5 Best Acne Face Wash Products (And Which One May Be Best for YOU)


The best acne face wash is able to solve the most common trigger for acne – clogged pores, and the best way to fix this problem is to keep pores clean. This is hard for many people who only wash their face as much as they brush their teeth, even though your face is subject to more exposure to outside dirt and grime.

Depending on the skin type, it is important to find and use an acne face wash that works well to rid your face of excess oil, or is gentle to combat sensitive skin. While some might not completely cure acne, it does well to clean your skin to help prevent future breakouts.

As an additional note, it is very important to stray away from any face wash products that are abrasive. That means straying away from products with microbeads because it will only irritate the acne and cause more breakouts. Not to mention that the beads will scratch your face, making it vulnerable to infections that will result in more acne.

Focus on a light cleanser, and use it 3 times a day for maximum results.

Below are some of the best acne face wash products that you should use every day.

1. Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive Skin

This product does well to clean sensitive skin without irritating the blemishes. After using, most rave that the product does not dry out the skin which is great considering many faces washes do.

The normal tight feeling after use is not there, and the skin does not dry or crack after use.

The foaming application also does not allow the product to slip from your face easily, thus allowing for easy application and use. However, it also made it a little harder to wash off if you’re not careful with it.

Before using the product, make sure to lather the soap a bit in the palm of your hand before application. Olay Foaming Face Wash is meant to be applied as a foam and straight application to the skin before lathering is not as effective.

Since the foam seeps deep into the pores, it does a good job at removing makeup as well, and thus after a long day the cleanser doubles as a makeup remover. The citric acid works well to break down the oil stored in your pores and leaves the skin refreshed.

The addition of the aloe vera extract also leaves the skin feeling calm and does not irritate it. This is important for those with acne-prone skin because it won’t have any negative skin effects. It’s all uphill once you start using Olay!

What we liked:

-Easy to use

-Deep cleaning

-Smooth finish with a cool feeling from the aloe

What we didn’t like:
-Slick/slimy feel after washing

-Difficult to wash off

2. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

This acne face wash does an amazing job at both cleaning and caring for sensitive skin. Its gentle formula doesn’t dry skin out and is the best acne face wash for skin that flares easily.

When using the product, it does not excessively lather but instead feels like a lotion that takes away excess dirt and grime. Because of its sensitive solution acne and blemishes are not dried out and do not crack.

The face is also not left with a tight feeling because the moisture is not stripped from the face. This is important, especially for people with oily skin, because then your skin will not feel the need to overcompensate with producing more oil to replace what you washed away in the night and morning.

The only downside is it is debatable of whether or not it gets rid of face makeup, or removes excess make up. Some claim to use it as a makeup remover as well as a skin cleanser, however, it will not get rid of waterproof make up such as eyeliner and mascara.

It also works great for any skin type, whether it be oily, dry, or combination skin. Both men and women with sensitive skin rave about this product.

More importantly, it doubles as a dual-threat – it is also one of the best cleansers for body acne.

If used instead of regular soap on affected areas while showering, skin tends to improve in a few weeks since the cleanser does not irritate the skin. It also actively fights acne and can sometimes have a positive effect on existing blemishes.

What we liked:

-Great on all types of skin

-Doesn’t dry out the skin

-Doubles as a body wash

What we didn’t:

-Got great at removing makeup (goes against one of their claims

-The powerful, lingering fragrance

3. Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash

For many, this product does well to clean excess dirt and grime without drying the skin (if you’ve noticed, we love face washes that don’t dry out our skin). This is important and as an added bonus the face wash prevents and reduces existing acne.

However, it does not completely help or fix acne issues the product does well to keep skin clean. This is because it does not contain Benzoyl Peroxide or Salic Acid in its ingredients.

Because these harsher chemicals are not included, the cleansing wash will not irritate the skin, compared to other products. The only downside is that it does not do well to clean waterproof make up, such as mascara or eyeliner.

In particular Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash foams when applied, thus getting to all of the pores. With the price also being very affordable, the cleanser is extremely affordable all with ranging skin types.

What we liked:

-Great for those with sensitive skin

-Very Affordable


What we didn’t:

-Not as effective as some other cleansers

-Dries skin and leaves face feeling tight

4. Acne.org Gentle Cleanser

This was our favorite cleanser by far. It was easily the most effective and non-irritating cleanser, but just requires a little more care when washing your face (be sure to watch the time)!

We recommended using two pumps into your hand, then gently massage it for 10 seconds or LESS before rinsing off. The product works well to clean pores of dirt, oil, and makeup without excessively drying out sensitive and non-sensitive skin.

The gentle cleanser also does very well to help prevent breakouts and does not irritate existing acne. Because of its sensitive formula, it works well for all skin types.

When first using the product, it is common for the skin to flare up or become itchy in the beginning. This is all normal for the first few days to a week after using the cleanser.

As an additional note, please recognize that the product has sage extract, white oak bark extract, and cucumber extract, thus if allergic to any or all please avoid the product. This may cause excess irritation and do more harm than help.

What we liked:

-Extremely effective

-Gentle so it won’t affect blemishes

-Great for all types of skin

What we didn’t:

-Takes several days to be effective

-Applying it for too long can dry out the skin

5. Clean and Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser

This acne cleanser is not for those with sensitive skin. This is the best acne face wash for those with tougher skin because the benzoyl peroxide digs deep into the pores to remove dirt and help prevent acne.

When the face wash is used on the skin, it may cause irritation because of its active ingredient, Benzoyl Peroxide which makes up 10% of this acne face wash.

Since Clean and Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser may cause irritation for those who are prone to it, it is important to gently test out the product for a week to see how the skin adapts.

Those with sensitive skin who choose to use the product are advised to use it once a day at, before bed.

To use, work the product onto the affected areas for about 10 seconds and thoroughly wash it off. Any residue that stays on may and will irritate the skin and can be uncomfortable for the remainder of the day.

What we liked:

-Most effective cleanser

-Powerful, deep clean

what we didn’t:

-Dries out skin

-Harsh to sensitive skin

-Can bleach clothes/towels (use white ones)!

Picking the Best Acne Face Wash For You

Everybody’s skin is different which means one product that works great for someone may not work as well for you.

Generally, you’ll want to choose which product to use based on the sensitivity of your skin and how effective of a face wash you want it to be.

More powerful face washes tend to be harsher, while face washes that are better for sensitive skin tend to be less effective in clearing out acne.

Fortunately, we always mention which one(s) are good for sensitive skin, and which ones may be more effective with less sensitive skin so make sure you choose appropriately!