also helps reduce the appearance of acne scars. Dermatologists developed this formula to thoroughly cleanse, freshen, and revitalize the face without disturbing the skin’s natural oils and pH balance. The formula’s three key ingredients—hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide work together to calm aggravated skin and revitalize skin.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, niacinamide


  • pH balanced
  • Dermatologist-developed
  • Controls excess oil
  • Calms irritated skin
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-drying
  • Non-irritating



Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 4,148 reviews and is a top choice all around the world.

7. The Body Shop TeaTree Skin Clearing Cleanser

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser Image: The Body Shop

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Cleanser is a daily foaming gel formulated to be gentle on blemished skin. It is infused with potent teatree oil that soothes dry skin by reducing itching and irritation. The anti-inflammatory properties of the cleanser heal skin redness and leave your skin feeling fresh. Regular cleansing with this foaming gel helps provide protection against bacterial infection and acne breakouts. Animal testing has not been conducted on this product.

Key Ingredients: Tea tree oil


  • Reduces acne, blemishes, dark spots
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Removes dirt, impurities
  • 100% vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Hand-harvested pure essential oil


  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner after using this mattifying effect cleanser to achieve clearer and toned skin.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

There are more than 266 Amazon reviews attesting to the quality of the product and endorsing its value.

8. Best For Sensitive Skin:SeboCalm Facial Cleansing Soap

SeboCalm Sensitive Skin Face Wash Image: Sebocalm

The SeboCalm Facial Cleansing Soap is a lightweight, gentle, oil-free formula that soothes inflamed skin, reduces redness, and helps relieve symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. It is made with skin-friendly cornmeal and coconut oil for effective and gentle cleansing. Seaweed minerals condition the skin and maintain its elasticity, whereas chamomile extract soothes skin and helps in oil-absorbing. The oil-free gel cleanser is allergy-tested, removes dirt, absorbs excess oil, blurs blemishes, and helps in scar fading. It leaves the skin feeling hydrated and refreshed. This dermatologically tested product has not undergone any animal testing.

Key Ingredients: Cornmeal, coconut oil


  • Paraben-free
  • Sensitivity-tested
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Dermatologically-tested
  • Soothes skin irritation
  • Lightweight
  • Improves moisture absorption
  • Suitable for both men and women



9. Best Detoxifying Formula:Odacité Black Mint face Cleanser

The Odacité Black Mint Face Cleanser is a gentle formula that helps in skin detoxification, unclogs pores, and absorbs excess oil. The ultra-fresh minty gel provides invigorated complexion with a refreshing feeling. It also contains activated charcoal and Rhassoul clay – a powerful duo that helps trap excess oil and grime for cleaner-looking skin. Rhassoul clay is rich in magnesium, silica, potassium, and calcium that help support natural skin beauty. The combined astringent properties of peppermint oil and tea tree oil minimize the appearance of pores. They also add a rejuvenating boost to your face.

Key Ingredients: Black mint, activated charcoal, Rhassoul clay


  • Natural ingredients
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gentle on face
  • Fresh, pure, organic
  • Reduces pore size
  • Ultra-fresh
  • Dermatologically-tested



10. Best Skin Brightening Formula:Obagi Nu-Derm Foaming Gel

Transform your dull and uneven complexion into an even-toned and radiant one with the Obagi Nu-Derm Foaming Gel. This gel-based foaming cleanser removes excess oil, impurities, leftover makeup, or other beauty products without over drying your skin. It is suitable for normal to oily skin and thoroughly cleans the clogged pores for a fresh and clean appearance. The oat amino acids perform as water binding agents while aloe vera soothes skin irritation and inflammation. Moreover, the foaming gel helps to minimize the appearance of signs of aging.

