15 Best Cleansers for Oily Skin to Combat Acne And Pimples

Written by Anoushka Sinha, Skincare Coach & Writer
Updated on Apr 08, 2024
best cleansers for oily skin
The products curated for this article are independently chosen by the editorial team. If you make a purchase through the links mentioned below, we may receive a commission. Check out our product research & curation process

A good skincare routine is a secret to youthful and glowing skin. We include face washes, cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and various products to grooming kits to achieve our skincare goals. Needless to say, every skincare routine starts with cleansing skin to wash away the collected buildup. However, the process is a bit difficult for oily skin. Here's when the best cleansers for oily skin come into the picture. 

These cleansers are specially created, keeping in mind oily skin-associated problems, including pimples, acne, clogged pores, etc. Such mindfully created formulas perform the task without triggering the skin condition. 

The best facial cleansers for oily skin are not just limited to cleansing. They moisturize, hydrate, and nourish skin to enhance its overall health. A few scientific blends are known for their pH-balancing properties that maintain the skin's natural barrier. Facial cleansers with non-comedogenic benefits are a cult classic as they directly deal with cause-clogged pores (one of the main causes of acne and pimples). 

Based on our first-hand experience and product trials, we have enlisted some effective cleansers that are worth your investment.

15 Best Cleansers for Oily Skin

Enriched with skin-friendly ingredients — hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide, the CeraVe cleanser for oily skin is a perfect everyday face wash. The humble ingredients packed in it help balance the skin's natural moisture, protect the skin from damage, and soothe the skin. This non-drying formula eliminates excess oil, dirt, and residue without irritation. You can use it as your morning or night face wash. And yes, it can even transform into a handwash and body wash.

Key Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide 

Size: 16 fl oz

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Trusted by dermatologists
  • Fragrance-free
  • Refreshes the skin
  • Locks in moisture
  • Might not suit super dry skin
  • Best Oil-free Cleanser

    Biore Oil Control Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

    Biore Oil Control Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser
  • Charcoal is known to kick out dirt, oil, and other impurities (study published in ResearchGate). Boasting the goodness of this powerful ingredient, Biore has come up with a revolutionary face cleanser for oily skin. The skin purifier deeply cleanses pores by attracting contaminants, which can be washed away with water. It works 2X more effectively than regular face washes. The other added ingredient, salicylic acid, helps fade acne and blemishes. In a nutshell, Biore's formula targets the root cause of your skincare woes — the nasty clogged pores and treats them to provide clean and beautiful skin. 

    Key Ingredients: Charcoal

    Size: 11.45 fl oz

    • Oil-free cleanser
    • Great for everyday use
    • Vegan & cruelty-free
    • Dermatologist-tested
    • Creamy texture
    • Smoothening formula
    • Tingly sensation

    Quick Tip:

    Wet your face and massage the cleanse over your face. Rinse it off thoroughly. Follow with a lightweight moisturizer/face cream to keep skin moisturized.

  • Best Hypoallergenic

    Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

    Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
  • Here comes a new-age formula to pamper your oily, sensitive skin. The Cetaphil cleanser for oily skin maintains the natural dermal barrier to combat skin problems. It strips off excess sebum, dirt, and pollution microparticles to restore skin health. Additionally, it fades the appearance of pores to keep the skin even. The formula is your skin's BFF and fights 5 signs of sensitivity — weak skin barrier, tightness, roughness, dryness, and irritation. Wash your face with this mild formula and let your skin feel fresh and hydrated. 

    Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Vitamins B5& B3

    Size: 20 fl oz

    • Gentle and effective
    • Hypoallergenic
    • Won't clog pores
    • Paraben-free
    • Improves skin texture
    • Doesn't cause breakouts
    • ns Needs a bit more amount than normal for cleansing
  • Best Lightweight

    COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

    COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
  • Wake your skin up every morning with this low-pH cleansing gel by COSRX. The key ingredients — tea tree oil and Betaine Salicylate (a form of BHA or beta hydroxy acid) make this blend more calming and effective than regular face cleansers. Free from harsh ingredients like parabens, silicones, artificial fragrances, mineral oil, and sulfates — the formula helps soothe the skin without triggering allergies. The fusion restores the pH by defending and restoring the skin from pollutants and other irritants. Add this to your skincare kit and appreciate clean and firm-looking skin from AM to PM. 

