The backbone of any balancing skin care routine is, without a doubt, a great cleanser. The best cleansers for oily skin are hard-working enough to remove a day or night's worth of product buildup and excess oil, but they're also gentle enough that they won't cause irritation or strip the skin of important natural oils. It may not be the most glamorous part of your routine, but thorough (yet gentle) cleansing is an integral part of keeping your skin balanced and healthy.
While the most important thing is that your cleanser leaves your skin balanced, you should also consider the other sides of your skin's personality when choosing a product. If your skin also happens to be very sensitive, it's best to look for cleansers that are free of fragrance, alcohol, and harsh chemical exfoliants. And if you have acne-prone skin, try a cleanser that contains skin-clearing ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or tea tree oil. But keep in mind that if your skin feels dry or tight after cleansing, you're probably washing with a product that's too harsh, which might actually trigger your skin to produce more oil.
Like any skin care product, there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all cleanser for oily skin types — but these seven are some of the best out there.
1A Daily Clarifying Gel With Salicylic & Glycolic Acids
If you have oily, acne-prone skin and want an everyday cleanser that gently removes oils but also works hard to clear breakouts, Vichy's Normaderm Daily Deep Cleansing Gel Acne Face Wash is a clear winner. It lathers nicely to remove excess oils and contains a gentle dose of salicylic and glycolic to dissolve blackheads and slough off dead skin cells.
2A Refining Cream-To-Foam Cleanser That's Safe For Sensitive Skin
Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser is a fragrance-free, non-irritating cleanser that starts as a cream and foams into a light lather to remove excess oils and unclog pores. It leaves skin feeling clean, smooth, and soft without any of the dryness that can lead to unwanted oil production. It also contains aloe to soothe irritation and acne.
3A Bamboo & Clay Bar Cleanser That Gently Exfoliates While You Cleanse
While many bar cleansers have a tendency to over-dry the skin, Drunk Elephant JuJu Bar is a soap-free, solid bar that behaves like a liquid on the skin. Perfect for sensitive skin, it's formulated with botanical ingredients, like bamboo and clay, that gently remove dead skin, makeup, and excess oils. And, because it's a solid, it's TSA-friendly and won't make a mess in your bag.
4A pH-Balancing Cleanser With Tea Tree Oil & Natural BHA
COSRX's Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser gently removes dirt and oil without leaving your skin dry or tight. Cleansing with water can leave skin's pH out of whack, but this face wash has a low pH that counteracts the effects of the water on your skin, resulting in balanced skin that has an easier time fighting off acne-causing bacteria. It's also formulated with BHA and tea tree oil, which help keep skin clear.
5A Unique Foaming Clay That Provides A Deeper Cleanse
Marrying science, super high-quality ingredients, and modern packaging Sunday Riley's Ceramic Slip is one of many Sunday Riley products that outshines its competition by doing far more than you'd expect. Two types of clay soak up excess oils and soften skin, vitamin C brightens and evens the skin, and sweet-smelling neroli oil fends of irritation with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.
6A Light Cleansing Oil That Removes Makeup, Sunscreen, & Excess Oils
Oil for oily skin? It works, especially with a lightweight oily-skin specific formula like Shu Uemura's Skin Purifier Porefinist Anti-Shine Fresh Cleansing Oil. This luxury cleansing oil gently unclogs pores, removes makeup, and promises to help regulate oil production with cinnamon bark extract. A little of this concentrated formula goes a very long way.
7A Gentle, Non-Drying Cleanser With Vitamin C
Ideal for oily skin, Perricone MD's Citrus Facial Wash gently cleanses and removes all traces of makeup while treating skin with vitamin C Ester — a mild, non-drying vitamin C formula that reduces redness and evens tone and texture. The formula also contains DMAE, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which adds moisture and luminosity without increasing oil buildup.
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