When you think about cleansing acne-prone skin, you’re probably tempted to try to fight things like an oily complexion and a T-zone full of blackheads and whiteheads with force and aggression in the hope that you’ll eliminate the excess sebum (oil) that clogs your pores and leads to acne in the first place. But reaching for a too-harsh acne cleanser can strip your skin of the natural oils that it needs to function like a well-oiled machine (no pun intended). This can lead to overreact which in turn can cause even more acne. When skin becomes overly dried out, the oil glands essentially get a signal that the surface of the skin is too dry and needs more oil. This leads to increased oil production, which is not what you want, especially because acne-prone skin doesn’t properly rid itself of oil as efficiently as it should and ultimately causes an increase in clogged pores and more acne. To prevent yourself from even entering that vicious cycle, it’s crucial to keep your skin nourished during cleansing, which you can do by reaching for an acne face wash that maintains the health of the skin’s microbiome
The skin’s microbiome is a collection of genetic material that lives in and on the human body and is made up of trillions of tiny things like bacteria, viruses and fungi. Each person’s microbiome is completely unique to them. The most common microbiomes we talk about are found in the gut and on the skin. Many common skin concerns (like rosacea, eczema and acne) can be exacerbated, or even caused, by a disrupted microbiome. The health of your skin’s microbiome can affect several things—including skin’s sensitivity, reactivity, inflammation and, yes, even the formation of acne. Weakening and disrupting your skin’s microbiome by using too-harsh ingredients can increase the natural levels of bacteria living on the surface of the skin, leading to the formation of acne. This is why choosing products that respect the integrity and delicate balance of the microbiome is so important. Luckily, there are some excellent cleansers for acne-prone skin that do just that without compromising the health of your skin microbiome.
If you’re looking for the best cleanser for acne-prone skin, try a gel or foaming cleanser that is formulated specifically to cater to the needs of oily skin, like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel, which is made with zinc pidolate and helps to remove excess oil and shine without drying out or irritating the skin. This gentle cleansing step is crucial for removing impurities and bacteria that thrive in oily conditions and rebalances sebum production levels. Over time, and with prolonged use, your skin becomes more efficient at removing the excess oil that clogs pores and ultimately leads to an increase in acne of all sorts—from blemishes to blackheads.
If you want to kick things up a notch, try La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel, a soap-free (soap can be too drying and stripping for your skin) face wash for both the face and the body that’s formulated with a combination of 2% salicylic acid (a BHA—or beta hydroxy acid—that helps to slough dead skin cells off the surface of the skin to unclog pores), lipohydroxy acid (a gentle and precise exfoliant that is well tolerated by most skin types) and zinc (which helps to reduce sebum production, balance bacteria, and purify the skin). This cleanser for acne-prone skin features all three superstar ingredients and eliminates impurities without causing friction or dryness.
If a purifying face wash for acne-prone skin with a creamy texture is what you’re after, look no further than La Roche-Posay Effaclar Foaming Cream, which is formulated for acne-prone skin thanks to the addition of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid not only effectively treats existing pimples and acne by bringing down inflammation and getting deep into the skin to dissolve blackheads and whiteheads but also prevents future blemishes and acne from forming. This effective cleanser for acne-prone skin also contains glycerine, a humectant that draws moisture from the environment and into the skin, effectively moisturizing as it cleanses.
No matter which cleanser for acne-prone skin you choose, depending on your texture preferences (think gel, foam or cream), the key to finding the best cleanser for acne is to ensure that it strikes the ever-so-delicate balance of caring for acne-prone skin. This means that you’re effectively removing excess sebum, unclogging pores and regulating oil production by incorporating exfoliating ingredients such as salicylic acid into your cleansing routine while making sure you’re not using drying, irritating ingredients that strip your complexion of its natural oils.