10 Best Acne Face Washes 2021

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There are so many different kinds of skin care products out there that one can use for acne-related problems.

Some of you may simply need a brand switch since the one you are using is too harsh for your skin while others may require something a bit stronger to help keep their acne under control.

In our guide below, we’ll be taking a look at quite a diverse range of acne face washes and provide you with plenty of useful tips that will help you choose the right one.

There isn’t just one miracle product that will cure acne on everyone, so when you compare and contrast the products and dedicate a little time to research (which we have kindly done for you!), finding the best acne face wash in the world isn’t so hard.

Types of Acne

Since there isn’t just one kind of acne, it’s best if you determine which kind you have before you go out and buy any skin care products:

  • Comedones. This is the basic, mild type of acne where the hair follicle becomes clogged with dead skin cells and oil (sebum).

These comedones appear on your face in two different ways:

    • Whiteheads. These are small, white pustules that you see on the surface of the skin and they are closed on the surface.
    • Blackheads. In this case, the comedone is open on the surface of the skin, and you’ll see a darker color.
  • Papules. In this case, the comedones are inflamed and they’ll probably cover large patches of skin on your face rather than just a few here whiteheads or blackheads here and there.

This can be considered mild or moderate acne.

If your acne doesn’t fall into any of these categories (meaning that you probably have a more severe case) or if you have a more severe case of papules, then it’s best that you consult with a dermatologist directly in order to help you determine which is the best acne face wash for your particular case.

Top 10 Acne Face Washes Table

PictureNameWhy It’s GoodPriceRating (1-5)
Why It’s Good
Rating (1-5)
1. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing100% Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay (great for weekly masks)$4.5
2. Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser - Anti-Aging + Acne Face Wash w AHA For WrinklesExfoliating Cleanser (gentle on skin, great for mild cases of acne)$$4.5
3. Facial Wash, Organic and 100% Natural Face CleanserDaily Cleanser (natural ingredients, gentle on skin)$$$4.5
4. Daily Power Scrub Facial Cleanser For MenExfoliating Cleanser For Men (natural ingredients, gentle on skin)$$$4.4
5. Amara Organics Facial Cleanser with 15% Vitamin CDaily Cleanser (gentle on skin, organic ingredients, good for mild cases of acne)$$4.4
6. Microdermabrasion Face Scrub & Facial Mask in OneExfoliating Scrub (natural ingredients)$$4.4
7. Humane Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment Body & Face Wash10% Benzoyl Peroxide (strong, not for everyone)$$4.3
8. Salicylic Deep Gel Exfoliating CleanserSalicylic Acid, Exfoliating Cleanser$$$4.3
9. PCA SKIN BPO 5% CleanserBenzoyl Peroxide 5%$$$$4.2
10. The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash RegularTea Tree Oil$4.2

Skin Care Regimen – Face Wash Is Just 1 Part

So you thought that a face wash was going to cure all of your acne woes?

It might, but we highly doubt it.

Every other product you put on your face can cause (or help prevent) acne, so it’s important that you get it right with every type of product you use and not just the face wash.

  • Exfoliate. Gentle exfoliating products are important and the granules should be no larger than ground sugar granules. Most products that use plastic exfoliating beads inside have now been banned since all of those plastic beads end up clogging wastewater treatment plants and causing major environmental pollution, so avoid products that contain them.

Exfoliating the skin (removing dead skin cells) is only suggested 2-3 times a week, so if you are doing any more than that, cut back. You are probably removing more healthy skin cells than dead ones if you exfoliate every day, so make sure you stick to 2-3 time per week max.

  • Toner. Acne-friendly toners include rose water, orange blossom water or even a 50/50 mixture of organic apple cider vinegar.

Most of the drugstore brands strip the skin of everything it needs to stay healthy, so opt for brands like Levan Rose 100% Organic Moroccan Rose Water Toner or Foxbrim Orange Blossom Water Toner that are gentle on the skin.

  • Moisturizer. Don’t forget to follow up with a great moisturizer once you’re done washing and toning.

Both Honeyskin Organics Ultimate Face and Body Cream and Christina Moss Naturals Organic Facial Moisturizer have excellent products that are made with gentle, natural ingredients.

They may be expensive, but they are safe and effective, and a little product goes a long way.

Determine a Wash Based on Your Skin Type

After you’ve determined what type of acne you have, then it’s time to determine which is the best acne face wash based on your skin type.

