Nice-n-Clean! 10 Best Face Washes For Oily Skin 2021 {Balance}

Washing your face when you have oily skin is a must. But you have to find the right balance. Over-washing can strip it, causing even more oil to be produced. Not washing enough leaves you with a shiny, greasy face you’ll want to hide from the world. Having the best face wash for oily skin in 2021 is the first step in this battle against overactive glands. With so many issues oily skin may face, this could seem like a daunting task. But when you know what to look for in a face wash, you’ll be able to choose the right one for your delicate skin. And once you have perfected your skin care routine, your oily skin will be under control. If all this sounds like something you need, keep reading for our tips and face wash reviews.

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What is Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, you’ll have noticed a few differences when compared to your non-oily friends. The main one is the excess oil covering every bit of your face. This causes a shiny look and a greasy feel that never seems to go away, at least not without help. Your skin will also appear thick and coarse, with enlarged pores. Breakouts are common, though they may vary with their severity. Some people experience mild acne, while others have to suffer from constant blemishes.

What Causes Oily Skin

hair folliclesSebaceous glands are tiny glands attached to the hair follicles in our bodies. They produce oil caused sebum, which helps to hydrate and protect our skin. But some people’s glands are a bit overactive, producing excess oil. This creates oily skin or oily hair. But there are other factors that tie into your oily skin issues. Genetics is one of the causes. If your parents both have oily skin, you’ll likely suffer with it as well. Hormones during puberty and pregnancy can also increase your oil production. Diet, stress, and even some medications can all contribute to your oily skin as well.

Oily Skin Problems

People with oily skin suffer from a few common issues. Because they have enlarged pores, there is more room for oil, dirt, and bacteria to crowd in. This causes buildup which then leads to acne. Another problem oily skin has is the shine. No matter what you do, you may see that greasy shine in the mirror. Blotting sheets are probably a constant addition to your pocket or purse contents.

Makeup is something oily skin people also have trouble with. Since the oil is constantly on your face, it may keep your makeup from setting properly. This causes runny cosmetics, which means reapplication. Of course, these heavy layers of makeup will contribute to your clogged pores. Your acne may increase, requiring more makeup to cover it up. This is a vicious cycle everyone with oily skin has dealt with repeatedly in their lives. But there is a way to halt this cycle. This will require some careful choices in the makeup and skin care aisles, though. And the best way to start is by finding the right facial washes to create the best cleansing routine.

How to Care for Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, you can’t just walk down the beauty aisle grabbing random face washes of the shelf. You need to find the right one for your skin type that will cleanse it without stripping every shred of oil away. If you don’t, your skin will dry out, kicking your sebaceous glands into action. They will overcompensate, increasing the oil. Your face will feel as greasy and dirty as it did before you wash it.

jojoba oilWhen shopping for your face cleansers, the first thing to look for is an oil-free wash. You don’t want to add more oil to your face, making your issue worse. But this doesn’t mean you should avoid every oil. Oil-free refers to the heavy ones that could leave a nasty residue on your face. Jojoba oil is actually beneficial to your skin, as are many different types of essential oils. Non-comedogenic is also a term you should get to know. This means the product you’re applying to your face won’t clog your pores. Since oily skin has larger ones than others, this is essential to your skin’s health.

A foaming cleanser is best for this skin type as well. These formulas can get into your pores easier while washing away with little effort. Make sure it is a mild, gentle face wash, so it won’t cause any irritation. Otherwise, your skin will be forced to defend itself, upping the oil produced as a result. If you have acne prone skin, look for a few ingredients on the back of the bottle. Salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide should be listed there. These treat acne and prevent future breakouts.

The Best Routine for Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, you may feel the need to wash your face repeatedly throughout the day. This is the worst thing you can do. This will strip away those oils, causing increased production. Instead, you should only wash your face twice a day, morning and night. But you can’t just wash it and go. Those with oily skin need to follow a strict routine to help balance their oil and reduce the shine all day long.

Morning Routine

When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you should do is wash your face. Of course, if you work out in the morning, wait until afterward, or you’ll be dealing with extra sweat and oil. This will require rewashing, which is not a good idea.

Before you start, though, you should do is wash your hands. You want to make sure you don’t have any bacteria or dirt on them, or these will be transferred to your face. Next, moisten your face with lukewarm water. Hot water can irritate your skin, while cold water can close off those pores, locking in the dirt and oil. So, keep the temperature in the middle. Pour some of the face wash in your hand and apply it to your face. Gently rub it in using circular motions. Avoid your eyes, for obvious reasons. Keep up this process for about 30 seconds to make sure you have cleared away all the dirt and oil from your pores.

facial moisturizerUsing water, rinse your face clear of the face wash’s lather. Make sure you get all of it to ensure your face is clean. Then pat it dry with a clean towel. Be gentle again, with no rubbing, or you could irritate your skin. Apply toner to your skin as a next step. This will help clear out any excess sebum or bacteria left behind from the face wash. It also helps disinfect your skin. If you have some acne to deal with, apply your treatments now. You can do spot treatments in the areas that need it if you only have a few pimples. Or you can follow the directions on your acne treatment for larger flare-ups.

