(Last Updated On: February 2, 2018)

Oily skin? Meh, just give it a good rub.

Yeah, good luck with that kinda advice

De-oiling your skin isn’t difficult…but you need the right cleanser to clean it off. Rubbing ain’t gonna do that

And that’s where I come in

I have listed the 5 best cleansers for oily skin after reviewing the 20 hottest oily skin cleansers avail right now.

And afterwards I tell you what I looked for in the cleansers so you know how to select a good cleanser for oily skin by yourself

Just read on…


At A Glance: My Choices For The Best Cleanser For Oily Skin

Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Cleanser gives you a good cleanse without drying your skin.

Tree to Tub’s Organic Facial Cleanser is packed with essential oils.

THEFACESHOP’s Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam and Light Cleansing Oil Set comes as a set so you can avoid using the cleanser every time. The oil suffices for an approximate clean.

Glo Skin Beauty’s Purifying Gel Cleanser is a nice gel cleanser with Salicylic Acid to clean your pores.

Era Organics’ Natural Face Wash Moisturizing Facial Cleanser its pH balanced just right. Read on to find out what that means.

The Best Cleanser For Oily Skin

01. Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Cleanser Review

A generally nice fragrance and a refreshed after-wash feeling made this an easy pick in the top 5 cleansers for oily skin.

I am including a list of key ingredients and their uses.

SurfactantSodium Laroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate
PreservativeMethyl Paraben
Skin ConditioningButylene Glycol
HumectantGlycerin, Panthenol (pro-Vitamin B5)
Chelating AgentDisodium EDTA

Directions: First, you need to splash your face to wet it. You won’t need more than two pumps for one wash. Massage that small amount onto your wet face. Rinse off with water.

Acne: This does an excellent job of preventing any acne but it won’t get rid of existing blackheads or whiteheads.

What I Liked

Works well at removing makeup. Also generally effective against eyeliner and mascara.

It foams moderately but doesn’t lather that well and may be a bit difficult to apply.

Generally does not dry your skin but you may consider using a moisturizer with this.

All told a mild cleanser.

What I Didn’t Like

Butylene Glycol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are mildly comedogenic.

It has a masking fragrance which may be off-putting to some users.

It contains Methylparaben (as a preservative) so not paraben-free.

Contains ‘Masking Fragrance (Parfum)’ (I know we all like fragrances but read on till the end to find out why this may actually be a demerit).

The Best Facial Cleanser For Oily Skin

02. Tree to Tub’s Organic Facial Cleanser Review

Its essential oil based composition and pH of 5.5 make it a must-have in any list of top 5 cleansers for oily skin.

In addition to the Awakening Peppermint this is also available with a Relaxing Lavender fragrance.

Now You Know: Our skin surface is slightly acidic with a pH value of around 5.5. Cleansers must match this pH value to not disturb your skin. You didn’t know that. Now you know.

I am appending a list of key ingredients.

Skin ConditioningWild Soapberry Juice, Glyceryl Caprylate, Caprylyl Glycol
Anti-MicrobialAloe Vera Juice, Peppermint Essential Oil
SurfactantDecyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Caprylate
HumectantOrganic Acai Extract
MoisturizerOrganic Shea Butter

Directions: Pump 2-3 drops into your palm. Massage to get a good lather and rub it onto your face. If you can’t get a good lather dampen your hands and face with lukewarm water first. Rinse off with water.

Acne: This will definitely prevent new acne. It may clean existing acne as well.

What I Liked

 Can remove makeup, eyeliner and mascara.

 Dampen your hands with lukewarm water and rub the cleanser a bit to get the best foam and lather.

 Keeps your skin moisturized.

 All told a mild cleanser with a mild fragrance.

 Fresh minty/lavender fragrance.

What I Didn’t Like

Dipropylene Glycol may irritate your skin.

It does not foam and lather too well.

May not remove your makeup completely.

The Best Korean Oil Cleanser

03. THE FACE SHOP’s Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam and Light Cleansing Oil Set Review

I looked at the rice water composition and I thought ‘That’s one of the 5 hottest cleansers for oily skin for sure’

Why did I choose it as a set? Because it’s a perfect combination. You should use the oil first. Rub it onto your face, concentrating on the areas with makeup. Then wash it off with water. Next work the foam into a rich lather and use it to clean your face completely to eliminate anything the oil didn’t remove.

You can use the oil 2-3 times a day but if your skin is sensitive, don’t use the foam more than once in a day.

I am appending below a list of the key ingredients.

 The Light Cleansing OilThe Bright Cleansing Foam
Skin ConditioningButylene Glycol, Caprylic Triglyceride, Isopropyl Myristate, Rice Bran OilButylene Glycol, Rice Bran Oil
MoisturizerJojoba Seed OilStearic Acid
Remove Makeup SafelyJojoba Seed Oil
Adjust pHPotassium Hydroxide
SurfactantStearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Lauric Acid

Directions: If you want to use the oil alone, fine. If you want to use both, use the oil first. Apply the oil directly. Then you can rinse it with warm water. OR you can apply the foam on it. Rinse off the foam/foam-oil with lukewarm water. A few drops of the oil and 2 pumps of the foam should suffice.

Acne: Effective in preventing new acne and should also clear away existing acne.

What I Liked

 Works well at removing makeup, eyeliner and mascara.

 The foam foams and lathers well.

 Should not dry your skin.

 All told a mild cleanser and an effective oil.

