The 8 Best Face Washes for Oily Skin
If your complexion is oilier than a dollar slice of New York pizza, it takes a little bit more effort than patting your face a few times with a blotting paper to get excess shine under control.
But what exactly causes oily skin?
"Individuals develop oily skin when the sebaceous gland in your skin produces too much oil called sebum," explains Dr. Gretchen Frieling, a triple board-certified dermatologist based in the Boston area, tells InStyle. "Sebum is vital to keep your skin healthy; however, when your glands overproduce sebum, it tends to clog pores and cause your skin to be overly shiny and acne-prone. Multiple factors play into the role of oily skin, such as hormones, genetics, stress, diet, and dehydrated skin."
Using the right products plays a major role in reducing oiliness, starting with how you wash your face. In order to see the best results, Dr. Frieling suggests sticking with mild formulas free of harsh chemicals, exfoliators that are large beads, and if possible, fragrances. "It is best to use gentle moisturizers, cleansers, and exfoliators for oily skin," she says. "Therefore, you should avoid oil and alcohol-based cleaners because they cause the skin to become excessively dry or irritated."
Instead, use a gentle cleanser or face wash, preferably one formulated with acne-fighting ingredient salicylic acid. "It would help if you washed your face every morning and at night before bed to remove all of the dirt and oil your skin has accumulated throughout the day, adds Dr. Frieling.
And while it might seem counterintuitive to add more moisture to your face, don't forget to follow up with moisturizer. As it turns out, when your skin is dehydrated, it actually sends your sebaceous glands into overdrive to try to moisture your skin, and thus, your face could get more oily.
To help you get your skincare routine in check, we've rounded up the eight best face washes and cleansers for oily skin.
OLEHENRIKSEN Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Cleanser Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser Skinfix Barrier+ Foaming Clay Cleanser Laneige Multi Deep-Clean Cleanser
OLEHENRIKSEN Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser
Green tea, eucalyptus, algae, and Irish moss extracts may sound like the ingredients of a drink you'd pick up at a fancy juice bar, but the combo in this cleanser actually does wonders for eliminating oil from your skin without stripping it.
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin
"Skincare experts love this face wash because it is gentle and foaming," says Dr. Frieling. "The cleanser easily removes all the excess oil and dirt from your skin without irritating it." The formula also contains three different ceramides which protect the skin barrier so skin retains moisture.
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
This gentle soap-free cleanser washes away dirt, oil, and any remaining makeup bits on your face without throwing your skin's moisture levels off balance. Quillaja daponaria bark extract gives this gel its satisfying foamy texture while lavender soothes any redness.
Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser
Think of this Kiehl's cleanser like a vacuum for your pores. The clay-based formula sucks out dirt, excess oil, and impurities, so skin feels and looks so much smoother. Acne-fighting salicylic acid helps treat pimples caused by clogged pores and prevents future breakouts.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
If an affordable drugstore staple sounds like your ideal face wash, Dr. Frieling suggests this one from Neutrogena. "It contains salicylic acid which helps to prevent oil and acne without over-drying the skin," she says.
Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser
With salicylic acid, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and amino acids, Murad's mild cleanser works to clear and hydrate skin, while improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Skinfix Barrier+ Foaming Clay Cleanser
Clay clings to oil like glue. That's what makes Skinfix's glacial and kaolin clay-based cleanser so effective at keeping pores free of oil buildup. Sulfate-free coconut cleansers round out the formula to get rid of dirt and makeup from the skin's surface and reduce excess oil.
Laneige Multi Deep-Clean Cleanser
Instead of buffing away the dirt and oil trapped in pores, the fruit enzymes in Laneige's Deep-Clean Cleanser break down the built-up dead skin cells. Simply put, it's a gentler way to exfoliate oily skin.