Beauty & Health Skin Care

10 Best Acne Face Wash & Cleanser 2018

How to Get Rid of Redness on Face

Living with acne can be a burden and embarrassment that just you will understand. People who don’t suffer from acne will never understand how difficult it is to deal with those pimples day in and day out. The constant breakouts, infection and pain can take a toll on you mentally as well as physically.

Not only it does have the potential to leave permanent scars on your face, but it also can undermine your confidence, turning you into a social recluse.

There will be days when you think your skin looks too awful and you will not want to step outside to let the world see you in such a state.

As embarrassing and humiliating acne maybe, there are products that can help you get rid of the zits. The key is finding the right face wash for acne. Such a face wash will gently exfoliate dead skin cells without irritating your skin and at the same time, remove dirt, grime, and sebum which block pores and create the perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria to proliferate.

With so many anti-acne face washes in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right acne face wash. Every manufacturer claims that their product is perfect and will give the desired result. However, until you try the product, there is no telling whether it will work.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to go through the entire range of acne face wash. We have shortlisted some products that will help you combat acne and also prevent future breakouts.

Check Out: Hypoallergenic Shampoo | Tattoo Numbing Cream

Best Acne Face Wash

So, if you are looking for the face wash that will leave your skin looking and feeling smooth, soft, blemish-free and flawless, here are 10 products you should take a closer look at. They have the ability to produce desirable results with regular use; and hence, you just cannot go wrong when you pick one of these face washes and include it in your daily skincare regimen.

1. Humane Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment

This product is primarily for moderate to severe acne. You should not use it if you have sensitive skin. It contains 10 per cent benzoyl peroxide, which is an effective treatment. The formula is not created for sensitive skin due to the high percentage of benzoyl peroxide, which can irritate the skin or overly dry it. It works by eliminating the acne-causing bacteria from the skin’s surface, thereby prevent further breakouts. The best part is that this product is not just meant for the face; you can also use it on your back and rest of the body if you have acne.

A majority of users has found the product extremely effective, with most saying that it produces quick results and they have noticed a visible reduction in their breakouts and state of the skin. Many also love the fact that this product has not been tested on animals, making it a favorite among animal lovers and activists.


  • It is fragrance-free and hence, does not irritate the skin
  • It does not contain parabens, making a safe face wash
  • The lotion has good consistency and this lets you apply it evenly on your skin
  • The face wash is easy to wash off and does not leave behind a residue
  • Gets absorbed by the skin quickly and easily
  • Comes in an easy-to-use dispenser to minimize wastage
  • Made in the United States in manufacturing facilities that are compliant with FDA requirements
  • Can be used on the face and body


  • Dries up the skin
  • Can cause the skin to redden
  • Causes skin irritation and peeling of the skin
  • Not suitable for dry skin
  • Benzoyl peroxide can bleach bed linen and towels if it comes in contact with fabric

2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser

This particular product makes it to the list because users claim it is effective in clearing out breakouts within days. And, why shouldn’t it. After all, it contains salicylic acid, which gets rid of excess oil and helps to clear pimples with ease. The product has been tested clinically and the results show that it can minimize oil and sebum from the skin by up to 47 per cent. It also contains Lipo Hydroxy Acid, which gently exfoliates the skin and removes dirt and grime with ease.

Some users have mentioned that although this is a good acne face wash, it does peel the skin. However, there are others who claim it does not cause peeling or drying of the skin. Nonetheless, most consumers agree this medicated cleanser can reduce breakouts and in many cases, also clear up the skin to make it completely blemish-free.


  • Eliminates excessive oil and sebum with ease
  • Helps to clear breakouts and shows results in days
  • Can be used on sensitive skin
  • Ensures skin stay less oily throughout the day
  • Contain Lipo Hydroxy Acid for gentle exfoliation
  • Dermatologically tested to help acne-prone skin
  • The menthol in the product leaves the skin feeling clean and fresh


  • Can make the skin or parts of the face very dry
  • Causes the skin to peel
  • Can worsen acne in some cases due to excessive dryness

3. Proactiv Renewing Cleanser

Proactiv is a well-known name in the world of skincare, so it is not surprising that this cleanser has among the best out there. It contains benzoyl peroxide, which destroys the acne-causing bacteria as it penetrates deep into the skin. Many users claim that unlike other face washes, this one does not dry up the skin. So, there is no risk of overproduction of sebum, which clogs pores and causes a breakout.

The product contains tiny exfoliating beads that slough off dead skin cells that are responsible for clogging pores. This exposes the underlying new skin, making your face look radiant. It makes the skin soft, and is extremely effective in dealing with stubborn acne. You will find your skin feeling soft and smooth after each use.


