10 Best Face Washes for Treating Acne in 2018 Reviewed

Are you just about fed up with your skin?

Does it refuse to cooperate, breaking out in angry, inflamed pimples?

You may have tried a dozen different products to no avail, gave home remedies a shot, perhaps even visited a dermatologist for prescriptions.

But often the solution to such a problem is surprisingly simple: just changing your face wash can have a dramatic effect on your skin health.

Now before you respond with “But I’ve tried so many different washes already!” remember that you can find hundreds of cosmetic brands in the market.

That doesn’t mean that all of these products will be equally helpful.

But don’t worry, because we’ve tested the most reputed face washes for acne-prone skin and selected the top ten best among them!

Best Face Washes for Acne-prone Skin Preview

Right on the top of our list, we have Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Acne Treatment Facewash Gel .It ranks so high because it works incredibly fast – in just 12 hours, you start seeing the results! The only complaint we have here is that it may dry out your skin (along with those pimples) a little bit.

Second, we have Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser which contains silver nitrate and can get rid of almost all those pesky bacteria damaging your skin. It is free of the cosmetic preservative paraben too.

Next ranks Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser which is a wholesome product rich in natural ingredients such as willow bark extract, beetroot, and primroses.The great thing about is that it complements all skin types.

Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam however is an excellent choice for those who have sensitive skin that gets easily irritated.If you have a less severe form of acne, this can be the perfect choice for you since its salicylic acid content targets not just pimples but discoloration too.

And spot number five goes Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser which comes from one of the most well-known and liked companies out there. It combines its patent pending technology with benzoyl peroxide, which together can make your skin clean and clear, all day, every day!

The Top 10 Best Face Washes

Every single product on this list may not give you the same results, but these are the crème de la crème of face washes, so you will no doubt be satisfied with quite a few.

Without much ado, here are the top 10 face washes for acne-prone skin, ready with advantages and disadvantages for each.

Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Gel Wash

Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Gel Wash

This is a product that comes highly recommended if you have an event coming up soon or want to get rid of your acne as fast as possible.

This gel wash works in as little as 12 hours, and its 2% salicylic acid formula is dermatologist tested to remove bacteria, grime, and grease from your face.

Of course, your acne won’t disappear in 12 hours but it’ll get visibly better.

The wash can have a slight drying effect, however.

It comes in a pump package that can be locked, so is great to carry while on the go.


    • It contains 2% salicylic acid
    • Produces a rich, creamy lather
    • Results appear very fast


    • Can steal the moisture from your skin
    • Not suitable for people with already dry skin

Murad Clarifying Cleanser

This cleanser contains silver nitrate, which can kill 99.9% of the bacteria on your skin in under a minute.

It is completely safe for use because it doesn’t contain paraben, sulfates, or phthalates, and it has 1.5% salicylic acid which directly targets acne.

It soothes skin with its green tea and menthol extract.

Dermatologist tested, it is also an animal-cruelty free product.


    • Encapsulated salicylic acid means that it fights bacteria all day long, not just when you wash your face
    • Suitable for easily irritated skin because of its soothing effect
    • It costs only $25, so is one of the cheapest products by this brand


    • It might not be a suitable option for skin that is very sensitive or for combination skin types • If you’re just suffering from mild acne, this product may be a bit overpowering
    • Using it over a long period of time could lead to dry skin

Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser

Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser

Burt’s Bees’ face wash is 99.4% natural with ingredients such as jojoba beads and fruit acids, and contains salicylic acid obtained from willow bark.

It has been clinically proven to get rid of bacteria and impurities in the skin, and can also calm the skin with its primrose and beetroot extracts.

It is also a noncomedogenic cleanser.


    • Effective for getting rid of dirt and grease on skin and healing acne-damaged surfaces
    • All natural formula means you don’t have to worry about inflammation or skin irritation
    • Is suitable for all types of skin


    • If your skin is not breaking out, it might not be suitable for daily use
    • Use over the long-term could result in skin dryness
    • Might not be useful in dealing with blackheads

Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam

Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam

This product is a mild cleanser that has a gentle foam formula that directly targets all your problematic acne.

It can relieve sensitive skin, and is a suitable face wash for all skin types.

It leaves your skin feeling clear and soft to the touch, and diminishes blemishes from your face.

The product is worth investing in because the quantity provided can last long.


    • It can efficaciously fight acne without drying out your skin too much
    • It has a calming effect for people with sensitive skin
    • It only costs around $20 and a little bit can bring out the effects needed, so it lasts long
    • Gentle for sensitive skin
    • Effective


    • If you only have mild acne, this product might be too strong
    • If your skin tends to get dry, it might not be suitable to use for a long time
    • A few users have reported their acne worsening after use

Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser

Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser

The special thing about this wash is that it uses an exclusive pore-penetrating technology that releases medical acne-fighting ingredients throughout the day even after you’ve finished washing.

It has a 10% benzoyl peroxide formula that prevents breakouts, and is quite effective even against severe acne forms.

It has been designed for daily use and is an affordable option.


    • Costing only about $5, it is one of the cheapest options available
    • A few users have reported their acne disappearing after only a weeklong use
    • Its modern penetrative technology prevents breakouts so is suitable for daily use


    • Its smell may be overpowering to those who don’t like strong fragrances
    • It might have a bleaching effect on fabric and towels
    • It might irritate skin if you have sensitive skin

Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser

Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser

Boscia’s cleanser is on our list because of its wonderful natural ingredients such as sasa kurilensis water, willow bark extract, rosemary leaf extract, jojoba leaf, and willowherb.

Along with dealing with acne, it makes your skin firmer and more elastic.

It is ethanol free, and its botanical formula is also effective against blackheads and dark spots.

