best cleanser for acne and cleansing balm for oily skin and blemishes

Best cleanser for acne: Which acne cleanser actually gets rid of, or reduces spots?

27th March 2021 | Author: Beth Mahoney

When it comes to enhancing your skincare routine, the starting point should always be with choosing the best cleanser. For achieving healthy, hydrated, clear skin though, you need to look for the best cleanser for acne, or acne-prone skin. This is because cleansers that are too harsh could actually make the situation worse.

Whether you’ve been coping with acne for years or are new to it, the truth is that getting rid of pimples can be a challenge. Mainly because there are so many different products on the market.

When it comes to choosing a facial cleansing product, it’s important to look for products that have been developed especially with acne-prone skin in mind. We’ve put eight of the best cleansers – including balms, foaming formulas, gels, and solid products – to the test. And there should be something to suit all budgets and skin types.

If you’re after a whole host of products for acne, go to our Acne hub, which includes the best concealer for acne, the science of salicylic acid, which foundation you should choose if you have acne-prone skin, and more.

Best cleanser for acne

  1. Editor’s Pick: Lush Fresh Farmacy£9
  2. Budget Buy: Carbon Theory Charcoal and Tea Tree Oil Cleansing Bar£6 
  3. Luxury Buy: Upcircle Beauty Cleansing Face Balm £18.99 
  4. Best deep pore cleanser: Sebamed Clear Face Antibacterial Cleansing Foam £7.99
  5. Best for bumpy skin: Lush Tea Totaller£8.50 
  6. Best cleanser for oily skin: Nip + Fab Teen Skin Fix Pore Blaster Wash £6.99 

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1. Editor’s Pick: Lush Fresh Farmacy / Coal Face

£9 | Buy it now from Lush

Why we love it: For anyone with acne-prone skin that is also sensitive and prone to drying out, Fresh Farmacy facial soap from Lush offers the ideal cleansing solution. Made up of tea tree oil, chamomile, and calamine powder, the cleansing bar is designed to help soothe and calm irritated skin, while fighting inflammation and breakouts. All without leaving the skin feeling dehydrated.

This subtly scented wedge of facial soap dissolves into a calming, milky cleanser when combined with warm water. Due to its clay base, it doesn’t foam, instead it creates a cleansing liquid that coats the skin and gently cleanses. What’s more, Fresh Farmacy is one of Lush’s naked products, making it an environmentally-conscious option.

FURTHER READING: Clean beauty: What are clean beauty products and how can I shop more consciously?

Buy now from Lush

2. Carbon Theory Charcoal and Tea Tree Oil Break-Out Control Facial Cleansing Bar

£6 | Buy from Carbon Theory

Why we love it: Made to keep skin balanced and hydrated, this little bar has been dermatologically proven to prevent breakouts.

The organic activated charcoal is able to gently draw bacteria, toxins, and excess oil out of the skin. While the tea tree oil infusion reduces areas of inflammation and acts as a natural antiseptic. The shea butter used to enrich the bar helps to ensure that skin remains nourished and properly hydrated without leaving the pores clogged.

FURTHER READING: A spotlight on…Carbon Theory: The absolute must-have skincare brand if you have spots

Buy now from Lush

3. Luxury Buy: UpCircle Beauty Cleansing Face Balm

£18.99 | Buy now from Upcircle Beauty

Why we love it: Designed to meet the needs of all skin types, the UpCircle Beauty Cleansing Face Balm gently removes makeup, pollution, and impurities from skin. It’s so gentle that it’s even safe for use on eye makeup.

Made from ground, discarded apricot stones – a by-product from the apricot oil industry – combined with blue tansy, blackcurrant seed, and sea buckthorn oils, the balm offers a deep cleanse for the skin while also soothing and hydrating.

It’s not cheap, but it is ideal for breaking down makeup, dirt, and oils like sebum and sweat that sit on the surface of the skin. This balm deserves its place on our best cleanser for acne list because of the way it looks after blemish-prone skin that’s also prone to sensitivity or inflammation.

FURTHER READING: Best cleansing balm: From Elemis to The Body Shop, here are our fave cleansing balms for taking off the day

Buy now from Upcircle Beauty

4. Sebamed Clear Face Antibacterial Cleansing Foam

£7.99 | Buy now from Sebamed

Why we love it: Designed to gently penetrate through the pores to offer deep pore cleansing, Sebamed Sebamed Clear Face Antibacterial Cleansing Foam works to combat pimples and blackheads quickly and effectively, killing all bacteria within five minutes of use.

After cleansing, the skin is left feeling soft, smooth, and well hydrated. With a pH of 5.5, the foam – which can be used on wet or dry skin – promotes the barrier function of the skin’s acid mantle.

The panthenol within the foam helps to make regeneration of damaged skin faster, while also helping to ensure that skin remains soft and smooth.

FURTHER READING: Blackheads: What causes them and how to get rid of blackheads without damaging your skin

Buy now from Sebamed

5. Lush Tea Totaller

£8.50 | Buy now from Lush

Why we love it: For a solid alternative to a liquid facial cleanser, Lush Tea Totaller is a fantastic option. Packed full of purifying and antibacterial ingredients, Tea Totaller is ideal for blemish-prone skin.

It’s made from illipe butter; known for its moisturising and restorative properties, castor oil; that helps to remove bacteria from pores thanks to its antibacterial properties, and a range of other ingredients. These include safflower oil, lemongrass, rosemary, thyme, sage, and witch hazel oil, all of which have antibacterial and cleansing properties.

The sunflower wax that the bar is enriched with is able to create a protective layer across the skin. For anyone with skin that is also prone to bumpiness, the tea tree oil is a fantastic ingredient for helping to combat uneven texture.

This is an out of the shower product; melt a small amount of the balm onto your fingers and massage onto dry skin, and then wipe away the remaining residue with a damp face cloth.

FURTHER READING: Skincare ingredient checker: Get to grips with what’s in your skincare with our ingredients guide

Buy now from Lush

6. Nip + Fab Teen Skin Fix Pore Blaster Wash

£6.99 | Buy now from Nip + Fab

Nip and Fab Purify Teen Skin Pore BlasterNip+Fab

Why we love it: Enriched with antibacterial extracts designed to help keep skin clear from breakouts and blemishes, Nip + Fab Teen Skin Fix Pore Blaster Night Wash isn’t only suitable for teen skin. It’s ideal for anyone with skin that’s prone to breakouts.

This gel-to-foam formula gently removes impurities, bacteria, and excess oil. It unclogs pores and leaves skin feeling smoother, clearer, and wonderfully fresh.

The wasabi extract acts as a powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial agent, while the salicylic acid prevents blemishes by unclogging pores, and the tea tree oil offers potent purifying properties.

FURTHER READING: The truth about the acids lurking in your skincare – from hyaluronic, to glycolic, lactic and salicylic

Buy now from Lush

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