  • Remove excess oil without making the skin feel dry and rough
  • It exfoliates the skin gently to remove dead skin cells
  • Does not cause skin irritation
  • Makes the skin feel soft and supple
  • It does not have an alcohol odor
  • Works wonders on stubborn acne


  • Can lead to redness and stinging
  • Can cause the skin to peel
  • It takes time to yield results, about eight weeks
  • Benzoyl peroxide can bleach towels, clothes and pillowcases
  • It is an expensive purchase

More: Best Face Washes For Oily Skin

4. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Wash With Salicylic Acid

As this is an oil-free face wash, it helps clean out the pore thoroughly. It contains salicylic acid, which destroys acne-causing bacteria and prevents future breakouts from occurring. What makes is the best cleanser for acne is the presence of skin soothers, which minimize skin irritation and prevent the skin from getting too dry. You will notice that your skin is clean, non-oily and soft.

Neutrogena claims that the product can treat acne even before the pimples become visible. This claim has been supported by several users, who state that the moment they feel a pimple coming up, using this oil-free face wash treats the zit, making it the good option. This face wash has been especially formulated for oily skin.


  • Contains salicylic acid to reduce breakouts
  • Cleans face effectively
  • Does not cause the skin to dry out too much
  • Produces desirable results with continued use
  • Get rid of dirt and makeup
  • Ideal for all skin types


  • Although dermatologically tested, it can dry out the skin
  • Dry skin can lead to excess production of sebum, causing the acne to flare-up
  • Can irritate the skin in few cases

5. Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser

If you are looking for the Face Wash for Acne Blemishes, you cannot go wrong with Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser. It contains 1.5 per cent salicylic acid and comes in the form of a gel. It is clinically proven to reduce zits by over 90 per cent in four weeks. It also contains menthol and green tea extract that soothe the skin.

The best part is that this face wash also doubles up as a toner, giving you an even skin tone. One user mentioned that it can reduce the appearance of large pores quite effectively. It appears to be effective in clearing up cystic acne, though some users did complain of getting chemical burns after a single use. However, this is anecdotal and there is no scientific evidence to support that this gentle cleanser and toner can burn the skin.


  • Gel cleanser that is easy to apply
  • Soothes skin irritation
  • Gives the skin a clean look and feel
  • Non-greasy
  • Improve texture of the skin
  • Refreshes the skin and gives it an even tone


  • Can make the skin dry
  • May irritate the skin
  • Does not remove makeup
  • Will require regular moisturizing of skin after each use

6. Facial Cleanser by Exposed Skin Care

This product from Exposed Skin Care is perfect for teenagers and adults with moderate to severe acne. It is non-comedogenic and soap-free. Hence, it does not irritate the skin. It removes oil and dirt effectively from the skin surface and penetrates into the pore to destroy bacteria that cause acne. It also does not contain any harsh chemicals, but effectively makes use of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to reduce acne and prevent further breakouts.

The product contains alpha and beta hydoxy acids along with olive leaf extract. These ingredients are known to clear up the skin. The product also maintains the superficial lipid layer of the skin, keeping your skin health and rejuvenated. It does not contain detergents, so there is no risk of irritation when using this face wash and cleanser. A majority of users agrees that though this product takes time to yield results, it definitely makes the skin soft and smooth after the first use.


  • Non-comedogenic and hypo-allergenic
  • Kills acne-causing bacteria
  • Does not irritate the skin
  • Eases inflammation and redness
  • Penetrates deep into the skin to make it blemish-free
  • Balance skin pH
  • Parabens-free
  • Ideal for mature skin, though all skin types can use it


  • Can take three to six weeks to show results
  • Dry skin can turn drier, leading to skin irritation
  • Takes time to show results

Best Acne Cleanser

7. Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser

It is formulated to gently remove dirt and grime. It is also effective in removing makeup. This facial cleanser is fragrance-free and hence, does not irritate the skin. It also contains natural oil extracts that condition and soothe the skin. Users state that it is a great hydrating agent, as well.

Most users agree that the product has a lovely, clean smell, even though it is unscented. This rejuvenates their mood while making their skin feel smooth and soft. It does not leave behind a sticky residue after use. It can be used by both men and women, as it is not primarily a makeup remover. Rather, it is a face cleanser that can be used by anyone, regardless of their skin type.


