Best Face Washes For Oily Skin: Top 5 Cleansers Most Recommended By Experts

Is oily skin getting you down? Oily skin can make a person feel uncomfortable at times, especially if that skin is prone to breakouts. Though we think you are perfect the way you are, there are specific ways to keep your natural shine at bay. Some skincare products are specifically designed to cleanse and control excess oil production on the face. This type of face wash typically contains ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil, which help to unclog pores, reduce shine, and prevent breakouts. By using a face wash tailored to your skin type, you’ll be sure to ooze confidence and say goodbye to blotting and breakouts. However, with so many different options on the market, it can be overwhelming to try to find a cleanser that works for you! That’s where our list of the best face washes for oily skin comes in to help you make an informed decision for which product to add to your skincare regime.

Some people are not washing their face at all! A recent survey has shown that more than half of Americans admit they often hit the sack without washing their face! In fact, the study found that most of us who do wash up — aren’t even doing it correctly. Of the 1,000 adult men and women surveyed in the United States, 60 percent reported they were uninformed about basic skin cleansing methods, while 54 percent admitted they often skipped washing their face altogether before going to bed. Meanwhile, about half of those surveyed said they turn to hand soap or bath wash to clean their faces, while a third simply use water. Perhaps it’s just that consumers aren’t educated on skincare, with nearly two-thirds of the respondents reporting they didn’t know what to look for in skin care product ingredients, and 63 percent didn’t fully understand the purpose of those ingredients.

It’s hard to believe so many surveyed had a blasé approach to skincare, however, with a recent study showing that 46 percent of women feel most self-conscious about their skin. The list was closely followed by teeth, with hair rounding out the top three. These concerns may have grown since the COVID-19 pandemic, however, with many women experiencing a physical impact from the stress. For those respondents, stress caused changes in their weight and more acne breakouts. That’s in addition to graying or thinning hair and oily skin. A quarter of respondents have even seen their hair fall out as a result of the stress. Respondents aren’t letting these insecurities get them down; instead, they’re working to make positive changes for their mental health. What are these changes? Well, they’re getting extra sleep, taking more vitamins and supplements, and eating a more balanced diet! While we do all love a good “girl dinner,” it’s nice to treat yourself to create balance and an overall better feeling.

Ready to up your skincare game? As always, we at StudyFinds have researched across multiple expert sources to bring you today’s list of the top five best face washes for oily skin you can buy now. Don’t agree with our ranking? No worries, we would love to hear from you in the comments down below!

Black man cleansing and washing his face with soap
Man cleansing and washing his face (© Wayhome Studio –

The List: Best Face Washes for Oily Skin, Recommended By Experts


1. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser

Our first pick is great all around. Not only is it effective, but its price point is excellent, and you can find it both on Amazon and at your local Target! Among other places, that is. “A derm-favorite option, La Roche-Posay’s foaming cleanser has niacinamide and glycerin to keep skin soothed and is suitable for sensitive skin as well,” says Harper’s Bazaar.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser

“The MVP in this bb? Niacinamide, which, in addition to smoothing fine lines and helping to fade hyperpigmentation, also keeps your skin barrier healthy (aka the part of your skin that protects your natural moisture). It’s the perfect cleanser to pair with your niacinamide serum,” writes Cosmopolitan.

“As for oil-fighting ingredients, know that this product is non-comedogenic, meaning that it won’t clog your pores, and is water-based, so it’ll wash away excess oil on your face. Not only that, but this La Roche-Posay face wash also contains niacinamide, which helps with breakouts and works to regulate oil production, among other benefits. It’s free of sulfates and fragrances, too, making it more compatible for people with sensitive skin,” adds Real Simple.

2. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Next up is a tried and true option and a favorite of many. The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. You know, you’ve seen it; now it’s time to try it! “Sometimes, the most simple formulas seem to work the best. This foaming cleanser from CeraVe has nearly 75,000 verified ratings on Amazon, with one reviewer calling it a ‘bubble bath for your face.’ It’s easily found on shelves, is free from fragrance, and can also be used as hand soap,” describes Today.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

“‘I love this product because the formula has three essential ceramides to cleanse the skiwithout stripping it in the process,’ Ceramides help the skin rebuild and repair the protective barrier to make it more resilient against future damage and signs of aging. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which provides moisture, and niacinamide, which soothes and calms the skin, while sodium lauroyl lactylates give the cleanser its foaming consistency, which helps loosen skin impurities,” explains The Strategist.

