If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
Acne can sometimes seem like the end of the world, but you don’t have to live with unsightly blemishes if you don’t want to. A great acne face wash can go a long way to clearing up your skin, reducing the signs of acne, and preventing blemishes in the first place. (More and more men are also starting to consider acne concealers.) If you’re tired of dealing with breakouts and want to find the best acne face wash for your cup, so how to choose the right product? After all, there are currently dozens, if not hundreds of acne products.
Today’s best deals
To help us identify the best face wash for acne, we reached out to Dr. Joel Lamm, board-certified dermatologist and supervising physician at Every/Body Dermatology Clinic, to help us cover the basics of acne. He explained the different symptoms of acne, the most common acne fighting ingredients, and offered some great acne face washes and basic best practices for using them.
Spy Notice: The best face wash products for men
Understanding Acne and Acne Face Wash
First, it is important to understand the problem. You may know what blackheads and whiteheads are to see like, but do you know what they are? These are the most common types of acne, and they are both caused by a buildup of bacteria and sebum, which is the oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin.
Dr Lamm told SPY: “Both blackheads and whiteheads are comedones, which are the main lesions of acne. They both occur when the skin does not exfoliate normally and the Sebum builds up.The main difference?Whiteheads are when the pore is closed and filled with pus.On the other hand, blackheads are open which causes the buildup to oxidize and change color.
Both issues can be treated with regular exfoliation, whether through acne face washes, facial scrubs for men, other topical products, or clinical procedures, Dr. Lamm said.
Our go-to ingredients for acne face washes: salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide
Salicylic acid is “a beta-hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin to unclog pores. It’s also an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce redness and irritation,” Dr. Lamm said. is a chemical that “penetrates into pores to kill bacteria and exfoliate the skin. This makes them common over-the-counter ingredients for treating acne symptoms. Both exfoliate the skin, but benzoyl peroxide is particularly good for its antibacterial properties, while salicylic acid is great for clogged pores.” Topicals containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid may be beneficial in the treatment of mild acne…Both are effective depending on your individual concerns,” Dr. Lamm said.
It should be noted that benzoyl peroxide tends to be harsher on the skin than salicylic acid in our experiences. No matter what type of acne you’re dealing with, we recommend starting with a salicylic acid product before going for a benzoyl peroxide product (unless you know firsthand that your skin can tolerate benzoyl peroxide).
The best face wash for acne
Please note that Dr. Lamm did not specifically recommend the products below, which were selected by SPY’s grooming editors and product reviewers. All of these products meet the criteria we discussed above and are designed to exfoliate and cleanse your face. Most of these face washes also contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide (or an equivalent ingredient) for an extra punch. For stubborn acne that doesn’t resolve with normal cleansing (or adult acne), we recommend consulting a dermatologist before trying another acne face wash.
Since SPY.com is a men’s website, we’ve focused on the best acne face wash for men in the guide below, but all of the products below can be used by men. and women.
1. Proactiv Anti-Acne Regenerating Cleanser
BEST FACE CLEANSER FOR HORMONAL ACNE
Hormonal acne is simply adult acne, consisting of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and acne cysts due to overproduction of sebum, the oily substance in the skin. So if you can treat the overproduction or at least manage it, then you can treat acne. The Proactiv Acne Renewing Cleanser uses benzoyl peroxide and exfoliating beads to unify and mechanically and chemically cleanse the skin. But hey, we’re adults; we also need good things to keep our skin healthy. Hyaluronic acid and chamomile go a long way in hydrating and soothing the skin amid the harsh benzoyl peroxide.
Buy: Proactiv Anti-Acne Regenerating Cleanser $25.00
2. Geologie Daily Exfoliating Facial Cleanser
Geologie Everyday Face Wash Exfoliating Cleanser is more of a gentle cleanser than a harsh acne face wash, but you’d be surprised how much it can help. With 2% salicylic acid, it comfortably manages mild to moderate acne over time, clears blemishes, and clears pores and blackheads. Our tests have shown that because it’s not too strong, it’s best suited for sensitive skin and everyday use.
Read more: The best face wash for sensitive skin
Buy: Geologie Daily Exfoliating Facial Cleanser $7.50
3. Neutrogena Men Invigorating Face Wash
Neutrogena is a go-to for all things acne, whether it’s blackheads, whiteheads, uneven skin, or excess oil. That’s why you can’t go wrong with Neutrogena Men Invigorating Face Wash. Instead of salicylic acid, citric acid is used to fight blackheads, minimize whiteheads, and remove accumulated oil and dirt.
4. CeraVe Foaming Acne Cream Cleanser
BEST DRUGSTORE ACNE FACIAL CLEANSER
CeraVe Foaming Acne Cream Cleanser is available at drugstores everywhere and provides powerful acne treatment without stripping the skin completely. It uses 4% benzoyl peroxide to break down all signs and symptoms of acne, but CeraVe’s combination of ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid ensures skin retains ample moisture. Plus, it lathers and washes off well and leaves skin feeling smooth and clean.
Buy: CeraVe Foaming Acne Cream Cleanser $11.97 (Origin $14.99) 20% off
5. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Cleanser
BEST FACIAL CLEANSER FOR YOUTH ACNE
If we had to choose just one bona fide classic acne product for teens, it would be the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Cleanser. Seriously, this face wash was practically invented for people new to acne. It’s formulated with salicylic acid to remove excess oil and gently cleanse blackheads to hopefully give any teen (or adult) the fresh face they deserve.
Buy: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Cleanser $16.47 (orig. $24.02) 31% OFF
6. PanOxyl Acne Foaming Cleanser
BEST FACIAL CLEANSER FOR CYSTIC ACNE
Cystic acne is a deeper, pus-filled acne cyst that is often larger than typical blackheads and whiteheads. Because cystic acne can be larger, deeper, and filled with excess oil and bacteria, it often requires topical prescription treatments. PanOxyl Acne Foaming Cleanser contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, making it a powerful exfoliating and antibacterial acne face wash that can be purchased over-the-counter. It won’t solve cystic acne overnight, but it can reduce acne over time for many users. If that doesn’t help, you might want to consider seeing a dermatologist, as acne face washes don’t get much stronger than that.
Read more: The most popular alternatives to Accutane for stubborn acne
Buy: PanOxyl Acne Foaming Cleanser $9.48
7. Harry’s Exfoliating Face Wash
Harry’s Exfoliating Face Wash is a great starting point for anyone looking to clear their acne through exfoliation. A mixture of acids and volcanic rock combine to mechanically and chemically polish the skin and remove excess oil that can cause acne. The addition of eucalyptus, peppermint, glycerin and aloe vera make for a soothing and refreshing experience.
Buy: Harry’s Exfoliating Facial Cleanser $7.00
Looking for more offers? Follow SPY on Instagram…
More great offers from SPY
The best of spy
Click here to read the full article.