With summer right around the corner, it’s time to take out a few minutes and face the facts – men’s grooming is no longer just a luxury, it’s a necessity! And if you’re one of those guys who constantly battles with oily skin, you know how frustrating it can be, especially in the summer. Oily skin is quite common in men and is caused by overactive sebaceous glands that produce excess oil, leaving your skin looking greasy and shiny. Oily skin, if left unchecked, can also cause clogged pores, which can then cause acne breakouts.
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For keeping oily skin in check, it is necessary to find a suitable face wash that will help regulate excess oil production without stripping away your skin’s natural oils. So, if you are looking for the best face wash to tackle oily skin and add to your grooming routine, we’ve got your back (and your face).
Picking the best face wash for oily skin
If you have oily skin, it’s important to choose a face wash that’s specifically designed to address excess oil production and prevent acne. “Oily skin is very commonly misunderstood, and so we often see very harsh cleansers, high pH soaps, and highly perfumed products. On the other hand, the skin’s sebum is easily cleansed with a gentle thorough cleanser, which removes dirt and grime but does not strip away the essential lipids from the skin,” explains Dr Renita Rajan, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist.
She further explains. “Oily skin can be pretty sensitive, especially when the tendency is to rub and scrub the skin. These actions of physical scrubbing can make oily skin worse and can mess with the skin surface microbiome balance as well.”
When we asked her about ingredients to look out for in a face wash, she recommends, “For acne-prone oily skin and for best pore cleansing, it is better to use salicylic acid in the more potent form of a surfactant-free exfoliator, as compared to facewashes. Lactic acid and glycolic acid are also good options for exfoliating face washes.”
Similarly, Dr Batul Patel, a leading celebrity dermatologist and the founder of The Bombay Skin Clinic believes, “When purchasing a face wash for oily skin, one must look for newer active ingredients like lactic acid or mandelic acid rather than glycolic or salicylic acid. These acids do not dry out the skin excessively and aid in controlling and cleaning the oil glands.” She further adds, “One way to clear out clogging pores is that opt for double cleansing. Double cleansing would prevent the clogging of the pores. However, it is important to ensure not to over-dry the skin while doing so as it could lead to a rebound effect of the skin secreting more oil. Vitamin A is one of the most vital active ingredients that prevent the clogging of pores and helps in cell renewal. So, try including face washes with Vitamin A.”
It’s also important to avoid face washes that contain alcohol, as they can strip your skin of its natural oils and worse, cause it to produce even more oil. Look for products that are labelled ‘non-comedogenic’ or ‘oil-free’ as they are less likely to clog your pores and cause breakouts. Consider using a face wash that contains natural ingredients such as tea tree oil or neem oil as these ingredients have natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help to keep your skin clear and healthy.
So, with all that information in mind, here are our top picks for face washes for men suffering from oily skin.
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Our picks for the best face washes for oily skin
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- Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Wash
- The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm
- Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser
- Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro pH Foam Facial Cleanser
- The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Clay Wash
- L'Occitane Gel-To-Foam Face Cleanser
- Tatcha Rice Wash Cleanser
- SK-II Men Moisturising Cleanser
- Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm
- Pixi Double Cleanse
The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Facial Cleanser is specifically designed to tackle acne-prone skin with its active ingredient, salicylic acid. This powerful ingredient helps to unclog pores, remove excess oil and clear up acne, making it a great choice for those struggling with breakouts. This product is oil-free, non-comedogenic, and gentle enough to use every day. When used, it penetrates deep into your skin to remove excess oil and buildup, leaving your skin clean and oil-free.
What’s more, it comes with a patented Microclear technology, which is composed of three ingredients that work in synergy to prep your skin for salicylic acid. If you have sensitive skin, you’d be pleased to know that this product also comes with a pink grapefruit formula, in addition to the classic formula. However, it’s important to note that some people may experience dryness or irritation when using salicylic acid. To avoid this, it’s recommended to start by using the product once a day and gradually increasing to twice a day, if needed.
(Image credit: Amazon)
The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm is perfect to remove dirt, and impurities from the skin while also providing gentle exfoliation. It is formulated with colloidal oatmeal, which is known for its soothing and calming properties, as well as natural oils and emollients to nourish and hydrate the skin. To use this cleansing balm, all you need to do is simply apply a small amount to dry skin and massage it in, focusing on areas with makeup or impurities. This face cleanser is an ideal product to use in the morning or evening as part of your skincare routine.
(Image credit: Sephora)
Cetaphil is a dermatologist-recommended face wash, which is specially curated for those people who harbour oily and combination skin. It comes with a gentle and effective formula that removes excess oil, dirt, and impurities without stripping your skin of its natural oils (notice a pattern in our top picks?)
