best of - cleansers for oily skin

Remember when we were all cleansing our skin raw to get rid of every last trace of excess oil?

Now we know that just triggers skin to make more of that damn oil. Ugh.

Going in the opposite direction doesn’t work either. If your cleanser’s too gentle, it won’t remove all that grease on your skin.

So what’s a girl with oily skin to do? Take the middle road and opt for gentle foaming cleansers that get rid of excess oil but still leave enough behind to keep skin naturally moisturised.

Sounds like a tall order? Worry not, I won’t let you fulfil it alone. Here are the best cleansers for oily skin:

Best For Oily And Sensitive Skin: Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Cleanser Normal To Oily ($18.00)

Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Cleanser Normal To Oily has its fair share of anti-inflammatory ingredients, like allantoin and aloe vera, to reduce redness and irritations. It’s true these ingredients do a much better job when left on the skin for hours rather than being rinsed off down the drain after a few minutes but they still have their use here. Cleansing is always a little traumatic for skin, especially if it’s sensitive. Aloe vera & co will make it a little gentler, reducing the risk of irritation and dryness. Did I mention it’s fragrance-free, too?

Available at: Paula’s Choice 

Related: 9 Ingredients To Soothe Irritated & Sensitive Skin


Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes shine, excess oil, and acne? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Oily Skin” to get started (it includes product recommendations + right order application):


Best On A Budget: Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser ($6.99)

If you want to spend less than $10 on a cleanser and still get the cleansing job done well, look no further than Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser. It removes everything – dirt, makeup, impurities, you name it – without drying out and irritating your skin. I wish it were fragrance-free but if that doesn’t bother you, this is hard to beat.

Available at: Ulta and Walmart

Related: Are Foaming Cleansers Bad For Skin?

cerave foaming cleanser review

Best For Removing Excess Oil: CeraVe Foaming Cleanser ($14.99)

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is a little stronger than all the other cleansers in this list. It effortlessly removes dirt, excess oil and makeup without drying out or irritating skin (unless it’s sensitive). Oh, it doesn’t leave any residue behind. It’s just one of those frills-free cleansers that does what it says on the tin.

Available at: Asos, Dermstore, Look Fantastic, and Ulta

cosrx low ph good morning gel cleanser 01

Best Morning Cleanser: Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Cleanser ($11.00)

Looking for a gentle, no-frills morning cleanser that gets the job done without irritating skin? Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Cleanser has you covered. It uses gentle cleansing agents that melt away dirt and impurities without stripping your skin of its natural moisturising oils. Plus, it has a skin-friendly pH that doesn’t destroy the skin’s protective barrier. In other words, it gets rid of dirt without drying out your skin.

Available at: Look FantasticSokoglam, Urban Outfitters and Yes Style

Related: Why You Should Opt For A Low pH Cleanser

Best Bar Soap: Drunk Elephant Peekee Bar ($28.00)

I know what you’re thinking, “why is Gio recommending a bar soap?!” I know I always say they’re the worst thing for skin and I stand by that. Most bar soaps on the market are formulated with pore clogging ingredients and at a pH that dry out skin and give it pimples. Drunk Elephant Peekee Bar is the exception to the rule. I don’t know how they did it but Peekee Bar behaves like a liquid soap: it removes dirt and makeup without drying out skin and rinses off well, leaving no residue behind that could clog your pores. If you really can’t give up on bar soaps, switch to this.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Sephora, and SpaceNK

Related: Still using soap to wash your face? Read This