“Touting viral fame and dermatologist approval, CeraVe skincare keeps flying off the shelf — this foaming facial cleanser, included. GH Senior Chemist Danusia Wnek found that it lathered and cleansed skin well without abandoning skin of moisture. No potentially irritating fragrances are found here, either. Plus, it comes in mini sizes perfect for travel,” raves Good Housekeeping.

3. First Aid Beauty Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay

Our next pick is the Beauty Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay formula by First Aid. It’s probably the highest price-point option on the list, but it comes with its benefits. 

First Aid Beauty Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay
First Aid Beauty Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay

“It also washed off well, taking their makeup with it (with just a few traces of waterproof mascara left behind), so there was no need for any harsh scrubbing or rubbing. If you have quite reactive skin, you can also take comfort in its pH-balanced formula that maintains the skin’s natural acidity and helps reduce flare-ups,” adds Byrdie.

“If you have oily and sensitive skin, it can be tough to find a face wash that removes makeup and grime sans irritation—but this foaming gel cleanser from First Aid Beauty is a solid option. Absorbent red clay and rosemary leaf oil work to clear the skin and balance sebum production, while a powerful antioxidant blend helps protect against environmental stressors,” writes Yahoo! Sports.

4. Neutrogena Oil-Free Salicylic-Acid Acne-Fighting Face Wash

Our fourth spot belongs to a Neutrogena favorite. Chances are you’ve seen these little orange bottles on your local drugstore shelf. “This budget-friendly cleanser from Neutrogena includes salicylic acid, which means it’s a good pick for tackling two issues at once: acne and oily skin. The sensitive formula is non-comedogenic (so it shouldn’t clog your pores), and the brand says it’s also non-drying (a common concern when treating acne),” comments Today.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Salicylic-Acid Acne-Fighting Face Wash
Neutrogena Oil-Free Salicylic-Acid Acne-Fighting Face Wash

“Dermatologists recommend Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash as a reliable option for a face wash that’s gentle yet effective. It’s one of Dr. Hadley King’s picks for similar reasons — she particularly likes the Pink Grapefruit version since it ‘feels more fun, less clinical, and has a refreshing scent.’ Dr. Debra Jaliman also points out that this wash features aloe, which is soothing to the skin,” notes The Strategist.

“One of the most popular cleansers for oil control is the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, which stands out for its affordability, accessibility, and effectiveness. The face wash’s success can largely be attributed to the amount of salicylic acid in the product, which, at 2 percent, is the highest you can get over the counter,” observes Real Simple.

5. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover

Coming in at our final spot with a price that cannot be beaten is the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water. This product not only cleanses but removes your makeup with no harsh ingredients. “Long lauded for its ability to gently remove dirt, makeup, and impurities, micellar water now comes in the revolutionary form of a foaming cleanser. Safe for the face, lips, and eyes, this face wash also helps regulate oil,” explains Good Housekeeping.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover

“People with sensitive skin should look for a cleanser that is free of fragrance, botanicals, citric acid, and sulfates, all of which can cause irritation. Many cleansers usually contain one or more of these ingredients, so your best bet is to use micellar water. This Garnier micellar water product doesn’t contain any of the above ingredients, or really very many ingredients at all, and has been designed to specifically help people with oily skin. So not only will it be gentle on your skin, but it will also offer a cleanse that won’t dry you out, thanks to the addition of glycerin,” says Real Simple.

“Remember when micellar waters were all the rage a few years ago? I still stand by Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water as one of the best drugstore facial cleansers. This micellar water gently removes makeup and is fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free. Additionally, if I’m traveling and only want to bring a carry-on, this drugstore makeup remover comes in a travel size that’s easy to pack,” concludes The Dapper Dahlia.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Jilly Hite

New York raised and Florida-based Jilly Hite studied screenwriting and theatre at The Lee Strasberg Institute before becoming a full time content creator and podcaster. She loves old movies, musical theatre, and her pup Ted.

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