You might be wondering if people with black skin need a specific skincare routine. While the most determining factor behind your choice of facial wash is your skin type, black people tend to suffer from certain skin conditions at a higher rate than others, such as skin discoloration due to scarring or acne, as well as dry skin.
So let’s see what products are most effective in combating these things. In our opinion, the best facial cleansers for black skin are:
- Best Overall: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
- Best for Oily Skin: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
- Most Budget-Friendly: Bioré Daily Face Wash
- Best Exfoliation: SheaMoisture Facial Wash and Scrub for Blemish Prone Skin
- Best for Hyperpigmentation: Buttah Skin by Dorion Renaud Complete Skin Kit for Melanin Rich Skin
Best Facial Cleansers for Black Skin: Our Top 5 Picks
Let’s see how the top five products on the market compare in terms of hydration, fighting discoloration, and being gentle to the skin.
1. Best Overall: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
The CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser comes in a large 16 or 19-ounce bottle. The liquid features a lotion texture, which is excellent for sensitive skin but not too thick for those who struggle with an oily complexion. It’s free from parabens, fragrance, and soap, and it doesn’t contain any pore-clogging oils either, making it suited for all skin types.
As for ingredients, this lotion contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which are both moisturizing ingredients. It also has ceramides, which help restore the skin’s natural barrier and help fight wrinkles. Based on this, the Hydrating Facial Cleanser works really well for dry skin. Finally, there’s also niacinamide in this lotion which helps combat hyperpigmentation.
Users report that this cleanser is super hydrating, and it doesn’t lather like soap, which means that your skin isn’t stripped of moisture. Owners with eczema also feel like it doesn’t dry their skin, and this cleanser is even certified by the National Eczema Association.
When it comes to negatives, some customers feel like this facial wash doesn’t get rid of makeup properly, and a few people with oily skin feel like it leaves their face greasy. Also, even though this is supposedly a product that suits people with dry or sensitive skin, it contains alcohol which is a drying ingredient.
- A large 16 or 19-ounce bottle.
- Paraben-, fragrance-, soap-, and comedogenic oil-free.
- Contains hydrating ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid.
- Has niacinamide that helps against hyperpigmentation.
- Works well with most skin types, including those with eczema.
- Leaves a greasy feeling, according to some customers.
- Contains drying alcohol.
Related: CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser review
2. Best for Oily Skin: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
Here’s another cleanser by CeraVe that’s more suited for those with oily skin. This is a foaming face wash that has a gel consistency, and the foam helps thoroughly get rid of dirt and grease from your face. It even doubles as a makeup cleanser.
With a fragrance-free formula, customers feel that it’s more gentle on the skin than cleansers filled with chemicals. While it doesn’t contain any drying alcohol, note that there are parabens in this facial wash which could be irritating to the skin and even harmful to the body.
This being said, many owners with oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin state that this cleanser does wonders for them. It’s non-comedogenic, meaning that it doesn’t contain any pore-clogging oils, which buyers appreciate. Another plus is that this cleanser comes in a large 16 or 19-ounce bottle.
However, some people with dry or eczema-prone skin state that this isn’t a great product for them. There are reports of flakiness in the skin after using the Foaming Facial Cleanser, so if you have dry skin, go for the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser instead.
- Foam cleanser gets rid of oil, dirt, and makeup.
- Free from fragrances and alcohol.
- No pore-clogging ingredients.
- Large 16 or 19-ounce bottle.
- Great for oily or acne-prone skin.
- Contains parabens, which can be harmful.
- Drying according to some people.
3. Most Budget-Friendly: Bioré Daily Face Wash
If you want a product that’s nice to your wallet, the Bioré Daily Face Wash is a good choice. With the help of natural charcoal, it draws out impurities from the skin and cleans your pores deeply. It reportedly “traps” oil and works well with oily skin.
This is a non-comedogenic and oil-free facial wash, so it won’t add extra grease to an already shiny face. It also contains glycerin which helps keep your skin hydrated. According to users, the Bioré cleanser helps decrease the appearance of blackheads and pores on your face and cleans it deeply.
Other things users like are the pleasant smell of the facial wash as well as that it leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft after you use it. This way, it doesn’t strip it of moisture.
Note that this product contains menthol, which gives a tingly sensation that some buyers feel burns and irritates their skin. It also contains parabens, sulfate, and fragrance, making it less than ideal for those with skin sensitivities.
- Oil-free and added charcoal that helps clean pores.
- Reportedly decreases the appearance of pores and blackheads.
- Smells nice.
- Contains moisturizing glycerin.
- Can make the skin red and leave a burning sensation.
- Contains parabens, sulfate, and artificial fragrance.
4. Best Exfoliation: SheaMoisture Facial Wash and Scrub for Blemish Prone Skin
Here’s a rather affordable alternative as well that uses small beads to gently exfoliate the skin. It also contains salicylic acid, which is a chemical exfoliator that further helps scrub the skin. This ingredient is also effective in treating acne, and along with tea tree oil and tamarind rich in AHA, it has several components that fight blackheads and whiteheads.
