The 8 Best Face Washes for Oily Skin

If your complexion is oilier than a dollar slice of New York pizza, it takes a little bit more effort than patting your face a few times with a blotting paper to get excess shine under control. 

But what exactly causes oily skin?

“Individuals develop oily skin when the sebaceous gland in your skin produces too much oil called sebum,” explains Dr. Gretchen Frieling, a triple board-certified dermatologist based in the Boston area, tells InStyle. “Sebum is vital to keep your skin healthy; however, when your glands overproduce sebum, it tends to clog pores and cause your skin to be overly shiny and acne-prone. Multiple factors play into the role of oily skin, such as hormones, genetics, stress, diet, and dehydrated skin.” 

RELATED: The Best Skincare Products for Oily Skin

Using the right products plays a major role in reducing oiliness, starting with how you wash your face. In order to see the best results, Dr. Frieling suggests sticking with mild formulas free of harsh chemicals, exfoliators that are large beads, and if possible, fragrances. “It is best to use gentle moisturizers, cleansers, and exfoliators for oily skin,” she says. “Therefore, you should avoid oil and alcohol-based cleaners because they cause the skin to become excessively dry or irritated.” 

Instead, use a gentle cleanser or face wash, preferably one formulated with acne-fighting ingredient salicylic acid. “It would help if you washed your face every morning and at night before bed to remove all of the dirt and oil your skin has accumulated throughout the day, adds Dr. Frieling. 

And while it might seem counterintuitive to add more moisture to your face, don’t forget to follow up with moisturizer. As it turns out, when your skin is dehydrated, it actually sends your sebaceous glands into overdrive to try to moisture your skin, and thus, your face could get more oily. 

To help you get your skincare routine in check, we’ve rounded up the eight best face washes and cleansers for oily skin. 



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