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Anyone at any age can experience acne, it has no age but teenagers face pimples more due to their hormonal changes. But, you can easily control your oily, acne-prone skin with products or homemade treatments. Below, I will show you some good quality salicylic acid face washes and cleansers that will treat your acne buildups and prevent future breakouts also.

Salicylic acid is also known as monohydroxybenzoic acid. Cleanser with salicylic acid regulates excess sebum that causes shiny skin, acne, or pimples. Salicylic acid face washes are also effective for acne scars, blackheads, whiteheads, and clogged pores.

According to WebMD, “Salicylic acid belongs to a class of drugs known as salicylates. When applied to the skin, salicylic acid may work by helping the skin to shed dead cells from the top layer and by decreasing redness and swelling (inflammation). This decreases the number of pimples that form and speeds healing.”

Salicylic acid face wash unclogs pores and draws out dirt, oils, pollutants, grimes, and impurities. It helps treat acne and creates a defense against the further appearance of blemishes. Salicylic acid exfoliates the surface, scrubs away dull skin cells, and smooths out wrinkles & rough tones also.

In choosing a salicylic acid cleanser, avoid the high concentrated salicylic acid products because they may dry or irritate the skin. Read the product label and match it to your skin. If you have severe acne, then you may need a high concentration like 6% salicylic acid. (BUT BETTER IF YOU TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE)

Anyway, in this review article, I have made a list of the 10 best OTC salicylic acid face washes and cleansers that every woman and man can use to treat their acne, oily skin, pores, and combination skin.

1. Bioré Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser

Japanese brand

Bioré Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser

| buy from amazon.com

It is an oil-free deep pore cleansing face wash with 1% salicylic acid and natural charcoal to purify the skin along with preventing breakouts. The Biore Skin Purifying technology clears up pores, treats acne, and prevents newer acne formation.

You will love: This cleanser is dermatologist-tested, cruelty-free, vegan, non-comedogenic, daily usable, and effective for oily and combination skin.

The blend of charcoal and salicylic acid draws out dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells, and excess oils giving you acne-free clearer skin in just 2 days.

2. QRxLabs Glycolic Acid Gel Cleanser

Best overall

QRxLabs Glycolic Acid Gel Cleanser

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It is an exfoliating and brightening face wash, helps minimize acne scars, dark spots, dull cells, rough texture, hyperpigmentation, and age spots.

You will love: This cleanser is infused with sweet almond oil, coconut milk, and honey to heal, soothe, and hydrate the skin. It flushes out all excess oils, dirt, and makeup residues.

People of any age with every skin type can use this salicylic acid cleanser to control blackheads, sebum production, and pimples. Use it also as a peel prep cleanser. If you use this cleanser regularly, it will also smooth out tones, wrinkles, and sunspots.

3. L’Oreal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic Extreme Cleanser

Best drugstore

L'Oreal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic Extreme Cleanser

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This salicylic acid face wash is exactly for guys who are suffering from acne, clogged pores, and greasy skin. Its natural charcoal unclogs pores to capture dirt, oils, grimes, poisons, toxins, makeup, and impurities leaving the skin healthy, clean and refreshed.

Its premium salicylic acid reduces excess oils, diminishes larger pores, and prevents the formation of further acne.

You will love: This blemish clearing cleanser also treats dry patches, earlier aging signs, and reduces post-shaving itchy skin alongside brightening, firming, and exfoliating the texture.

4. LuxeJoie AHA BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

Best for aging skin

LuxeJoie AHA BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

| buy from amazon.com

A perfect cleanser for normal, oily, or combination skin. It is much effective for those who continuously struggle with zits. This salicylic acid face wash also contains jojoba beads that safely exfoliate the outer layer of the skin.

You will love: It is made with other anti-aging ingredients that fight wrinkles and give you smooth clean younger skin. Besides salicylic acid, the cleanser is also rich in hydroxyl acid, and glycolic acid to promote brighter, smoother, and more renewal skin.

After every wash, it opens up congested pores and flushes out oils, dirt, makeup, and dull cells deeper down to the pores and kills acne-causing bacteria. Thus, no more newer acne you will find. With regular use, you can also retexture your skin.

5. Vichy Normaderm Daily Deep Cleansing Gel

Best for sensitive skin

Vichy Normaderm Daily Deep Cleansing Gel

| buy from amazon.com

It is an oil-free and gel-based face wash for them who have extremely oily skin, acne, or pimples. It unclogs pores and deeply purifies the skin leaving you a hydrated, smooth, mattified look.

You will love: The Vichy didn’t use any harsh ingredients, all are non-irritating and non-drying to the most sensitive skin. The formula is completely mild and safe with a right concentration of glycolic acid, LHA, and salicylic acid.

These ingredients gently cleanses the skin deeper down to the pores to take out all germs and gunk that can cause blemishes. The brand says you will get healthier skin with fewer imperfections in 4 weeks.