Suitable for daily use, this cleanser is also pH-balanced, which means it is gentle and won’t disrupt your skin’s natural pH balance. Additionally, it is also non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores or contribute to acne breakouts. Post-cleansing, apply a light layer of moisturiser all over your face to maintain healthy skin.
(Image credit: Nykaa)
Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro pH Foam Facial Cleanser is curated in such a way that it cleanses the skin while maintaining a healthy pH balance. It contains a blend of natural ingredients, including coconut oil and sage leaf extract, which help to remove impurities from the skin while leaving it feeling soft and smooth. One of the key benefits of this cleanser is its pH-balancing properties. Our skin’s natural pH is slightly acidic, which helps to protect it from harmful bacteria and other irritants. However, many traditional cleansers can be too harsh and disrupt the skin’s pH balance, leading to dryness, irritation, and even breakouts. So, this face wash is formulated to be gentle and non-irritating, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin.
(Image credit: Sephora)
The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Clay Wash combines the purifying benefits of charcoal with the exfoliating properties of clay. Designed to deeply cleanse your skin and remove impurities, excess oil and dead cells, its formula contains key ingredients such as bamboo charcoal from the Himalayan foothills (quite popular for its purifying properties) and kaolin clay, (gently exfoliates the skin). The formula also contains tea tree oil, which is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and will help control acne breakouts and possible skin irritation.
(Image credit: Amazon)
L’Occitane Gel-To-Foam Face Cleanser is designed to gently cleanse your skin while removing impurities and excess oil. As its name suggests, the formula is a gel that transforms into a lightweight foam upon contact with water, making it easy to apply and rinse off. Suitable for all skin types, this face wash is infused with cucumber and thyme extracts, both of which are known for their refreshing properties, reducing blemishes and removing impurities. Its formula is also free of parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances, making it suitable for people with sensitive skin.
(Image credit: L’Occitane)
Looking for a gentle and effective way to purify your skin? Look no further than the Tatcha Rice Wash Cleanser! Inspired by the traditional Japanese practice of using rice water as a cleanser, this gentle foaming formula is packed with natural ingredients that work together to cleanse, soften, and nourish your skin.
At the heart of this luxurious cleanser is Japanese rice bran, a powerful ingredient that’s rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. With its gentle exfoliating properties, Japanese rice bran helps to remove impurities and dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling smooth and refreshed. And that’s not all – the formula also includes hyaluronic acid, green tea extracts and silk extracts, which work together to protect your skin from environmental stressors, soothe irritation and promote a more youthful-looking complexion.
(Image credit: Tatcha)
SK-II’s Men Moisturising Cleanser is a specially formulated product designed to cleanse and nourish men’s skin. It contains the brand’s signature ingredient, Pitera, a fermented yeast extract that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids and known for its hydrating and revitalizing properties. With regular use, this innovative cleanser can help to improve your skin’s texture and clarity, leaving it looking healthier and more youthful than before.
(Image credit: Sephora)
Glow Recipe is a brand that has gained popularity for its use of fruit extracts in skincare products. Their range includes serums, moisturisers, toners and night treatment products – all of which come infused with fruit-powered ingredients. The brand is committed to formulating cruelty-free skincare products that have natural ingredients and are free of harsh chemicals.
One of their star products, the Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm, is a luxurious and effective cleanser that is designed to be the first step in a double cleansing routine. With the power of papaya enzymes, this cleanser helps to dissolve impurities from the skin while providing gentle exfoliation. As it is formulated with natural ingredients, it will leave your skin feeling clean, soft and glowing.
(Image credit: Glow Recipe)
Looking for an all-in-one solution for your double cleansing routine? Pixi’s got you covered with their Double Cleanse product. Designed to simplify your skincare regimen, this 2-in-1 cleanser removes impurities and excess oil while also providing much-needed hydration and nourishment. Developed by renowned skincare expert Caroline Hirons, this product comes with two different cleansers in one convenient package: a solid cleansing oil and a cleansing cream for evening use. Infused with nourishing Vitamin E, camellia oil, and arginine, this duo gently removes makeup and impurities without stripping your skin of its natural oils. Plus, the addition of Vitamin C helps soothe and hydrate your skin, leaving you with a glowing and healthy complexion.
(Image credit: Pixi)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: There are multiple face washes that suit oily skin. Some of the best include Cetaphil Oil Cleanser, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Wash, The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Clay Wash and more.
Answer: Cleansing your face twice a day with the a face wash that is suitable for your skin type helps combat oily skin.
Answer: Start off with cleansing your skin, then use a toner or a serum with salicylic acid or lactic acid and then use a moisturiser infused with Vitamin E.
Answer: For sensitive oily skin, opt for a gentle face wash. You can opt for products from brands such as Neutrogena, Put Simply, Derma Co, Cetaphil and PHY.