Though, by and large, there's nothing wrong with skin care products that contain oils, some people simply prefer to avoid them. If you're one of those people, and you're looking for a new cleanser, you've come to the right place. All of the best oil-free face washes featured here are lightweight and noncomedogenic, but the best one for you will come down to your skin type and skin concerns.
For example, if you have acne-prone skin, look for a cleanser that contains breakout-busting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. For those with sensitive skin, skip anything with added fragrance and go for the simplest, most gentle formula you can find. If you have dry skin and prefer an oil-free wash, no problem! There plenty of cleansers that contain lightweight hydrating ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid to leave your face feeling soft, not tight.
For all of this and more, scroll on to shop six of the best oil-free cleansers on the market right now.
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1. The Best Oil-Free Face Wash For Most
Simply put, you can never go wrong with Avène, the iconic French pharmacy brand and sensitive-skin experts. This gel cleanser is a great choice for people with oily or combination skin, since it helps soak up excess oil as it gently cleanses. It's free of fragrance, parabens, oil, soap, and alcohol, so it shouldn't irritate sensitive skin types — but at the same time, it's not the best choice for people with dry, sensitive skin since it isn't particularly moisturizing. If your skin falls into that category, keep scrolling to find your perfect match.
Note that you could use this on your body, too, as it comes in a really generously sized bottle, and a little product goes a long way.
2. The Best Oil-Free Face Wash For Dry, Sensitive Skin
Vanicream is another brand known for their super-gentle products, but they take things even further than Avène — and almost everything they make is safe for people with extreme skin sensitivities and conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. If you're dealing with any of those things, have dry, sensitive skin, or are simply looking for the most basic cleanser around, pick up their aptly named Gentle Facial Cleanser. It's free of sulfates, parabens, dyes, botanical extracts, fragrance, oil, soap, lanolin, gluten, and just about every other, potential irritant out there. It also boasts the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association, and over 9,000 Amazon reviewers left it a five-star review or rating after purchasing.
3. The Best Oil-Free Face Wash With Benzoyl Peroxide
When it comes to treating acne, different ingredients work for different people. If you typically have luck with benzoyl peroxide, pick up Differin's Daily Deep Cleanser. In addition to 5% BP, it contains moisturizing glycerin to prevent your skin from becoming totally dried out. Aside from that, the formula only includes a handful of ingredients (and no fragrance or oil, of course), so it's safe for people with sensitive, acne-prone skin.
To make sure you give the BP time to do its job, massage this cleanser into your skin for about 20 to 30 seconds before rinsing it off.
4. The Best Oil-Free Face Wash With Salicylic Acid
If salicylic acid is your go-to for treating breakouts and blackheads, opt for La Roche-Posay's Effaclar gel cleanser. The fragrance-free formula contains 2% salicylic acid, as well as lipo-hydroxy acid, a salicylic acid derivative, to give your pores a deep, thorough clean. This popular cleanser was designated the best acne face wash in Seventeen's 2019 Beauty Awards, and it has over 3,500 five-star Amazon ratings as well.
5. The Best Oil-Free Face Wash With Glycolic Acid
As its name suggests, glycolic acid is the star ingredient in Peter Thomas Roth's 3% Glycolic Solutions Cleanser. Glycolic acid is great for promoting a smoother, clearer, more even-looking complexion, and it can help treat acne and clogged pores as well. This is another cleanser that you could use as a shower gel, if you're dealing with body breakouts, as it comes in a big, 8.5-ounce bottle. You may not need to use this every day, though, so be sure to start out slow.
6. Honorable Mention
One last oil-free cleanser for you consideration: this face wash from Neutrogena's popular Hydro Boost line, which includes the best-selling Hydro Boost Water Gel moisturizer (note that you can buy the bundle with both the cleanser and the cream for about $20, here). In here, hyaluronic acid and glycerin work together to keep skin hydrated and soft without being oily or greasy. It's free of oil, soap, and parabens, but note that this does contain fragrance, in case you prefer to steer clear of scented products.