  • Sensitive Skin. If you have sensitive skin (redness occurs even when you touch it lightly or many common drugstore brands irritate your skin), it’s important that you opt for unscented products. Look for organic, vegan and natural formulas that won’t irritate your sensitive skin.
  • Oily Skin. Fighting acne and oil at the same time isn’t easy, so you might require something that will dry the skin out more than some other products.

Benzoyl Peroxide face washes seem to be a popular choice, but just be sure that you follow up with a quality moisturizer once you’re done washing (see the moisturizer suggestions we gave you above).

Acne Fighting Ingredients

You’ll see many of these ingredients commonly listed in acne treatment products, but do you know what they do?

  • Benzoyl Peroxide. This ingredient will actually kill acne-related bacteria. Products contain different percentages of this ingredient, anywhere between 2.5% and even up to 10%, but the latter is only recommended for moderate to severe cases of acne and one should speak with a skin care specialist or doctor before using it.

It can make you sensitive to sun exposure and it definitely dries out the skin (as we mentioned), so you should plan to use a good moisturizer if you choose this product.

  • Salicylic Acid. For mild cases of acne, this is a good choice. It can’t skill the acne-causing bacterial like benzoyl peroxide does, but it can help you prevent clogged pores, which is important when it comes to acne prevention.

This is good for those of you with oily skin but it can over-dry just like benzoyl peroxide, so make sure the product you choose has it in low concentrations/percentages.

  • Bentonite Clay. Those of you looking for a more natural ingredient will appreciate bentonite clay.

It works to unclog pores as well as shrink them, and it is popular as a weekly acne-fighting mask for those with mild acne-related issues.

  • Tea Tree Oil. Lastly, we have tea tree oil.

This is another natural ingredient that has antiseptic and antifungal properties and it works wonders for some skin types.

If you haven’t had luck with any of the other products, give a tea tree oil wash a try (number 10 in our table above).

Top 5 Best Acne Face Wash Reviews

1. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

The ultimate weekly acne mask is this: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay.

This is as pure as they come since it has only one ingredient: the calcium bentonite clay.

While the smell is not the greatest, your face will thank you for using it in order to help keep the pores clean and reduce their appearance.

We definitely recommend that you have this in your acne skin care regimen. Use it with one of the daily cleansers and exfoliators that we’re about to discuss and you’ll definitely notice a difference!

2. Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

If you’re an adult suffering from acne, this is definitely the best face wash for acne that you can use.

It not only works to keep the acne at bay (thanks to the glycolic acid, willow bark and jojoba beads that exfoliate and prevent clogged pores), but it also contains ingredients that will help reduce the signs of aging.

This is an exfoliating face wash and should only be used a few times a week.

If you’re in need of a daily wash, have a look at the next product!

3. Christina Moss Naturals Organic Face Wash

This is a great product if you have sensitive skin and you’re in need of a daily cleanser.

Most acne-specific products contain ingredients that can be too harsh on the skin when used on a daily basis, so if you’re looking for something that you can use together with a great exfoliator, we would recommend this one.

It is free of all skin irritants, it is hypoallergenic and it is made with certified organic ingredients.

We understand that it’s expensive, so if you like the idea of a product like this but want to spend less, check out number 5.

4. Daily Power Scrub Facial Cleanser For Men

All the ladies can skip over this product since it is targeted at men.

We like this cleanser and it works great for plenty of guys out there, but we’re not crazy that they’re suggesting it for daily use since it is an exfoliating product and you should not exfoliate on a daily basis.

It has plenty of wonderful, skin-friendly ingredients like aloe vera leaf juice, jojoba oil and plant extracts, but we did notice fragrance in there, so if you have sensitive skin this might not be the right choice.

Guys, we definitely recommend this product in your skin care routine if you don’t have super sensitive skin. Use it a few times a week and it will do its job correctly.

For daily cleansing, however, try #3 or #5 on our list.

5. Amara Organics Vitamin C Cleanser

As we mentioned, sometimes a brand switch can cure more of your acne problems since the other product you were using stripped your skin of everything it needed to stay healthy.

This is a gentle, daily face wash that contains plenty of organic ingredients without all of the junk (no sulfates, parabens, artificial fragrances, colors, dyes or harsh chemicals).

If you have mild acne and you think it’s related to the low quality face washes you’ve been using, you’ll notice a big difference when you switch to this one.

Sensitive skin-friendly!

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