Good Face Wash for Oily Skin

Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Oily skin is an annoying problem that is common in teenagers but can occur at any age. In addition to giving your face a shiny, greasy appearance, excess oil can also trap dirt and clog pores, resulting in acne. Various types of face wash can reduce oil production and improve acne in some people, although more serious cases may require medicated or prescription treatments. From basic cleansers to medicated washes, find out which products can help you stem excess oil and keep shine at bay.

Mild Cleansers

Wash your face with gentle, nondrying cleansers such as Dove, Neutrogena or Basics, and avoid washing the face more than twice a day. Using overly-drying cleansers can actually promote oil production, as stripping the skin of moisture causes sebaceous glands to work overtime. If you have sensitive skin, look for fragrance-free washes that contain calming and anti-inflammatory agents, such as green tea, aloe and chamomile.

Acne Washes

When your glands produce too much oil, pores can become blocked, resulting in acne. If acne is a problem, you may benefit from using a face wash that contains medication, such as benzoyl peroxide. Cleansers that contains a mild anti-acne ingredient like benzoyl peroxide are well-tolerated by most people. Products with stronger ingredients, such as salycilic acid or sulfur can be effective but may cause irritation.

Chemical and Physical Exfoliants

Exfoliate to prevent blocked pores. Face washes containing alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic and lactic acid help remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of new cells. These ingredients also help reduce inflammation. Some face washes also contain physical exfoliants such as exfoliating beads or granules. To avoid irritation, dermatologist Jeanine Downie, M.D., recommends using physical exfoliants containing round, soft micro-beads rather than products with rough, scratchy grains.

Other Solutions

Practice good skin-care habits to help reduce oily skin. Avoid touching your face and using oily cosmetics, including moisturizers, makeup and hair products that contain oil. Using blotting papers that soak up excess oil throughout the day may also help reduce oiliness. For stubborn acne, medications like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can also be purchased in the form of creams or serums that you apply after washing.

Prescription Treatments

If your oily skin or acne does not improve with the use of over-the-counter solutions and self-care, a doctor may prescribe you a prescription face wash, topical cream or medication to treat your condition. A common topical prescription acne treatment is retinoic acid, which comes in the form of a cream or gel. As the cause of excess oil production is often hormonal, birth control pills or a pill called spironolactone may also improve oily skin and acne.