The Best Face Wash for Acne Prone Skin 2018/2019

Welcome to The Ultimate Guide to The Best Acne Face Wash products to cure  cystic acne, adult acne, whiteheads and blackheads.  In this post, you’ll find the best face washes for acne prone skin that is suitable for dry, combination, oily and sensitive skin.

Almost everyone suffers from some sort of skin concern at some point in their life. Whether it’s the occasional pimple or more severe acne, it’s incredibly frustrating! Finding the right product that can help your specific level of acne is essential. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all product out there I’m afraid, but by doing the right research you can find the one that suits you.

I’m going to take you through some of the different types of acne facial washes there are out there, and the sorts of ingredients that you should be looking for to match your skin type. Not all ingredients are suitable for all skin types, so it’s essential you read the packaging before buying a product. You can check out my product comparison chart below as well. It’s a super easy way of finding the best acne facial wash for you!


Product name

Active ingredients

Suitable for


Exposed SkincareBenzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid (different products to suit different skin types)All skin types (be careful of benzoyl peroxide products if you have dry skin)5
Proactiv Solution Deep Cleansing WashSalicylic acidAll skin types4.4
Obagi Clenziderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming CleanserSalicylic acidAll skin types4.6
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Facial Cleanser, Pink GrapefruitSalicylic acidAll skin types4
Proactiv Solution Renewing CleanserBenzoyl peroxideNormal and Oily skin5
PanOxyl Acne Foaming WashBenzoyl perozideOily skin (not for sensitive skin)4.8
Neutrogena All-in-1 Acne Control Daily ScrubSalicylic acidAll skin types, ideal for dry skin5

Top Acne Cleansers & Washes 2017/2018

Top 10 Picks

 Exposed Skincare Review

Exposed Skincare Review

Exposed Skincare is truly one of the best acne cleansers I have tried. It’s a little on the pricey side, but hey – you can’t put a price on great skin! What I like most is the great range of products to suit different skin types, rather than just a one-size-doesn’t-fit-all option.

The kits are really great value for money and are a good way of trying out which of the products you like best. This is the one that I used.  The Exposed Skincare range was developed by a group of professionals including cosmetologists, dermatologists and naturopaths. So you’ve really got every base covered when it comes to finding the best acne cleanser.

The products solve all the problems that acne sufferers typically have using a range of powerful active ingredients. For example, the benzoyl perozide in the serum product kills bacteria, while the salicylic acid unclogs pores. And the passion flower extract helps reduce inflammation of the skin. It’s one of the best acne treatments for teens.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Wash

Neutrogena Oil-Free wash

We recently received a few trial-size products to try from Neutrogena, this is one of them. Trying this one particularly excited me because I’d heard such great things about it and it’s such a great price. We LOVE finding products that work that don’t cost a fortune.

Although I only had a small trial, it actually lasted me over a week – and that was using it twice a day as recommended. It contains 2% salicylic acid, which is a good amount for people like me with relatively sensitive skin. Every time I used it I could feel it working, I got that awesome tingly feeling you get from a good cleanser!

What I really like about it is that it makes you feel really clean. It doesn’t have any fancy perfumes added to it – it smells quite clinical, but in many ways that is good. Maybe it’s just psychological, but I often find that face washes that smell amazing feel more like candy for the skin than a product that is actually working! Maybe that’s just me though.

As the name says, the product is indeed, oil-free. The best oil free face washes are perfect for people with oily skin. After all, you’re trying to look LESS shiny – not MORE shiny!

I definitely felt less oily after using this, and I needed to use a moisturizer to keep my skin from getting too tight. But people with really oily skin might not find this. So overall, I highly recommend this product for oily skin. Yay!

Proactiv Solutions

Proactiv Solutions Review

Almost everyone has heard of Proactiv Solutions. It’s hard not to when their ads are constantly on featuring huge celebrities such as Katy Perry and Justin Beiber! We all know that just because a celebrity endorses a product, it doesn’t mean it is actually any good. However, with Proactiv it really IS as good as it says it is! It is definitely up there as one of the best acne washes on the market.

