30 Best Acne Face Washes For All Skin Types (2020)

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30 Acne Fighting Cleansers For Every Skin Type

When it comes to skincare, lots of products talk a big game. A single label can claim to clear skin instantly, rejuvenate your complexion and give you 10 years good luck after one use of an acne face wash.

Acne affects people of all ages and stages in life, and can be a real source of insecurity. Causes and severity vary from person to person, but one thing we all have in common is that, when a breakout happens, we want it gone ASAP.

That's why choosing the best acne face wash is essential to protect your skin.

Skincare brands, like exes, lie. Just because a product claims it’s for treating acne doesn’t mean it actually will.

You’ve got to look out for key ingredients that are scientifically proven to fight breakouts, including salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. But these can hide in products under confusing names that make them hard to spot.

Luckily, these 30 best acne face washes are tailored to your skin's specific needs.

Whether you have oily, dry, sensitive, or combination skin, your acne will be no match for these cleansers. 

RELATED: 18 Best Pimple Patches To Heal Acne Overnight

1. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

This product is the GOAT of acne-cleansers and an amazing all-rounder for every skin type. It ticks all the boxes: affordable, non-drying, fragrance-free, and much more. Watch your skin glow after a couple of weeks using this stuff. 

(Target, $9.59)

2. St. Ives Acne Control

Rich in acne-busting salicylic acid, this cleanser will wipe away your dead skin cells and unclog your breakouts. If you’re prone to inflamed, throbbing pimples, you’ll love this tea tree oil formula for its calming properties. 

(Target, $4.149

3. Fresh Soy Face Cleansing Milk

Sensitive acne-prone skin is crying out for this soothing cleansing milk. The blend of natural botanicals like cucumber and sunflower oil means that not only does it smell great, it feels incredible. 

(Sephora, $38)

4. Kiehl's Calendula Deep Clean Foaming Face Wash

Yes, dry skin can cause acne too! Keeping skin hydrated is key when improving the appearance of blemishes. This cleanser contains calendula flower extract and glycerin that help create a moisture barrier, making your skin look supple and radiant. 

(Sephora, $34)

5. DHC Pore Cleansing Oil

Oil cleansers are great for breaking down makeup. Oil attracts oil, making it easier to remove from your face. This blend of coconut, argan, evening primrose, olive, grape seed, jojoba, avocado, sesame, and rice bran oils will draw out dirt and hydrate dry skin. (Take a shot for every time you just read the word oil.)

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

6. Bioré Charcoal Acne Daily Cleanser

If blackheads are contributing to your acne problems, you need to get your hands on this cleanser. The amazing purifying benefits of charcoal combined with salicylic acid will push all that acne-causing gunk from your pores. 

(Target, $6.49)

7. Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser

Counterintuitive as it might seem to use a mud to cleanse, this balmy product deep-cleanses the pores while calming and hydrating the skin with aloe vera. Containing 5 percent glycolic acid, it’s just the right amount of exfoliation for daily use. 

(Walmart, $24.89)

8. Tata Harper Clarifying Blemish & Oil Control Cleanser

If you’re into clean beauty, this cleanser is full of natural ingredients that won’t harm the planet or your skin. It uses exfoliating lactic and citric acids to slough away pore-clogging skin cells, while balancing oil and redness with botanical extracts.

(Sephora, $72)

RELATED: The 3-Step Skincare Routine That Reduces Stress & Improves Your Skin, According To Science

9. Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel

Clean beauty brand Biossance combines tea tree oil with aloe and glycerin to make a product that will tackle acne but still soothe the skin. The plant-based gel contains squalene, a moisturizer similar to a substance your skin produces naturally, to keep skin hydrated.

(Sephora, $29)

10. Eau Thermale Avène Antirougeurs CLEAN Redness-Relief Cleansing Lotion

Acne can often cause the skin to look inflamed and red, ruining your dreams of glowing, even skin. Luckily, this cleanser is here to make all your dreams come true with its thermal spring water that soothes red skin while cleansing your pores. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

11. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser

A favorite among dermatologists, this cleanser is soap-free, sulfate-free, oil-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores. Enriched with niacinamide, it will reduce sebum production and strengthen your skin’s protective barrier so you can hold on to your natural radiance, and fight off pollution and dirt. 

(Target, $14.99)

12. Differin Daily Deep Cleanser

Most Differin products will kick your acne to the curb, but this one, in particular, is amazing for dry and sensitive acne-prone skin. With a combination of cleansing benzoyl peroxide and moisturizing glycerin, your skin will be purified and hydrated after use. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

13. CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser

If you're prone to cystic acne, you’ll know it can be the most aggressive and hard-to-treat forms of acne. This cleanser is a favorite for tackling stubborn breakouts due to its 4 percent concentration of benzoyl peroxide, a powerful agent against cystic acne. Make sure to build up your tolerance by starting out with small amounts of this cleanser just once a week. 

