If you are seeing your face get shiny by mid-day because of oiliness, a face wash for oily skin can help you remain shine-free longer.
Best face washes for oily skin
The list below shows our picks from some of the best face washes for oily skin in India. They work well for oily, combination and acne prone skin. If you are struggling with excessively oily skin, consider these stronger face washes for very oily skin.
If herbal products are your thing, see the best herbal face wash for oily acne prone skin.
Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion for Sensitive Skin
Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion is best suited for use when you do not have makeup or sunscreen on your face. This is because Cetaphil is very mild, and not the best for removing every last trace of makeup or sunscreen from your face. Cetaphil will soothe your face and calm any irritation, dryness or peeling you may have from using strong acne treatments.
Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion is best used on a relatively clean face – such as if you went to bed with a clean face and you want to wash your face in the shower next morning. Cetaphil can become your “second” or “comfort” cleanser for when you don’t need your “first” or “real” cleanser.
The price of Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion for Sensitive Skin is Rs. 136 for 125 ml. Cetaphil is available at Indian medical stores and online.
AHAGlow Skin Rejuvenating Face Wash Gel
AHAGlow is one of the very few face wash options in India that have AHA. Why is AHA important for acne prone skin? Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) exfoliate the skin, keeping skin pores unclogged, thereby preventing acne breakouts. It is a good face wash for oily skin.
AHAglow has 1% AHA, which is good enough for daily maintenance of acne if you are using other acne treatments alongside.Because of its exfoliation action (you may see skin peeling), AHAGlow also evens out the skin over time (give it 2 months), reducing dark pimple marks and acne scarring. AHAGlow also has aloe vera and vitamin E, in a non-comedogenic gel base. What’s not to like?
The best part? You can use AHAGlow as a spot treatment of acne. Dab a bit of the transparent gel on a newly-forming pimple or cyst and it will most likely subside without leaving a dark spot behind. AHAGlow kind of calms the pimple without bringing it to a white pus-filled head, so you minimize chances of scarring.
AHAGlow lives up to its AHA claim. Just don’t expect any Glow and you will be fine. AHAGlow reduces the redness caused by pimples, likely due to its 5% aloe vera content.
The price of AHAGlow face wash is Rs. 107 for 50ml. AHAGlow is available at medical stores – ask for Torrent Pharma AHAGlow.
Kaya Skin Clinic Soothing Cleansing Gel
We have come to associate Kaya Skin Clinic with expensive skin treatments in posh locations. But their products are not just for rich ladies. Kaya Soothing Cleansing Gel is a hidden gem for acne prone skin. Though not an acne cleanser per se, Kaya Soothing Cleansing Gel does have some awesome ingredients that an acne prone skin will love. It is an effective face wash for oily skin.
Apart from gentle cleansing agents, it has Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) and Zinc Lactate – both of which help with acne and fade hyper pigmentation (dark spots).
It can be used to wash off makeup or sunscreen, except for maybe waterproof makeup. For makeup removal, we recommend using Johnson’s Baby Oil and removing every last trace of makeup before washing the oil off with a face wash.
If you are looking for a basic, non-drying, non-irritating, non-comedogenic face wash, Kaya Soothing Cleansing Gel can be that choice. You can buy Kaya Soothing Cleansing Gel directly from their clinics or order online. Some Lifestyle stores also have Kaya counters.
The price of Kaya Cleansing Soothing Gel is Rs. 550 for 200 ml. Don’t be discouraged by the price tag. The 200 ml bottle lasts 6-8 months easily, making it cheaper than many of the fancier face washes.
Update: read this review of Kaya Soothing Cleansing Gel for why this gel beats other cleansers even after a dubious formula change.
Aroma Magic Mint Cleanser
This one is for herbal fans. Natural extracts of peppermint, spearmint, clove, neem and pure, organic essential oils of geranium, rose and tea tree make up this creamy cleanser. Even though the packaging does not list all the ingredients, and you do see a bunch of oils mentioned, somehow it all works well together. Still, it is best to do a patch test on part of the face before using this cleanser on your whole face.It claims to be soap free, which we assume means it does not contain the dreaded SLS. We do not recommend this for removing makeup, but just as a face wash. Avoid the eye area – clove oil, remember?
Aroma Magic Mint Cleanser also calms the redness caused by acne, so your face looks cleaner, more even toned. The package says to just wipe off the cleaner with wet cotton, but it might be a good idea to wash it off completely with water.
The price of Aroma Magic Mint Cleanser is Rs. 115 for 50gm and is available in beauty shops (Health and Glow) and online. This is one of the best face washes for oily skin.
Ducray Keracnyl Foaming Gel for Acne-prone Skin
The two acne-fighting ingredients of note in Ducray Keracnyl Foaming Gel are glycolic acid and zinc salicylate. Made by Pierre Fabre Dermo-cosmetique France, Keracnyl is marketed in India by Abbott Healthcare. Keracnyl is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. It has a sharp smell (did they say hypoallergenic?) which you can feel arise as soon as you get some of the gel out.
Keracnyl can be harsh on your skin if you use it in addition to other acne treatments. This face wash is not really gentle no matter what the package says, but sometimes your skin needs heavy duty treatment. If you are already using strong acne treatments such as Retino-A, Benzoyl Peroxide or Accutane (Sotret), Keracnyl may irritate the skin even further. Keracnyl is best used as a standalone product for maintenance of acne prone skin.
The percentage of Glycolic Acid in Keracnyl (4%) is higher than in AHAGlow (1%).