Just like Exposed Skincare, Proactiv isn’t the cheapest product out there, but you get what you pay for. Many people have been put off by Proactiv in the past because you had to subscribe to receive the product every month. What if you didn’t like it? What if you didn’t want need it every single month? Fortunately, now you can buy each of the products separately. However, when you buy them in the bulk packs they are great value for money.

This 120-day pack (pictured) is particularly good value as it works out much cheaper than buying in smaller amounts. Plus it comes with a couple of freebies!!

What’s great about Proactiv (and you only have to read the thousands of positive reviews to believe me!), is that it is designed specifically for acne skin. It’s gentle enough that it won’t cause irritation or dryness, but powerful enough to fight acne and pimples.

The benefit of getting one of the kits, as opposed to just a cleanser is that it combats all factors of acne. It’s almost impossible to fight acne with just one product – you need a combined solution that includes a topical cream, everyday facial wash, exfoliator and an oil-control moisturizer. Combining all of these together will give you the best chance possible of getting rid of that annoying acne.

If you don’t want to buy the full kit yet, then I highly recommend starting with the Deep Cleansing Wash (pictured), it is one of their best selling products and with good reason. Check it out here.


Proactiv works best when you use it twice a day – as they recommend. If you only use it here and there you really won’t get much of a result. So make sure you stick with it and you’ll be amazed at the results!

Obagi Clenziderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming Cleanser

When I first got to try products by Obagi M.D., I had never heard of them before. I’m always skeptical but at the same time excited about trying new brands – as it can go either way. The first thing that stood out for me about the foaming cleanser was the packaging . It was very clinical looking, which is generally a good sign!

Developed by a medical doctor, the range of acne products uses the powers of science and medicine to deliver fantastic results. The Obagi Clenziderm Daily Care Foaming Cleanser made it onto my favorite acne products list just a week after using it!

Why is it on my list?

It contains 2% salicylic acid which is my favorite active ingredient in acne products as it doesn’t dry out the skin. It’s powerful enough to fight acne, but gentle enough not to burn or irritate the skin. The product also contains vitamin A, C and E, which together help to calm and renew the skin to make it look brighter and clearer.

It doesn’t contain any fancy ingredients that no one has heard of. It just has what it needs and it WORKS. My face always feels fantastically tingly and fresh after using it and I (and my friends) saw a huge improvement in our skin after just seven days.

It is certainly good value for money, compared to some other premium skin care products. Don’t be fooled by the small bottle – it will last you ages!

Neutrogena Men – Best Face Wash for Men

Neutrogena Men wash</h3> <p> Now obviously I’m not a man but a few months ago I finally persuaded my boyfriend to test out a couple of men’s skincare products that I had received to try. Like a lot of men, he thinks water is more than enough of a beauty routine! However, he is truly converted after trying out this product.

Now, I’ll make it quite clear that he didn’t really have a whole lot of acne, just a few troublesome pimples. So, for people with severe acne you might want something a bit stronger like Exposed Skincare or Proactiv Solutions. However, for the everyday user, this product is fantastic value for money and it feels great on the skin (I use it as well!).

There’s nothing better than that tingly fresh feeling you get after a good wash, which you definitely get with this product. And the main failure that most acne washes have is that they dry out the skin, making it look and feel worse than before. The product, however, doesn’t dry out the skin. So, it is ideal for oily skin.

Anyway, at the price of a large Starbucks Frappuccino, it’s definitely worth a try!

Cetaphil Gentle Facial Cleanser for Acne

Cetaphil Gentle cleanserCetaphil is another reputable brand for pimple-fighting skin care products just like the rival, Neutrogena. Made for all skin types, this Gentle Skin Cleaner series is great not only for oily skin.

Instead of suitable for face only, this series also work great on your body too. With bad diet and eating habit, pimples tend to pop up on just random areas and this is ugly and annoying. This series will solve the issue.

This series is best for all ages, from children to adults. Being non-comedogenic, hypo-allergenic, this non-scent series is a safe option for pimple. While it works great on pimple, it is also recommended for treating eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.

The drugstore acne wash works wonderfully by moisturizing the skin without stripping of the natural oil of our skin. It removes makeup and dirt on skin effectively while it doesn’t require water for the complete application. It explains why it is strongly suggested for those who love camping and staying on the outdoor.

Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Gel Wash

Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Gel WashThis face cleanser is amazing and it gets many positive reviews from users. You will see significant improvement within 12 hours of an application. With regular application, it will solve your pimple issue. It contains around 2% of salicylic acid.

This acid deeply clean skin pores from dead cells, sebum, and dirt that are deeply trapped in there. It also naturally controls skin oil production so it can get your skin a little dry. It is advisable to follow up the application with a skin moisturizer.

This product doesn’t have any scent and you can use a little of this for a long time. Its unique packaging explains why it is highly recommended for traveller. Instead of using bottle or tube, it uses pumping dispenser that can be locked. It is practical while it prevents contamination as well.

Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser

Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne CleanserThis brand has built significant reputation in fighting blackheads. This facial cleanser is known to, not only fight pimple, but also to prevent new breakouts throughout the day while you use it.

The technology used in this product has been patented and it is proven to be very effective. The ingredients contain benzoyl peroxide which is obviously one of the greatest acne fighter substances.

This product is great for all skin types while it also solves cysts and blemishes issues. The ingredients are known to bleach hair and clothes as well so be careful. Its price is very affordable while it gives you wonderful result like more expensive products. Don’t worry about dry skin problem when you use this product.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

Neutrogena Oil-Free Wash reviewThis brand is one of the top leading ones on this segment. This product works wonderfully as expected. The ingredients are non-comedogenic and oil free while it also contains salicylic acid.

This combination makes a powerful formula for combating future breakouts and blemishes while it also soothes your skin without leaving any heavy feeling or residue.

This product is actually formulated specially to prevent new pimples. It unclogs your skin pores deeply and remove any makeup residue, dirt, and extra oil. When removing is done, it releases salicylic acid to remove blackheads on your skin. It also prevents zits forming in the future.

Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub

Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub reviewThis brand can be general but this particular product is a great option to add on this list. This product contains circular beads and salicylic acid that are added to remove oil and dirt from the skin pore.

At the same time, this product also exfoliates your skin in a thorough way. Offering more than just an effective formula, it also delivers soft touch on your skin. Scrubbing this product while washing your face will give you soft touch you will not expect.

The ingredients have the ability to get deep in where the blemishes start. It explains why it works well. In addition to it, it prevents future breakouts to happen as well.

Anexus – Best Natural Face Wash

Voted as the best acne face wash for adults of 2017, you know you’re in good hands with Acnexus! Don’t let the fact that they’re a relative newcomer on the market put you off. They are using some of the most advanced and powerful ingredients out there to help fight troublesome acne.

What’s really great about it is that it doesn’t just get rid of pimples, it fights many of the side effects that acne sufferers have as well, such as dry, red and itchy skin. Even better is the fact that it is an all natural face wash – no nasty chemicals. Like most of the products that make it onto this list, Acnexus does not contain benzoyl peroxide. Peroxide does work, but it can result in itchy skin and scarring, particularly in those that already have dry skin. The ingredients in Acnexus are much gentler on the skin.

This product still hasn’t hit the mainstream yet – but when word gets out you can say you were one of the first onto it! Check it out here.

Best Face Wash with Benzoyl Peroxide

Anyone who has suffered from acne or even the odd pimple will probably have heard of the ingredient ‘benzoyl peroxide’. This powerful ingredient has long been used in skincare products simply because it works. In the past, if I got a pimple, the first thing I would do is look for the strongest possible concentration of BP in a product — because the more you put on the faster it works, right?! Wrong!!

Before I give you my favorite face washes with benzoyl peroxide(BP), I just want to point out that BP isn’t necessarily the best choice for everyone. If you have very dry and sensitive skin (like myself) you don’t want to use a product that has a high concentration of BP, as it will make your skin even worse. Instead, use a lower concentration (like 0.5 – 2%) for the best results. The best thing to do is test out a few products and see how much your skin can handle – if it can’t handle the stronger concentrations, drop down to a lower concentration.

Anyway, on to my favorite facial cleanser with benzoyl peroxide! I’ve put them into a cool table for you to make it easier. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions!

Best Facial Cleanser with Benzoyl Peroxide

Here are five of my favorite benzoyl peroxide face washes. Proactiv Solutions is my absolute favorite, but it is quite expensive. So, there are some other options for you to try as well.



