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5 Best Face Washes for Acne and Breakout Prone Skin

Updated on July 23, 2015

People who suffer from acne or have skin that is prone to frequent breakouts know just how important a good face wash is to an effective skincare routine. There are many well-known products that claim to be effective in treating and preventing breakouts, but majority of these products contain Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid which actually do more harm than good for acne breakout prone skin.

Basis Cleaner Clean Face Wash

Basis cleaner clean face wash is a gel based face wash that uses gentle botanicals like lemongrass and aloe vera to cleanse the skin without stripping it of it's natural oils. This cleanser is soap and oil free, which makes it an excellent option for breakout prone skin. This cleanser has a light lemony citrus scent but is not too heavily scented like some face washes. This cleanser is best for normal to oily skin. It creates a great lather that helps wash away makeup and other impurities without leaving the skin feeling dry and tight. This cleanser is reasonably priced in comparison to other well-known acne face washes. Typically it costs around $4.00, but the price may vary from store to store.

Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel

The Simple skincare product line is an excellent line for those with sensitive and breakout prone skin. The Simple Refreshing Facial Gel Wash is great for acne prone skin because it is non-comedogenic (it won't clog pores), fragrance free, oil free, soap free, and alcohol free. It also has essential vitamins (pro-vitamin B5) and minerals that help nourish your skin and prevent irritation. This product is effective for removing dirt, oil, and makeup and provides a good lather. It is on the pricier side and can run anywhere from $4.99 and up depending on the store. This cleanser is great for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser

This new line by Neutrogena provides excellent cleansing without the harsh chemicals found in other acne products. Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser clearly states that it contains no harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes, or phthalates. It does contain a natural form of salicylic acid derived from Willowbark which is said to help detoxify the skin. This is a gel based formula that creates a nice thick lather to get rid of dirt, oil, and makeup. It does have a slightly heavy scent, which is attributed to the Willowbark. It can cost upwards of $5.00.

Basis Sensitive Skin Bar Soap

Here's another great facial cleanser by Basis. This is a bar soap for sensitive skin which utilizes soothing elements like chamomile and aloe vera extracts to sooth irritated and inflamed skin. While this is a very mild soap, it does create a great lather for thoroughly cleansed skin. It is best for oily or sensitive skin types. One bar can last several months and only costs around $1.97. It is an excellent option for those seeking clear skin on a tight budget.

Yes to Tomatoes Daily Clarifying Cleanser

Yes to Tomatoes Daily Clarifying Cleanser is made of 96% natural ingredients. This cleanser contains organic tomato extracts. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which helps balance skin's PH levels for clear and healthy skin. It also contains watermelon extracts and sea minerals which help remove excess oil. It has a light fragrance that is not too overpowering. Other products by the 'Yes to' line include Yes to Cucumbers, Yes to Carrots, and Yes to Blueberries. This cleanser is a bit pricey and can run upwards of $8.00.

Check out my blog, The Natural Acne Cure, for additional information on acne remedies and reviews!

Which of these 5 products are you most likely to try?

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Things to Remember When Choosing a Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin...

Choosing the right cleanser may seem a bit intimidating. Maybe you've tried hundreds of cleansers. Perhaps you've spent hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on popular brands that promise to get rid of your breakouts and "cure" your acne. No matter what has driven you to try a specific cleanser, the ultimate goal is often the same for each gain control over their breakouts for more manageable, healthy, clearer skin.

While it is easy for the media and popular commercial products to mislead buyers into thinking that their product is the miracle that will solve all skin problems, do not be fooled. Here are a few key things that you need to remember when choosing a face wash for breakout prone skin...

  • Avoid products with Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid (unless naturally derived.)
  • Try to find products that are fragrance and dye free (if it smells good enough to use as a perfume...don't put it on your face.)
  • Always read the ingredients before purchasing.
  • When in doubt, go for the all-natural option.
  • Just because something costs more does not mean that it is going to work better.
  • Try to buy oil-free, soap-free, and alcohol-free products when possible.
  • Rather than purchasing products meant for acne prone skin, try products meant for sensitive skin (some acne breakouts are actually caused by the very same products that are meant to treat the breakouts!)
  • Never believe what you hear on TV commercials or magazine ads...these companies are only concerned with their own pockets, not your face.
  • Store bar soaps in clean containers to avoid bacteria growth. (Try using a small bowl or a bar soap container which can be found in the travel section.)
  • Do your research! Before spending money on a product conduct some research of your own. Check online forums and reviews to help you determine if the product is right for you. (Try for some excellent reviews from acne sufferers.)


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    • Life and Luxury profile image

      Life and Luxury 

      3 years ago from South Beach, FL

      I'm really surprised to see "Yes to Tomatoes." I never heard of it before and I think I might try it.

    • vibesites profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Sometimes the home-made and independently-manufactured beauty products are much better than those we normally see on the market. Because they're made of purely natural ingredients, and they really care about your skin health. Thanks for your extra tips in buying the right skincare products. Up and useful. :)

    • alisharenee profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      I'm glad you enjoyed the review! I know that when I struggled with it I spent hundreds of dollars trying to find the "miracle" product. For the most part being healthy overall (nutrition, less stress, etc.) is the only true remedy, but if you're going to use products it's always better to be informed about them. Mahalo!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Shades of son and daughter struggling with acne...then again, it wasn't that long ago (humor me!)--at least it seems like yesterday to me--when I was doing the same. LOL! These are great recommendations, Alisha! Thank you for doing a great job of reviewing the skin care items. Aloha!


    • alisharenee profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      Thank you Kidscrafts! I struggled with breakouts for quite some time so I feel that after all of my trial and error experiences I can at least try to help others who find themselves struggling with the same issues. I'm glad you enjoyed the information!

    • kidscrafts profile image


      5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great suggestions for skin care, Alisharenee!


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