Though many people with oily skin avoid moisturizer, this is the wrong choice. Oily skin needs to stay hydrated, just like every other skin type. Use the moisturizer sparingly, though. A heavy coat may not absorb properly, so a light layer is best. Apply sunscreen if you plan on spending some time outside. If you’re just running to the car and back, this may not be necessary. But is you’ll be under the sun for over 20 minutes, sunscreen is best. You can also find some moisturizers and makeup that has sunscreen in it. If this is the case, you can ignore this step. Once the moisturizer and sunscreen have set in, you can start your makeup application. Again, light layers are best to keep your pores from getting clogged and causing more acne.

Night Routine

The night routine is simpler than the day one because you can cut out a few of the last steps. You won’t need sunscreen and makeup to go to sleep, after all. So, start by using your face washes for oily skin in the same way you do in the morning. Then use the toner to remove any extra dirt and grime the face wash missed.

For oily skin, you can also exfoliate a couple times a week after the first two steps. Or, you can find an exfoliating face wash and swap them out on the exfoliating days. This will help to remove any dead skin cells clinging to your face. Then moisturize your skin to replace what it’s lost during the cleansing routine. When this application is complete, you’re ready to get a good night’s sleep.

Best Face Washes for Oily Skin on the Market in 2021

Best Overall Face Wash for Oily Skin: Era Organics Tea Tree Face Wash

Era Organics Tea Tree Oil Face Cleanser – Soothing Face & Body Wash for Oily, Combo, Acne & Rosacea Prone Skin Care - Sulfate Free Facial Wash to Moisturize, Nourish, Soothe Redness & Irritation

Cleansers for oily skin need to be able to cover a wide variety of issues. This Era Organics Tea Tree Face Wash is formulated for oily, acne prone skin to fight all of them. It contains only natural and organic ingredients, reducing irritation from harsh chemicals. This helps it cleanse your skin of dirt and oil. But these ingredients also soothe irritation and heal your blemishes. The antimicrobial properties kill acne-causing bacteria, preventing it from returning. Dead skin cells are cleared out of your pores to reduce blackheads as well. This product will even moisturize and hydrate your skin, reducing your oil production. Soft, supple skin will be the result.


  • This face wash is pH balanced
  • It helps treat and prevent acne, blackheads, and other blemishes
  • It soothes inflammation and reduces redness
  • The formula uses only natural and organic ingredients
  • There is a nice, fresh scent
  • It helps clear your skin of excess oils and dead skin cells


  • There is no lather, though this doesn’t affect the way it cleans

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Best Drugstore Face Wash for Oily Skin: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser, for Normal to Oily Skin, Cleanses & Removes Oil, Daily Face Wash, Fragrance Free, 12 Fl Oz

CeraVe‘s foaming cleanser is a unique formula that helps balance out your oily skin. It contains three essential ceramides. These cleanse and moisturize your skin. But they also help maintain your skin’s protective barrier. This face wash also contains niacinamide, which helps to calm your skin. It encourages your skin to produce more natural ceramides for even more protection. Hyaluronic acid locks in your skin’s moisture, reducing your oil production. Since it is non-comedogenic, you won’t have to worry about this face wash clogging your pores. It is also non-drying and free of fragrances. Best of all, this foaming face wash is gentle, refreshing your skin instead of irritating it.


  • This face wash is non-comedogenic
  • It won’t dry out your oily skin, causing an increase in production
  • It is gentle on your face
  • The price is decent


  • The formula may be too strong for those with sensitive skin
  • It may not be strong enough to remove thicker layers of makeup
  • The texture is a bit thick, similar to a lotion

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Best Face Wash for Oily Skin with Blackheads: LAVO Clarifying Facial Cleanser

LAVO Glycolic Acid Face Wash for Acne Prone Skin, Oily, and Combination - with Salicylic and Lactic Acid - Helps Exfoliate Blackheads, Clogged Pores, Pimples - for Men, Women, and Teens

Blackheads can be embarrassing and hard to get rid of. This face wash by LAVO contains a powerful Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acid complex. Included in this mixture is Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Lactic Acid. Together these penetrate your pores and remove dead skin cells. This prevents clogging, reducing blackheads and other types of acne. Lavender and Vitamin B work to regulate your oil production. These two also fight bacteria and reduce inflammation in your skin. Watercress Extract is rich in antioxidants to help repair damage. Aloe Vera soothes and calms your skin. Some people need a good lather to feel like they’re getting clean. That’s why this formula also uses Soapwort Extract to help wash away those excess oils.