Key Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice and Oat amino acids


  • Smooth texture
  • Everyday use
  • Improves skin texture
  • Anti-aging benefits
  • Value for money


  • Contains paraben

11. Best Protein-Infused:Florencia Botanical Peptide Oxygen Cleanser

Florencia Botanical Peptide Oxygen Revitalizing Facial Cleanser ? Daily Rejuvenating Oil-Free Gel Face Wash for Acneic, Oily, Sensitive, Dry, Normal, Combination Skin - Hypoallergenic 6 Ounce Image: Florencia

The Florencia Botanical Peptide Oxygen Cleanser is infused with high-performance ingredients like peptides, glycoproteins, panthenol, and other botanical extracts that gently cleanse the skin, tighten the pores, remove impurities, and heal acne breakouts. The infused peptides with short-chain amino acids boost collagen production and elastin and tighten the skin.

The cleanser is also formulated with natural botanical extracts like aloe vera juice, algae extract, rosehip extract, ginseng root extract, and green tea leaf extract that deeply cleanse the skin, and reduce inflammation and redness. The ginseng root extract is effective in balancing oil secretion. This oil-free oxygenating cleanser with aloe vera juice provides a booster shot of vitamins and minerals to the skin.

Key Ingredients: Peptides


  • Natural ingredients
  • Infused with humectants
  • Restores hydration
  • Tightens pores
  • Improves elasticity
  • Improves skin cellular respiration
  • Protects from free radical damage
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Buffs away dead cells
  • Removes impurities



12. Lauda Botanicals Oily Skin Control Gel Cleanser

Daily Facial Cleanser Gel for Men and Women ? Anti Aging Face Wash with Vitamin C, Antioxidants, 9x Organic Herbs and Fruits for Combination and Blemished Skin, 4 Oz by LAUDA BOTANICALS Image: Lauda Botanicals

The Lauda Botanicals Oily Skin Control Gel Cleanseris infused with organic botanical extracts like aloe vera, witch hazel, nettle leaf extract, oats protein, lavender, cinnamon extract, cucumber, and vitamin C that offer all-round skin protection. Vitamin C and oatamino acid boost collagen synthesis to give you firmer, plumper skin. They also smoothen fine lines and wrinkles, and blur the signs of aging. These natural ingredients also enhance skin cell metabolism.

Aloe vera, cucumber, and witch hazel extract remove dead skin cells. The combination of natural botanical extracts help in pore minimizing, excess sebum control, and lightens dark spots and helps in blemish control. The pH-balanced formula is suitable for both men and women.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, oat amino acid, vitamin C, cucumber extract


  • Paraben-free
  • Non-GMO
  • Cruelty-free
  • No toxic chemicals
  • Eco-friendly
  • Fresh, natural fragrances
  • Minimizes pores
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Safe and gentle for daily use
  • Soothes skin irritation and redness
  • pH-balanced formula



13. Evanesce New York Purifying Gel Cleanser

Purifying Cleanser No.1 Detox Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin. Includes Salicylic Acid that Helps to Remove Acne/Pimples. Top Acne Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil (1 x 100ml) Image: Evanesce New York

The Evanesce New York Purifying Gel Cleanser deeply detoxifies and cleanses your facial skin. This natural gel cleanser is made with tea tree oil that heals acne breakouts, reduces blackheads, whiteheads, inflammation, redness, and soreness. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that halt the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Salicylic acid, a potent BHA, provides gentle exfoliation to the skin. Marine collagen boosts skin firmness and elasticity.

Key Ingredients: Purifying tea-tree oil


  • Soothes acne
  • Purifies clogged pores
  • Sulfate-free
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Moisturizes sensitive skin
  • Seals skin hydration



*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

[ Also Try – Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser ]

These are the 13 best gel-based cleansers for oily skin. But how are they different from a foaming face wash? We have discussed that below.

Gel Cleanser Vs. Foaming Face Wash

Gel cleanser, as the name suggests, has a gel-like texture whereas a foaming face wash has a soapy and airy consistency. The foaming face wash is effective in removing excess oil, dirt, and impurities. But it may contain sodium lauryl sulfate that may cause skin irritation and disturb the skin pH balance.