You will be also amazed that this face wash is dermatologist tested, soap-free, alcohol-free, paraben-free, and allergy-tested.

6. Babyface 6% Salicylic Face Wash

My favorite one

Babyface 6% Salicylic Face Wash

| buy from amazon.com

This is just not an acne fighter but also defends your premature aging. It works nicely to manage excess oils or combo features with the t-zone area.

You will love: The face wash contains activated charcoal, 6% salicylic acid, white tea, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. The right concentration of the salicylic acid helps kill acne-causing bacteria, open up clogged pores, remove blackheads, and calm inflammation. And BABYFACE did so!

Its activated charcoal absorbs dirt deeper to detoxify the skin while salicylic acid also fades dull skin, redness, and blemishes. Some vitamins are also blended in this cleanser to make it perfect so that you can protect the skin from drying out and harmful radiations also.

7. Replenix Acne Solutions Gly/Sal 10-2 Cleanser

Best soothing

Replenix Acne Solutions Gly/Sal 10-2 Cleanser

| buy from amazon.com

This face wash is rich in premium quality acids of glycolic and salicylic that are equally suitable for sensitive, oily, and acne-prone skin.

Sal/gly acids lose clogged pores for deep down cleansing, exfoliating dead skin cells, and removing excess oils to keep you free from breakouts, pimples, dry patches, and larger pores.

You will love: Replenix face wash also used tea tree oil to calm itchy, dry skin and abates you from free radicals, promotes brighter skin, reduces age spots, and prevents premature aging.

8. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

Best for combination skin

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

| buy from amazon.com

This cleanser is exactly for those who want to control shiny skin and acne. No added artificial oils that can lead your skin more sebum production.

AND MAYBE THE BEST ONE OF THE MARKET. Salicylic acid in it cleanses deeper down pores and takes out all acne-causing grimes to prevent future breakouts.

You will love: Neutrogena’s Microclear Technology clears away blackheads, whiteheads, larger pores, ingrown hairs, and acne scars. This is a residue-free, non-comedogenic, and oil-free cleanser that balances the oily skin and takes care of T-zone area also.

9. CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

Best budget pick

CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

| buy from amazon.com

This is my elder sister’s favorite drugstore cleanser for her bumpy skin. It also works effectively for oily, normal-combo, rough, or acne-prone skin.

This is basically a skin exfoliating and renewing face wash containing vitamin D and salicylic acid as the main ingredients to cleanse makeup residues, dirt, and oils from deeper pores. Salicylic acid exfoliates dull skin cells giving you smooth glowing skin.

You will love: Anti-oxidant vitamin D helps reduce wrinkles, fine lines, saggy skin, and age spots while smoothing out rough textures. CeraVe salicylic acid cleanser is developed with a dermatologist. Fragrance-free, non-irritating, and non-comedogenic.

10. CLn Skin Clarifying Acne Cleanser

Most reviewed one

CLn Skin Clarifying Acne Cleanser

| buy from amazon.com

It is formulated with salicylic acid and other acne-treating ingredients that can heal and prevent the signs of oily and combination skin. The cleanser is non-irritating, fragrance-free, and non-drying, so safe for sensitive skin.

You will love: Besides salicylic acid, CLn blended sodium hypochlorite in it to gently exfoliate the surface layer, cleanse pores deeper down, and prevent the formation of zits, blackheads, whiteheads, acne scars, and dark spots.

This face wash gets rid of excess sebum while also calms itchiness, redness, and swelling. No cruelty or bleaching properties are added.

These tips will also help treat your acne, oily skin, and pores


  • Dirty skin easily causes pimples or zits. Cleanse your face as soon as you come back from works. Before sleeping, use a face wash to keep the skin clean overnight. It will defend all breakouts.
  • Avoid popping out zits though it is tempting. Popping leads acne to more severity. Don’t touch your face also frequently.
  • Change your food or diet plan. Include more proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients. Avoid junk foods, fast foods, oily foods, fried foods, and other fatty foods.
  • Lack of sleeping also causes acne, earlier aging, dark circles, and saggy skin. Take proper sleep from 7 hours to 8 hours a day.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with stress. It helps expose blemishes, pimples, and scars. Consult with a psychologist if you can’t give up pressure.
  • Remove all makeups from your face and eye areas before going to bed. Use a lightweight oil-free cleanser to get rid of makeup. Also, use an oil-free moisturizer.
  • Wash your bedsheet and pillowcase once a week. Clean and hygienic stuff will help prevent acne formation.


Finally, to get acne-free healthy skin; keep your face always clean. Don’t use heavy, creamy, or oil-based moisturizers if you have acne or oily skin (not all oils are bad for acne like jojoba oils).

Lightweight products are always better for shiny skin. You can use jojoba or tea tree oil as they can balance the moisture of the skin.

Taking exercise regularly also remits out toxins and forms clearer-looking skin. Actually, your lifestyle will define your skin’s texture and tone.

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