11 Best Acne Cleansers

When choosing a cleanser for acne-prone skin, you’re going to want to find one that works at keeping breakouts to a minimum. You’ll need one that can cleanse away any dirt or sebum as this can cause pores to become blocked and blackheads and spots may start to appear. 

Cleansers are a crucial part of your skincare routine, especially if you have acne as they help to keep your pH level balanced.

Acne-prone skin can sometimes become too acidic, and this can be what leads to redness and breakouts. 

When choosing a cleanser, you should also think about your skin type and whether you have oily, dry, sensitive, or normal skin.

To give your face a real treat, check our reviews for the Best Facial Steamers, they are a vital part of any facial treatment which you can do at home. They are the ultimate skin decongestant tool, allowing any active ingredients you use on your face afterwards to more effectively sink into your skin.

If you don’t purchase a cleanser specially designed for your skin type, then it can worsen your acne. 

Best Acne Cleansers

Below we’ve compiled a list of the best acne cleansers for you to consider.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Facial Cleanser

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Facial Cleanser, Foaming Acne Face Wash with Salicylic Acid, Helps Clear Acne Breakouts and with Oily Skin Control, Oil Free, Fragrance Free

This cleanser has been specially designed for anyone with oily skin and acne.

It’s been formulated with 2% salicylic acid, which helps gently exfoliate any acne and fights against blemishes and blackhead breakouts

It’s been clinically tested by dermatologists to reduce any excess oils and build-up by 47% to leave your skin feeling healthier and clearer. 

You should use this cleanser twice a day for the best results. Rub it into the skin using circular motions, allowing the product to lather and then rinse off. 

Allergy tested, oil free, non-comedogenic, fragrance free product.

CeraVe SA Cleanser

CeraVe SA Cleanser | Salicylic Acid Cleanser with Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide & Ceramides| BHA Exfoliant for Face | Fragrance Free Non-Comedogenic

Infused with salicylic acid, this powerful ingredient will remove dead skin cells by gently exfoliating the skin without causing any harshness. 

Just pump some of this clear gel cleanser onto your hands and then lather onto the face, it will cleanse the skin leaving it feeling refreshed and deeply cleaned.

Also formulated with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and vitamin D, this cleanser will also hydrate and soften. 

This cleanser won’t clog pores and is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic so it’s also suitable for sensitive skin, however, it’s best suited for normal skin types. 

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser

Ultra Facial Cleanser - Kiehls - Cleanser

Use this cleanser to dissolve dirt, oil and debris and maintain the skin’s natural pH balance.

You can also use this cleanser to remove any makeup without causing any harshness or irritation to the skin. 

You’ll want to apply a small amount of this to clean fingertips and then massage into damp skin, allow to lather, and then rinse.

It can be used on all skin types including any sensitive skin thanks to its qualities of not stripping or over-drying the skin. 

The Inkey List Salicylic Acid + Pore Cleanser

The INKEY List Salicylic Acid Acne + Pore Cleanser

This cleanser will work on your pores immediately by clearing out any dirt or makeup that can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.

It’s been specially created for acne-prone skin thanks to the two key ingredients of salicylic acid and zinc. These will help to minimize breakouts and leave your skin tone looking more even.

It’s a lightweight gel that you can easily massage onto damp skin and then rinse off.

Even though it’s lightweight you can still be guaranteed that it will provide maximum results when it comes to reducing the appearance of acne and making your skin look brighter and smoother. 

Avene Thermale Cleanance Cleansing Gel Soap

Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel Soap Free Cleanser for Acne Prone, Oily, Face & Body, Alcohol-Free

This is a soap-free cleanser that has been specially formulated for acne-prone skin.

It will remove any impurities without over-stripping or drying out the skin and also won’t clog pores, which can lead to future breakouts.

It’s been created for oily or sensitive acne-prone skin, as it’s free from soap and won’t aggravate the skin. 

It will cleanse and mattify the skin by removing dirt and oil while also minimizing excess oil production to help keep the skin free from shine. 

Suitable for both the face and body you can use this cleanser twice daily. 

Non-comedogenic, alcohol and gluten free product.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel 2 oz + Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel 5 Treatments

This is a pH-balanced gel cleanser which works at cleansing your skin without stripping away any natural barriers.

It will remove dirt, oil and makeup and will also unclog pores to leave your skin looking clear and radiant. 

