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What is the Best Face Wash for Oily Skin?

3 mins

Akhila Jerripothula

Find the cleanser you've been looking for!

From all the skin types on the spectrum, oily skin is one that is easiest to spot. It doesn’t take long for excess sebum to shine through your layers of makeup, leading to clogged pores, and worsening acne. The good news is that there are effective skincare products that can help you manage your skin concerns, and it starts with understanding why your skin may be oily! 

What Causes Oily Skin?

Having oil on your skin is nothing to be concerned about. In fact, it’s actually a good thing! Sebaceous glands on your face produce a natural oil called sebum. It helps keep our skin healthy, hydrated, and a physical barrier from the elements. The issue many people have is when their sebum levels are out of balance. When your sebaceous glands are producing too much sebum, your face can constantly feel oily, sticky, and shiny. Sometimes it seems that no matter how often you wash your face, within a few hours it feels like you need to wash it again due to high amounts of oil. There are many different causes of excess sebum production that range from environmental, to lifestyle, and even genetic! 

In order to properly address oily skin, you need to think about what could be causing this overproduction of oil in the first place. Here are some reasons why you might be experiencing oily skin:

  • Climate: If you feel like your skin is oilier in the summer, you’re right! Higher temperatures and humidity (hello sweat!) can increase sebum production and leave you feeling shiny and greasy as a result. The opposite is true in lower temperatures. Sebum production decreases in cold weather and can leave your skin feeling dry and tight. Since we haven’t figured out how to change the weather on demand yet, updating your routine for the seasonal changes are important to keep the oil balance. 
  • Skincare routine: The products you use every day sends different signals to your skin. A routine that works for your skin type and needs is key. For example, many people use drying face washes to rid of excess oil. In reality, regularly stripping your face of its natural oils will cause increased oil production. Your overcompensating oil glands really need hydration to keep that balance. Stick to washing your face twice a day, and using hydrating products to deliver that moisture your skin was missing. 
  • Age: Oily skin is just a fact of life for teenagers. Younger people produce more sebum, so it’s not uncommon for teens and 20-somethings to experience a lot of oil. However, sebum production decreases as you age. The drier skin can cause signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. That’s why we love using anti-aging routines early, to prevent these things instead of trying to treat it later on. 
  • Genetics: Many brands tout products that close your pores or minimize their size, but that’s actually impossible. The size of your sebaceous glands actually depends on genetics. If one of your parents happens to have bigger glands and oily skin, you’re more likely to experience it as well. The best you can do is use chemical exfoliators to unclog pores, and a refining mask to promote smoother-looking skin. 

If you are concerned about your oily skin, consult with a dermatologist to see how to bring back your skin’s balance. 

What is the Best Face Wash for Oily Skin and Acne?

Have you ever asked yourself: is my facewash causing pimples? Well, like we mentioned, your skincare routine has a huge effect on your skin health and balance. Your face cleanser is especially important since not all are formulated the same, so look for a face wash that is made especially for oily skin rather than dry skin or combination skin. Here are some things to look for in a face wash for oily, acne prone skin: 

  • Look for products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic so that your pores don’t get clogged and cause acne.
  • Look for products that contain natural ingredients that will deep cleanse your skin, like WOW’s foaming face wash. It’s packed with natural actives like apple cider vinegar, aloe vera extract, and vitamin E. Avoid products with harsh chemicals like parabens and sulfates. 
  • Look for chemical exfoliators to unclog your pores, like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, beta-hydroxy acid, or benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients can potentially irritate sensitive skin, so always do a test patch before using it all over. 

What Are Other Methods to Reduce Oil?

Finding the right face wash for your oily skin is the first step to resolving this problem. But there are some other steps that you can take to help decrease or otherwise manage oil production:

  • Seal in moisture at the end of your skincare routine, with products like moisturizers and toners to prevent your skin from overproducing oil. 
  • Wearing less makeup or at least non-comedogenic makeup will help prevent pores clogging from oil and makeup on your skin. Making sure to thoroughly cleanse it as soon as possible to keep your skin healthy. 
  • Changing your diet could help reduce oil! Hormones in foods like milk and sugar-loaded foods like chocolate will unbalance your skin. Keep yourself well-hydrated to flush out toxins--about half a gallon of water a day
  • If you’re looking for a quick fix for oily skin throughout the day, use blotting papers to soak up excess oil, and refresh your skin with powdered spf. 


When it comes to the best face wash for oily skin, you should definitely look for natural products that are free from added harsh chemicals. Look for brands like WOW that use gentle and beneficial ingredients like apple cider vinegar, aloe vera extract, and vitamin E. Good luck on your oily skin journey!


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