What I Didn’t Like

 Butylene Glycol is mildly comedogenic.

 Isopropyl Myristate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Lauric Acid are highly comedogenic.

 Some of the ingredients may irritate your skin.

The Best Gel Cleanser For Oily Skin

04. Glo Skin Beauty’s Purifying Gel Cleanser Review

A gel cleanser is always a good option for any list of the best cleansers for oily skin. This product in particular is recommended by a number of estheticians.

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence suggesting this product is especially good at clearing pores.

It should start showing results within at most 3-4 weeks.

I am appending below a list of the key ingredients.

Clean Out PoresSalicylic Acid
Skin ConditioningNiacinamide (a form of Vitamin B3)
Skin SoothingYucca Schidigera Root Extract, Carnosine, Indian Gooseberry Fruit Extract
AntioxidantYucca Schidigera Root Extract, Carnosine
SurfactantSodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Lauryl Glucoside

Directions: Dampen your hands and face. Get 2-3 pumps on your palm. Massage it gently to create a fine lather. Apply that on your face and rinse off with warm water.

Acne: Will prevent new acne. May also be effective against existing mild acne.

What I Liked

Very effective against makeup. Should also be effective against eyeliner or mascara.

You can work up a moderate lather.

It does not dry out your skin.

All told this cleanser is not too harsh and should not irritate your skin.

What I Didn’t Like

Salicylic Acid may irritate your skin.

Contains Fragrance (Parfum).

The Best Natural Cleanser For Oily Skin

05. Era Organics’ Natural Face Wash Moisturizing Facial Cleanser Review

This product contains starch of Manihot esculenta, otherwise called Tapioca. If you are a fan, you will instantly recognize that as Colin Mochrie’s signature moment from Whose Line is it Anyway? (If you don’t know what that is, Google it; trust me, it’s worth your time)

I am appending below a list of the key ingredients.

SurfactantCocamidopropyl Betaine
HumectantSodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin
AntioxidantTocobiol (Vitamin E oil)
Skin ConditioningTocobiol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Centipeda Cunninghamii Extract

Directions: Massage a dime-sized amount on your skin. Rinse off after 30 seconds. Avoid exposure to the eyes. If it stings do NOT continue using it.

Acne: Will prevent new acne. Also effective against existing acne.

Warning: If you feel your skin becoming red or warm it could be due to Sodium Hyaluronate. Discontinue use immediately and call a doctor.

What I Liked

 Works well at removing makeup and eyeliner. May not remove mascara completely..

 Does not lather or foam that much but still easy to apply.

 Should not dry out your skin.

 All told a mild enough cleanser to not aggravate other skin problems like dry skin or acne.

 pH level matching your skin.

What I Didn’t Like

 May dry out your skin.

 Sodium Hyaluronate may cause some skin irritation.

What did I look for?

Oily skin (medically called Seborrhoea) is caused by over-production of oil in your pores. An optimum level of oil is good for your skin.

You will remember how I kept talking about the ingredients having properties like comedogenic, soothing and so on.

Well, this is the 411 of why those properties are so crucial.

The cleanser must be mild. Otherwise it will strip your skin of all oil

Excess oil leads to clogged pores and acne. Comedogenic ingredients are those that block your pores, compounding the problem. So you DO NOT want comedogenic ingredients

A SURFace ACTive AgeNT/SURFACTANT draws oil out of skin (by emulsification) so it can be washed off with water. So you want surfactants

Your skin must not dry out. So you should look for products with moisturizing and humectant (helps your skin retain moisture) properties

Exfoliants help you shed dead skin cells so your pores don’t become blocked

Oily skin may provide a good environment for bacteria to grow. So you should look for anti-bacterial properties to stop that

Excess oil may lead to skin irritation. So you should look for ingredients that are soothing

A chelating agent protects your cleanser from becoming contaminated

A ‘masking fragrance (parfum)’ may trigger allergic reactions on your skin. So if your product does contain a masking fragrance be alert when first using it.

Well that was a looong list…

Yeah, it was, and you know I won’t leave you hanging.

Of course, you’re free to choose any cleanser you want but I think there’s a clear winner you should check out

Tree to Tub’s Organic Facial Cleanser

Its balanced pH, essential oils based composition and its ability to keep your skin moisturized make it the clear winner. Trust me, you do NOT need your oily skin becoming dry.

Yes, it may not remove your make-up fully but that can be remedied easily by swabbing your face with a Q-Tip or swabs of cotton.

Quick DIY Tip: If for some reason you find your eyeliner or mascara stubbornly clinging on, apply some lukewarm coconut oil around your eyes. That will break up your eyeliner or mascara and then the cleanser will definitely wash it off. This applies to all the cleansers in this list of cleansers for oily skin.

Is that it?

Just a few more things to clear up.

You hear oily skin and you may just think about your face and scalp.

But that doesn’t cover all the bases.

Other body sites you should be careful about oily skin are

One Final Word…A Warning

If your scalp becomes oily it’s medically called Seborrhoeic Dermatitis.

Its symptoms include red patches of skin, flakes that attach to your hair and itching on your scalp.

These exact symptoms are shared by another disease called Psoriasis.

The treatment for psoriasis is completely different and may require medication like corticosteroids.

So, if you find your scalp scales, flakes and itchiness are not going away even after using your cleanser for oily skin for a week or two, CONSULT A DERMATOLOGIST.

As usual, if you feel we missed anything or you just want to chat, drop a comment below!

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