11 Best Face Washes for Oily Skin in 2024

Photo of author
Written By Rivera Claudia

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

com com com com com com com
  • Formula consistency: gel
  • Ingredients worth noting: lipo-hydroxy acid, glycolic acid
  • Fragrance-free | Comes in two sizes: 6.7 and 13.5 fl. oz

Why is cleansing important if you have oily skin?

Washing your face is key to preventing breakouts (including blackheads and whiteheads) because the right cleanser gets rid of all the sweat, oil, and dirt that builds up on and in your skin throughout the day (and at night, if you tend to be a sweaty sleeper). Plus, Dr. Zeichner says it “creates a fresh canvas” for other products, like serums, spot treatments, retinol, moisturizer, and whatever else you like to include in your skin care routine.

What to look for in a face wash for oily skin

Consistency and texture

If you have oily skin, odds are you’re staying away from thicker, cream- or oil-based cleansers already, and that instinct is right. Instead, go with lighter gel or foam formulas, Farah Moustafa, MD, board-certified dermatologist and director of Laser and Cosmetics at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, tells SELF. “Foam-based [face washes] are better for those with very oily skin, and gel-based are great for oily or combination skin,” she says. They get the job done without drying out your face, and typically don’t introduce any oil or other ingredients that might add to that slick feeling or cause breakouts.


One of the best ingredients to look for in a face wash for oily skin is salicylic acid, according to Dr. Moustafa. It works by dissolving the dead skin cells that clog pores and contribute to acne, and using it regularly can reduce your skin’s oil production over time. Niacinamide and green tea are also worth looking out for, she notes, since they’re both anti-inflammatory, which means they’ll help soothe irritation and acne, and they’ve been linked with lowering oil output.

How often should you wash your face if you have oily skin?

Stick to washing your face twice a day, in the morning and at night, and only add in a third cleanse if you get sweaty. As Dr. Moustafa notes, cleansing more than that “can backfire over time and cause the skin to make more oil to compensate, as well as lead to a lot of irritation.”


Leave a Comment