  • Gentle and can be used by all skin types
  • Improves redness and inflammation
  • Enhances skin texture
  • Gives the skin clean feel
  • Non-greasy
  • Helps to moisturize skin
  • Can be used daily by all skin types, especially sensitive skin


  • Expensive purchase
  • Can cause dry patches
  • Does not foam a lot
  • Can irritate skin and eyes in ultra-sensitive people

More: Best Toner for Oily Skin

8. Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser

When you are looking for a face wash, take a closer look at this foaming cleanser from Aveeno. It can reduce pimples and prevent future breakouts. It contains soy extracts that make the skin look healthier while improving skin texture and tone. You will have more radiant skin after using this product. The soy extracts also moisturize and hydrate the skin. The best part is that this facial cleanser has a non-greasy formula, allowing you to use it every day without worries.

The product contains 0.5 per cent salicylic acid, making it perfect for acne-prone skin. Though several users with acne have stated that it also helps to minimize their existing zits, it is best suits for skin that has a tendency to breakout. Most users have noticed a difference in their skin after using this foaming cleanser and recommend it to others, who want to find a product that can clean skin without harming or damaging it.


  • Non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic
  • Gentle foaming cleanser for everyday use
  • Does not dry the skin
  • Helps to improve uneven skin tone and texture
  • Gives the skin a radiant appearance
  • Treats acne and prevent breakouts
  • Soap-free


  • Does not contain adequate amounts of salicylic acid to eliminate acne quickly
  • Can irritate skin
  • Does not remove makeup effectively
  • Comes with fragrance and this can irritate sensitive skin

9. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, For Normal to Oily Skin

This product claims to remove oil, dirt and makeup from the surface of the skin. Many users claim that it does just that and without making the skin too dry or tight. The product is formulated as a low-lathering cleanser that is perfect for normal to oily skin. This means it can also be used for combination skin. The does leave behind a residue after washing and hence, does not clog up pores.

This gentle facial cleanser does not leave behind a residue after use. It is so effective in treating breakouts and skin irritation that it is also recommended for rosacea-prone skin. The mild formula makes this a really good option, and Cetaphil claims that even kids and teens can use it without worries.


  • Non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic, making it perfect for sensitive skin
  • Cleans the face and pores thoroughly
  • Gives the skin a fresh and clean feel
  • Does not leave behind residues to aggravate acne
  • Does not cause the skin to become overly dry
  • It is unscented and hence, does not cause skin irritation


  • Though the product claims to be unscented, it has a fragrance that many find unpleasant
  • Can cause sensitive skin to dry up
  • Is not very effective in removing eye makeup

10. Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser – Anti-Aging + Acne Face Wash

This face wash contain 2.5 per cent glycolic acid along with jojoba beads and willow bark that help to get rid of dead skin cells, oil, sebum and dirt. As a result, this cleanser unclogs pores quite effectively. Glycolic acid sloughs off the superficial layer of the skin to get rid of age spots, sun spots, fine lines and also mild to moderate acne scars. Hence, it fights acne and aging simultaneously and finding such a product can be tough. It contains soothing olive oil and rosehip oil for optimal skin hydration.

Most active ingredients in the product are organic. Hence, it is not harsh and does not burn the skin. Anecdotal evidence shows that it can definitely revitalize dull-looking skin. Most users have said that this product makes the skin smoother, helps to fade dark spots, and the skin begins looking brighter and more radiant with each use. More matured users claim that besides helping their acne, the product gives the skin a youthful appearance and glow.


  • Exfoliate the skin to reveal the underlying new skin
  • Makes the skin look more radiant
  • Effective in reducing acne
  • Helps with acne scars
  • Minimizes appearance of dark spots, fine lines and sun spots quite effectively
  • Improve skin tone and texture


  • Requires users to wear sunscreen while going out as the skin can become photosensitive
  • Not meant for everyday usage
  • Can burn the skin if used every day

Tips for sensitive acne prone skin

Now that you know about the face wash, you also need to a few tips to help the cleanser to work effectively. Just using the cleanser may not produce the results you are looking for and you can also check this article on wikihow about How to Have an Acne Free Face.

So, here are some tips to help you win the war against zits so that you can be proud of your blemish-free skin.

Opt for Gentle Cleansing:

When you have acne or oily skin, it can be tempting to deep cleanse your skin. However, this will strip the natural oils from the skin, making it more susceptible to acne-causing bacteria and causing your skin to go in overdrive and produce more sebum to replenish the lost oils. This is not something you want. Instead, use a gentle cleanser that is effective in removing surface dirt, oil and grime so that your pores do not get clogged. If you feel that your skin is too dry after cleansing, use a moisturizer that is apt for your skin type.

Stop Picking your Ance

Exfoliation May Not Be the Right Step:

Yes, exfoliating removes dead skin cells and cleans out the pores, but if you acne-prone skin, abrasive ingredients may not be what your skin requires. It could cause skin irritation and worsen the inflammation. Instead, gently massage your skin to facilitate blood flow while cleansing. After rinsing pat your skin dry with a soft towel.

