Best Face Washes for Oily Skin

How to battle that gunk and feel refreshed with the best face washes for oily skin.

best face wash for oily skinIf you’ve ever battled oily skin, you’ll know that the only relief you can often get is at the end of the day when you can finally wash all that oil and gunk from your face. But fighting oily skin isn’t as simple as throwing some water on, or choosing harsh ingredients to suck all the oil (and moisture!) from your face. The best face washes for oily skin need natural, soothing ingredients to balance skin for the long run. We’ll give you our verdict on some popular cleansers that oily skin types love, as well as our favorite natural products to help you choose the best one.

How do I know if I have oily skin?

It’s normal for skin to have oil. Our skin produces its own form of oil called sebum. Sebum comes out of our pores to keep our skin lubricated and waterproof. For some of us, though, our bodies can produce too much sebum. When the excess oil hangs around on the surface of our skin, it can weigh down and cause our pores to look larger, create that dreaded shiny forehead, or even trap bacteria in our pores and cause that dreaded zit. All isn’t lost though. With regular cleansing, you can help balance your oil production, and keep your skin clarified and smooth.

Which facial cleanser for oily skin should I choose?

Oily skin can be a pain, and we get that you want to fix it ASAP. But before you reach for that deep cleanser for a breath of relief, have you checked its ingredients? Sensitive skin types aren’t the only ones who should be avoiding conventional face wash ingredients. Harsh detergents like sulfates can actually strip skin of too much oil and nutrients, causing your skin to overproduce oil to compensate—back to square one again. Skin drying alcohols and harsh synthetic ingredients are also a no-no.

Instead, it’s better to stick to using a natural face wash in a daily routine. Yes, natural skin care is effective for oily skin types too! And it’s not always necessary to look for an oil-free cleanser. Just be sure to look for natural ingredients that remove excess oil and bacteria, without the skin-harming bad guys, or any ingredients that can lead to clogged pores.  

Best face washes for oily skin

Tata Harper Clarifying CleanserTata Harper Clarifying Cleanser

Clarifying Cleanser from Tata Harper
Cruelty-free
This cleanser has a cool, minty sensation that’s a breath of relief to oily or acne prone skin. It lathers beautifully for daily use. And not to worry, this formula isn’t skin-stripping. It leaves skin calmed, soothed, and clarified. Barley grass helps to fight inflammation, while willow bark is an astringent that helps to tighten pores and balance oily skin.

Charcoal Clay CleanserCharcoal Clay Cleanser from 100% Pure
Cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free
If you still want to enjoy the benefits of a clay cleanser without the dubious ingredients, this is your pick. A bonus is the pore minimizing bamboo charcoal that pulls out dirt, bacteria, and toxins. How does it still leave skin glowing afterwards? Thank the lemon water and algae extract for that!

Osmia Facial SoapOsmia Facial SoapBlack Clay Facial Soap from Osmia
Cruelty-free
How is it possible to not jump on the train with so many great clay cleansers? Tackling oily skin can be tough, but this facial soap has the right amount of balance. It purifies oily skin but is soothing enough for acne, inflammation, and even perioral dermatitis. Sweet almond and jojoba oil are ultra nourishing and fast-absorbing. Osmia notes that their palm kernel is responsibly sourced.

Odacite Black Mint Cleanser

Image credit: Odacite

Black Mint Cleanser from Odacite
Cruelty-free, vegan
Who says harsh chemicals are necessary for clearer skin? This formula combines the best of natural skin-purifying ingredients in a formula that will leave skin soothed and fresh. The Black Mint Cleanser features activated charcoal, clay, and tea tree for ultimate pore-minimizing. This minty gel gives a refreshing cleanse to those with oily skin, leaving a softer and mattified complexion.

Balancing Cleansing Gel from Mukti
Cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free
Oily skin needs to be treated gently too! This cleanser works to nourish for more balanced skin in the long run. It’s a gel formula that foams up once you apply it to wet skin, making for a satisfying and soothing cleanse.

Tea Tree & Willow Clarifying CleanserTea Tree & Willow Acne Clear Cleanser from 100% Pure
USDA organic, cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free
Acne, meet your nemesis. This cleanser thoroughly washes away excess oil and bacteria to minimize pores, acne, and redness. Salicylic acid is naturally found in willow and helps to purify pores. Oily skin and bacteria are a recipe for acne, so we’re huge fans of this formula since tea tree oil has been proven to keep microbes at bay. No harsh detergents or synthetic ingredients here. It’s a well balanced cleanser that won’t strip skin.

Tammy Fender Cleansing GelPurifying Cleansing Gel from Tammy Fender
Cruelty-free
This face wash features purifying botanicals to tackle all of your oily skin woes. Tangerine is a natural astringent that helps tighten pores. Antibacterial licorice and rosemary are soothing for those pesky blackheads and whiteheads. It also carries a nourishing boost from alfalfa to address mineral deficiencies that might result in excessively oily skin.

Annmarie Citrus Mint CleanserAnnmarie Citrus Mint CleanserCitrus Mint Cleanser from Annmarie Skincare
Cruelty-free, vegan
Skin feeling out of balance? This natural face cleanser features organic and wildcrafted herbs to help balance the pH of your skin and unclog pores. Witch hazel and neem clear away excess oil and bacteria without stripping skin. The evidence? It leaves skin wonderfully soft after use.

Herbivore Charcoal SoapHerbivore Charcoal SoapBamboo Charcoal Cleansing Bar Soap from Herbivore
Cruelty-free, vegan
Feel in control over your skin with this handy bar soap from Herbivore. You can use this gentle soap daily to enjoy the benefits of purifying bamboo charcoal and tea tree oil. The ingredients list is simple and sweet, but each of them is effective for balancing oily skin. No filler ingredients here, just pure skin happiness.

Osea Natural CleanserOsea Natural CleanserOcean Cleansing Mudd from Osea
Cruelty-free, vegan
As an exfoliator and cleanser, this face wash is a two-in-one for oily or acne-prone skin types. Rosemary and tea tree eliminate excess oil, while algae and jojoba restore beneficial fatty acids to balance skin. It provides a deep clean to decongest pores and leave skin feeling refreshed again.

Purify those pores

But without upsetting the delicate balance of your skin! Shop carefully in your search for the best face wash for oily skin. With the right natural ingredients, cleansers can actually tackle the root of the problem to re-balance oily skin, so you’re not agonizing over it every morning. Don’t give up on your skin!

Ready to upgrade your skin care into self care? We’re here to help you out:

Why a Konjac Sponge Should Be a Part of Your Cleansing Routine: To make cleansing less of a chore, pair your new favorite face wash with a konjac sponge for skin-softening action.
10 DIY Face Masks for Acne and Clearer Skin: Fighting a breakout? Follow up your cleansing routine with a DIY face mask for acne.
Why Argan Oil for Acne Actually Works: Or does it clog your pores? Here’s our verdict on this well-loved beauty oil.

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