Concentration of BP



Proactiv Solutions Renewing Cleanser2.5%$$$5
Stiefel PanOxyl 10 Percent Foaming Wash10%$$4.8
 Neutrogena Clear Pore3.5%$4.2
 Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System10% (in the acne control lotion)$4
Topix Benzoyl Peroxide10%$$4.4

Buying Guide

When you try to get rid from your acne problem with over the counter acne face washes then wide choices are available with you to choose from. Many different brands are offering best products in the market and it becomes difficult to select one best product for you. When you see an advertisement on television or a hoarding on road then you easily, get attract and think to buy the same product for you.

However, wait for a moment and know other different brands before you make a purchase. Acne wash is a product, which directly contact to your skin, helping you to overcome your acne problems, so you must choose them carefully. How do you choose the best acne wash for you? Here are few tips, which will surely help you in selecting the best face wash for adult acne.

  • Know your skin type: It is very important to know your skin before choosing any skin product for you. It prevents further infections and provides better results for your acne problems. If your skin is dry then choose a face wash for dry skin, which will also give some moisture to your skin. Oily skin has several problems than other skin types. People with this skin types suffer more than others and can face every problem of acne. Oily skin need best acne face washes, which will also remove excess oil from the skin. If you have normal skin then things are little difficult to choose as you need to choose them carefully. Oily skins are the most common type of skins affected by acne problems.
  • Proper research: Many skin products flood the market and they all are not safe and up to the mark. They are equally great and offer best things to remain ahead in this competitive world. Different brands market their product through different source and you can search them online. It is better to choose the product carefully after a proper research so that it will not give any side effect to your skin. Before making a purchase, read their ingredients and cautions to avoid future problems with your pocket and skin. Compare different products and choose them after complete satisfaction.
  • Acne facial wash also consist of the type of water you are using on your face, as warm and cold water also leave there effects on your skin. Warm water gives more comfort to your skin and cleans it more. It extracts oil from your skin and offer you oil free skin. Sensitive skin should not use very warm water as it can affect the skin. Acnes are always annoying for people and to take care of them becomes more puzzling with different available option to cure them.
  • You can also use home made face wash which consist fruit and vegetables to nourish your naturally. You can use papaya, milk, lemon, honey cucumber, oatmeal, curd and rose water to make a face pack. Collect available ingredients from your kitchen moreover, mix adequate amount for your skin. Home made face cleansers are very effective and being natural it’s very safe for your skin.

Acne Product Ingredients

There isn’t just one magic ingredient that will rid your skin of acne. However, there are several key ingredients that have been proven to improve your skin. Understanding what these ingredients can do will help you make a more informed decision when looking for an acne product.

Salicylic Acid

It is one of the most common ingredients found in acne products. Salicylic Acid works by dissolving keratin in the skin to have an exfoliating effect, which helps minimize acne. It is usually found in 0.5-2% concentrations, which is ideal for mild to moderate acne.

It is a good choice of ingredient for people with sensitive skin as it has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. However, it can be slightly drying so always use with a good moisturizer.

Avoid using products with salicylic acid with other other topical treatments, which may also contain the ingredient. Over-application of strong acne products can cause dry and irritated skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide

BP is probably the most common ingredient found in all acne products. It is proven to be effective, but is certainly not for everyone. As the name suggests, it is a strong and powerful ingredient that can be quite harsh on the skin. If you have sensitive skin you might want to avoid products that contain BP as they can make your condition worse. It usually comes in 2.5%, 5% and 10% concentrations. Never use high concentrations without first speaking to your physician or dermatologist. The lower range is normally more than enough for people with mild to moderate acne.


Sulfurs aren’t usually listed as a top ingredient in acne products, but a lot of them do contain them. When looking at the ingredient label you can look for things such as ???. As with the other ingredients I’ve mentioned, sulfurs are effective at treating acne, however they are not suitable for sensitive skin. It is the perfect solution for people with oily skin, however, as it works by minimizing the amount of oil on the skin. Check the label before buying an acne cleanser that contains sulfur to ensure it is right for your skin type.

Read also: Facial Treatments for Acne


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