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Best Face Washes for Oily Skin

Adam Williams

When you have oily skin, picking out the right skincare products can be challenging.  All it takes is one ingredient to clog pores or cause a flare-up in acne.

Today we wanted to help you by rounding up the best face washes that have been specifically designed for men with oily skin.  These face washes will gently remove excess sebum oil, unclog pores, and lift away dirt and other pollutants from the surface of the skin.

In this guide, we’ll share with you a few popular face washes from brands such as Kiehl’s, Geologie, Aesop, and more that’ll help take your skincare regimen to the next level.

Face Washes Compared

RankingFace WashSize (ounces)Travel Friendly?PricePrice per OunceScentAll Natural?Container TypeAwardRating
1Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash6.8No$24$3.53FreshYesPour OutBest Overall97
2Geologie Exfoliating Cleanser2.0Yes$15$7.50CedarNoPour OutFew Ingredients94
3Typology Exfoliating Cleansing Gel6.8No$26$3.82CitrusYesPour OutNourishing92
4Cardon Purifying Clay Cleanser3.4Yes$18$5.29Mandarin, Grapefruit, LimeYesPour OutDeep Cleanse91
5Clinique For Men Face Wash Oily Skin Formula6.7No$23$3.43FreshNoPour OutGentle Formula90
6La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin13.5No$19$1.41UnscentedNoPumpAnti-Inflammatory89
7Proactiv Acne Cleanser6.0No$36$6.00UnscentedNoPour OutTargets Bacteria86
8CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser16.0No$16$1.00UnscentedNoPumpAffordable85
9Aesop Amazing Face Cleanser6.8No$50$7.35OrangeYesPour OutPremium Pick83
10Bioré Men’s Skincare Charcoal Face Wash6.8No$6$0.88CoconutYesPumpActivated Charcoal81

Best Face Washes for Men with Oily Skin in 2022

Below we rate and review face washes designed to work with oily skin:

Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash

Best Overall

Rating

97 / 100

Kiehl's Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash

What We Think:

If you have oily skin and are looking for a cleanser that will help to remove dirt and oil, then we think you’ll love this offering from Kiehl’s.

Pros

Aptly named oil eliminator

Lifts dirt and oil from pores

Includes apricot seeds for physical exfoliation

Cons

A travel size is not available

Some people may not like the smell

Since 1851 Kiehl’s has been delivering premium grooming products that provide consistent results.  Aptly dubbed an Oil Eliminator, this cleanser is specially designed to lift dirt and oil trapped deep within your pores. In addition, this cleanser includes finely ground apricot seeds to provide mild physical exfoliation to the skin.

Lastly, the ingredient list is rather slim, making it also a good choice if your skin tends to be a bit sensitive as well.

Geologie Exfoliating Cleanser

Few Ingredients

Rating

94 / 100

Geologie Exfoliating Salicylic Acid Face Cleanser 2-Pack | Daily Bergamot + Juniper Scented Face Wash That Combats Acne, Oil and Dirt While Reducing Inflammation with Salicylic Acid | 120 ML | 30 Day Supply

What We Think:

Overall, the pros of this cleanser outweigh the cons. If you have oily skin and are looking for a product to help control shine, I would recommend giving this cleanser a try.

Pros

Gently removes oil from the skin’s surface

Travel-friendly size

Simple ingredient list

Cons

Poor packaging design may lead to unnecessary waste

Founded in 2018, Geologie offers effective skincare products for men.  One particular product that is well-suited for men with oily skin is their exfoliating cleanser.  With 2% salicylic acid as its active ingredient, this cleanser will gently remove oil from the skin’s surface.  

At 2oz in size, it’s also travel-friendly.  Additionally, the ingredient list on this cleanser is simple and doesn’t contain any natural or artificial fragrances; the reason why it has an impressive 2 out of 10 hazard score in the EWG Skin Deep database (source).

Unfortunately the packaging design on this particular product is not the best. Some men found that getting out the last little bit of product from the tube was difficult.

Typology Exfoliating Cleansing Gel

Nourishing

Rating

92 / 100

Typology Exfoliating Cleansing Gel

What We Think:

So, if you’re on the hunt for an exfoliating cleanser that’s gentle enough for daily use, the Typology Exfoliating Cleansing Gel is definitely worth considering. It’s an up-and-coming product that’s quickly gaining popularity among older men with oily skin.

Pros

Gentle yet effective exfoliation

Reduces inflammation

Nourishes and moisturizes skin

Cons

May be too drying for some skin types

The Typology Exfoliating Cleansing Gel is a top consideration for older men with oily skin.  Containing a high concentration of PHA (5%), it’ll gently remove surface oil while also lifting fine lines and wrinkles.  

In this face wash by Typology, you’ll also find aloe vera and inulin.  Aloe vera effectively reduces inflammation while also nourishing the skin.  On the other hand, inulin is a plant-derived humectant and prebiotic that helps the skin retain moisture and balance out the bacteria.

