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Got acne? These are the 9 best cleansers for crystal-clear skin

Want clearer skin? We’ve gathered the best acne face washes on the market for every kind of budget.

Published Dec 21, 2023
5 min. reading time
five facial acne cleansers on a blue background

Acne is a common skin condition that affects many people at different stages of their lives. 

It can be frustrating and challenging to manage, but the right skincare products can make a significant difference. This article will introduce you to a few of the best face washes for acne on the market.

Find the best acne cleanser for clear, healthy skin here!

Read more: The best setting powders for an all-day flawless face

la roche posay effaclar gel cleanser
La Roche Posay Effaclar Acne Face Cleanser
$16.99 at Target
innisfree green tea amino acid face cleanser
Green Tea Amino Acid Face Cleanser
$12 at Innisfree
the body shop tea tree facial wash
Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash
$16 at The Body Shop
honest foaming acne cleanser
Honest Get Clarity Foaming Acne Cleanser
$17.99 at


  • Skin type: Acne-prone skin

  • Main ingredients: Salicylic acid acne medication

Cleansing your face daily is an important part of any skincare regimen, especially when battling breakouts and bumps. Enter La Roche Posay's Effaclar acne face cleanser—a medicated gel face cleanser ingeniously blended specifically for acne-prone skin. 

Its primary weapon against those unwanted spots is its hefty salicylic acid content, a renowned acne medication that targets and eradicates excess oil, leaving no room for future breakouts. 

One of the standout factors of this product is its ability to reduce surface oil by up to 47%, and it comes unscented, making it a great option for those with sensitive noses.


  • Skin type: All skin types

  • Main ingredients: Jeju green tea water, triple amino acid complex

This green tea amino acid face cleanser from Innisfree revolutionizes skincare with its rich, micro-fine bubbles that deliver a gentle and non-stripping cleanse. 

This cleanser is formulated with amino-acid-rich Jeju green tea water and a triple amino acid complex that serves as the key ingredients. They work together to provide your skin with antioxidant benefits and hydration, leaving it feeling soft and refreshed post-cleanse. As a naturally derived surfactant from green tea root, this cleanser is suitable for all skin types.


  • Skin type: Blemished skin

  • Main ingredients: Tea tree oil

Blemishes are a part of life, but that doesn't mean we can't take control of them, especially with this tea tree skin-clearing facial wash. This product is the perfect first step in any skincare routine, aiming to give you a clear and refreshing look. Tea tree oil is known for its natural purifying properties, making it a popular choice for dealing with skin blemishes. The Body Shop claims that this wash visibility reduces blemishes in as little as seven days, and promises you that you won’t feel that uncomfortable tightness that you tend to with alternative brands — sign us up!


  • Skin type: Blemished skin

  • Main ingredients: Sulfur 3.3% acne treatment

Say goodbye to stubborn acne with the Honest Get Clarity Foaming Acne cleanser. 

This gentle cream-to-foam cleanser is designed to give your skin a healthy glow while fighting off acne. It's a clarifying formula that washes away dirt, excess oil, and impurities without stripping or overdrying your skin. The formula is powered by four types of apple AHAs, including malic, glycolic, lactic, and citric acids, that gently exfoliate and refresh your skin. It also contains colloidal sulfur, a potent ingredient known to prevent and control future breakouts.


  • Skin type: Normal, combination and oily

  • Main ingredients: Salicylic acid

This cream-to-foam cleanser is gentle on the skin while being tough on dirt, excess oil, and impurities. It doesn't strip or overdry your skin, allowing you to maintain its natural moisture. The acne-fighting formula of this cleanser is powered by apple AHAs, including malic, glycolic, lactic, and citric acids, which are designed to gently exfoliate the skin. Additionally, it contains colloidal sulfur that helps prevent and control future breakouts.


  • Skin type: Normal, combination and oily skin

  • Main ingredients: Willow bark BHA, blue tansy oil, zinc PCA

If you're struggling with large pores, acne, or an oily complexion, this cleanser is here to address these issues head-on. 

It contains willow bark BHA, a natural form of salicylic acid, which works wonders in clearing up clogged pores. By gently exfoliating the skin, it gets rid of excess oil and debris for a clean and refreshed complexion. Rich in azulene, blue tansy oil soothes visible redness and balances the skin’s oil levels,. Additionally, zinc PCA absorbs excess oil, defending your skin from blemish-causing bacteria. No more fretting about unexpected breakouts!


  • Skin type: Normal, combination and dry skin

  • Main ingredients: Blend of Japanese algae, hyaluronic acid and Tatcha‘s Hadasei-3

Tatcha’s Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser is a PH-neutral, daily cream cleanser that gently washes away impurities without stripping skin—leaving it hydrated, feeling soft, and looking luminous. 

Whether you have normal, dry, or combination skin, this cleanser is designed to be gentle and effective. Its formulation is a blend of Japanese algae, leaving your skin feeling soft, comforted, and nourished. It also contains hyaluronic acid to help your skin look smooth and plump with hydration.

Another notable ingredient in this product is Tatcha's signature Hadasei-3, which gives your skin a visibly healthy and youthful-looking radiance.


  • Skin type: Oily skin

  • Main ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid

Formulated with 2% salicylic acid, this acne face wash is engineered to clear acne and reduce blackheads effectively. But what sets this product apart is the inclusion of purifying clay, an ingredient recognized for improving the appearance of and minimizing pores. The face wash has a refreshing gel-to-foam texture that brings a soothing experience as it gently cleanses your skin. With its oil-absorbing technology, it doesn't just remove excess sebum - it targets the pores to prevent future breakouts.


  • Skin type: Oily, combination, sensitive, normal

  • Main ingredients: Green tea extract, salicylic acid

This gel cleanser has been designed with a variety of skin types in mind. Whether you're battling oily skin, a combination, or sensitive skin, this face wash has been a game changer for many people. 

Its exfoliating material feature leaves your skin feeling smooth and clean, without the drying effect that other cleansers often have. 

A little goes a long way with this cleanser, and it's unscented, which is a plus for those sensitive to fragrances. It helps clear existing blemishes and prevent future ones — making it an absolute must-have.

How often should I wash my face if I have acne?

If you have acne, it's recommended to use a face wash for acne twice a day — once in the morning and once at night. 

This helps remove excess oil, dirt, and sweat that can contribute to acne. However, it's important not to over-wash your face, as this can strip your skin of its natural oils and cause irritation. Always use a cleanser for acne-prone skin and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

Which acne cleansers get our vote?

After researching and reviewing different cleaners for acnes on our list, three products stand out from the rest: 

  • La Roche Posay Effaclar Acne Face Wash: This cleanser is a medicated gel specifically formulated for acne-prone skin, with salicylic acid as its main ingredient. It's clinically tested to reduce surface oil by up to 47%, making it one of the best face cleansers for combating breakouts. 

  • Green Tea Amino Acid Face Wash for Acne: This offers a gentle yet effective cleanse with its rich, micro-fine bubbles. It's suitable for all skin types and provides antioxidant benefits and hydration, leaving your skin feeling soft and refreshed. 

  • Tatcha The Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser: The perfect luxury option, this is great if you want to treat yourself. Formulated with Japanese algae, hyaluronic acid and Tatcha‘s Hadasei-3, it’s no wonder this is on our roundup of the best cleansers for acne. 

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Prices updated on 12/21/2023. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

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Written by
Phoebe Davenport

A book aficionado, you will always be able to rely on Phoebe Davenport for the best book recommendations. On the weekend, you’ll probably find Phoebe at a bottomless brunch in London, at a museum, or chilling at home with her two cats.