Don’t Let Your Skin Become Too Dry

Most products to combat acne end up making the skin overly dry. This is the last thing you need as dry skin can be irritating and it will also cause the skin to produce more sebum, thereby worsening your acne. So, do not use alcohol-based cleansers and astringents. Opt for oil-free products that cleanse and moisturise your skin.

Salicylic Acid is Great for Acne:

Salicylic acid is one of the most effect ways to get rid of acne. It removes dead skin cells that block pores, causing breakouts. While salicylic acid does not destroy acne-causing bacteria like benzoyl peroxide, you can rest easy knowing that it will not leach moisture from your skin, or lead to redness and peeling.

Keep Makeup Brushes Clean:

You could be the cleanest person in town, but your makeup brushes and puff will harbor bacteria and collect dirt with constant use. Hence, make it a point to wash your makeup brushes and powder puff every two weeks. If you notice your sponge does not have a clean part, it is time to discard it and use a new one. Make sure you allow your makeup tools to dry thoroughly before using them again.

Keep Your Hair Clean:

If you suffer from dandruff or have oily scalp, wash your hair often. Dirty and unclean scalp can aggravate acne. Use a shampoo and conditioner that are right for your hair and scalp so that there is no flaking. These flakes can block pores and cause pimples on your forehead and along your jawline. Use hair care products that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and parabens-free so that they do not aggravate your skin in any way. Check out: Shampoo For Sensitive Skin.

Change Bed Linen Often:

If you suffer from acne, personal hygiene should be a priority. Hence, change your bed linen once a week. Be sure to change the pillow covers as well. Your body constantly sheds dead skin cells and these can accumulate on the sheets and pillow cases, and this, in turn, can worsen your acne or cause fresh breakouts.

Select Your Makeup Wisely:

When your acne flares up, you will automatically reach out for foundation and concealer. However, switch your makeup and go in for mineral-based products as they contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and silica that remove excess oil from the skin without blocking pores. Hence, are perfect for acne-prone skin.

Keep Your Hands Off:

Seeing new pimple cropping up every day can make it tempting to pop the zits. However, resist the temptation. Popping zits can result in secondary infection and also worsen your acne. Above all, you increase the chances of scarring. Also, your hands have invisible dirt and bacteria that can transfer to your skin, sending your acne-prone skin into overdrive.

Check: How to Stop Picking your Face

Stay Away from Dairy Products:

While there is an ongoing debate about the connection between dairy and acne, many skincare specialists believe that presence of testosterone in milk can cause your oil glands to produce excess sebum, creating an environment that is perfect for bacteria to flourish. Hence, rather than take a chance, it is best to cut down on your dairy consumption. Stop dairy for about two weeks and see how your skin fares. If it improves, you will be better off not consuming any dairy product.

Make Wise Food Choices

Your diet can have a profound effect on the health of your skin. Hence, opt for fruits and veggies as they are loaded with skin-friendly nutrients. This will improve the health of your skin even if you have acne.

Stay Hydrated

Water is essential for your skin. It keeps it hydrated while flushing out toxins and impurities. It can also get rid of some bacteria that are responsible for pimples. So, the next time you decide to reach for sodas or energy drinks, stop yourself. Instead drink plain water. If you want to make water more appetizing, just throw in some lemon slices and fresh mint leaves in your glass. It makes a refreshing drink on a warm summer’s day.

Be Wary of Non-comedogenic Claims:

When a product states that it is non-comedogenic, you automatically assume that it will not clog your pores. However, the US FDA does not have a definition for non-comedogenic nor does it list down ingredients that it believes will not clog pores. Hence, non-comedogenic is a vague term that many acne products carry. Be careful as you should be looking for face washes and cleansers that do not contain fragrances and preservatives as they can cause your skin to produce more sebum or lead to skin irritation.

The Bottom Line

While there are several great face washes for acne-prone skin, you will have to go through a trial and error method to find a face wash for acne. So do not get disheartened if one product does not work for you. Just switch to another one until you find the perfect one.

You have a list of 10 great products that are effective in combating acne. So, go ahead and use them. They are sure you to help you get smooth, blemish-free skin once you find a good acne cleanser for your skin.

Along with these products, use the tips provided to help your acne-prone skin. Remember, you will have to use a multi-prong approach to treat acne. So, don’t expect just the face wash to work wonders when you neglect everything else. Create a skincare routine so that your skin is always clean and oil-free. This along with your diet and personal hygiene will help you get rid of acne and zits.

While treating acne can be a long-drawn process, it is well worth the time and effort you put into it. So, don’t be impatient. Remember good things come to those who wait. So have patience and you will be rewarded for it