Cardon Purifying Clay Cleanser

Deep Cleanse

Rating

91 / 100

Cardon Clay Face Cleanser, Korean Skin Care, Detox Face wash for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin, Cleans 4x Better than Charcoal, Deep Clean to Minimize Pores, Remove Face Oil & Dirt, (1 CT)…

What We Think:

If you’re looking for a natural, deep-cleansing face wash that will help balance out your oily skin, Cardon’s clay cleanser is worth considering. Just be sure to use it sparingly if you have sensitive skin, as it can be drying.

Pros

Formulated with natural ingredients

Deep cleanses the skin

Helps balance out oil production

Cons

Not suitable for sensitive skin

Can be drying if used too frequently

Cardon is a new premium men’s skincare brand with a unique lineup of naturally-derived products.  One such product worth considering for oily skin is its clay cleanser.  A blend of kaolin clay, cactus extract, tiger grass, quartz, vitamin E, and more it provides a deep cleanse, unlike any other face wash.  

This cleanser’s formula will help balance out the oil production of your skin while delivering both moisture and nourishment it craves. In addition, the included cacti extract, the same ingredient found in their award-winning face mask, provides a deep soothing sensation that you’ll look forward to every time you wash your face.  

If you want to go ‘all-in,’ consider upgrading to the oily skin set for complete coverage.

Clinique For Men Face Wash Oily Skin Formula

Gentle Formula

Rating

90 / 100

Clinique For Men Oil Control Face Wash 6.7 Ounce

What We Think:

Trying to control oily and acne-prone skin can be a frustrating endeavor, but the Clinique for Men face wash is up to the task. This oil-free cleanser effectively removes dirt and oil, while the gentle formulation is perfect for those with sensitive skin. The fresh and woody fragrance is an added bonus.

Pros

Gentle formulation is perfect for those with sensitive skin

Effectively removes dirt and oil from your pores

Fresh and woody fragrance leaves you feeling refreshed and invigorated

Cons

Some guys were underwhelmed by the results

Expensive compared to other face washes on the market

Clinique is no stranger to creating high-quality products and the Clinique for Men face wash is no different. This oil-free cleanser is perfect for those with mild to moderate acne as it effectively removes dirt and oil from your pores. The gentle formulation contains no exfoliators, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin. The fresh and woody fragrance of the face wash is an added bonus, leaving you feeling refreshed and invigorated after every use.

If you’re looking for a face wash that delivers clean, shine-free results, then move the Clinique for Men face wash to the top of your list.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin

Anti-Inflammatory

Rating

89 / 100

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin, pH Balancing Daily Face Wash, Oil Free and Soap Free

What We Think:

La Roche-Posay’s Sebium Foaming Gel is a great option for those looking for an effective, oil-free cleanser. The zinc pidolate helps to control sebum oil production without causing dryness or irritation.

Pros

Oil-free, alcohol-free, and paraben-free formulation is gentle on the skin

Zinc pidolate effectively suppresses sebum oil secretions

Purifying, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties

Cons

Can be drying for some skin types

Some guys find the scent to be too strong

La Roche-Posay, a subsidiary of  L’Oreal, makes a cleanser free of many of the problematic ingredients found in many mass-produced brands.  The oil-free, alcohol-free, and paraben-free formulation will remove sebum oil without causing dryness or irritation to the skins’ surface.  

The foaming cleanser specifically designed for oily skin types relies on zinc pidolate as the active ingredient.  Zinc pidolate effectively suppresses sebum oil secretions while showcasing purifying, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties (source).  It’s easy to see why this cleanser is so well-received; it delivers quick and effective results.

Proactiv Acne Cleanser

Targets Bacteria

Rating

86 / 100

Proactiv Acne Cleanser - Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash and Acne Treatment - Daily Facial Cleanser and Hyularonic Acid Moisturizer with Exfoliating Beads - 90 Day Supply, 6 Oz

What We Think:

Proactiv is a great choice for those with oily skin who are looking for an effective skincare routine to help reverse the effects of oily skin. However, it may be too harsh for some skin types and the benzoyl peroxide can bleach fabrics.

Pros

Formulated with Benzoyl Peroxide to remove acne-causing bacteria

Includes exfoliation grit for softer skin

Has hyaluronic acid for moisture binding

Cons

May be too harsh for some skin types

Benzoyl peroxide can bleach fabrics

Proactiv has been at the forefront of oily skincare management for years.  With targeted formulations, they can help to reverse oily skin in a hurry.  Doing the heavy-lifting, Proactive relies on benzoyl peroxide, a natural antiseptic that has been proven to remove acne-causing bacteria (source).  

