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On its own, a facial wash for oily skin can make a significant difference. The simple act of washing away excess oil has far-reaching benefits, including reducing shine and minimizing clogged pores. Fortunately, product labels make it easy to identify cleansers for oily skin, but it’s imperative to choose a gentle formula that doesn’t leave the skin feeling stripped. There are also additional ingredients to look for in a facial wash for oily skin that provide the hydration, exfoliation and barrier replenishment this skin type needs.

What to look for in cleansers for oily skin

  • A mild, gentle formula
  • Hyaluronic acid for extra moisture
  • Ceramides to help maintain and replenish the skin’s barrier
  • Niacinamide for soothing benefits
  • If you experience acne, benzoyl peroxide can help minimize breakouts
  • A non-comedogenic formula developed with dermatologists

A closer look at oily skin

Oily skin is characterized by excess sebum that is produced naturally by the skin. Although sebum does have skin-hydrating benefits (and those with oily skin often have fewer wrinkles), too much of this oil can lead to enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples and unwanted shine. Oily skin types may notice changes in sebum production in tandem with hormonal fluctuations, stress and humidity.1


The ideal facial wash for oily skin

Most people with oily skin prefer a foaming cleanser that leaves the skin feeling fresh and clean—and cleansers for oily skin come in several textures, including gels and creams. Cleansers for this skin type are formulated to effectively remove excess oil, dirt and makeup, but the ideal facial wash for oily skin will do all of this without leaving the skin feeling stripped, uncomfortable or tight. It’s important to keep in mind that facial wash for oily skin should be used morning and night as well as after sweating. Although many people with oily skin believe that washing more often can help reduce excess sebum, over-washing can actually prompt the skin to produce more oil.2

Ingredients to look for

In addition to a mild, gentle formula, there are a few additional beneficial ingredients to look for in a facial wash for oily skin.

Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid is a sugar that is naturally produced by the body. Found naturally within the skin, hyaluronic acid is responsible for the skin’s plumpness and volume. This ingredient can attract and retain moisture, making it an excellent non-comedogenic hydrating ingredient for oily skin. Hyaluronic acid forms a layer of hydration on top of the skin that enhances its feeling of softness and smoothness, and it also helps firm, soothe and plump the skin without clogging pores.

Niacinamide: Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide plays an important role in soothing and helping to restore the skin barrier, which can help balance moisture levels. This vitamin is also known to help reduce the visible effects of environmental damage so skin appears healthier and more radiant, and it can be found in our Foaming Facial Cleanser.

Salicylic acid: A beta-hydroxy acid that helps gently exfoliate the skin, salicylic acid is a beneficial ingredient when included in a facial wash for oily skin. Found in our Renewing SA Cleanser, salicylic acid helps exfoliate the skin by loosening the “glue” that holds skin cells together, and promoting their shedding helps reveal fresh, healthy-looking skin. This light exfoliation can also help prevent pores from becoming clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells, in turn minimizing blackheads and acne.

Benzoyl peroxide: Oily skin can be more prone to acne, and a facial wash for oily skin that contains benzoyl peroxide can help clear existing blemishes and prevent new ones from forming. This ingredient also helps promote the shedding of dead skin cells that contribute to clogged pores, and it can be found in ourAcne Foaming Cream Cleanser. 

Ceramides: Ceramides are lipids that act as “mortar” between the skin’s cellular “bricks” to reinforce the skin’s barrier and help the skin retain moisture. Ceramides also help the skin protect against environmental aggressors like irritants and pollution. Without the proper ratio of ceramides, the skin’s barrier can become compromised, leading to dryness, itching and irritation. A facial wash for oily skin that is formulated with ceramides helps minimize barrier disruption due to cleansing, and all of CeraVe’s products contain this ingredient to help replenish the skin barrier.

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