Glaring pores and shiny skin can present a pesky problem and issues with self-esteem. Despite popular belief, being abrasive by using harsh treatments isn’t the solution, either. In fact, this method can make things worse.
Now, what cleansers give you that squeaky clean feeling and help control oil? The following 6 options provide an array to choose from, see which one feels best for you.
Best Cleansers for Oily Skin & Large Pores: Our Top 6 Picks
In a hurry? We’ve gathered up some of the best cleansers to help those of you with this skin type. If you’re in a rush, here are our top choices in cleansers for oily skin and large pores:
1. Best Overall: Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Daily Face Wash
- Deep pore cleansing charcoal.
- Minimizes the appearance of pores.
- Fights blackheads.
- Pleasant cooling sensation.
With the help of charcoal, this product cleans your pores thoroughly and draws out grease and impurities from your skin, according to Bioré. It comes in a 6.77 ounce bottle.
The cleanser is oil-free and non-comedogenic, the latter meaning it won’t cause blocked pores. People state that it minimizes the appearance of pores in general and leaves your face feeling matte throughout the day. It also has a cooling sensation, according to users, due to the menthol inside.
Set at an affordable price, you might wonder if it’s actually efficient. According to customers, this wash works wonders for people with blackhead issues and cleanses the skin well.
Note that some people with sensitivities have reported redness after using this product. Users advise putting on a moisturizer after using the wash because of this, but that’s a standard recommendation after a deep clean.
There’s also parabens in this cleanser, which can potentially have an effect on hormones in your body, if that’s a concern of yours.
2. Best High-End Choice: Obagi Medical CLENZIderm Daily Care Foaming Cleanser
- Acne-reducing salicylic acid.
- Minimizes large pores.
- Pleasant cooling sensation.
- Foam texture leaves skin feeling clean.
If your budget isn’t super tight, this cleanser from Obagi Medical is a nice alternative. You have one size to choose from which is 4 ounces.
The solution contains salicylic acid which is an exfoliator that’s known for reducing acne. Customers testify to this, stating that it’s a great cleanser for clogged pores and reducing their appearance otherwise.
Users report that you might experience some peeling of the skin when you start using this cleanser, but this issue could decrease over time as your body adjusts. Avoid using it more than once per day to help with the potential dryness.
The Daily Care Foaming Cleanser contains menthol which gives a cooling sensation that customers like.
Do keep in mind, though, that the foaming agent here is cocamidopropyl betaine, which some suspect is an environmental toxin. This cleanser also contains parabens that could have an effect on estrogen levels.
3. Best Budget Choice: Clean & Clear Daily Pore Face Cleanser
- Budget friendly.
- Micro scrubbers remove excess dirt.
- Free from plastic microbeads.
- Exfoliating AHA.
Clean & Clear presents us with an affordable oil-free cleanser that’s suitable for tighter budgets, it comes in a bottle of 5.5 ounces. With that, users report they get about a three month’s supply when used once daily.
It’s free from plastics, even though it does contain micro scrubbers to help with the removal of excess grease, dirt, and dead skin cells on your face. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll need to be gentle due to the scrubby beads inside. Otherwise, it could cause redness and irritation.
The cleanser also contains AHA in the form of glycolic and lactic acids. This substance functions as an exfoliator that helps with cell renewal. This is great for large pores. AHA also helps fight hyperpigmentation, which could even out your skin tone as a result.
Customers report that this cleanser is effective in cleaning out pores and that you only have to cleanse your face for around one minute to get rid of dirt. They also like the fresh, smooth feeling it provides.
4. Best Non-Allergen Choice: EltaMD Deep Pore Facial Cleanser
- Great for sensitive skin.
- Decreases breakouts and redness.
- Removes makeup properly.
If you have oily skin that tends to be more on the sensitive side, the Deep Pore Facial Cleanser could make for a suitable alternative. It comes in an 8 ounce bottle, which should last you for up to a year. The product is middle range where price matters.
According to the EltaMD manufacturer, this cleanser should clean well, without drying out your face in the process (a common problem with oily skin products). It doesn’t contain any AHA or glycolic acid for this reason.
At the same time, the product is still free from oil, so you shouldn’t be left with greasy skin.
Users report that this cleanser decreases redness and acne providing an overall calming appearance. It foams up when you apply it, and successfully gets rid of dirt. Customers also say that it works as a successful makeup remover.
Note that some buyers received a counterfeit product when ordering this cleanser. Keep this in mind and check the bottle thoroughly when you receive it so you can return it if there are any problems.
5. Best Cleansing Scrub: Burt's Bees Natural Pore Refining Cleansing Scrub
- Scrubbing sensation from the biodegradable beads.
- Acne-fighting salicylic acid.
- Gentle action.
- Brightening effect.
Scrubs make for a preferred way of cleaning oily skin. This is because they exfoliate and remove dead skin cells that might otherwise clog your pores. So long as the scrubbing action is gentle, you shouldn’t face any issues.
