Suffering from acne when you’re a teenager is bad enough. It’s embarrassing, unsightly, and you feel ashamed to go out in public.
But what happens when you suffer from acne as an adult?
Answer: The same thing – only now it’s worse because now you have a job.
Fortunately, one thing you have when you’re an adult that you didn’t have as a teen is money. And with that money, you can buy yourself a nice little face wash to fix your acne-prone skin. But with so many options available, how do you find the best one without extensive trial and error?
Well thankfully, we’ve gone ahead and done the research for you. In this article, we outline some of the best face washes for adult acne that will have your face looking smooth and fresh like a baby’s very soon!
What is adult acne?
Adult acne is a form of severe to mild acne that can occur in adults of any age, although it is most common in those aged 25-40 years old. It is caused by a combination of factors including hormonal changes, stress, genetics, and skincare products.
Our picks for the best face wash for adult acne
Now that you know a little more about what causes this type of acne-prone skin in adults, it’s time to choose one of these acne face washes that will help you get rid of it! Here are our top 10 picks:
Best overall: Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Face Wash
Not all acne face washes are created equal. And one of them stands head and shoulders above the rest: this one from Botanic Tree.
It contains glycolic acid, which is an exfoliating agent that helps to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells. This face wash also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid, which helps to hydrate and plump the skin.
Not only that, but their lightweight formula is gentle enough to be used on all skin types, yet strong enough to clear up even the worst cases of adult acne.
Best for oily skin: Neutrogena Stubborn Texture Daily Acne Gel Facial Cleanser
If you have oily skin, then you know how difficult it can be to find the right cleanser that will keep your skin balanced throughout the day. Girls with dry skin will never understand.
But this one from Neutrogena is different. It’s specifically formulated for those with oily skin and stubborn texture.
The formula contains 2% salicylic acid, which helps to unclog pores and tackle breakouts. And since it’s a gel, it won’t add any extra oil to your skin.
Best for sensitive skin: Vichy Normaderm Daily Acne Face Wash
If you have sensitive skin, then you know how difficult it can be to find a face wash that won’t irritate your skin.
But this acne-specific cleanser from Vichy is different. It’s specifically formulated for those with sensitive skin and it’s gentle enough to use every day.
The formula contains zinc, which helps to regulate sebum production and reduce inflammation. And since it’s fragrance-free, it won’t irritate your skin.
Best with benzoyl peroxide: Nixa Skincare 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Wash
If your acne is REALLY bad, you might want to bring out the nuclear option: benzoyl peroxide. This acne-busting ingredient will make short work of even the worst cystic acne. And this one from Nixa Skincare is as good as they come.
The formula contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, which kills acne-causing bacteria on immediate contact. It works well for especially acne-prone skin, as benzoyl peroxide is recommended by pretty much every board certified dermatologist.
And since it’s non-comedogenic, it won’t clog your pores.
Best to remove dead skin cells: Humane Maximum-Strength Acne Wash
When it comes to removing dead skin cells, this one from Humane is as good as it gets. Here’s another formula that contains 10% glycolic acid, which is an incredibly effective exfoliating agent. Hair follicles clogged with excess sebum can lead to ingrown hairs, infections, and unsightly pimples.
Why no salicylic acid? This ingredient – along with benzoyl peroxide – can be too harsh for those with sensitive skin – sometimes.
But what sets this face wash apart is that it also contains green tea, which has antioxidant properties that help to protect your skin from damage.
Best gentle cleanser: NxN Acne Facial Cleanser
So here’s the thing: sometimes, the best face washes for acne are usually gentle ones. This one from NxN is specifically designed to be gentle on your skin.
The formula contains aloe vera, which is a natural ingredient that helps to soothe and calm your skin. It also contains 2 percent salicylic acid, which helps to unclog pores and prevent breakouts.
Best to clean clogged pores: Vie Naturelle 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Face Wash
Clogged pores got you down? This one from Vie Naturelle will help to clear them right up.
The formula contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, which is a powerful acne-fighting ingredient. It helps to unclog pores, kill acne-causing bacteria, and reduce inflammation.
And since their brand has a French name, you know it has to be good.
Best Korean face wash: Dr. Song Glycolic Acid Face Wash
Are you all about Korean skincare? Then you’re going to love this face wash from Dr. Song.
The formula contains 10% glycolic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid that helps to unclog pores. Another one of the active ingredients in this products is aloe vera – known for its ability to restore function to the skin barrier and soothe skin at the same time.
And with over 5,000 positive reviews on Amazon, you’d think it might be pretty good.
Best with tea tree oil: Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash
Tea tree oil is a natural ingredient that has antibacterial and antifungal properties. And if you’ve ever gotten a whiff of its strong scent, you know it’s not for the faint of heart.
This face wash from Desert Essence is no joke – it contains 7% tea tree oil, which nuke the acne right off your face (with no survivors). And since it’s non comedogenic, you can relax knowing it doesn’t clog pores.
Best to prevent future breakouts: Neutrogena Daily Oil-Free Acne Fighting Facial Cleanser
Neutrogena makes excellent acne-fighting products for oily skin. They’re affordable, they’re effective, and they’re easy to find.
This acne face wash is no exception. It’s specifically designed for those with oily skin, and it helps to prevent breakouts before they start.
The formula contains salicylic acid, which helps to unclog pores and prevent breakouts. And since it’s oil-free, it won’t clog your pores.
Best with soothing ingredients: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne and Redness Facial Cleanser
Is your face prone to redness? Then this acne face wash from Neutrogena is a good option for you.
The formula contains aloe vera and chamomile, which are two active ingredients that help to soothe and calm your skin. Chamomile in particular is used for everything from a sleep aid to a natural muscle relaxer. So just imagine what it will do to that annoying redness on your face!
Best spot treatment: Diva Stuff Charcoal, Honeysuckle & Vodka Spot Treatment
Vodka, you say? No, this spot treatment doesn’t come with a twist of lemon – it’s a great way to fight acne.
The vodka helps to kill bacteria, and the charcoal helps to absorb excess oil. The result is a spot treatment that will help to clear up your acne fast.
Best fragrance-free formula: Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser
We’re repping Neutrogena products so hard in this article, now we’re starting to think we should be getting paid for it.
Just kidding – we just really like their products.
This one is specifically designed for those with sensitive skin, and it’s completely fragrance-free. Plus, the formula is ultra-gentle, and it won’t irritate your skin.
Best budget: Ayadara Cystic, Hormonal, & Severe Acne Charcoal Face Wash
Money doesn’t grow on trees, but unfortunately, acne grows on your face. But if you’re on a budget and want to solve one of those problems, then you can’t go wrong with this acne face wash from Ayadara.
Their acne-fighting formula contains activated charcoal, which helps to absorb excess oil and unclog pores. Charcoal is one of the most powerful active ingredients in topical acne treatments because of its ability to detoxify the skin. Not only does it kill acne-causing bacteria, but it helps to relax inflamed skin.
And at just $12 a bottle, it’s a pretty affordable option.
Best splurge: Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Facial Cleanser
This daily deep cleanser from Body Merry is a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth it.
The formula contains glycolic acid, which gently exfoliates any existing acne, applies an anti-inflammatory effect, and removes any pore-clogging oil produced by overactive sebaceous glands.
It also contains aloe vera and chamomile, which are two ingredients that help to soothe and calm your skin.
Acne is no fun, but thankfully there are a lot of great products out there that can help to clear it up.
So if you’re looking for the best face wash for adult acne, then hopefully this article has helped you find it.
Do you have a favorite face wash for acne? Let us know in the comments!