The Best Cleansers For Oily Skin (According To A Beauty Writer With Oily Skin)

·3 min read

For the majority of my teen years, I attacked my oily, unpredictable complexion with the harshest face washes I could find at the local drugstore. (If someone told me Dawn dish soap would clear my breakouts, I probably would've tried it.)

As I've grown older and wiser (and hey, a career in beauty journalism probably didn't hurt), I've learned that while cleansing is a key step in any skin-care routine, more isn't always more. (Another myth: You don't need to spend a ton of money for quality skincare — but it's also perfectly fine if you want to indulge!) And thanks to years of trial and error, I've scoped out the best face washes for oily skin. From old-school cleansing bars to luxurious gel formulas, here are the need-to-cop cleansers perfect for fellow oily-skinned cuties.

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<h2>Tatcha The Deep Cleanse</h2><br><strong>Best Exfoliating</strong><br><br>Tatcha's beloved Deep Cleanse is made with Japanese luffa fruit as a gentle, physical exfoliant, plus a patented Hadasei-3 anti-aging complex.<br><br><strong>Tatcha</strong> The Deep Cleanse Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Fthe-deep-cleanse-P427536%3FskuId%3D2468916%26icid2%3Dskugrid%3Ap427536%3Aproduct" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Tatcha The Deep Cleanse


Best Exfoliating

Tatcha's beloved Deep Cleanse is made with Japanese luffa fruit as a gentle, physical exfoliant, plus a patented Hadasei-3 anti-aging complex.

Tatcha The Deep Cleanse Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, $, available at Sephora
<h2>Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar<br></h2><br><strong>Best Bar</strong><br><br>Tight, squeaky-clean skin? Bad. Balanced, decongested skin? Good! This sea mud-infused face soap from Marilyn Monroe's favorite skin-care brand is my go-to on nights where I'm feeling extra greasy. (Also, the four-ounce bar lasts <em>forever</em>.)<br><br><strong>Erno Laszlo</strong> Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.violetgrey.com%2Fproduct%2Ferno-laszlo-sea-mud-deep-cleansing-bar%2FERN-50037%3F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Erno Laszlo" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Erno Laszlo</a>

Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar


Best Bar

Tight, squeaky-clean skin? Bad. Balanced, decongested skin? Good! This sea mud-infused face soap from Marilyn Monroe's favorite skin-care brand is my go-to on nights where I'm feeling extra greasy. (Also, the four-ounce bar lasts forever.)

Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar, $, available at Erno Laszlo
<h2>Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser</h2><br><strong>Best Drugstore</strong><br><br>Cetaphil's signature cleanser is gentle enough for sensitive skin but thorough enough to whisk away excess dirt and oil. We love to see it.<br><br><strong>Cetaphil</strong> Daily Facial Cleanser, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Fp%2Fdaily-facial-cleanser-xlsImpprod2360125%3F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta Beauty</a>

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser


Best Drugstore

Cetaphil's signature cleanser is gentle enough for sensitive skin but thorough enough to whisk away excess dirt and oil. We love to see it.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, $, available at Ulta Beauty
<h2>La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser</h2><br><strong>Best Foaming</strong><br><br>This is my all-time favorite cleanser for a couple of reasons. It's relatively affordable given the large size, and the gel-to-foam formula leaves my skin feeling so fresh and so clean.<br><br><strong>La Roche-Posay</strong> Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/3lmUuJ7" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser


Best Foaming

This is my all-time favorite cleanser for a couple of reasons. It's relatively affordable given the large size, and the gel-to-foam formula leaves my skin feeling so fresh and so clean.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser, $, available at Amazon
<h2>Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil</h2><br><strong>Best Cleansing Oil</strong><br><br>If you, like me, live for a double-cleanse, then you've probably tried cleansing oils and balms galore. One of the best is Hanskin's PHA (aka polyhydroxy acids)-infused oil, which helps ward off blackheads and acne.<br><br><strong>Hanskin</strong> Pore Cleansing Oil [PHA], $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fsokoglam.com%2Fproducts%2Fhanskin-cleansing-oil-blackhead-pha%3F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Soko Glam" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Soko Glam</a>

Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil


Best Cleansing Oil

If you, like me, live for a double-cleanse, then you've probably tried cleansing oils and balms galore. One of the best is Hanskin's PHA (aka polyhydroxy acids)-infused oil, which helps ward off blackheads and acne.

Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [PHA], $, available at Soko Glam
<h2>SkinCeuticals LHA Cleanser Gel</h2><br><strong>Best Luxe</strong><br><br>SkinCeuticals, of <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/skinceuticals-c-e-ferulic-serum" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:C E Ferulic fame" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">C E Ferulic fame</a>, also makes beautiful cleansers — including this purifying face wash infused with glycolic and salicylic acids.<br><br><strong>SkinCeuticals</strong> LHA Cleanser Gel, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dermstore.com%2Fskinceuticals-lha-cleansing-gel-200ml%2F11535234.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:DermStore" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">DermStore</a>

SkinCeuticals LHA Cleanser Gel


Best Luxe

SkinCeuticals, of C E Ferulic fame, also makes beautiful cleansers — including this purifying face wash infused with glycolic and salicylic acids.

SkinCeuticals LHA Cleanser Gel, $, available at DermStore
<h2>Bioderma Sebium H2O</h2><br><strong>Best Micellar Water</strong><br><br>If you're looking for a mild cleanse, micellar water is perfect for you. I love Bioderma's oily-skin version of its beloved <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/micellar-water-better-skin" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sensibio H20" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sensibio H20</a>, which is the perfect no-rinse formula to quickly get my skin clean in 10 seconds.<br><br><strong>Bioderma</strong> Sebium H2O, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dermstore.com%2Fbioderma-sebium-h2o-solution-500ml%2F11709489.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:DermStore" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">DermStore</a>

Bioderma Sebium H2O


Best Micellar Water

If you're looking for a mild cleanse, micellar water is perfect for you. I love Bioderma's oily-skin version of its beloved Sensibio H20, which is the perfect no-rinse formula to quickly get my skin clean in 10 seconds.

Bioderma Sebium H2O, $, available at DermStore
<h2>Tula The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser</h2><br><strong>Best Gel</strong><br><br>There's nothing basic about Tula's fan-favorite gel cleanser, aptly named The Cult Classic. Like the rest of the brand's products, it's got probiotics to help retain moisture and balance your skin's microbiome plus lactic acid to gently exfoliate.<br><br><strong>Tula</strong> The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Fp%2Fcult-classic-purifying-face-cleanser-xlsImpprod18731041" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta Beauty</a>

Tula The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser


Best Gel

There's nothing basic about Tula's fan-favorite gel cleanser, aptly named The Cult Classic. Like the rest of the brand's products, it's got probiotics to help retain moisture and balance your skin's microbiome plus lactic acid to gently exfoliate.

Tula The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser, $, available at Ulta Beauty
<h2>Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser</h2><br><strong>Best Clay</strong><br><br>Clay-based formulas are great for sopping up a T-zone that rivals an oil slick. Ceramic Slip touts French green clay as a hero ingredient, and I swear it leaves my pores visibly less noticeable.<br><br><strong>Sunday Riley</strong> Ceramic Slip Cleanser, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Fceramic-slip-clay-cleanser-P309310" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser


Best Clay

Clay-based formulas are great for sopping up a T-zone that rivals an oil slick. Ceramic Slip touts French green clay as a hero ingredient, and I swear it leaves my pores visibly less noticeable.

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser, $, available at Sephora
<h2>Aveeno Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser with Salicylic Acid<br></h2><br><strong>Best Cream</strong><br><br>Oily skin can still be dehydrated — I would know, because I spent years <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/moisturizer-for-oily-skin" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:skimping on moisturizer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">skimping on moisturizer</a>, much to my skin's detriment. A cream cleanser like Aveeno's can help make sure you get the clean you need without compromising on hydration.<br><br><strong>Aveeno</strong> Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser with Salicylic Acid, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoto.target.com%2FJrL2vN" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a>

Aveeno Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser with Salicylic Acid


Best Cream

Oily skin can still be dehydrated — I would know, because I spent years skimping on moisturizer, much to my skin's detriment. A cream cleanser like Aveeno's can help make sure you get the clean you need without compromising on hydration.

Aveeno Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser with Salicylic Acid, $, available at Target

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