    Key Ingredients: BHA, Tea tree oil

    Size: 5.07 fl oz

    • Moisturizing ingredients
    • No stripping formula
    • Hypoallergenic
    • Gel-to-foam texture
    • Lightweight
    • Some may not like its scent
  • Best Non-drying Gel

    Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash with Salicylic Acid

    Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash with Salicylic Acid
  • Packed in a 9.1 fl oz orange bottle, the Neutrogena facial cleanser is your at-home acne treatment. This skin cleanser for oily skin is infused with salicylic acid that helps prevent breakouts and fight acne (a study published in ResearchGate). It gently cleanses pores and penetrates deep into the skin layers to show the effects. No hassle is needed. The one-step cleanser purifies the skin and clears up acne, blackheads, and pimples. Made with advanced microclear technology, the technique boosts the salicylic acid's delivery in the cells without clogging pores. 

    Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid

    Size: 9.1 fl oz

    • Reduces breakouts
    • Acne-fighting cleanser
    • Gives clear skin
    • Non-drying gel
    • Dermatologically recommended
    • Slightly expensive
  • Best Dermatologist-tested

    EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser

    EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser
  • Prep your skin to handle any stress throughout the day. The EltaMD cleanser is suitable for all skin types, including the oily ones. Users love how gentle the formula feels upon application. It offers smooth and clear skin after every wash. This foaming cleanser for oily skin balances pH and eliminates irritants and damaging pollutants by up to 48%. In addition, it decreases the chances of further damage by 36%. Further, it soothes inflammation and removes dead skin cells. Our skincare experts recommend pairing this cleanser with EltaMD Skin Recovery Essence Toner to calm and hydrate oily skin. 

    Key Ingredients: Bromelain (enzymes found in pineapple)

    Size: 7 fl oz

    • Hypoallergenic
    • Pump-dispenser bottle
    • Dye-free
    • Paraben-free
    • Dermatologically-tested
    • Mild lather
  • Best for Sensitive Skin

    First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser

    First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser
  • This Pure Skin Face Cleanser by First Aid Beauty is potent enough to remove the toughest grime, dirt, and irritating microparticles without making your skin dry or tight. So goodbye to those scales, flakes, and itching — these won't trouble you again. This cream cleanser for oily skin goes on smooth like melted cheese and is best suited for dry skin. Made with aloe and glycerin, it draws water into the skin to keep it nourished and thoroughly hydrated. This antioxidant booster maintains the skin's natural acidity and minimizes flare-ups. 

    Key Ingredients: Aloe, glycerin, and allantoin

    Size: 5 oz

    • Talc-free
    • Gently cleanses the skin
    • Suitable for sensitive skin
    • pH-balanced
    • A few users didn’t like the scent
  • Most Pleasant Scent

    Youth To The People Superfood Facial Cleanser

    Youth To The People Superfood Facial Cleanser
  • You'd love using this holy blend on your skin. Formulated with kale, green tea, spinach, and vitamins, the superfood cleanser, as the brand says, is a nourishing concoction. This gentle cleanser for oily skin deep cleans cells and resists buildup accumulation in pores. It won't strip or dry your skin as the vitamin-rich formula balances pH. Unlike regular cleansers, this Youth To The People blend precisely removes blemish-causing pollutants, dirt, debris, and contaminants. Our testers loved how this rich gel formula spread quickly and created a luxurious lather. 

    Key Ingredients: Kale, Green Tea, Spinach, Alfalfa, Vitamins C and E

    Size: 16.9 fl oz

    • Great for removing makeup
    • Fresh scent
    • Antioxidant-rich formula
    • Vegan & cruelty-free
    • Slathers quickly
    • Phthalate-free
    • Might not suit hypersensitive skin
  • Best Exfoliating Formula

    Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser

    Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser
  • Skincare products backed by science and natural ingredients are a great addition to our skincare regime. This acne cleanser for oily skin reduces breakouts and vanishes existing blemishes with continuous application. Apt for oily, combination, and sensitive skin types, the gel dissolves excess oil and cleanses like a pro facial cleanser. Crafted with green tea and salicylic acid, Murad's clarifying cleanser works as an exfoliating agent and strips off dead cells. It decreases the severity of existing acne and minimizes the formation of new acne. 

    Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, Green tea extract

    Size: 6.75 fl oz

    • Heals the skin
    • Soothes discomfort
    • Good for combination skin
    • Gives healthy-looking skin
    • Gluten-free
    • Doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, and phthalates
    • Expensive
    • Might be drying for some
  • Best Skin Radiance Booster

    iS Clinical Cleansing Complex

    iS Clinical Cleansing Complex
  • Nothing can beat a multipurpose formula that can be used as a makeup remover, cleanser, and toner. The 3-in-1 complex is perfect for all irrespective of age, gender, and skin type. This mini masque is packed in a vibrant, blue transparent bottle that looks stunning at first sight. This is a perfect cleanser for oily skin and large pores — it cleanses, smoothens, and softens skin without vanishing skin’s natural oils. Not only that, the multi-tasker offers blemish-free skin and tightens enlarged pores to minimize size so no residue is accumulated. 

    Key Ingredients: Sugarcane, White willow bark, Centella Asiatica

    Size: 6 fl oz.

    • Weightless
    • Clean ingredients
    • Boosts radiance
    • Soothing scent
    • Delays premature aging signs
    • Runny consistency
  • Bliss Clear Genius Clarifying Gel Cleanser

    Bliss Clear Genius Clarifying Gel Cleanser
  • This vibrant blue Bliss Clarifying cleanser comes out as a pure transparent gel from this cool pump dispenser bottle. Fused with refreshing tea tree extracts, the formula feels lightweight and refreshing and invigorates your senses. It leaves skin clean and pure without stripping essential oils. Other star ingredients, salicylic acid, and Brazilian seawater show exfoliating benefits. This exfoliating cleanser for oily skin is easy to use. Just apply it to the skin, create a lather, and rinse to get clean and soft skin. 

    Key Ingredients: BHA, Brazilian sea water

    Size: 6.4 fl oz.

    • Gentle exfoliator
    • Non-comedogenic
    • Non-irritating gel
    • Cruelty-free & vegan
    • Reduces blemishes and blackheads
    • Poor pump dispenser
  • MARLOWE. Facial Cleanser for Men

    MARLOWE. Facial Cleanser for Men
  • Men don't need to feel left out. One of the best cleansers for oily skin is this facial cleanser from MARLOWE. This facial cleanser is mindfully created, keeping your oily skin concerns at the center. Give your skin a refreshing start every morning with this purifying and soothing gel face cleanser. Every wash promises soft and supple skin with no burning sensation or stinging. You can also apply it as a night face wash after returning home from your workplace or motorcycle ride. The woodsy notes of pine enlighten the mood and relax the mind. 

    Key ingredients: Green tea extract

    Size: 6 fl oz.

    • Morning and night cleanser
    • Suitable for all skin types
    • Moisturizing properties
    • Refreshing smell
    • s Some may feel that it produces less lather
  • Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

    Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser
  • Ms. Paula knows our oily skin problems that's why she has created this super versatile blend that erases grime and enhances shine. The embedded ingredients — coconut, aloe, and glycerin make this formula safe for your skin. Infusion of humble ingredients helps remove dirt, oil, and pollutants gently, offers lightweight hydration, and strengthens the skin barrier. Overall, the trio works together to clean congested pores while controlling shine and oil production. This gentle cleanser for oily skin preps and refines the skin, keeping uncomfortable cleansing at bay. 

    Key Ingredients: Coconut, glycerin, and aloe extract

    Size: 8 fl oz

    • Fragrance-free
    • Non-irritating
    • Never tested on animals
    • Brightens complexion
    • Reduces dehydration and redness
    • Expensive
  • Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser

    Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser
  • To delight our male viewers again, we have come up with the best men's face cleanser for oily skin by Anthony. The active component, glycolic acid, offers a deep clean experience by refining and exfoliating pores and controlling oil production. Other soothing ingredients — aloe vera and calendula extracts hydrate and moisturize the skin to prevent dryness. The formula is rich in vitamins C, and E, which act as strong antioxidants and reduce free radical damage. 

