Obvious statement incoming: hormonal acne is no fun at all.
Swollen, inflamed, and sore, the acne caused by hormones comes from inside your body. To fix it, ultimately you need to attack it at the cause.
But in the meantime, you will want to use an effective face wash as well. That said, how do you know which face washes are good for hormonal acne?
In this article, we give you the skinny on the 15 best face washes for hormonal acne.
What is hormonal acne?
Before we go any further, let’s first understand what hormonal acne is.
Acne is the general term for pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, and cysts that occur on the face, chest, back, or shoulders. Hormonal acne specifically occurs when there is an imbalance in your hormones.
This imbalance in your hormones causes your sebaceous glands – the glands in your face responsible for producing oil – to overproduce their sebum, leading to breakouts.
What causes hormonal acne?
This can be due to a number of things including:
- Certain medications like birth control pills or steroids
How do you know if you have hormonal acne?
Hormonal acne typically shows up as deep, red, and inflamed pimples. They are often found on the lower half of your face, specifically around your chin and jawline.
If you’re not sure whether or not you have hormonal acne, we suggest consulting with a dermatologist.
Our picks for the best face wash for hormonal acne
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff: the best face washes for hormonal acne!
Best overall: Ayadara Cystic, Hormonal, & Severe Acne Charcoal Face Wash
This face wash is a favorite among acne sufferers for its ability to effectively target all types of acne, including hormonal.
It contains the active ingredient activated charcoal, which helps to detoxify and cleanse the skin. Other key ingredients include tea tree oil, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and niacinamide, which helps to reduce redness and inflammation.
Best for oily skin: TreeActiv Charcoal Acne Exfoliating Face Wash
If you have oily skin, you know that finding a face wash that can remove excess oil without drying out your skin is no easy feat. This gel cleanser from TreeActiv does just that.
It contains both activated charcoal and bentonite clay, which work together to remove excess oil and impurities from the skin. Additionally, it contains tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil, which help to fight acne-causing bacteria.
Best for dry skin: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Facial Cleanser
If you have dry skin, you may find that many acne-fighting face washes are too harsh for your skin type. This cleanser from La Roche-Posay is specifically formulated for those with dry or sensitive skin.
It contains 2% salicylic acid, which helps to remove dead skin cells often caused by dry skin. Additionally, it contains glycerin, which helps to hydrate and soothe the skin.
Best for sensitive skin: CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser
If you have sensitive skin, you know that finding a face wash that doesn’t irritate your skin is no easy feat. This cleanser from CeraVe is specifically formulated for those with sensitive, acne-prone skin.
It contains salicylic acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin and remove excess sebum. And with 35,000+ positive reviews on Amazon, you know it must be good!
Best with hyaluronic acid: The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash
If you’re looking for a face wash that contains hyaluronic acid, this one from The Body Shop is a great option.
Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that helps to keep the skin hydrated and plump. Additionally, it contains tea tree oil, which helps to fight acne-causing bacteria.
Best to remove excess oil: PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Maximum Strength
This face wash from PanOxyl is specifically formulated to remove excess oil from the skin.
It contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, which is a powerful acne-fighting ingredient. When you need to bring out the big guns for cystic acne, you’re going to want to use benzoyl peroxide.
This ingredient works by penetrating the skin and killing acne-causing bacteria. Additionally, it helps to exfoliate the skin and remove excess oil.
Best with glycolic acid: Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Face Wash
You may have heard of glycolic acid before – it’s a type of AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that’s known for its ability to exfoliate the skin. Compared to other chemical exfoliants, glycolic acid is smaller in molecular size, which allows it to penetrate the skin more deeply.
This face wash from Botanic Tree contains 10% glycolic acid. This is a relatively high amount, which means that this face wash is best suited for those with more resilient skin.
If you have sensitive skin, you may want to start with a lower percentage.
Best for clogged pores: CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser
This cleanser from CeraVe is specifically formulated for those with acne-prone skin.
It contains 4% benzoyl peroxide, which helps to kill acne-causing bacteria. Additionally, it contains ceramides, which help to restore the skin barrier.
In general, CeraVe makes products that are well-tolerated by sensitive skin. So if you have sensitive skin and are looking for a face wash to help with cystic acne, this is a great option.
Best with organic ingredients: Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser
If you’re looking for a face wash with organic ingredients, this one from Burt’s Bees is a great option.
It contains naturally-derived salicylic acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin and remove excess oil. It also contains a variety of flower extracts, leaving skin looking and feeling clean, balanced, and healthy.
Best with budget: Paula’s Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Pore Normalizing Cleanser
We all know that cystic acne can cause excessive buildup of sebum in our pores. That makes our pores larger, dirtier, and unsightly. In cases like these, we need to turn to a pore-minimizing cleanser like this one from Paula’s Choice.
It contains 2% salicylic acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin and prevent further breakouts. Using a cleanser to clear acne is one thing, but using an ingredient that prevents breakouts is another altogether. And at under $20, it’s a steal!
Best to remove dead skin cells: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Wash Cream Cleanser
Is Neutrogena the undisputed king of face washes for hormonal breakouts? Some people think so. Their clinically-tested board-certified dermatologist-approved skin care products have been a staple in the industry for decades.
While we can’t comment on their categorical superiority, we can say that if you’re looking for a face wash that will help to remove dead skin cells, this one from Neutrogena is a great option.
It contains 2% salicylic acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin and remove excess oil. And best of all, it won’t leave behind any pore-clogging residue.
Best with vitamin C: Insta Natural Vitamin C Cleanser
This face wash from Insta Natural contains a potent blend of pore-cleansing ingredients that are known to be effective for acne vulgaris.
First, it contains vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. It helps to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, it helps to boost collagen production, which can help to reduce the appearance of scars.
It also contains aloe vera and green tea, both of which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. These ingredients can help to soothe the skin and reduce redness.
When it comes to face washes for sensitive skin, there are a lot of options to choose from. Choosing the right gentle cleanser will ultimately depend on your skin type and what ingredients you’re looking for.
If you have sensitive skin, you may want to opt for a face wash with organic ingredients or one that is specifically formulated for sensitive skin.
On the other hand, if you have more resilient skin, you may want to choose a face wash with a higher percentage of glycolic acid or one that contains other potent ingredients like vitamin C or benzoyl peroxide.
Ultimately, the best face wash for you is the one that works best for your skin. So, don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect one!