Asian woman washing her face

Finding the perfect cleanser for oily skin isn’t easy. For one, you need to make sure it not only addresses oiliness but the skin problems that often come with it. This includes clogged pores, acne, and subsequent acne scarring. Here are some non-negotiables when it comes to finding the for oily skin.

How to Choose a Cleanser for Oily Skin

Before you choose a cleanser, make sure of your skin type. You know you have oily skin when you experience oiliness a few minutes after cleansing. This greasy feeling doesn’t just affect the T-zone, which can naturally get oily because it has the most concentration of sebaceous glands on the face. In oily skin, the oiliness is all over the face.

Cleansing is the foundation of any skincare routine, but with oily skin, it’s make-or-break. The way you clean your face and the products that you use can affect your skin condition. Understanding how to use cleanser for oily skin properly can help you manage excess oil and prevent breakouts. If you have acne, which is common in oily skin, can make your acne worse and increase your skin’s oil production.

Face Cleanser Ingredients for Oily Skin

What do ingredients for oily skin have in common? Most of them have , such as exfoliating properties that accelerate cell turnover, so dead skin cells don’t mix with sebum and clog the pores. They also kill acne-causing bacteria, and some of them even brighten dark spots caused by scarring.

You want something light and non-comedogenic, as well as gentle enough for irritated skin. Ideally, it should also be fragrance-free and sulfate-free if these trigger allergic reactions. Here are some of the popular ingredients used in cleansers for oily skin.

Salicylic Acid – A beta-hydroxy acid, is excellent at getting rid of excess sebum from the skin. Since it’s an acid, it also gently sloughs off dead skin cells, preventing clogged pores. Use a salicylic acid cleanser for oily skin if your acne is mostly blackheads and whiteheads to clear your pores.

• Niacinamide – Is niacinamide good for oily skin? Niacinamide is often referred to as a “holy grail” skincare ingredient, mainly because it does it all. A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide offers a host of skin benefits, including sebum control, acne reduction, skin brightening, and pore refining. POND'S Bright Miracle Ultimate Acne Control Facial Foam contains salicylic acid and niacinamide, which work together to banish acne, smoothen and brighten skin, and keep oil at bay.

• Glycolic Acid – Glycolic acid is a popular alpha-hydroxy acid that is gentle enough for use on acne-prone skin. It’s responsible for exfoliating dead skin cells and revealing even-toned, radiant skin. It’s useful for oily skin because it prevents pore-clogging.

• Benzoyl Peroxide – Benzoyl peroxide is a much stronger acne-fighting ingredient and is recommended for inflammatory acne, such as papules and pustules. It’s effective at killing bacteria, but it can also be extremely drying on the skin.

• Lemon Extract – Some products for oily skin contain lemon extract, which has potent antibacterial properties. It can also keep acne-causing bacteria at bay and help prevent breakouts. Eskinol Naturals Micellar Water Clear with Natural Lemon Extracts is a micellar cleanser that you can use as a first step in a double cleansing routine, or by itself. It gently removes impurities from the skin while leaving a fresh, mattifying effect.

To find the best cleanser for oily skin tailored to your specific needs and sensitivities, consult your dermatologist. On top of this, apply and sunscreen regularly to protect your skin and help it heal.

For more on skincare products for oily skin, check out our guides on , , and .