8 best cleansers for oily skin
Beat the shine with our oil-busting top picks
Nailing a skincare routine when you have oily skin can be a nightmare.
When you are plagued with a nose full of clogged pores, blackheads and pimples, with a forehead so shiny you can see your own reflection – it can turn you green with envy at friends who stay shine-free.
While sebum is vital for keeping the skin healthy, too much of it can wreak havoc. Most people tend to over wash their face, therefore scrubbing all the important oils and leaving the skin dry.
Those with an oily complexion should look for products which ingredients include salicylic acid – this actively penetrates through the skin’s oil surface and unclogs pores – and glycolic acid, an ingredient that gently exfoliates the skin’s top layer.
It can seem to take a lifetime to find the right products for your skin type, which is why we tested the best in the ‘biz at banishing breakouts. So you can wave goodbye to those pesky zits, pimples and greasy forehead.
Previse Marine Cleanser: £32 for 240ml, Holly Nichols
At the upper-scale of the price range of cleansers that we tested, Previse’s hydrating skin cleanser is worth the splurge.
If you’re looking for a classic dermatological cleanser that has zero parabens, fragrance, dyes or synthetic oils, look no further.
This product is suitable for all skin types, but is especially effective for those with oily skin.
It is non-drying, thanks to marine algae and bark extract, and is perfect for removing makeup oxidised skin cells and water pollutants.
And the bonus? All the ingredients are sustainably sourced from the sea and farms.
Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser: £16 for 200ml, Dr Sam Bunting
Dr Sam Bunting, London’s most trusted and well-known dermatologist, launched her first cleanser earlier this year and we are really impressed.
While the packaging is more on the minimal side, the formula is not. The translucent jelly is scent-free, colourless and is foam-free; ensuring the skin is not stripped but gently cleansed.
We cleansed with one pump in the morning and two at night with warm water and a flannel, with the jelly gently removing makeup, leaving the face completely clean and hydrated.
Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser: £32 for 250ml, John Lewis
This clay cleanser is not for the faint-hearted, but is for those who really struggle to get rid of those forehead pimples.
Dermalogica is a brand known for its potent and clinical-style products, which is why we love it so much.
This one, in particular, is perfect for breaking through sebum build-up, thanks to its formula of water-soluble Kaolin and Green clays and extracts of Sambucus, ivy and lemon.
Ensure you apply the cleanser on a damp face and you will notice the product has a cooling effect – this is normal – and saves you money by not going to a spa.
Gently massage into the face and lightly wipe off with warm water and repeat.
Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel: £8.19 for 100ml, Superdrug
New kid on the block, Avene has struck again with its affable, no-nonsense skincare that boasts a crisp smell of freshly laundered clothes.
Thanks to its formula of thermal spring water – which ensures the skin is well hydrated – the cleansing gel gives instant results by helping to regulate oil production in the skin.
We found it to be drying after using it both day and night, so perhaps, depending on your skin, try using it once a day and build up to using it twice.
Clinique Soothing Cleanser: £19 for 150ml, Feel Unique
If you’re a sufferer of acne or constant breakouts, it can sometimes leave the face looking red raw and feeling itchy.
This milky gel thoroughly cleans but gently melts away makeup, sunscreen and impurities whilst preserving the skin’s protective moisture barrier.
It’s a non-drying gel that calms redness and itchiness and is fragrance-free, so perfect for those with sensitive skin too.
If you’re looking for a more luxurious cleanser, this is for you.
Jurlique Revitalising Cleansing Gel: £20 for 200ml, Look Fantastic
Oh Jurlique. A must-have in all bathrooms. While the brand’s millennial pink packaging is absolutely to die for, its formulas are too.
Using an exclusive blend of pure botanicals grown, harvested and extracted at the brand’s organic farm in the South Australian hills, this cleanser cleanses away makeup, oil and pollution.
A beautiful mix of Calendula, Rosemary and Lemon Balm protects the skin with natural-based antioxidants and sloughs away dirt and impurities.
And its fresh flowery smell transported us from the city to the beautiful country meadows; isn't that what you want?
Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foam Face Wash: £22 for 220ml, Feel Unique
Yet another cleansing gel and a cult favourite, of course. Kiehl’s cleansing foam wash is perfect for those with normal to oily skin - so perfect for our tester.
We found it to be quite gloopy, yet it did the job. Although we had to double cleanse to take off a full face of makeup.
However, it is completely soap free, meaning the skin won’t be stripped and will leave it looking refreshed.
While we would recommend this to virtually everyone, sadly Kiehl’s still tests on animals (when required by law), so this product would not be suitable for vegans.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser: £16.50 for 100ml, Liz Earle
While you may think being able to give yourself a facial in the morning is completely impossible for those who are time poor, worry not.
This takes five minutes and leaves your skin feeling fresh, glowy and ready to conquer the day. We love the hot cloth cleanser because it gives you pores a chance to breathe.
So if you are someone with a heavily clogged nose, this product is for you.
Gently lather the cream over your face and cover your face with the hot cloth (soak in hot water and wring out) and let your skin breathe.
The combination of cocoa butter, rosemary and chamomile removes grime and pollutants, leaving your skin feeling soft, smooth and moisturised.
The Verdict: Best Cleansers For Oily Skin
It was really difficult to pick the cleanser to snatch the top spot, but we’re voting on performance.
The best buy has to go to Previse's Marine Cleanser, simply for its simplicity, organic formula and its ability to work with just one cleanse.
We also loved Dr Sam Bunting’s flawless cleanser because it really did make your face look flawless, but was also good enough to warrant the spend.
It was great to see a brand put its focus on the formula than the packaging; which, in a world of Instagram, can be difficult to juggle.
If you have time in the morning and evening for a little pampering, we recommend Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser because we all deserve a little TLC.
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