Another effective ingredient is African black soap that’s antibacterial. There’s also some research suggesting that it’s effective against hyperpigmentation. Another advantage is that there are no parabens, sulfates, or pore-clogging mineral oils in this cleanser.
Some buyers had issues with air bubbles in the container and wasted half of the product when the air pushed it out. Some users also wish that the beads would be larger than they are to scrub the skin better.
- Chemical and physical exfoliating properties.
- Treats acne well with tea tree oil and tamarind.
- African black soap fights hyperpigmentation.
- Free from sulfates, parabens, and mineral oils.
- Air bubbles caused wastage for some users.
- The beads may be a little small.
5. Best for Hyperpigmentation: Buttah Skin by Dorion Renaud Complete Skin Kit for Melanin Rich Skin
Hyperpigmentation is more common among people with black skin. This skin kit includes a shea butter cream, a serum, and a facial cleanser all in one, specifically targeted at those with melanin-rich skin. Vitamin C is included in the serum—as well as citric acid in the facial wash—to help brighten the skin, which decreases discoloration.
Other ingredients in this kit are shea butter that’s super hydrating as well as glycerin that’s in the cleanser. Users state that the whole kit is very moisturizing, and the ingredients fighting hyperpigmentation have also brightened the skin for several users with skin discoloration.
The facial wash reportedly cleanses your face without over-drying it, and it has a nice, fresh scent, according to customers. However, some owners with oily or acne-prone skin feel like this product isn’t great at removing excess oil from your face. Some users also state that the combination of the three skincare causes a breakout.
- A whole skincare kit with a cleanser, serum, and cream.
- Vitamin C and citric acid can help brighten dark spots.
- Shea butter and glycerin are hydrating.
- Cleanser doesn’t over-dry the skin.
- A pleasant smell.
- Doesn’t remove oil very well.
- Not suitable for acne-prone skin.
How To Choose the Best Facial Cleansers for Black Skin
The color of your skin doesn’t matter much in terms of skincare compared to what type of skin you have. However, there are some skin conditions that are more common among people with dark skin, so let’s take a closer look at what this means for your cleanser.
One skin condition that’s more common among black people is hyperpigmentation caused by acne or other skin inflammation. This is explained by the fact that darker skin has more melanin than lighter skin and more melanin-producing cells that are susceptible to inflammation.
Skin lightening ingredients suited to combat hyperpigmentation include vitamin C, vitamin B (niacinamide), vitamin A (retinoid), and hydroquinone, so look for this on the label of your cleanser, like in the Buttah Skin by Dorion Renaud Complete Skin Kit for Melanin Rich Skin.
Finally, note that you should never use any products containing bleach on your skin, since this can be very harmful.
According to research, black skin loses moisture faster than lighter skin tones. For those with dark and dry skin specifically, adding some moisturizing ingredients to your facial cleanser is a good idea. Look for ingredients such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid on the bottle to help hydrate your skin, such as those included in the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser.
Now that we’ve looked at some skin issues that occur more frequently among people with black skin let’s see what you should look for in your cleanser depending on your skin type.
If you suffer from dry patches all over your face and your skin tends to flake often, you might have dry skin. What this means for your facial cleaning products is that they should have some hydrating ingredients such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid, as we mentioned previously, as well as aloe vera and vitamin E.
Those with mature skin that want to prevent or treat wrinkles should also look for moisturizing ingredients in their wash.
Milky or thick and creamy cleansers tend to work well for those with dry skin. However, exfoliating ingredients aren’t a good match with dryness, so try to avoid these.
Oily or Acne-Prone Skin
For those whose skin feels oily and tends to break out frequently, look for some exfoliating ingredients in your facial wash that can help keep your pores free from oil. These include glycolic or salicylic acid. For those suffering from acne, benzoyl peroxide is another great ingredient to include in their skincare.
Your cleanser should also be oil-free so that you don’t add more oil to your face, and gel cleansers such as the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser are a good bet for acne-prone skin.
You can also look for tea tree oil that’s known for its oil-controlling properties, which is an ingredient in SheaMoisture Facial Wash and Scrub for Blemish Prone Skin.
If your skin is sensitive to harsh ingredients, avoid facial washes with sulfates, soaps, alcohol, mineral oils, and artificial fragrances. These can aggravate your skin even if it’s not sensitive, so it’s best to avoid them in all cleansers. For sensitivities, a light lotion or milky cleanser is a great choice, such as the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, while exfoliants are likely to irritate the skin.
As we stated previously, whether you have dry, oily, sensitive, or “normal” skin is what determines what type of facial cleanser you should get. However, since hyperpigmentation and dryness are more common for those with black skin, the best facial wash that combats both is the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, according to us.
The Hydrating Facial Cleanser is suited for those with normal or dry skin. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, your best bet is the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. With a gel texture that foams well and is free from pore-clogging oil, it gently cleans your skin from excess grease and prevents breakouts.
But which facial cleanser suits your skin the best?