15 Best Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Cleansers To Reduce Acne

Written by Oyendrila Kanjilal , Certified Skin Care Coach
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Have you been dealing with frequent acne breakouts? Aren’t those pesky little things a nuisance in your everyday life? While cleansing your face to keep impurities at bay can help, not all cleansers are made alike. The solution? Oil-free salicylic acid cleansers. These clear the excess sebum on your skin and help treat acne. The salicylic acid may even reduce the probability of another breakout in the future.

Here, we have listed the 15 best oil-free salicylic acid cleansers available on the market. We also have discussed salicylic acid and how it may help resolve your acne woes. Keep reading to know more.

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
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La Roche-Posay Medicated Gel Cleanser
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Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Facial Cleanser
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Bioré Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser
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Glytone Acne Clearing Cleanser
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Paula's Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser
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Vichy Normaderm Intensive Purifying Gel
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Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Wash
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The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser
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Clean & Clear Acne Triple Clear Cleanser
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COSRX Calming Foam Cleanser
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What Is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble acid popularly used as a topical treatment for acne. The acid reduces the production of excess sebum that causes acne breakouts. The acid also penetrates your skin and peels the skin lipid film to hinder the growth of acne-causing bacteria (1).

Salicylic acid can offer a host of benefits. We will look at the same in the next section.

What Are The Benefits Of Salicylic Acid?

  • Salicylic acid, when applied topically, may also treat other skin issues like eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis (1), (2).
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that salicylic acid may also be used to remove blackheads and whiteheads from your skin.
  • The acid may help soothe skin and reduce skin redness (3).
  • The acid may help reduce hyperpigmentation (1).

Now that we know the benefits of salicylic acid, let us check the top 15 oil-free salicylic acid cleansers available on the market.

15 Best Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Cleansers To Reduce Acne

1. La Roche-Posay Medicated Gel Cleanser

The La Roche-Posay Medicated Gel Cleanser has been developed by dermatologists. Its salicylic acid targets excess oil, pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. The cleanser has been clinically tested and found to reduce excess oil from your face by up to 47%. It leaves your face feeling less oily throughout the day. It also contains lipo hydroxy acid that helps remove debris and dirt from your face. The product is oil-free and fragrance-free. It is formulated without parabens and is suitable for sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Allergy-tested
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Suits sensitive skin

Cons

None

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2. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Facial Cleanser

The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Facial Cleanser is formulated to gently clean your pores and remove the dirt and debris. It contains clinically proven microclear technology that boosts the delivery of acne medication. It helps clear up acne and blackheads from your face and may also prevent future breakouts. This cleanser’s oil-free formula doesn’t over-dry or irritate the skin. It is dermatologist-tested and non-comedogenic.

Pros

  • Doesn’t over-dry the skin
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Boosts acne medication delivery

Cons

  • May cause allergic reactions in some

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3. Bioré Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser

The Bioré Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser is infused with natural charcoal that deep cleans facial skin pores and absorbs unwanted oils. Its 1% salicylic acid treats existing acne and helps prevent future breakouts. It claims to clear acne in two days. Its soothing formula helps remove blemishes and dirt. It is oil-free and dermatologist-tested. It is non-comedogenic, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Gentle formula
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Fast action

Cons

  • May cause allergic reactions in some

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4. Glytone Acne Clearing Cleanser

The Glytone Acne Clearing Cleanser is a daily cleanser formulated with 2% salicylic acid. The cleanser deeply cleans your face, gently exfoliates it, and unclogs the pores. It also keeps skin smoother and prevents blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads. The cleanser has a lightweight formula that controls oil production to prevent future acne breakouts. It is ideal for mild to moderate acneic skin. The cleanser is fragrance-free.

Pros

  • Exfoliates skin
  • Unclogs pores
  • Lightweight formula
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

None

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5. Paula’s Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser

The Paula’s Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser is formulated with salicylic acid that helps dissolve pore-clogging impurities. It helps prevent acne breakouts, redness, uneven skin tone, and dullness. The cleanser gently removes dirt, makeup, and excess oil. It has a soothing gel texture that refreshes and calms the skin. The product is ideal for all skin types and ages. It is even ideal for sensitive skin. It is formulated without parabens and is fragrance-free, cruelty-free, and non-irritating.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Non-irritating

Cons

None

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6. Vichy Normaderm Intensive Purifying Gel

The Vichy Normaderm Intensive Purifying Gel is formulated for oily and acne-prone skin. It helps remove dirt, excess oil, and impurities from your face. It is formulated with salicylic acid, zinc, and copper minerals. These ingredients help reduce acne blemishes and blackheads and also unclog pores. This cleanser is dermatologist- and allergy-tested. It is formulated without parabens, alcohols, sulfates, soap, and colorants. It is formulated with a light fragrance.

Pros

  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Allergy-tested
  • Paraben-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Soap-free
  • Colorant-free
  • Mild fragrance

Cons

None

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7. Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Wash

The Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Wash helps eliminate acne and prevents future acne breakouts. The face wash contains 2% salicylic acid that helps in clearing up blemishes and removing dirt and oil from your pores. The face wash makes the skin feel clean and residue-free. The product also contains allantoin and pro vitamin B5 that help calm skin appearance and moisturize it.

