Acne Cleansers – Top Twelve Acne Skin Cleansers



Acne Cleansers imgA Look At The Best Cleansers For All Skin Types

This page is all about acne skin cleansers. It started out as the top ten but I have expanded it a bit! the idea is to help you make a the right choice by sorting through the hundreds currently available products and narrowing the field for you by quality and type thus reducing overwhelming choice, and weeding out the not-so-good.

Many of the familiar brands of cleansers feature here but there some good lesser- known products known ones that you might not be familiar with.

Only the acne cleansers that have a lot of positive user comments have been chosen so you can be sure that these are the best, like all products on this site maker’s advertising hype is not given any weight.

Glowing Reviews Mean Diddly In This Case

No two people have the same type of skin so what works for one may not be quite as effective for another, so it is really a pointless exercise to actually review a single product, so here they are classified by type to help you find your ideal.

It may take a little trial and error but you should be able to find a cleanser that will work well for your own skin type be it normal, oily, dry or a combination. The products are suitable for teenagers and adults alike.

You may choose to go the natural route and make up your own skin cleansing solutions at home, these can work well if applied in the correct fashion although some may prove a little messy.

Some of the products here are medicated, which usually refers to the fact that they contain a small proportion of salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acid or sulfur in their ingredients, and although these chemicals can be very beneficial for acne sufferers, it can cause skin problems for others who may have an aversion to it, so you will need to check for this information before buying.

Females will generally be well-practiced at using some form of facial cleanser and have a favorite brand, in some cases it may be one of those products mentioned here, but if you are prone to, or are currently suffering from acne it is very important for your overall treatment that you use the right product, even if that means changing your usual choice of product. For the guys the are plenty of fragrance free cleansers.

What A Good Cleanser Should Do

The point of using a cleanser is to deep-clean the surface and pores of the skin, by the removal of all dirt, grime, natural sebaceous oil and makeup, at the same exfoliating the surface removing any dead skin cells, they may also help to kill the P. acnes bacteria which is what the medicated acne cleansers are designed to do.

Importantly, the product you pick shouldn’t be oily or greasy and obviously it should be non-clogging i.e. non-comedogenic, most are but it doesn’t hurt to check and make certain. Be sure to choose a product formulated for your particular skin type.

Why You Should Not Use Ordinary Bar Soap On The Face

It’s a question of science, ordinary bar soaps have a very high pH value, this means they are very alkaline and can alter the natural pH balance of the skin, this can in turn cause certain types of bacteria to multiply rapidly, including the pesky P. acnes.

Bar soap also contain thickening agents which can block pores, and worse still they do a good job of removing natural oils from the skin causing the sebaceous glands to produce more than normal, which can cause acne breakouts.

Advice For Choosing And Using Cleansers

Most cleansers work equally well whatever form they come in, it’s largely a matter of what you prefer to use yourself, but you may find a few useful pointers here.

If you are not sure what to use, start with a cream, gel or lotion as the foam types can have a greater drying effect on your skin, if your skin is always dry a cream type will likely be most suitable.

If you already suffer from acne breakouts then you will likely want to use a medicated cleanser, using the lists below you should be able find a good one. However you must be careful, if you are using an acne treatment already, using a medicated cleanser as well may be too harsh for your skin, and cause over-drying, so in that case go for a normal un-medicated product.

Make sure the product you choose is for use on the face, those products meant for the body are generally stronger and should only be used on the body where the skin is a lot thicker.

The real test will come when you begin using your product of choice, if it makes your skin uncomfortable, tight and irritated stop using it and try another, but remember you should be using a good quality moisturizer with any products that contain skin irritants like Benzoyl peroxide.

The Most Expensive Is Not Necessarily The Best

High priced products are very good, but do not think they are the best based on price, there are many cheaper cleansers that do the job perfectly well.
Remember all the products listed here are based on user satisfaction, nothing else.

Medicated Cleansers

The following cleansers contain Salicylic Acid as one of their main active ingredients, although in most cases this is in low concentration. Some people are unable to use this chemical without suffering some reaction on the skin and as a precaution to help you avoid such products these have been separated so that you may easily find out whether or not a product does contain it.

When using cleansers containing harsh chemical agents like Salicylic acid and Benzoyl Peroxide it’s vital to use a good moisturizer as these chemicals, although good for fighting acne, can severely dry out the natural oils in the which may cause redness, flakiness and much irritation.

The top 10 is now the top 12!

