10 Best Face Washes for Oily Skin – Purifying but Gentle

A girl trying out the best face washes for oily skin

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If you have oily skin, choosing the right face wash is one of your most important skincare tasks. The best face washes for oily skin are always deeply cleansing, but also mild enough so that they don’t strip the good, necessary oils.

Healthy glow? Yes, please. Greasy shine? Not if we can help it.

But it is often a thin line between removing the excess sebum and overdrying the skin to the point it starts to produce even more oil. This can lead to dull, dehydrated skin and worsening of the breakouts.

That is why you need a face wash created with oily skin in mind. Just like with moisturizers for oily skin (and yes, oily skin needs a moisturizer), your face wash also needs to create a balance rather than remove all traces of oil.

You also need your cleanser to be able to sink into the pores and unclog them, mattify your skin, prevent breakouts and even out your complexion. So, not an easy task, but luckily there are products on the market that seem to be up to the task.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when choosing between different oily skin face washes…

How to Choose Face Wash for Oily Skin:

  • Avoid too foaming and too stripping face washes. They may help you get rid of the oil temporarily, but they can worsen the condition of your skin in the long run.
  • Gel formulas seem to be a much better choice for oily skin. They are still powerful enough to remove the oil and grime, but they are much better at protecting your skin’s lipid barrier.
  • Pay attention to how your skin looks and feels after the wash. It should feel clean and fresh, but not dry or tight.
  • Acids are your friends, especially glycolic and salicylic acids. Glycolic acid gently exfoliates the surface of your skin, while salicylic acid sinks into the pores and unclogs them.
  • You will also need to somewhat replenish the lost moisture. That is why the best face washes for oily skin tend to be formulated with hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, aloe, ceramides, squalane, or non-comedogenic oils.
  • Some other ingredients that work wonders for oily skin are antioxidants (protect against pollution and free radicals), tea tree oil (antibacterial), clay (collects oil), and skin-brighteners, such as vitamin C and niacinamide, to help with the uneven complexion.

10 Best Face Washes For Oily Skin

*All prices mentioned are from June 2022.

1. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash


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Price: $14.99/13.5 fl. Oz.

This face wash is formulated for normal to oily skin and it checks pretty much all of the boxes we talked about above. It is purifying but gentle; cleanses the skin but maintains the skin’s moisture levels.

This cleanser is dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic and free of parabens, fragrance, oil, sulfates and soap. As for the goodies it contains, the most noteworthy are ceramides, niacinamide, glycerin and La Roche-Posay prebiotic thermal water.

2. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin


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Price: $12.08/12 fl. Oz.

Another face wash that removes all dirt, makeup and grime without disrupting your skin’s barrier. Though foaming, the formula is gentle, non-drying, and contains several components that work to repair and reinforce the good lipids in your skin.

Ceramides, glycerin and hyaluronic acid, for example, replenish the skin and improve its water retaining abilities. This face wash also contains niacinamide, which brightens the skin and contributes to a youthful, even complexion.

3. Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser


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Price: $44.00/6.75 fl. Oz.

If you often experience greasy shine, clogged pores, and breakouts, this cleanser might be a perfect solution for you. It not only thoroughly cleanses the skin during the washing, but its actives continue to work even after you rinse it off.

This feature puts it among the best face washes for oily skin and allows it to thoroughly cleanse the pores, reduce existing breakouts and prevent new acne. How it does it? By containing two types of salicylic acid – one that works right away, and an encapsulated form that continues to treat your skin even after you’ve washed your face.

4. Vichy Normaderm Phytosolution Purifying Cleansing Gel

Price: $26.15/13.5 fl. Oz.

Another oily skin face wash that relies on salicylic acid to thoroughly purify the skin, unclog the pores and reduce blemishes. It gently removes dirt, pollutant particles and excess sebum without drying out or sensitizing the skin.

Normaderm Phytosolution Purifying Cleansing Gel leaves the skin feeling fresh and clean, mattified and even. It prevents blackheads, reduces the appearance of enlarged pores and makes the skin softer and smoother.

5. Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser


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Price: $28.00/5 fl. Oz.

Skin imperfections, such as pimples, blackheads, large pores and oily complexion can be difficult to keep under control. A quality face wash is your best friend here, to not only reduce the active breakouts but also prevent the future ones.

Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser reduces sebum and cleanses and tightens pores without drying out the skin. It contains salicylic acid, glycerin, grape water, aloe vera and 6 purifying essential oils.

6. Garnier Pinea-C Vitamin C Brightening Foaming Gel Cleanser


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Price: $9.99/4.4 fl. Oz.

If your skin looks dull and dehydrated under that oily layer, you will love this cleanser. Not only does it remove the excess sebum, but it also smooths the skin’s texture, even’s out the skin tone and brightens the complexion.

This oily skin face wash contains a few skin brightening ingredients, such as vitamins C and E, pineapple extract, papain and glycolic acid. The combination of the exfoliants and antioxidants adds glow to your skin and enhances a healthy, youthful appearance.

7. Peach Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser


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Price: $28.00/3.38 fl. Oz.

This product starts as a gel, then turns into a soft, milky cleansing foam. It cleanses and draws out the impurities while soothing and maintaining the hydration levels of the skin.

Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser is suitable for all skin types, even for acne-prone or sensitive skin. It contains several soothing ingredients, including botanical extracts, panthenol, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, etc.

8. Tula The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser


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Price: $28.00/6.7 fl. Oz.

We already mentioned face washes for oily skin need to be able to thoroughly remove grime and sebum but in a balanced, non-stripping way. This purifying face cleanser does exactly that and more for your skin.

The combination of probiotic extracts and skin soothing and enhancing components leaves the skin pure, fresh, calm and even. Among others, this cleanser contains glycerin, turmeric, green tea, blueberry and chicory extract, milk protein, yogurt powder, vitamin E, panthenol, etc.

9. Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel


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Price: $30.00/13.5 fl. Oz.

And here’s a great oily skin cleanser that you can use for both your face and body skin. It reduces shine, purifies the pores and helps minimize the triggers of the excess oil production.

This product works great on acne-prone skin, as it reduces sebum and other pore-cloggers, soothes redness and calms the skin. The ingredients that help it achieve this are Avene thermal spring water, milk thistle extract and zinc gluconate.

10. Youth To The People Superfood Kale Antioxidant-Rich Face Cleanser

Price: $36.00/8 fl. Oz.

Compared to a green juice cleanse, only for your face, Superfood Cleanser cleanses the skin, balances pH and removes makeup without drying out the skin. It has a clear gel texture and a fresh, herbaceous scent.

Full of antioxidants and skin-replenishers, this product promotes even skin tone and natural glow. Some of the skin-enhancing components it contains include aloe juice powder, kale, spinach, green tea, alfalfa and chamomile extracts, vitamins C, B5 and E, glycerin, etc.

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