The price of Ducray Keracnyl Foaming Gel is Rs. 346 for 100 ml. Keracnyl Foaming Gel is available at Indian medical stores (chemists) and online. Learn how you can use this foaming gel as part of a simple 2-step Keracnyl Regimen.
Saslic (1% Salicylic Acid) and Saslic D.S. (2% Salicylic Acid)
Saslic by Cipla is commonly prescribed by dermatologists. Saslic is a foaming face wash with 1% salicylic acid. Saslic DS is the “double strength” version with 2% salicylic acid.
Although it is very effective, Salicylic Acid can irritate sensitive acne prone skin even at 2%. That irritation can lead to whiteheads (pus-filled tiny pimples). Because of this you may think that the acne wash is not working. It is working alright, but it is also irritating the skin, resulting in tiny new pimples. You could try using a milder Salicylic wash (Saslic with 1% Salicylic Acid) if you experience this.
The price of Saslic is Rs. 150 for 60 ml and Saslic DS is Rs. 180 for 60 ml. The product is expensive because the form gets used up very quickly.
Proactiv Solution Renewing Cleanser
The only catch here is that Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (120 ml) is only available as part of a kit that costs Rs. 3595 (that’s nearly 3600) plus 300 Rupees shipping. You also get their Revitalizing Toner and Repairing Treatment in this pack. This stuff should last about 3-4 months with daily use, which comes to 1000 Rupees per month.
Although there is some form of guarantee that you can return it if it doesn’t suit you, the big bummer is not being able to try these products individually. They want you to buy the whole set also because these products work best in conjunction with each other – the cleanser, the toner and the treatment.
Proactiv Renewing Cleanser is available from proactiv.in. There are some more benzoyl peroxide cleansers in India.
Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam
Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam has been described by many as the “best gentle cleanser for acne”. Their secret is the innovative anti-bacterial active ingredient Montaline C40 that kills hundreds of thousands of acne bacteria in 5 minutes.
Panthenol (vitamin B5) is good for acne and for smoothing the skin and creating an even tone. So not only does the acne calm down, the overall texture of the skin improves too. Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam also keeps the skin shine free (matte).
The rest of the ingredients soothe the redness and gently exfoliate the skin. The pH value of 5.5 stabilizes the acid mantle, thereby inhibiting acne bacteria growth.
The price of Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam is Rs. 550 for 150 ml. Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam is available at Indian medical stores and online. Read about using Sebamed Cleansing Foam as part of your acne regimen.
Clean and Clear Foaming Facial Wash
You will need to use a separate acne treatment for that. Clean and Clear Foaming Facial Wash provides some anti-bacterial protection with Triclosan. It can be a good, basic face wash for daily care of oily acne prone skin. Do not expect it to clear up severe acne though. In fact, it has some comedogenic ingredients that can clog pores, so if you break out easily, skip this.
The price of Clean and Clear Foaming Facial Wash is Rs. 40 for 50 ml.
FabIndia Tea Tree Face Wash
Even though FabIndia is notorious for pimple-causing products, this face wash is surprisingly devoid of comedogenic (pimple-causing) ingredients.
At a price of Rs. 165 for 120 ml, it is pretty economical as well.
Ingredients: water, sodium lauryl ether sulphate, cocoamidopropylbetaine, sodium chloride, tea tree oil, salicylic acid, guar gum, turmeric extract, citric acid
Vedic Line Neem and Brahmi Disinfecting Face Wash
Brahmi (gotu kola) and neem oil form the main anti-acne ingredients of this face wash. That is not its main distinction though. The cool thing is that this budget face wash, unlike many of the more expensive herbal face washes, does not contain ingredients that can aggravate pimples. Rs. 125 for 120 ml. There is a smaller 50 ml pack for Rs. 70.
Ingredients: water, neem oil, brahmi / gotu kola, tea tree oil, camphor, sodium lauryl ether sulphate, sodium chloride, sodium benzoate.
Another variant is Vedic Line Charcoal Disinfecting & Face Wash.
Jolen Face Wash Gel with Lemon Extract for Oily Skin
At a price of Rs. 125 for 150 gm it will last you 4 months. Other Jolen face washes such as their neem or cucumber one either contain comedogenic ingredients or don’t list all ingredients. This lemon one is their safest one.
Himalaya Purifying Neem Face Wash
This is one of the most popular face washes at Rs. 50 for 50 ml, Rs. 90 for 100 ml and Rs. 125 for 150 ml.
Kaya Skin Clinic Purifying Cleanser Acne Free (Salicylic Acid)
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Facial Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin (2% Salicylic Acid)
If you find that Salicylic Acid products bring your pimple to a pus-filled head and leave a dark pimple mark or scar, try a Glycolic Acid based fash wash. Glycolic Acid can often suppress a pimple without bringing it to a pus-filled head, so you can avoid scarring.
Glycolic Acid is becoming more and more common in Indian face washes. AHAGlow and Keracnyl have Glycolic Acid. AHAGlow is milder with 1% Glycolic Acid whereas Keracnyl has about 4% Glycolic Acid.
A face wash for oily, acne prone skin can often leave the skin dry, stretchy and irritated. There are some ways to avoid it.
One way is to use a cleanser that does not have acne-fighting ingredients and that does only one thing – cleansing. Examples – Kaya Skin Clinic Soothing Cleansing Gel and Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion for Sensitive Skin. It makes sense to use a simple cleanser if you do not have acne all over your face. After you have washed your face, you can apply an acne treatment cream only on the acne prone areas. That will ensure that non-oily areas of your skin do not get unnecessarily dry.
If you must use a face wash with acne-fighting ingredients, you can use a moisturizer suitable for oily skin only on the dry areas afterwards.
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