Additionally, Proactiv also added an exfoliation grit and hyaluronic acid to help soften the skin and erase fine lines. We especially love the inclusion of hyaluronic acid because it’s a powerful moisture-binding ingredient that can hold 1,000x its weight in water. So if you have some deep set wrinkles you want to get rid of, or just want to give your skin a boost of moisture, this is the way to go.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Affordable

Rating

85 / 100

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser | Daily Face Wash for Oily Skin with Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, and Niacinamide| Fragrance Free Paraben Free | 16 Fluid Ounce

What We Think:

The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is an affordable, gentle face wash that is great for those with sensitive skin. It includes nourishing ingredients to help fortify the skin barrier, making it an excellent choice for those looking for an everyday face wash.

Pros

Is affordable without compromising results

Nourishing ceramides help to fortify the moisture barrier

Rids the skin of excess oil and dirt

Cons

The 16oz size may be too large for some users

May not lather as much as other face washes

If you are looking for an affordable face wash without compromising results, consider the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.  This dermatologist-recommended face wash is gentle on the skin while ridding it of excess oil and dirt. In addition, the cleanser includes nourishing ceramides that’ll help to fortify the moisture barrier, improving the appearance with continued use.

The large 16oz bottle is great for home use and provides exceptional value.

Aesop Amazing Face Cleanser

Premium Pick

Rating

83 / 100

Aesop Amazing Face Cleanser (200ml)

What We Think:

Aesop’s Amazing Face Cleanser is a high-end, natural product that is gentle on your skin and won’t strip it of its natural oils. The downside is that it is expensive, but you get what you pay for with this product.

Pros

Gentle, natural ingredients won’t strip your skin

Non-comedogenic

Available in travel and home sizes

Cons

Expensive

Aesop is well-known by both men and women for its high-end skincare products that rely on a primarily natural base. When looking at the ingredient list on the Amazing Face Cleanser, you are met with a careful formulation of several non-comedogenic and natural ingredients, including lavender oil, orange peel oil, ylang-ylang oil, and more.  All these ingredients work in tandem to deliver a gentle formula that’ll remove excess sebum oil trapped deep within your pores.

Available in a travel-friendly 3.4oz container and a larger 6.8oz container for home use, you can ensure your skin looks great no matter where your travels take you.  

Bioré Men’s Skincare Charcoal Face Wash

Activated Charcoal

Rating

81 / 100

Bioré Men's Skincare Charcoal Face Wash, Deep Cleans Pores & Refreshes Skin, 6.77 Fl. Ounces

What We Think:

The Bioré Men’s Skincare Charcoal Face Wash is a decent option if you’re looking for a charcoal face wash, but it doesn’t really stand out from the crowd in terms of benefits.

Pros

Oil-free and paraben-free

Tested by dermatologists

Pump design is more convenient than other charcoal face washes

Cons

Not really offering much in terms of unique benefits when compared to other charcoal face washes on the market

Charcoal is often added to cleansers as it effectively unclogs dirt and other pollutants from your pores. The well-reviewed Bioré Men’s Skincare Charcoal Face Wash is a light face wash specially designed for men looking to resolve oil buildup on their skin.  Delivering the targeted results, Bioré relies on an oil-free formulation while being paraben-free and tested by dermatologists.

Unlike other charcoal cleansers that require you to scoop out the soap with your hands, this face wash by Bioré provides a convenient pump design.

Helpful Tips for Buying a Face Wash for Oily Skin

Before buying a new face wash, know the following:

Skincare Terminology is Confusing

When browsing face washes, you’ll often come across words that may require a quick Google search to understand what they mean.  To help save you time, here are a few common yet confusing terms about face washes you should know:

  • Non-Comedogenic: This simply means that the ingredients within the cleanser won’t clog your pores.  
  • Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA): A water-soluble acid that helps to renew the skins’ surface.  Good for toning, hyperpigmentation, and shrinking the appearance of enlarged pores.
  • Beta hydroxy acid (BHA): A oil-soluble acid that lifts sebum oil from the skins’ surface. Suitable for oily skin types and reducing acne.  Salicylic acid is a common BHA, and concentrations range from 0.5 to 5%.  
  • Polyhydroxy acids (PHA): A new trendy ingredient found in select cleansers.  This is a chemical exfoliant that helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.  PHAs can be suitable for older men.
  • Exfoliant: Can be chemical or physical varieties.  AHA, BHA and PHA are chemical exfoliants.  Physical exfoliants are often added to face wash and include beads, lava rock, seeds, and more.  

Should the face wash be oil-free?

Not necessarily.  Some oils, such as grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, and most essential oils, are non-comedogenic – meaning they won’t clog your pores and are safe to use on oily skin.  

What about sensitive skin?

If you have oily and sensitive skin, consider a gentle cleanser that doesn’t contain several natural ingredients or artificial fragrances, as these can often cause irritation. Instead, we recommend going with a dermatologist-tested cleanser such as CeraVe.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more.

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