  • This face wash helps regulate oil production
  • It treats and prevents blackheads and other forms of acne
  • You can use it daily
  • Skin feels clean and smooth after using it


  • It may be too harsh for sensitive skin
  • The scent is a little strong
  • The price is a bit high

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Best Face Wash for Oily Skin with Large Pores: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Deep Cleansing Foaming Cream

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Deep Cleansing Foaming Cream Cleanser, 4.2 Fl oz.

If you have large pores, cleaning them out to reduce acne is only part of the duty of a face wash. You also want a product that can minimize the appearance of each pore for a smoother, even look. This face wash from La Roche-Posay does both. It deep cleans your skin, washing away that excess oil using Coco-glucoside. But while it clears out that oil, dirt, and bacteria, it also tightens your pores. This formula contains Glycerin, which helps hydrate your skin. Salicylic Acid treats and prevents breakouts. The creamy texture of this face wash foams up nicely and rinses off clean. Left behind is the smooth, healthy skin you’ve always wanted.


  • It helps tighten your pores, minimizing their appearance
  • This face wash removes excess oil
  • Salicylic Acid helps treat acne
  • It lathers up well
  • You only need a small amount each time you use it


  • It is a bit pricey for a small bottle
  • You may need a few rinses to clear it away

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Best Face Wash for Oily Skin with Redness: Kaiame Naturals Refresh Gentle Facial Cleanser

Kaiame Naturals Gentle Facial Cleanser for Women and Men, 6 oz, All Natural and Organic, For All Skin Types, Anti-Aging, Exfoliates and Moisturizes

Along with acne comes inflammation and redness. This uneven tone can draw unwanted attention. Kaiame Naturals has created a face wash the takes care of the redness as well as clearing up the blemishes. This is thanks to the organic chamomile extract included in their formula. It helps to repair, regenerate, and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier. But this face wash also helps moisturize, using ingredients like Aloe and Shea butter. Organic olive leaf extract contains antioxidants that protect against sun damage. Fine lines and wrinkles will be kept at bay. And most importantly, this face wash removes that troublesome oil for a clean, fresh feel.


  • This organic face wash contains no sulfates, parabens, or phthalates
  • It reduces redness and irritation
  • It treats and prevents acne
  • The antioxidants heal sun damage and slow the signs of aging
  • It clears oil without stripping your skin
  • You only need to use a small amount


  • The scent is a bit strong for some people
  • It doesn’t lather well, though still cleans properly

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Best Face Wash for Oily Acne-prone Skin: Biore Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser

Bioré Charcoal Acne Clearing Face Wash, 1% Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment, Helps Prevent Breakouts, Oil Absorption and Control for Acne Prone, Oily Skin, 6.77 Ounce (HSA/FSA Approved)

Since acne is one of the biggest problems those with oily skin have to face, you need a strong solution to keep it at bay. This charcoal cleanser from Biore takes care of this issue at the source. The charcoal works its way into your pores, absorbing the oil and clearing out the dirt and bacteria. Salicylic acid also treats your blemishes and prevents them from returning. This helps purify your skin, reducing oil and acne for a healthy complexion. Biore’s charcoal face wash is oil-free, so it won’t be replacing the oil is removes with more to clog those pores. This daily face wash even has a great low price, so it won’t break your budget to get that clear, glowing skin.


  • It contains charcoal to penetrate pores and absorb excess oil
  • Salicylic acid helps treat acne and prevent its return
  • This face wash is oil-free
  • The price is quite low


  • It may be too harsh for sensitive skin
  • The fragrance is a bit strong

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Best Face Wash for Deep Cleaning Oily Skin: Basis Cleaner Clean Face Wash

Basis Cleaner Clean Face Wash - Deep Cleans and Refreshes for Normal to Oily Skin, Oil-free, Soap Free - 6 fl. oz. (Pack of 3)

To really clean your oily skin, you need a product that can give it a thorough, deep clean. Basis’ face wash foams up to get inside those pores, scrubbing them clean of dirt, oil, and pollution. It also removes heavy foundations and other makeup. It does this using purifying lemongrass, which clarifies without causing irritation. This formula also includes mint to refresh your skin and soothing aloe to calm it. Basis foaming face wash is made completely oil-free, so it won’t add more to your face while it clears yours away. It is also soap-free, hydrating instead of causing dryness. This product can be used on normal to oily skin to give you a clear, glowing complexion.


