Banish Breakouts With the 11 Best Face Washes for Acne-Prone Skin

Perdita Nouril
·4-min read

From Women's Health

Facing yet another breakout? While there are a handful of things that could be at play – pandemic stress, where you're at in your menstrual cycle – one key to sorting spots could be switching up your cleanser.

So, what sort might you look for? There's one holy grail ingredint it's worth keeping your peepers peeled for, 'Use a cleanser twice daily that contains the beta hydroxy acid salicylic acid, as this will help to ensure the removal of grease on your skin's surface and clear your blocked pores,' advises Dr Firas Al-Niaimi, a dermatologist for the UK’s leading skin clinics, sk:n.

'When looking for a cleanser for an acne-prone skin, you want something that’s got an anti-inflammatory [like niacinamide] agent and one that will keep that skin barrier as supported as possible [like ceramides] so it doesn’t get inflamed,' explains Dr Emma Craythorne, Consultant Dermatologist.

To help you achieve a clear and glowing complexion, WH have rounded up the best acne face washes to suit all skin types.

11 Best Face Washes For Acne Prone Skin

1. La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel

Best for: sensitive skin

The skincare experts at La Roche-Posay really know their stuff when it comes to creating products for sensitive skin. This gel cleanser is soap and alcohol-free, meaning it won’t strip your skin and leave it drier than a desert. Pleasingly, there is no scent either, so it shouldn't irritate those who are sensitive to fragrance.

2. Kate Somerville Eradikate Foaming Cleanser

Best for: redness

This wonderfully whipped foaming cleanser contains 3% sulphur to reduce the appearance of existing blemishes while helping to prevent future breakouts. It's a winner if you have redness because it contains honey extracts as well as sebum-balancing oat extract and rice bran extract.

3. Cerave Hydrating Cleanser

Best for: dehydrated skin

Thanks to its blend of ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this safeguards your barrier and stops transepidermal water loss in its tracks so that skin isn't in danger of looking desert dry.

4. Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Cleanser

Best for: truly, all skin types

This nourishing and gentle face wash is perfect for all skin types. It tackles breakouts, removes make-up and daily grime while thermal water soothes skin.

5. Carbon Theory Charcoal and Tea Tree Oil Break-Out Control Facial Cleansing Bar

Best for: saving your pennies

This six quid blemish-fighting bar went viral when hundreds of acne sufferers posted their before and after pictures, after using it. Its acne-fighting process is down to its clever use of tea-tree oil, which is an antibacterial powerhouse.

6. Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser

Best for: mature skin

Women hitting perimenopause will know all too well that acne can rear its head. Thankfully, this brilliant cleanser helps to tackle pimples that appear on along the jawline. A natural formulation. it's brimming with cassava tapioca and wild harvested mojave yucca instead of sulfates or synthetics that can dry mature skin out.

7. Sam Farmer Face Wash

Best for: teenage skin

This super simple hero cleanser has a legion of young fans thanks to its fuss-free formula that doesn't strip the lipid (oil) content in skin. It deploys gentle surfactants combined with moisturising actives to wash away daily grime and prevent spots from forming.

8. 111SKIN Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser

Best for: dark spots

This tackles dark spots thanks to a potent dose of Vitamin C, which helps to brighten skin.

9. Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser

Best for: dry skin

This super gentle formula is packed with humectants that help the skin hold as much water as possible so it doesn't flake or feel tight. Avene's signature spring-water also helps to keep skin calm happy. It's a great shout if your skin is both dry and prone to breakouts.

10. Medik8 Clarifying Foam Oil-Free AHA/BHA Blemish Cleanser

Best for: combination skin

This clarifying cleanser does it all. It's packed with alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids which decongest pores, while hero ingredient niacinamide helps soothe and reinforce the skin barrier. Plus, added tea tree oil helps prevent further breakouts.

11. Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin Formula

Best for: oily skin

Perfect for combination oily and oily skin, the cleansing formula harnesses all the benefits of Clinique's Facial Soap, but in an easy-to-use liquid formula. Gently cleansing the skin without stripping it of any essential moisture and protective lipids, this liquid face wash effectively lifts away dirt and impurities.

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