10 Best Face Washes and Acne Cleansers in 2017 for All Types of Skin

Acne can be very troublesome. It can also be extremely common. Some of the reasons many men and women face acne issues are hereditary conditions, junk food consumption, makeup, pollution, unhygienic face products, blocked pores, and hormonal imbalances. To protect your skin from all this damage, there are acne creams, serums, and treatments, but you need a specialized face wash that will suit your skin type and protect you from recurring acne. Some face washes harm your skin, while some are too mild to affect any change.

There are dozens of face washes available in the market today, but not all of them actually do what they claim. We spent a lot of time researching those which were the best for people genuinely suffering from acne issues. We figured out that, invariably, people who suffer from acne also have mildly sensitive skin. This is not always the case since weather changes, oily food intake, and exercise can also cause changes in skin texture and type.

There are usually three types of skin types – oily, dry, and combination skin. Oily skin is one that secretes excess oil throughout the day. Dry skin is one that secretes less oil, while combination skin is dry first and then turns oily (but maintains a balance between the two). Ideal skin types are combination skin types. However, these skin types are further classified into sensitive and rough. Before you select a face wash, you should always confirm which skin type you have, and which products seem safest for your skin.

This list is not a complete one but features the 10 best face washes for acne prone skin according to our research. We also cross-checked these products with their user ratings and customer feedback across e-commerce retail sites.

1. Biore Charcoal Acne Cleanser
2. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
3. Panoxyl Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Creamy Wash
4. Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser
5. Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Wash
6. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser
7. Christina Moss Naturals Organic Face Wash for Acn
8. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
9. Humane Acne Wash
10. Cetaphil Dermacontrol Foam Wash


Biore Charcoal Acne Cleanser


Biore has an excellent blend of salicylic acid and charcoal that cleans out all the oil from open pores to leave your face feeling clean and moisturized. It also has a mild tingling effect that feels rejuvenating for the skin. If you want to give your skin an added boost, use a non-oily moisturizer once you’re done. Your skin will be fresh and clear.

Best for: Oily skin types; can also be used for combination skin. Combination skin types can avoid the use of moisturizer.

Active Ingredient: 1% Salicylic Acid


  • Deeply cleanses skin to leave you feeling fresh
  • Unclogs pores to avoid acne build up
  • Absorbs oily residue left behind on skin
  • Daily use facial wash


  • Not ideal for dry skin
  • Not comfortable for severely sensitized skin – can cause slight redness
  • Can dry out natural facial oil (sebum) rapidly
  • Best used during summer to fight sweat, oily skin, and pollution


Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser


Neutrogena has lived up to their reputation with this stellar face wash. The pink grapefruit cleanser is a boon for people with blackheads, breakouts, and rough skin. It contains Vitamin C that naturally battles out excess oil secretion and has a wonderful scent that makes you feel rejuvenated. Neutrogena products leave skin feeling refreshed.

Best for: Extreme acne break out on oily skin

Active Ingredient: 2% Salicylic Acid


  • This face wash has an oil-free formula to remove excess oils (sebum)
  • Vitamin C extract helps with its astringent properties
  • Prevent reappearance of acne and pimples
  • Treats acne by systematically breaking it down from the roots


  • Requires continuous usage
  • Can cause skin to become excessively dry due to oil control
  • Delayed response time (takes time to start acting soon)
  • Tightens skin so usage of moisturizer is recommended post use of face wash


Panoxyl Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Creamy Wash


Panoxyl Benzoyl (BP) has a patented formula that medically works in reducing skin irritations and inflammations due to acne. The BP Acne Creamy Wash works wonders in reducing redness and soreness caused due to acne and skin problems. It helps reduce oil secretion and unclogs pores to leave your skin feeling soft and supple.

Best for: Combination skin type and sensitive skin

Active Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO) 4%


  • Can be used on your face, shoulders, and back in case of acne breakout
  • Gentle cleansing action
  • Creamy face wash for a luxurious feel
  • Comes in a thick tube for less wastage
  • Budget-friendly


  • Usage is by prescription
  • Skin irritation can occur if used with topical medication
  • Avoid unnecessary sunlight and use a sunscreen of minimum SPF 30 at all times

May dry the skin out fast – use only according to requirement


Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser


The Origins facial cleanser is a super luxurious foamy face wash that lathers beautifully when mixed with a little water. This face wash has berry extract that helps battle oily skin secretion and stops germs from multiplying on the skin. A refreshing wash, the cooling mint infusion keeps acne and other impurities free from your face leaving you with a wellness glow on your face. Origins Zero Oil Cleanser also helps in reducing shine on your face.