(Target, $11.99)

14. Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser

This is another product approved by clean beauty experts. It contains salicylic acid in its natural form in willow bark extract, as well as a blend of rosemary leaf extract and geranium, which reduce redness and firm up the skin. It’s never too early to use anti-aging products, and this one is a good start. 

(Sephora, $28)

15. Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Cleanser

Besides having one of the catchiest names of any skincare product, this cleanser is loved by people overcoming cystic acne. It’s rich in sulfur which has antiseptic and antifungal properties. It might not be the nicest smelling ingredient, but it’s easy to put up with in the name of radiant skin.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: How To Cure Acne With What You Put Inside Your Body

16. Vichy Pureté Thermale One Step Micellar Cleansing Water

While it’s generally best to use a wash-off cleanser after removing your makeup, sometimes time constraints get the better of us. This 3-in-1 micellar water will remove every last stitch of makeup, cleanse and tone your skin with vitamin B so you can cut your skincare routine in half. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

17. Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Porefinist Cleansing Oil

If you’re intimidated by the thought of putting an oil cleanser on your already oily skin, start out with this product. It contains salicylic acid which you’d be hard-pressed to find in other oil cleansers. Your skin will glow without looking like you’ve been dipped in a bowl of grease.  

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

18. Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

Replace your face scrubs with this cleanser that is rich in powerful exfoliants. The salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid in this product will loosen and remove stubborn dead skin and dirt without tugging on your skin. It’s a highly active cleanser, so use it no more than 3 times a week for optimal results. 

(Sephora, $40)

19. Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

If you’re using a lot of intense acne treatments and topical ointments, it helps to go easy on your skin during the cleansing process. The unscented, creamy formula still cleans away makeup, dirt, and oil, but it won't leave your skin tight and stripped.

(Walmart, $13.04)

20. Neutrogena Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit Acne Facial Cleanser

Buy this product for the scent alone if you love citrus perfume. It's salicylic acid-based to treat everything from blackheads to breakouts, and adds vitamin C to balance out T-zone oil.

(Target, $7.99)

21. PanOxyl 4% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Creamy Wash

Another moderate strength BP cleanser for all your blemish-bashing needs! I especially recommend this for use all over your body to treat acne on your back, neck or chest. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

22. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

Don’t let the words "hydrating" fool you — even oily skin can use this cleanser. It’s fragrance-free, and full of ceramides and hyaluronic acid that will improve your skin's radiance. 

(Walmart, $10.98)

23. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser

If creamy cleansers or oils seem a little heavy for you, you’ll love this lightweight, nourishing cleanser. The formula deeply cleans out dirt, oil, and makeup while maintaining balance in the skin. Glycerin, aloe, licorice, root, and white tea extracts band together to purify, soothe and hydrate the face sans stinging or burning.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: 20 Best Lotions That Help Clear Up Acne Scars (And Moisturize Skin)

24. Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask

Get double the action for your money with this effective cleanser and mask. If you have a little extra time you can leave this to sit on the skin for few minutes and wash it off to reveal clearer skin. You’ll find 3.5 percent benzoyl peroxide in this wash, so it’s less intense and harsh than a higher concentration. 

(Walmart, $6.67)

25. Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

Glycolic acid is amazing for resurfacing the skin and smoothing out textural irregularities. When added to the herbal extracts in this cleanser, the active ingredient will smooth your pimples and prevent acne scarring. 

(Sephora, $16)

26. Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Wash

Salicylic acid can be harsh on sensitive skin and may worsen redness. But given that it’s so amazing for tackling breakouts, it’s a difficult ingredient to pass up. This product combines salicylic acid with allantoin, an ingredient that eases potential sensitivity, and pro-vitamin B5, which helps skin stay supple and redness-free.

(Sephora, $39)

27. The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

Skincare junkies love this brand for its transparency when it comes to ingredients. This impressive cleanser has an oil-like consistency that attracts and melts away the oil and dirt from your face. It’s particularly effective for combination skin because it removes grease without drying out the face.  

(Sephora, $7.90)

28. Brooklyn Botany Camellia Wonder Oil

This is the kind of product you want to slather all over your body. It can even be used for hair, too! If you’re prone to breakouts, use this as a makeup-removing wash. It’s rich in vitamin A, B and E, and ingredients like rice bran and jojoba oil, so this cleansing oil will brighten acne scars while rinsing away impurities.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

29. Olehenriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser

Combining neem seed oil and AHAs like glycolic and lactic acids, this face wash allows deep cleansing to unclog and purify the pores without causing harm to the skin. Additionally, the formula will help get rid of dead skin cells that cause build-up within the pores, resulting in a well-balanced complexion.

(Sephora, $26)

30. Farmacy Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser

For those of you with dry or combination skin, this clean beauty product targets dullness and impurities so you radiate on the outside as well as the inside. Packed with ingredients like coconut and amino acid, the formula gently washes away oil and is complete with hyaluronic acid, which adds moisture and hydration.

(Sephora, $28)

RELATED: 30 Relatable Quotes About Acne Everyone Who's Lived With Pimples Can Totally Relate To

Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.

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