Note these are all medicated products…

  • Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser
    Murad APS AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
    Proactiv Solution Advanced Formula Renewing Cleanser
    Neutrogena Oil Free Makeup Removing Cleanser
    Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
    La Roche-Posay Effaclar Deep Cleansing Foaming Cream
    Infinite Skin Cleanser
    L’Oreal Paris Go 360 Clean
    Obagi Medical Clenziderm
    Topix Gly Sal 5- 2 Cleanser
    Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser
    Epicuren Clarify Cleanser


Check out the latest prices and special offers on these products on Amazon here

Cleansers For Oily Skin Types

  • Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System
    Clenziderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming Cleanser
    Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser
    Neutrogena Men Invigorating Face Wash
    Olay 4-In-1 Combination/Oily Daily Facial Cloths
    Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash Formulated For Eczema
    Mary Kay Timewise 3-In-1 Cleanser – Combination To Oil Skin
    Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser
    Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash
    Image Skincare Clear Cell Salicylic Gel Cleanser
    Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Sensitive Skin
    Obagi Clenziderm M.D. Acne Therapeutic System Normal/Oily Skin
    Glotherapeutics Gloclear Acne Cleanser
    Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash Refill
    Pca Phaze 1 Facial Wash
    Glytone Exfoliating Gel Wash Oily Skin
    Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power-Cream Wash
    Skin Medica Purifying Foaming Wash

You can find the best products for oily skin on this page


Hypoallergenic Acne Cleansers

Here is a list of products for those of you who may have an allergy to some of the ingredients found in many commercial cosmetics.

  • Arbonne FC5 Hydrating Cleanser and skin Freshener
    Arbonne FC5 Purifying Cleanser and Toner
    Beau Visage Facial Cleanser.
    Mustela Stelatopia Cream Cleanser
    Helan Couperose Skin Softening and Soothing Cleansing Gel
    Smooth E White Foam Baby Face Scrub Non-Ionic
    Adovia Sulfur Soap
    Cleure Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

For more information on these products see this page

Natural Acne Cleansers

Here is a round-up of the best products that are made with only natural ingredients

  • Derma E Natural Bodycare Vitamin A Glycolic Cleanser
    Eminence VitaSkin Clear Skin Priobiotic Cleanser
    Acnexus – Acne Face Wash
    100% Pure Purity Facial Cleanser and Mask
    Arbonne FC5 Purifying Cleanser and Toner
    Eskinol Naturals Cucumber Facial Cleanser
    Be Natural Organics AHA Facial Wash – 10% Glycolic Acid
    Happy Me Skincare Natural Acne Wash Step
    Beau Visage Facial Cleanser. All Skin Types
    Nanocleanse – Natural Face Wash
    Petal Fresh Aloe and Peppermint Facial Cleanser
    Scarborough Fair Organic Face Wash with Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme
    St. Ives Naturally Clear Grean Tea Cleanser Oil Free
    Burt’s Bees Facial Cleanser, Orange Essence
    C. Booth Derma Daily Vitamin Facial Cleanser
    Canus Goat’s Milk Natural Olive Oil Body Wash

Check out the latest prices and special discounts on these products here

Natural Foaming Cleansers

  • Aveeno Active Naturals Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser – Fragrance-Free
    Kissed – Gentle Foaming SLS-Free Gel Facial Cleanser with Chamomile & Calendula
    Kracie Naive Aloe Facial Cleansing Foam

Best prices on foamy products here

All Natural Cream Cleansers

  • Aveeno Active Naturals Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser
    Clear Face Turmeric Cream Cleanser – Paraben Free

See the newest products at the best prices online here

Natural Facial Cleansing Pads

  • Yes To Deep Cleansing Facial Pads
    Aveeno Active Naturals Clear Complexion Daily Cleansing Pads
    Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Cleansing Pads

Natural Cleansing Soap Bars

  • Arcona Raspberry Clarifying Bar
    Wild Natural Baby Happy Baby Organic Soap Phthalate Free
    Sumi Haigou Settuken Charcoal Bar Soap
    Nippon Kodo Deitanseki Soap
    Miracle II Regular Soap
    African Black Soap 100% Pure Raw 8 oz.
    Nature’s Plus – Natural Beauty Cleansing Bar
    Aveeno Moisturizing Bar with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal for Dry Skin Fragrance Free
    Shea Terra Organics – Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Wash & Mask
    Olivella Face and Body Soap, All-Natural 100% Virgin Olive Oil

Discounts and savings on these product lines here

Totally Organic Facial Cleansing Products

  • Aquanil Lotion A Gentle Soapless Lipid-Free Cleanser
    Eminence VitaSkin Clear Skin Priobiotic Cleanser
    Gratiae Organics Facial Cleansing Lotion
    100% Pure Purity Facial Cleanser and Mask
    Shea Terra Organic – Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Wash & Mask
    Petal Fresh Aloe and Peppermint Facial Cleanser
    Weleda Almond Cleansing Lotion
    Gratiae Organics Facial Cleanser for Men
    Gratiae Organics Purifying Facial Cleanser Gel
    Clear Face Turmeric Cream Cleanser
    Helan Couperose Skin Softening and Soothing Cleansing Gel

