What’s the first step in any anti-acne regimen? A cleanser that you can lather up with morning and night. “Nighttime cleansing washes off dirt and excess oil that’s sitting on skin, while morning cleansing will clear off anything that accumulated overnight,” says Dr. Saedi.



This post features 8 carefully chosen acne face washes with the most effective results available in the market today. When I say carefully, it means that our listing is based on the analysis of over 3140 real user reviews and in depth understanding of the brands behind these products.

Our team of skincare experts and dermatologists only picked the highest rated and most successful products that work best for acne prone skins.

Our #1 Pick
A unique and powerful combination of three essential acids: Glycolic Acid for deep cleansing and complete exfoliation, Lactic Acid for hydration and collagen building, and Salicylic Acid for treating acne and reducing redness and swelling
  • Soothe skin with high-quality, naturally derived ingredients
  • Deep cleansing that stops acne in its tracks
  • Significant results in 4-8 weeks

A few ingredients to look for in your face wash: salicylic acid (to exfoliate and remove pore-clogging debris and break up blackheads and whiteheads), glycolic acid (the best at exfoliating and unclogging impurities and excess oil due to it’s tiny molecules), lactic acid (to fight acne and even out skin tone),  benzoyl peroxide (to clean out the P. acnes bacteria that contributes to acne), or sulfur (to lessen inflammation).




Misumi Clear Skin Salicylic Cleanser
  • Fast, effective results
  • Natural ingredients
  • Reduces redness & swelling
  • Helps control excess oil without drying the skin
Restorsea Reviving Cleanser
  • Contains vitamin C
  • Good for mild acne
  • Helps reduce acne marks
Price: $65.00
Nordstrom BPO 5% Cleanser
  • Contains Salicylic acid
  • Great for deep cleansing
  • Can dry or irritate sensitive skin
Price: $39.00
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • Will lighten your complexion
  • Safe and gentle formula
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
Price: $47.00
Ain’t Misbehavin’ Medicated AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser
  • Great combination of AHA & BHA for acne-prone skin
  • Milky consistency
  • Leaves the skin soft and smooth


How We Chose the Best Face Wash for Acne

Here are a couple of factors we keep in mind when choosing the best face wash for acne:

●  Quality of Ingredients
A few ingredients to look for in your face wash for acne: salicylic acid (to exfoliate and remove pore-clogging debris that cause cystic acne in the first place), glycolic acid (the best at exfoliating and unclogging impurities and excess oil due to it’s tiny molecules), lactic acid (to fight acne and even out skin tone), benzoyl peroxide (to clean out the P. acnes bacteria that contributes to acne), or sulfur (to lessen inflammation), and witch hazel (a natural astringent that tightens pores, preventing aggravation of acne and future breakouts.

●  Regimen Sets
“I recommend acne kits because sticking to one product line, with products designed to work well with one another, will have the most effective results.” – Jessica Fitz Patrick, Aesthetician and Rodan + Fields Consultant

●  Real Customer Reviews and Before & After Pictures
We’ve gathered and evaluated over three thousand real customer reviews. This is a no censoring, no filter skincare review zone. We say it like it is.

●  Test Results
Yup, our skincare experts test all our top products on teenagers battling various types breakouts.

●  Customer Service and company Policy
We only recommend companies that we trust operate with integrity, are good to their customers and their environment, and have hassle-free return policies and exceptional customer service.



5 Best Face Washes for Acne 2024

Here are the best creams, washes and cleansers for healing your acne, based on quality review and user experience.

Our Number 1 Pick

1. Misumi Clear Skin Salicylic Cleanser

$33.95 (One bottle should last you 2-3 months.)

Picking the number 1 acne cleanser was surprisingly not a hard choice. After trying over fifty of the best rated acne cleansers, we’ve come to a conclusion that Misumi’s Clear Skin Salicylic Cleanser is by far the most powerful and effective face wash for acne on the market. It easily beats out tough competitors like Restorsea, SkinMedica and even huge brands like Proactiv.

This breakthrough formula is a powerful blend of Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, and Salicylic acid, the three ‘miracle acne-fighting ingredients’. The trio work together to unclog and tighten pores, remove impurities that cause acne, and accelerate the skin’s natural healing process (meaning, no severe acne scars)!  Best of all, they are naturally-derived.

The cleanser also incorporates Lavender flower oil which soothes the skin thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps reduce redness and swelling, while making sure your skin doesn’t dry out. It doesn’t lather well, but for the price and results, we’ve decided it’s the winning choice for acne-prone skin.