Formulated with antioxidants and vitamins, it will lift away dead skin and oils to improve any uneven skin tones and textures. 

You can use this cleanser during the AM and PM, just massage it into damp skin, rinse off and then pat the skin dry.

It’s suitable for all skin types thanks to it being free from harsh ingredients such as parabens and sulfates. 

Vegan product.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Pink Grapefruit Pore Cleansing Acne Wash 

Family Wagon - Hard Times

Neutrogena has designed this cleanser to treat acne and prevent any future breakouts.

You can even expect to see clearer results in as little as a week. Not only this, but the pink grapefruit scent makes it a delight to use. 

Infused with maximum-strength salicylic acid, this will help to fight acne and blackheads and even reduce the appearance of any acne marks.

It’s an oil-free cleanser making it perfect to use on oily skin while the added vitamin C will even help to brighten the skin. 

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Face Wash by CETAPHIL, Daily Facial Cleanser for Sensitive, Combination to Oily Skin, NEW 16 oz, Fragrance Free ,Gentle Foaming, Soap Free, Hypoallergenic

This cleanser is perfect for anyone with sensitive, oily or combination skin. It will reinforce the skin’s barrier while also minimizing the appearance of pores

It will remove dirt, oil and any impurities that can be caused by pollution. This cleanser will deep clean the skin without stripping it away, leaving it feeling thoroughly cleansed.

The hypoallergenic formula makes it perfect for sensitive skin and you can still count on it to prevent any future breakouts and reduce the appearance of any current ones. 

Non-comedogenic and fragrance free product

Clean & Clear Aloe Vera Gentle Facial Cleanser for Acne-Prone & Sensitive Skin

Clean & Clear Aloe Vera Gentle Facial Cleanser for Acne-Prone & Sensitive Skin, Oil-Free Daily Face Wash with Aloe Vera, Vegan, No Animal Testing, Paraben-, Soap- & Dye-Free

As a calming cleanser, this will help to soothe any acne-prone skin and reduce any redness that comes with it.

It’s oil-free making it perfect for oily skin and it will remove any dirt, oil, and bacteria from the skin to leave you feeling clean and refreshed. 

Thanks to it being free from any parabens, sulfates, oils, soaps, and dyes, it means those with sensitive skin can also use this cleanser.

You can even pair it with Clean & Clear’s aloe vera moisturizer for maximum results. 

Vegan product.

Biore Charcoal Acne Cleanser

Bioré Charcoal Acne Cleanser, Salicylic Acid Treatment, Helps Prevent Breakouts, Oil Absorption and Control for Acne Prone, Oily Skin

Infused with natural charcoal, this cleanser will deep clean pores and absorb any excess oils on the face.

It has natural skin-purifying technology that helps to prevent acne and remove any blemishes from the skin. It will gently cleanse away both dirt and blemishes to leave you with healthier and clearer skin. 

This cleanser has also been formulated with salicylic acid to help break down any existing acne by gently exfoliating the skin. 

Being oil-free it’s been specially formulated for oily skin and designed to use every day to leave you with the best results. 

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser for Combination & Oily Skin

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser for Combination & Oily Skin, Oil-Free Face Wash with Salicylic Acid & Aloe Vera, Deep Pore Clean

With a blend of salicylic acid and aloe vera, this is a calming and soothing cleanser that will help to break down your problem skin including any acne.

It will prevent your pores from becoming blocked, while also cleansing away excess oil and makeup. 

To use, you should massage your skin using circular motions and then rinse with warm water until all of the cleanser has been removed.

For the best results, you should follow up with a toner and moisturizer and use it twice daily.  

It’s important to find the right cleanser when you have acne-prone skin and what may work well for someone else might not always work well for you.

There are, however, key ingredients that you should always consider when purchasing a cleanser for acne.

Salicylic acid is a powerful ingredient that is great at clearing up any acne. It works at gently exfoliating the skin, including your blemishes, to reduce their appearance and clear the skin. The majority of cleansers for acne will have this ingredient included and will always be listed on labels, making it easy for you to look out for.

You may also want to look out for other ingredients that can help with your spots such as tea tree oil or charcoal.

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and also soothes the skin, so as well as treating your spots, it can also help to calm and reduce any redness.

Charcoal is also key for a deep cleanse, preventing your pores from becoming clogged, which can lead to acne. 

Even if a little trial and error is needed, it won’t be long until your skin appears clearer and healthier with one of these cleansers.