The Best Face Washes For Acne-Prone Skin

Acne and breakouts aren’t necessarily caused by poor cleansing, but mastering this first step in your skincare routine can make all the difference to breakout-prone skin.

They may be a lifesaver at festivals, but cleansing wipes can leave traces of makeup and impurities behind to build up over time, so experts advise ditching the wipes and investing in a great balm, gel or cream cleanser (and a pack of budget-friendly flannels) to help keep your complexion as clear as possible.

Rather than making a beeline for targeted acne formulas, which can be too astringent and harsh, opt for a gentle formula first and double cleanse. Cleansing twice with a milder cleanser makes sure you’re removing every last scrap of makeup and grime, without upsetting your skin’s delicate balance.

If that’s not cutting it, introduce a cleanser with blemish-busting ingredients, like salicylic acid, as your second cleanse. But remember, your skin should never feel squeaky or tight after cleansing – a sign its protective barrier have been stripped away.

Scroll down to discover our edit of the best face washes for acne.

1. e.l.f. cosmetics Superclarify Cleanser

This mega affordable cleanser is gentle on skin but tough on impurities. The gel texture blitzes makeup and traps dirt, before rinsing away to leave all skin types spotlessly clean and comfortable. The added niacinamide helps to regulate oil production, breaking the cycle of tightness and excess oiliness, to leave skin feeling balanced and comfortable.

2. Dermalogica Active Clay Cleanser

Looking to streamline your beauty stash or keep your luggage light? This multitasking cleanser can be used as a daily wash or left on to act as a deep cleansing mask. Creamy kaolin clay soaks up excess oil and draws out impurities, while salicylic acid, a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that can clean deeper into pores, helps to shift stubborn blackheads.

3. CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser

Ideal for oilier skin types, this deep cleansing gel gently exfoliates with salicylic acid, to help lift away blackheads and congestion. Boosted with niacinamide and ceramides to nourish skin and support the skin barrier, skin is left feeling super-fresh but never tight or uncomfortable.

4. Carbon Theory Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Breakout Control Facial Cleansing Wash

Ideal for oilier skin types, this jelly-like formula is made with soothing tea tree oil to help calm angry breakouts. The addition of salicylic acid helps to gently exfoliate and balance oil production to keep skin clear and pimple-free.

5, Dr Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Enzyme Foam Cleanser

Dr Jart+ have done the impossible: a blemish-fighting formula that’s kind to aggravated skin. Enriched with calming cica and soothing probiotics, this multi-tasking cleanser is a skin saviour for hormonal breakouts. The cream-to-foam formula removes every last trace of makeup, while glycerin keeps skin hydrated, making this multi-tasking face wash a great choice for skin types prone to sensitivity and dryness.