It regulates sebum production and reduces visible pores.


    • You can achieve good results with only a small quantity, so the product lasts longer
    • Its natural ingredients soothes the skin
    • It heals damaged skin and has anti-aging properties along with preventing acne


    • It might cause irritation or dryness for those with sensitive skin
    • A few people have reported an increase in breakouts upon first using it
    • Its rose leaf extract content tightens the skin which some may find discomforting

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

Neutrogena is a reputed brand when it comes to fighting acne, and among all its products this one is especially popular.

And for good reason too, since its oil-free formula with conditioners and salicylic acid reduces blemishes rather quickly and well.

With its microclear technology, the acne medicine in its formula is enhanced.

It is dermatologist recommended, and leaves your skin feeling light and soft.


    • It costs only $5 so is a very affordable product for all users
    • It exfoliates dirt and dead cells very well
    • Gets rid of marks and prevents breakouts effectively


    • If you only have mild acne, the product might be too harsh on your skin
    • A few users have found that it dries out their skin
    • Its scent might not be pleasing to everyone

Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser

Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser

This face wash is the perfect solution for those who have only mild acne and want to prevent their skin from drying.

It doesn’t contain soap, is hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic.

Along with giving you clear skin, it locks in moisture with its protein-rich soy extracts.

It foams gently without clogging up pores and improves both your skin’s tone and texture.

It is suitable for daily use and can double as a makeup remover too!

Say goodbye to dull and uneven skin with Aveeno’s Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser.


    • It is a mild product so it soothes the skin and also reduces acne
    • It can also be used to remove your makeup
    • It is designed to prevent dryness with its soy ingredients


    • Some people have found that it doesn’t make a dramatic difference
    • Might not be suitable for those with severe acne
    • Not everyone has found its scent pleasing

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Cetaphil can effectively remove oil, germs, and makeup from the surface of your skin without hampering your skin’s health.

This daily-use face wash only lathers very mildly and doesn’t irritate skin.

It has been specially designed for those with oily or normal skin types.

It rinses off well without leaving residues, and has been dermatologist tested and proven safe for all ages.

It is very gentle and doesn’t aggravate or inflame the skin further.

You can also feel socially responsible buying from Cetaphil, because it doesn’t test on animals and has received many seals of approval and industry awards.


    • The product is very effective and also quite cheap at only $7
    • Its formula has been designed to prevent irritation
    • Many dermatologists recommend this product


    • It might not be suitable for those who have dry skin on some parts of their face and oily on others
    • Not everyone has found the scent pleasing
    • A few people deem the wash is too oily

Derma Topix Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Wash

Derma Topix Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Wash

As its name indicates, this product contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, which quickly kills the bacteria that are causing acne.

It is, in fact, suitable for all forms of acne, even the toughest kind that include blemishes and cysts.

It also has great exfoliation agents, so it can leave your skin feeling fresh and young each day once the dead cells are washed away.

While it intensely fights acne-causing bacteria, it also has aloe vera which can soothe your skin and help avoid irritation.

It must be used on a regular basis, however, or you may not see the full results.


    • It has been formulated to help those even with really bad forms of acne
    • It contains aloe vera which calms the skin and also fights acne
    • It can be bought for $15 and provides good value for the price


    • It might cause irritation and itchiness for those with sensitive skin
    • A few have reported that after initial use, there was an increase in acne
    • It needs to be used regularly in order for it to work

How to Recognize a Good Face Wash?

When buying face washes for acne-prone skin, you have to be a savvy decision maker who knows what exactly they’re looking for.

Otherwise, you may not be able to discern an effective cleanser from a meh one that will do nothing but waste your time and money.

So that you choose the wash that will actually meet your expectations the next time, keep these points in mind.

  • Make your pick considering whether or not it is suitable for your skin type. Many of those who suffer from acne also have oily skin, but acne isn’t just a condition that people with that skin type experience. People having dry skin, sensitive skin, or a combination of both dry and oily can get acne too. Look at what kind of skin the product is designed for
  • If you have sensitive skin that breaks out in rashes easily, stay away from products that have harsher ingredients. It is sensible to first check with a dermatologist how sensitive your skin is. Those with less delicate skin can afford to try more aggressive products, but it is recommended that you choose a gentle and non-abrasive cleanser, one that is preferably alcohol-free as well
  • Certain medical ingredients are known to be effective at fighting acne. When you see a face wash at a store, read what the contents are. For example, salycilic acid reduces swelling and redness and also opens up your pores. Sodium sulfacelamide prevents bacteria from thriving in your skin, and benzoyl peroxide exfoliates the top of your skin and gets rid of bacteria
  • Despite your skin type, look for face washes that have an “oil-free” tag. However, because you don’t want to lose any moisture from your skin either, choose ones that have emollients such as mineral oil, lanolin, ceramides, or petrolatum, or humectants such as glycerin

The last point to remember is that acne flourishes when the outer surface of your skin is covered by dead cells and clogged-up pores.

Search for face washes that have exfoliants such as alphahydroxy acids that will keep your skin fresh and smooth.

Also look for a “non-comedogenic” tag to make sure you don’t get blackheads instead while treating acne.


Now we can’t guarantee that any of these face washes will be the panacea to your acne problems, but we’re willing to place a bet!

Remember that to treat acne, you should also take other steps.

For instance, you can abstain from greasy food, use sunscreen or limit UV radiation exposure, and refrain from picking at your skin.

Whichever wash you’re using, make sure you are washing twice a day, in the morning after you get up and again before you go to bed.

Also take care to remove makeup thoroughly at the end of the day, and to wash if you’re sweating after an activity.

If you do all that, and use a suitable face wash from the list above, your acne will definitely reduce.

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