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Customer Before and After Picture

Best For: Oily, normal, combination, and acne-prone skin


  • Powerful combination of Lactic, Glycolic, and Salicylic acid
  • High concentration of premium quality ingredients
  • Calms breakouts and reduces redness and swelling
  • Promotes even skin tone
  • Naturally derived, won’t dry your skin
  • 60 Day Money Back Guarantee


  • Doesn’t lather like most cleansers
  • There are cheaper, but no better options out there

Pro tip: Choose a subscription plan (30 or 60 days) and get 20% savings on the cleanser. Easy cancellation anytime.



 2. Restorsea Reviving Cleanser


With skin-brightening vitamin C, his wash is a refreshing way to start off your morning and reduce red marks. However, those of you struggling with more severe acne might want to look elsewhere, because this is a gentle formula. And considering its price point ($65.00), perhaps too gentle to a fault – this cleanser is so mild that it won’t even clean makeup. It might not do anything for you, so get it if you feel like experimenting and/or wanna splurge.



  • Vitamin C will lighten complexion
  • Mild formula, suitable for sensitive skin


  • Won’t make your acne go away on its own
  • Pricey

Price: $65.00


 3. PCAskin BPO 5% Cleanser


While most cleansers contain just 2% of salicylic acid, PCAskin decided to take no hostages and ramped that up to 5%, which is more than twice. Now, this comes with its own set of benefits, but also problems. First off, this is a really strong, powerful cleanser. It will clean your pores, no question about that – but this formula can also irritate sensitive skin. To mitigate this side-effect, PCAskin have decided to add gluconolactone, an ingredient that calms and moisturizes skin. But dig through the reviews and you’ll see people complaining that it dried their skin, or burned their eyes. Make no mistake – if the ‘ordinary’ cleanser is too much for your skin, this one will definitely burn it.


  • Strong formula with twice the usual concentration of salicylic acid
  • Good choice for individuals with robust, non-sensitive skin


  • Strong formula may be drying
  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

Price: $39.00



 4. SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser


While most cleansers stick to a tried-and-true formula of including just one or two acids, SkinMedica tried something different. And we have to say it works – although not perfectly. While it tries to cleanse and exfoliate at the same time, it’s no substitute for a dedicated cleanser, or an exfoliant for that matter. However make no mistake, this is a very competent cleanser. There’s something of everything here: alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic, glycolic, citric and malic acids, as well as salicylic acid, and a beta-hydroxy acid to boot. The apparent downside? The price. You can find similar, or even better formulas (such as the Misumi one) for less.


  • Interesting mix of acne-fighting ingredients
  • Good for lightening skin tone and dark spots or acne scars


  • A diverse cocktail of acids that may irritate, or not work for some
  • Pricey

Price: $47.00




5. Dermadoctor’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ Medicated AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser

If you’re looking to help your face become smoother and softer, but also prevent acne, this might be the product for you. On its own, the cleanser is competent, but for the best results you’re going to have to pair it with other products by the same brand which can set you back more than $100. Make no mistake, this is a strong cleanser, with an equally strong aroma which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Finally, be aware that this is a cleansing milk. So while the amount of product is higher per bottle, the product is much more liquid than other gel-, or cream-type cleansers, meaning you’ll go through the bottle much faster.



  • Good cleanser for light to medium acne
  • Leaves skin smooth and soft


  • Strong smell which can be off-putting to some
  • Liquid “milk” consistency means you’ll finish it sooner compared to the competition

Price: $34.00




If you’re tired of acne, try one of the best acne face washes. They will unclog your pores and get rid of inflammation and blackheads. These cleansers are one of the best ways to gently exfoliate your skin and improve its texture, too.

If you’re tired of expensive acne products that don’t work, try one of the top-rated acne treatments and let us know what works (or doesn’t) for you. After testing over a hundred acne kits and OTC treatments recommended by dermatologists themselves, we’ve found the most effective face wash for acne is the Misumi Clear Skin Salicylic Cleanser. It combines an approachable price with some of the best all-round anti-acne properties we’ve seen. It excels at:



Deep pore-penetrating power

 Removes impurities, dead cells, and excess oil

Boosts collagen building &  Helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles

✓ Soothes and calms angry breakouts

✓ Plus, Misumi offer a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Cheers for risk-free shopping!



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