This scrub is specifically for acne-prone skin and uses jojoba beads, fruit acid, and salicylic acid for the exfoliating ingredients. Jojoba oil itself is non-comedogenic making it one of the only oils suitable for oily skin. There are no plastics inside, which means the beads are biodegradable.
Burt’s Bees advertises this product as being 99 percent natural. This might be why customers say that it’s gentle overall, doesn’t sting or leave your face red afterward. Users do note that the scrub doesn’t completely get rid of evident pores but does help manage breakouts.
Some buyers note a brighter effect on the skin, as well.
One note: it’s recommended to use this cleansing scrub three to four days per week, not everyday, otherwise it could lead to irritation.
6. Best Clay Cleanser: Neutrogena Skin Balancing Cleanser
- Mild exfoliant.
- Paraben, alcohol, and dye-free.
Kaolin clay absorbs oil and makes this a mattifying cleanser. You’ll also get rid of that deep-rooted dirt in your pores with exfoliating polyhydroxy acid (PHA) that’s less irritating than older generations of AHAs.
Users appreciate that it’s free from parabens, alcohol, and artificial dyes. It’s very light and doesn’t leave any sticky residue either. People describe the texture as a clay mask with a liquid-like texture.
The 6.3 ounce bottles are recyclable and made with up to 30 percent reused plastic. Another great thing about the bottle is that it has a pump dispenser that prevents bacteria from transferring from your hands to the unused product still inside the bottle.
People do note that it feels a little drying on the skin. Some users even report a burning sensation after application. It also contains artificial fragrance which isn’t great for sensitivities. If you have sensitive skin, opt for the EltaMD Deep Pore Facial Cleanser instead.
Buyers also report that this Neutrogena cleanser isn’t great at minimizing pores.
Cleanser for Oily Skin: Buyer’s Guide
Before buying a product for oily skin, it’s important that you’re confident you have this skin type in the first place. Otherwise these cleansers may not be best for you. So, what does oily skin look like?
Common features here include:
- Excess oil on the face overall.
- A greasy or shiny appearance.
- Large pores that tend to clog easily.
- Acne-prone skin.
The main culprit of oily skin boils down to an overproduction of oil. A variety of things can lead to this including hormonal issues (common in teenagers/young adults), genetics and living in a humid environment. A diet high in processed foods and unhealthy oils doesn’t help the condition, either.
What to Look for in a Cleanser
Cleansers with labels such as “deep pore cleansing” or “clarifying cleanser” are often for the oily skin type. Also, gentle exfoliants are beneficial at large because they help remove dead skin cells that can otherwise build up and lead to breakouts.
For texture, opt for a foam, gel or scrub-based option. Avoid balms or creamy cleansers because they might lead to excess grease.
Substances known for their deep cleaning ability include:
- Charcoal: Effective at deep cleaning pores and is antibacterial.
- Clay: Green clay or kaolin prohibits bacterial growth and absorbs grease.
- Zinc: This mineral helps wash away oil and fight redness.
- Jojoba oil: Fights acne. Might trick the glands into producing less oil.
- Oatmeal: Calms inflammation and absorbs shine.
- Niacinamide: Decreases oil production and reduces inflammation.
Also, look for exfoliating ingredients such as:
- AHA: Effective in treating whiteheads and blackheads.
- Salicylic acid: Treats acne.
- Benzoyl peroxide: Kills bacteria and gets rid of excess oil.
Note: Do NOT use salicylic acid with other acids at the same time. This may cause severe skin irritation.
Pro Tip: After cleansing, use a moisturizer that’s lightweight. A gel or lotion texture is your best bet. I recommend CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion that’s oil-free, paraben-free, and contains zinc and niacinamide. Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Moisturizer is a budget-friendly alternative with salicylic acid.
Related: CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser review
What to Avoid
Keep the following in mind when you’re shopping, to ensure you get a cleanser that doesn’t add onto your problems:
- Oil-based cleaners: Unless they’re non-comedogenic, they can make matters worse, clogging your pores. Opt for grapeseed or hemp seed instead.
- Overdoing it: Harsh cleansers, multiple times a day, is a no-no. It could strip your skin of all its moisture, signaling to your glands to produce more.
- Parabens: Try to avoid them at all costs, they’ve been linked to breast cancer.
Final Verdict: Which is the Best Cleanser for Oily Skin?
To summarize, people with oily skin and large pores should look for foam, gel, or scrub cleansers with deeply cleansing ingredients as well as exfoliating properties.
All of the cleansers discussed in this article are suitable for people with these issues. But in my eyes, the best cleanser for oily skin on the market right now is the Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Daily Face Wash.
This cleanser uses charcoal to thoroughly get rid of dirt and excess grease from your face and is non-comedogenic which equals non-clogging. Also, customers feel like it minimizes the appearance of pores and is great at fighting blackheads. On top of it all, it’s on the more affordable side.