Best for: Oily skin

Active Ingredient: Saw Palmetto that has excellent antiseptic properties


  • Origins Pore Cleanser helps shed dead skin cell buildup
  • Reduces pores gradually
  • Reduces blackheads and acne
  • Effective in controlling excess oil secretion


  • To be used twice daily
  • Slightly expensive at USD 22
  • Might cause dryness because of oil control


Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Wash


This face wash is excellent at clearing acne from clogged pores. It contains salicylic acid to battle open pores and gently reduces oil secretion (sebum) in pores to prevent reoccurrence of acne and pimples. Pro-Vitamin B5 helps in reducing redness and keeping your skin supple and soft. The Peter Thomas Roth facial wash also helps in reducing the sensitivity of the skin to make it more resilient.

Best for: All skin types (normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and combination skin types)

Active Ingredient: Allantoin which helps in calming and soothing the skin


  • Helps in eliminating acne breakout cycle
  • Leaves skin without added residue
  • Excellent for use after daily and party makeup
  • Helps remove excess oil from the skin


  • Expensively priced at USD 38
  • Requires regular usage for best results
  • Has to be used only in specific areas on the facial skin


Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser


This facial cleanser from Neutrogena is a heavy duty face wash that attacks bacteria present on the face. It also helps in reducing dark spots caused to due to acne breakout and pimples. Neutrogena Rapid Acne Cleanser also promotes clearer skin with regular usage and is clinically proven to reduce acne redness within a day.

Best for: Severely Acne-prone skin

Active Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide formula 10% to reduce irritation of skin


  • Helps to eliminate dark spots
  • Reduces swelling around acne
  • Eliminates redness and discomfort caused by acne
  • Available in different sizes


  • Extremely heavy duty face wash
  • To be used gradually and stopped once treatment is successful
  • Should be used for spot control

Only for severe acne prone skin


Christina Moss Naturals Organic Face Wash for Acne


This natural, preservative-free, herbal face wash is free from allergenic reactions, rashes, and skin abrading side-effects. The Christina Moss face wash helps in fighting acne without drying the skin out. It only uses natural ingredients like sunflower seed oil, Aloe Vera juice, and rosemary essential oil. The Christina Moss face wash is also the only vegan face wash on our list.

Best for: All Skin Types (normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and combination skin types)

Active Ingredient: only natural products


  • Hypoallergenic – no allergic reactions to the skin
  • Cruelty-free – No Animal Testing
  • Cleanses in a gentle, smooth manner
  • Can be used daily


  • Expensively priced at USD 30
  • Short shelf life – 6 months from removal of seal
  • Delayed response time – requires regular usage for best results


CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser


CeraVe have added another feather to their cap with the facial wash/ cleanser. It has a gentle foaming action that cleanses the skin to remove excess oils and restore the moisture to the natural state. The ceramides present in the formula help in removing oily secretions (sebum) without disrupting the skin barrier. It is a clear liquid that foams as you rub onto the skin in small circular patterns.

Best for: Normal to Oily skin

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid to retain moisture and Niacinamide to calm skin


  • Non-comedogenic properties – doesn’t clog pores
  • Foaming action refreshes and cleanses the skin
  • Contains mild smell to avoid nasal and skin irritation
  • Helps in clearing acne while retaining natural moisture


  • Does not help with blackhead removal
  • Does not heal black spots and discoloration of skin
  • Is usually only available in the United States


Humane Acne Wash


The acne wash from Humane is a heavy duty face wash that is not meant for sensitive skin types. Containing 10% Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO), this face wash kills bacteria present on the skin. Humane Acne Wash comes in a non-foamy lotion that is quick absorbent and fast-acting. The Acne Wash prevents breakouts and is fragrance-free to reduce skin and nasal irritation.

Best for: Extremely oily non-sensitive skin

Active Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide 10% to decrease redness and swelling instantly


  • Can be used as a body wash for breakout and acne in other parts
  • Completely cruelty-free and not tested on animals
  • Starts working directly on the pores to reduce them
  • Prevents acne reoccurrence


  • Not for daily usage. This can only be used for severe acne cases
  • Mild redness, peeling, and irritation may occur
  • Dryness of skin is possible
  • Requires sunscreen and moisturizer post use


Cetaphil Dermacontrol Foam Wash


The Cetaphil Dermacontrol is last but not the least on our list. It has clinically proven qualities to remove oil and makeup from the skin without causing redness or irritation. Instead, it helps in soothing irritated skin. It also reduces shine on the skin to leave you with a dewy glowing morning look all day long. Specially made for people with acne skin issues, this formula does not cause excessive drying of the skin.

Best for: Sensitive skin

Active Ingredient: Zinc technology to reduce irritation


  • Designed for daily use
  • Oil control formula can work with other prescription medication for skin issues
  • Helps in maintaining pH balance of the skin
  • Gently cleans oils and impurities like clogged makeup


  • Does not work on dark spots and blackheads
  • Must be used twice daily for best results
  • Requires regular usage for best results

This was our list of the 10 Best Acne Face Washes. If you think there are others that also make the mark, please let us know.

Always remember to keep your skin clean, especially when covered with acne. Please do not try any topical medications without prior consultation and if any of these products work adversely on your skin, please visit a physician or dermatologist immediately to get the required help. In case of allergies, please only use non-allergenic creams and washes to protect your health.