Read more about these natural products here

Organic Facial Washes

  • CareNatural Tea Tree Deep Cleanse Face Wash
    Kiss My Face – Start Up Exfoliating Face Wash Cream
    Nourish Face Wash Organic with Cucumber and Watercress
    Skin2Spirit Pink Grapefruit Face Wash
    Skin2Spirit Orange Carrot Face Wash
    Skin2Spirit Coconut Rose Face Wash

Organic Bar Soap

  • Castile Liquid Soap Organic with Tea Tree oil
    Papoutsanis Olive Oil Soap
    African Black Soap 100% Pure Raw
    Nippon Kodo Deitanseki Soap
    Wild Natural Baby Happy Baby Organic Soap
    Charcoal Vanishing Act – Power Face Wash – Argan oil and Black Pepper

Check out these soaps here

Organic Clays And Scrubs

  • Organic AgeBloc Pore Cleanser
    Eminence Mineral Cleansing Concentrate
    Organic Pumpkin and Papaya Seed Face Scrub with Moroccan Rhassoul Clay
    Suki Suki transformative cleansing clay
    Sonya Dakar Triple Action Organic Scrub
    Herbalife Radiant C Daily Facial Scrub Cleanser

Look for special offers and discounts on these products here

Gentle Cleansers Sensitive Skin

The following list of cleansers may be considered rather more gentle than those listed above, they do not contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, and in most cases they do not contain any irritants, and should mildly cleanse your skin without any unpleasant effects.

  • Clarisonic Gel Cleanser
    Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
    Clean & Clear Oil-Free Daily
    Dermalogica dermal clay cleanser
    Free & Clear Liquid Cleanser
    L’Oreal Paris Ideal Skin Genesis
    Olay Professional Pro-X Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser
    Perricone MD Skin Clear Cleanser
    St. Ives Timeless

Best prices and offers on these products here


Non – Perfumed Cleansers and Bars For Men

  • Aveeno Active Naturals Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser
    Neutrogena Fragrance Free Liquid Neutrogena
    Beau Visage Facial Cleanser
    Eucerin Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash Oil
    Bullie Cleanser Dry and Sensitive Skin for Men
    Dove Men Care Body and Face Wash Sensitive Skin
    Mustela Stelatopia Cream Cleanser
    Dove Bar Soap, Sensitive Skin
    Phisoderm Skin Cleansing Bar
    Vanicream Cleansing Bar Fragrance Free
    Neutrogena Fragrance Free Transparent Facial Bar

Check out the latest prices and special offers for these products here guys

Skin Cleansers For Pregnant Women With Acne

Pregnancy carries with it many restrictions on the types of products that may be safely used, some ingredients contained within products must not be used so there are limited options for mums-to-be.

Acne most frequently occurs during and just after pregnancy due to changing hormone levels, fortunately this usually clears up after birth when hormonal levels return to normal.
The obvious choice in this case is to go organic or perhaps make you own at home.
One such otc acne cleanser I managed to dig out for pregnancy acne is Belli Acne Clearing Facial Wash.

Check out this product here if you have acne and a bulge in your tummy

For certain situations, prescription acne cleansers are available ask your Doctor or Dermatologist what their advice on these.


Products Not Tested On Animals

For those folks totally against the testing of cosmetics on dumb animals, and that includes me, apart from the few listed here there is now a much bigger choice than when I first wrote this article, hopefully one day humans will refrain altogether from squirting chemicals into the eyes of animals, purely for the vanity of humans, grrr.

  • Yes To Tomatoes Daily Clarifying Cleanser
    B. Kamins Chemist – Acne Wash
    Burt’s Bees Facial Cleanser, Orange Essence
    Arbonne FC5 Purifying Cleanser and Toner


You can now find many more cruelty free products here

Related Articles…

There are some other pages related to cosmetics on this site that may be of interest, you may like to see a list of the top acne moisturizers for instance or if you need to cover up marks and blemishes get the lowdown on the best acne concealers.

This page will help you avoid using the wrong type of makeup: cosmetic ingredients to avoid for acne, it will steer you clear of the most irritating compounds that makers put in their makeup products, which can cause skin irritation.

See Also:

Return To The Home Page
Best Moisturizers For Acne
Cosmetic Concealers For Acne Skin
Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin
Cosmetic Ingredients To Avoid
Makeup Advice For Clear Skin
Home Remedies For Acne
Acne Treatment Kit Reviews


Technical Resources For This Article:

American Academy of Dermatology