A cleanser is an essential part of any skincare routine, and it can be a great weapon in the battle against breakouts.
The best cleansers for acne-prone skin can give your pores a deep-clean, mop up excess sebum (without stripping you of hydration), calm redness, and slough away dead skin cells to give your skin its sparkle back.
Many use the skincare secret weapon salicylic acid, which is tough on spots but not on your skin. It’s often blended with more gentle, hydration-boosting skin stars like hyaluronic acid or aloe vera to soothe red or inflamed complexions.
We’ve rounded up the best cleansers for acne-prone skin below – and there’s something to suit every budget. Blemishes will be shaking in their boots…
Best cleansers for acne-prone skin
1. Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions Cleansing Gel
Remove the buildup of dirt, makeup and impurities with this cleanser for acne-prone skin from Clinique.
Gentle yet effective, it helps to unclog pores and prevent blackheads, whole refining and refreshing your complexion. Got pesky pimples on your chest or back? This can also be used as a blemish-beating body wash. What’s more, a little goes a long way.
2. Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Purifying Cleansing Wash
Send spots packing with this high-strength cleanser for acne-prone skin, which harnesses the power of salicylic acid to deeply penetrate the pores, opening them up, declogging and clearing.
This allows your skin to heal and reveal a naturally brighter and smoother complexion. Inflammation and redness will be reduced, and blackheads and blemishes kept at bay.
3. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel
Facing a daily battle with blemishes and an oily complexion? This cleanser for acne-prone skin was made for you.
It’s enhanced with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water and helps to eliminate spot-causing dirt and excess sebum. It’s non-comedogenic (that’s non-clogging to me and you), and will leave you skin feeling daisy-fresh and clean.
One shopper wrote: “I’ve suffered from spots and inflammation for years, but this has made such a difference. My skin is the clearest it’s ever been.”
4. Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser
All hail this iconic cleanser for acne-prone skin. This product has reached cult status – and for good reason.
Salicylic acid soothes and reduces blemishes, while botanical ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile will calm inflamed skin.
One happy customer wrote simply: “Cleared my skin within one week of using it. Very mild but very effective.”
5. CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser
This clever little cleanser for acne-prone skin works to create a smoother complexion with the help of exfoliating spot-fighting superhero salicylic acid.
There’s three essential ceramides to help protect your skin’s natural barrier and, while salicylic acid clears your skin, hyaluronic acid moisturises and retains hydration.
6. Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser
Soak up 60% of the excess sebum that clogs pores and causes breakouts with this effective and affordable cleanser for acne-prone skin.
A non-irritating and non-comedogenic formula deep-cleans your pores without drying out your complexion or leaving you with an uncomfortably tight feeling.
Irritation or harsh cleansing can lead to the skin producing more oil, so use warm rather than hot water to gently pat away the cleanser, as opposed to rubbing.
7. Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser
Don’t let blemishes and breakouts get you down. Fight back with this brilliant cleanser for acne-prone skin from Caudalie.
It manages to reduce the appearance of spots without drying out your skin, and is packed with natural active ingredients to balance oils and give your face a deep clean.
Wonder kid salicylic acid unclogs pores and lifts away dead skin cells, while essential oils and grape seed polyphenols refresh and rejuvenate for gorgeous, glowing skin. And there we were thinking wine was the best thing to come from grapes…
8. Murad Clarifying Cleanser
Get oil and breakouts under control with this high-performance acne-fighting cleanser.
It contains salicylic acid to penetrate deep into the pores to target the key causes of breakouts – namely the buildup of dead skin cells and excess sebum.
It also contains antibacterial triclosan and green tea extracts, which fight free radicals whilst protecting your skin. Finally, menthol leaves your skin feeling super-fresh.