Pros

  • Unclogs pores
  • Moisturizes skin

Cons

None

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8. The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser

The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser has a non-drying formula that removes makeup and dirt from your face. The cleanser reduces blackheads and acne breakouts. It also reduces blemishes and de-clogs your pores. It helps improve your skin tone and gives you clearer skin. It contains a zinc compound, which helps control excess oil, and allantoin, an anti-irritant that leaves the skin moisturized.

Pros

  • Non-drying formula
  • Improves skin tone
  • Moisturizes skin

Cons

None

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9. Clean & Clear Acne Triple Clear Cleanser

The Clean & Clear Acne Triple Clear Cleanser fights acne and soothes your skin. It also removes the pore-clogging oils from your face. It has an oil-free formula and is formulated with salicylic acid, aloe, and mint. The product is suitable for all skin types and is non-comedogenic.

Pros

  • Moisturizes skin
  • Suits all skin types
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

None

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10. COSRX Calming Foam Cleanser

The COSRX Calming Foam Cleanser is ideal for oily and acne-prone skin. It is effective in controlling sebum production and in soothing acne. It is ideal for all skin types. It is formulated with salicylic acid that removes dead skin cells. The cleanser also contains madecassic acid and asiaticoside that soothe irritated skin and keep skin clear. The cleanser is hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested. It is cruelty-free and paraben-free too.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Suits all skin types
  • Soothes irritated skin

Cons

None

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11. Kitava Facial Cleansing Gel

The Kitava Facial Cleansing Gel is formulated with salicylic acid, licorice root, green tea extract, and vitamin C. These ingredients help nourish your skin and actively treat and reduce acne breakouts. The cleansing gel also helps reduce whiteheads, blackheads, and clogged pores. Its tea tree oil reduces the appearance of breakouts and blemishes. It is designed for all skin types. The face wash is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Suits all skin types
  • Moisturizes skin

Cons

None

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12. Azarvi Exfoliating Cleanser

The Azarvi Exfoliating Cleanser thoroughly removes impurities to give a clear and smooth skin. The cleanser is formulated with glycolic acid that removes oil and dead skin cells. Its salicylic acid fights acne by unclogging the pores. It also contains tea tree oil and green tea that help prevent blemishes and acne.

Pros

  • Smoothens skin
  • Non-irritating
  • Non-drying

Cons

None

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13. Kamedis Dermatology Daily Acne Cleanser

The Kamedis Dermatology Daily Acne Cleanser fights acne breakouts while reducing skin redness and irritation. Its oil-free formula targets blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, blemishes, and excess oil. It also reduces inflammation and sebum production. It is suitable for ages 12 and above. The cleanser is formulated without parabens, dyes, steroids, and benzoyl peroxide. The product is dermatologist-recommended and cruelty-free.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Reduces redness
  • Paraben-free
  • Dye-free
  • Steroid-free
  • Benzoyl peroxide-free

Cons

None

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14. DHC Salicylic Acne Face Wash

The DHC Salicylic Acne Face Wash is a non-drying, foaming cleanser that gently exfoliates acne-prone skin. The face wash contains 2% salicylic acid that helps unclog pores and dissolve dead skin cells. It also contains aloe vera and green tea that soothe skin. The face wash is fragrance- and colorant-free and ideal for all skin types.

Pros

  • Soothes skin
  • Suits all skin types
  • Fragrance-free
  • Colorant-free

Cons

None

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15. Breylee Acne Face Wash

The Breylee Acne Face Wash is formulated with tea tree oil and salicylic acid. These ingredients work greatly to reduce redness and inflammation on your face, while healing acne and preventing future breakouts. The face wash is clinically proven to treat acne and works great for adults and teenagers. It has an oil-free formula that deeply cleanses your skin and unclogs your pores while reducing oiliness. The face wash moisturizes your skin, making it soft and smooth. It contains small molecules that deeply penetrate your skin to effectively treat acne and improve your skin texture. The face wash is vegan, hypoallergenic, and cruelty-free. It is formulated without parabens and alcohol.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Vegan
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Cruelty-free
  • Improves skin texture
  • Unclogs pores
  • Ideal for adults and teenagers

Cons

None

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These are the best oil-free salicylic acid cleansers available on the market. You can pick what suits you the best and begin using it. Regular use can give you great results.

How To Use Salicylic Acid Cleanser?

Step 1: Wet your face with water.
Step 2: Take a small amount of the salicylic acid cleanser and gently massage it all over your face.
Step 3: Wash your face and make sure no residue is left.

Conclusion

Salicylic acid helps achieve clear, acne-free skin. It exfoliates the skin and prevents acne breakouts by reducing excess sebum. The products listed in this post contain the best of ingredients and are made from natural compounds. Choose your pick and start using it today – and we are sure you soon will achieve the skin of your dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a moisturizer after using a salicylic acid cleanser/face wash?

Yes, you can apply a moisturizer after using a salicylic acid cleanser/face wash. But you wouldn’t need an additional moisturizer if the cleanser already contains moisturizing ingredients.

Do salicylic acid products cause side effects?

Salicylic acid products not specifically formulated for sensitive skin may cause mild side effects in those with sensitive skin. These include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Excess skin dryness
  • Burning sensation on skin

Sources

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. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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