  • This face wash deep cleans to remove every trace of dirt and oil
  • It contains gentle botanicals to clarify your skin
  • It is oil-free
  • The price is decent for the size of the bottle
  • It doesn’t dry out your skin


  • It may be too harsh for sensitive skin
  • The scent is quite strong

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Best Face Wash for Oily, Sensitive Skin: Christina Moss Naturals Organic Facial Wash

Face Wash - Facial Cleanser Made With Organic Aloe – Face Soap With Skin Soothing & Clearing Ingredients, Non Drying, Non Oily, No Harmful Chemicals. For Women & Men. Christina Moss Naturals

Sensitive skin needs to avoid harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances at all costs. To do otherwise could lead to rashes, hives, or breakouts. This Christina Moss face wash has removed every harsh ingredient to make a safer product for delicate faces. This means no SLS, SLES, parabens, dyes, or preservatives. Instead, they use only organic ingredients to wash away the excess oil and grime from your skin. The concentrated formula gently lathers to remove impurities. It also washes away clean, leaving behind smooth, fresh skin. There are even a few soothing ingredients to calm any irritation you may already be dealing with. To keep your oil levels balanced, this face wash also hydrates, locking in the moisture.


  • This face wash won’t irritate sensitive skin
  • It is all-natural, with no harsh chemicals
  • It lathers quite well
  • This product works well at removing makeup
  • It has a fresh scent
  • You only need a little for each use


  • It isn’t non-comedogenic, so could clog pores
  • The price is quite high for such a small bottle

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Best Exfoliating Face Wash for Oily Skin: Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Facial Cleanser - Anti-Aging Face & Body Wash for Women and Men w Jojoba Beads | Works as a Face Scrub, Pore Cleanser, Acne Face Wash & Dark Spot Corrector

Exfoliating your skin can help get rid of the dead skin cells that get trapped in the excess oil and clog your pores. Body Merry‘s face wash uses Jojoba beads to gently scrub away those dead cells. Glycolic acid and willow bark also help with the exfoliation process. This wash contains ingredients that penetrate your pores to clear away dirt and oils. These include Rosehip Oil, Jojoba Oil, Tea Tree Oil, and Kojic Acid. As well as cleaning your skin, this formula also smooths it out for a softer feel. Other benefits of using this face wash include reducing age spots, sun spots, and dark spots. Your skin will look younger and healthier than ever before.


  • It contains Jojoba beads, which are biodegradable, to exfoliate your skin
  • Glycolic acid breaks down oils while minimizing pores
  • This face wash contains many natural and organic ingredients
  • It leaves skin feeling soft
  • The scent is subtle and pleasant


  • It may cause some irritation in sensitive skin
  • It’s a bit pricey

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Best Natural Face Wash for Oily Skin: Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash

Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash - Original - 32 Fl Oz -Tea Tree Oil -For Soft Radiant Skin - Gentle Cleanser - Extracts Of Goldenseal, Awapuhi, & Chamomile Essential Oils

Natural products are as safe for the environment as they are for our skin. For those with oily skin, there are many natural ingredients that can help reduce oil and acne. This face wash includes them all. Tea Tree oil is number one since it is a natural antiseptic. It cleanses, but it won’t dry out your skin like some other products. To soothe any irritation, this Desert Essence formula uses Goldenseal, Awapuhi, and chamomile. Bladderwrack is rich in minerals while it nourishes your skin, giving it a healthy glow. To make this face wash even better on the skin, it contains no parabens or phthalates. It is also free of artificial dyes and fragrances. This oily skin formula is even biodegradable.


  • This face wash contains only natural ingredients
  • It is biodegradable
  • It balances oil production without causing dryness
  • The price is great for such a large bottle


  • The consistency is a bit thin
  • It may cause reactions for those with allergies to the ingredients
  • May dry out dry areas of combination skin

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Best Face Wash for Oily Skin Final Thoughts

Those with oily skin may think fighting it is a lost cause. But with the proper cleansing routine, you can control your excess oil. In turn, this will help reduce the issues that come along with it. The best way to start is at the beginning. And since the right face wash is the first step in your routine, this is obviously a priority in any beauty regimen. We have reviewed ten excellent face washes today. All of them would make a great addition to your daily cleansing ritual. But if you have numerous issues to deal with, there is one face wash that ranks top of the list. This is the Era Organics Tea Tree Face Wash. This one is completely organic, eliminating the harsh chemicals that could cause damage. But these gentle ingredients work just as hard. This face wash reduces your oil, keeping it under control throughout the day. Acne, inflammation, and redness are kept in check, giving you an even, clear complexion. It is pH balanced as well and even acts as an exfoliant, removing dead skin to keep clogged pores to a minimum. 

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