    Key ingredients: Glycolic acid, calendula, chamomile, aloe, vitamins A, C, and E

    Size: 3.4 fl oz

    • GMO-free
    • Dermatologist tested
    • Soothes razor bumps
    • Controls breakouts
    • Lifts hair for easy shaving
    • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
    • Thick consistency
  • Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

    Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
  • Vanicream facial cleansers are a cult favorite for numerous reasons. It's packed in a white and blue pump dispenser bottle that's easy to operate. This cleanser for oily skin and acne is formulated without parabens, formaldehyde, soap, sulfates, and lanolin. It's a simple yet powerful formula that cleanses like a pro-facial formula and removes pollutants, irritants, and microparticles in one go. Not only does it suit oily skin, but it's gentle on sensitive skin as well and does the task without leading to dryness, irritation, redness, or rashes. 

    Key Ingredients: Water, Glycerin

    Size: 8 fl oz

    • Gluten-free
    • Non-comedogenic
    • Refreshing formula
    • Refreshing formula
    • Doesn't make the skin dry
    • Doesn’t cause breakouts
    • Expensive for the quantity available

    So these are the best cleansers for oily skin that keep your skin clean and refreshed. Now here comes our buying guide that will assist you in finding the right formula.

    How to Buy the Best Cleansers for Oily Skin?

    As a shopper, here are a few factors you can look for while choosing a cleanser for oily skin and acne. 


    Read the ingredients list while picking up the best face cleanser for oily skin and acne. Look for formulas made with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, tea tree oil, plant extracts, etc. Also, you may prefer concoctions with organic acids, such as hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, etc. Avoid blends containing chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, silicones, etc. Their presence may irritate the skin and provoke allergic signs. 


    Choose a gentle formula that calms the skin and doesn't trigger irritation. The ideal formula must soothe your skin condition. Those with oily-sensitive skin may opt for hypoallergenic options. Since oily skin produces excess oil, it's better to pick an oil-free formula that doesn't worsen the condition. 


    Users sensitive to smell may try fragrance-free or unscented formulas. Added synthetic scents may cause redness, irritation, discomfort, and rashes. Hence, artificial fragrance formulas must be avoided. 


    Oily skin needs special care. As it's prone to acne, pimples, breakouts, and other skin imperfections, removing excess oil and unclogging pores becomes important as these are some of the main reasons causing these conditions. The best cleansers for oily skin are a must-have addition to your skincare regime. These formulas gently clean your skin and eliminate skin impurities with no irritation. 

    The products above-mentioned not only purify skin but also help reduce acne, spots, pimples, blemishes, and breakouts. Besides, they restore skin health and improve moisture and hydration levels for cleaner and glowing looks. Keeping in mind a few points, such as ingredients, sensitivity, fragrance, etc., while hunting for a cleanser may help you get the most suitable formula. If you’re still confused about which one to buy, here are some recommendations: First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser is best suited for people with sensitive skin whereas COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser has the best lightweight formula! Choose the one that caters to your skin type and addresses your skin concerns to keep your skin healthy. 


    Face wash vs. cleanser: which is better?
    Both cleansers and face washes are necessary additions to your skincare kit. They discard stubborn impurities and moisturize and hydrate the skin.
    Is it okay to use soap after cleanser?
    You may use a soap or a cleanser — the choice is yours, as both do the same thing. However, cleansers are more gentle than soaps. Avoid using harsh formulas, as they may dry out your skin, leading to irritation, itching, etc. Also, using soap after a cleanser is not needed as the cleanser does its job of removing all the impurities from the skin.
    How often to cleanse the face for oily skin?
    You may use cleansers for oily skin twice a day. Avoid overusing the products as they may strip off the natural moisture. They may cause rashes, redness, and discomfort.

    Why Trust Pinkvilla

    Anoushka, our in-house skincare expert, advocates using lightweight and non-comedogenic cleansers for those with oily skin. She researched about the best products to bring forth this list of the best cleansers for oily skin. All these products feel gentle and light on the skin, control sebum production, and boost skin radiance. 

    Our product experts study the specifications of every product we suggest and try them out to bring what’s proven to be worthy of your money, time, and energy. We also have subject matter experts from various fields like Fashion, Skincare, Haircare, Home Decor, and Health & Fitness onboard to make sure our suggestions are credible and trustworthy. You can trust select to be your faithful shopping guide for all the right reasons!

    Author BIO
    Anoushka Sinha
    Skincare Coach & Writer

    Anoushka is certified in Professional Skincare and is a Mass Media (Journalism) graduate from Mumbai University. As a More