A gel cleanser is effective in reducing acne and removing dirt and grime. It is gentle on the skin. It is mostly infused with organic and natural ingredients that restore skin pH balance. It is usually safe for both oily and sensitive skin.

The following buying guide can help you pick the ideal gel cleanser for your skin.

Gel-Based Cleansers – A Buying Guide

  • Ensure the cleanser has soothing and gentle ingredients. Check for natural, organic, vegan ingredients like tea tree oil, chamomile extract, oat protein powder, and vitamin C. These not only reduce oil and breakouts but also can blur the signs of aging.
  • Check for exfoliating ingredients. Check if the cleanser contains BHA, benzoyl peroxide, or glycolic acid for mild yet effective exfoliation to the skin. This helps control excess oil production and combat acne.
  • It should be free from all chemicals and toxic ingredients. The presence of sodium lauryl sulfate may irritate the skin.
  • While a single cleanse with a gel-based face wash can help you get clean and fresh skin, for better results, follow the double cleansing method a few times a week to effectively get rid of excess oil and sebum from the face.

Dr. M. Khawar Nazir, board-certified Dermatologist, says, “My patients are very happy with gel based cleansers which help to remove their oil, control acne & keep skin nourished.”

Infographic: Myths And Facts About Gel-Based Cleansers For Oily Skin

Oily skin requires constant care and maintenance to avoid issues like acne and excessive sebum production. Using a gel-based cleanser is one of the best ways to manage oily skin as these are not only gentle but are also effective in cleansing the deeper layers of the skin. However, there are many myths about using gel based cleansers, especially on oilier skin types. Check out the following infographic to know what these are.

Myths And Facts About Gel-Based Cleansers For Oily Skin (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

Oily skin type is naturally prone to pimples and requires close attention. These gel-based cleansers keep your skin fresh and glowing. These are rich in organic extracts and antioxidants that cleanse your skin deeply to balance the skin pH levels, control excess sebum products, and provide hydration to the skin. In addition, they help improve the texture of your skin and keep your skin soft and supple. The InstaNatural Vitamin C Cleanser is great to rejuvenate and brighten the skin, while CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser offers a gentle cleanse for all skin types. If you have particularly oily and acne-prone skin, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser is a great choice as it leaves the skin refreshed and clear. These gel-based cleansers are gentle, cruelty-free, and non-comedogenic. However, some products may not suit extremely sensitive skin. With the help of our buying guide, grab the best gel-based cleanser that suits your skin type.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Oyendrila Kanjilal, the author of this article, is a certified skin care coach. She has reviewed and curated a list of the best cleansers for oily skin after deep research and scanning through user feedback. These cleansers are specifically formulated to prevent build up and dissolve dirt, grime, and excess oil. They help unclog the pores, leaving your skin glowing and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a gel cleanser good for oily skin?

Applying a gel cleanser as part of a regular CTM skincare routine is definitely good for oily skin.

Is a charcoal cleanser good for oily skin?

Yes, a charcoal cleanser is good for oily skin. It is a natural detoxifier that removes dirt and oil-soluble impurities by unclogging the pores. It also heals acne breakouts.

How often should you cleanse your face if you have oily skin?

You can cleanse your face twice a day to remove pollutants, oil, and dirt from oily skin without stripping the natural oil.

What skin care routine is best for oily skin?

• Cleanse your skin twice a day.
• Exfoliate your skin twice a week.
• Use night creams to hold moisture.
• Moisturize your skin daily.
• Apply sunscreens while stepping out.

Is it okay to use a gel-based cleanser after using a clay mask for oily skin?

No. You need to cleanse the face before using a mask to clear the clogged pores. The mask also acts as a cleanser that removes excess oils and dirt from the skin. So, rinse the clay mask thoroughly with lukewarm water and follow up with a moisturizer or serum.

What should you not use on oily skin?

People with oily skin must avoid the following products:
•Petroleum jelly
•Coconut oil
•Alcohol-based skin care products
•Harsh scrubs
•Silicone products
•Artificial dyes


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.

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