11 Top Face Washes for Hormonal Acne To Keep Breakouts at Bay

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Struggling with hormonal acne can be frustrating and downright exhausting.

You’ve tried every product under the sun, but nothing seems to work.

Unfortunately, it’s a common issue many of us face, and finding the right solution can be challenging.

But with so many products on the market, how do you know which product to choose? 

A tube of white face wash covered with bubbles on a pink background.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! We’ve done the research and compiled the top face washes for hormonal acne.

So read on to better understand what makes a face wash suitable for managing hormonal acne and how to choose the right one for your skin type.

Let’s dive into our top picks that you can use to achieve healthy and blemish-free skin!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser
Editor's Choice
  • Removes excess oil
  • Clinically proven to reduce breakouts
  • Smooths skin texture
Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser
Premium Pick
  • Clears existing blemishes
  • Encapsulated formula continues treating skin even after washing
  • Improves overall skin appearance
PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash
Budget Pick
  • Contains a high concentration of benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria
  • Moisturizes skin to combat dryness
  • Prevents breakouts

Understanding Hormonal Acne

Now let’s talk about hormonal acne and why it can be a pain to deal with.

What Does Hormonal Acne Look Like?

Hormonal acne looks like inflammatory lesions, which include the following:

  • Papules —  Small, raised spots on the skin
  • Pustules — Small, filled, blister-like sores
  • Cysts — Swollen acne with pus-filled pimples deep under the skin

These usually develop around the chin, jawline, and lower cheeks.

Furthermore, hormonal acne is characterized by deep, painful, and inflamed breakouts with blackheads and whiteheads.

  • Whiteheads: Closed, clogged pores that appear as small, white bumps on the skin
  • Blackheads: Open, clogged pores that have oxidized, giving them a dark appearance on the skin 

Take note that hormonal acne can also be painful. It can last for weeks or months.

What Causes Hormonal Acne?

Hormonal acne occurs when your hormone levels fluctuate. These hormonal changes can cause your skin to produce more oil than usual.

These oils can then interact with bacteria and hair follicles in your skin’s pores, resulting in the formation of acne.

Hormonal changes can also make it harder for dead cells to shed, causing blocked pores and acne.

Women are particularly prone to hormonal acne because of the hormonal changes that occur during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause. 

Why? Because during these life events, the levels of androgen — the hormone responsible for regulating sebum — in a woman’s body increase.

More androgens produce more oil, leading to clogged pores and inflammation, which causes acne.

That said, hormonal acne can also affect men and people of all ages.

But remember, not all acne is hormone-related. Other factors like diet, stress, and skincare routines can also play a role in causing different types of acne.

Factors To Consider When Buying a Face Wash for Hormonal Acne

When you’re looking for a face wash to help with hormonal acne, here are a few things to consider.

Active Ingredients

Active ingredients are super important! You’ll want to look for active ingredients that can help with hormonal acne, like benzoyl peroxide and gentle exfoliants.

  • Benzoyl peroxide has antibacterial properties that can help eliminate acne-causing bacteria.
  • Gentle exfoliants contain ingredients like AHAs, such as glycolic and lactic acid, and BHAs, like salicylic acid, which can help remove dead skin cells and unclog your pores without irritating your skin.
  • Retinol can help increase cell turnover, regulate sebum production, and unclog pores that contribute to the formation of hormonal acne.

Paying attention to what’s not in the face wash you choose is also important. Look for products that don’t have fragrances, synthetic dyes, or harsh soaps. These can possibly irritate your skin and make hormonal acne worse.

Hydrating Ingredients

While combating acne, it’s essential not to dry out your skin excessively, which can lead to more oil production, resulting in more breakouts. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin can keep your skin hydrated while you tackle acne.

Non-Comedogenic Formula

Non-comedogenic means the product is specifically designed not to clog pores, which is essential for those with acne. Clogged pores can lead to more breakouts, which is the last thing you want!

Skin Type

Also, consider your skin type and level of sensitivity when choosing the top face wash to treat your hormonal acne.

This will help you determine whether you need a foam or cream face wash. For instance, gel and foam-based washes are good for oily skin, while cream cleansers are better for dry or sensitive skin.

11 Top Face Washes for Hormonal Acne

1
Eau Thermale Avène Antirougeurs Clean Soothing Cleansing Lotion

This no-rinse formula helps remove makeup, dirt, and oil while providing immediate comfort to your skin.

Key benefits: Removes makeup, dirt, and oil; provides immediate comfort to red and sensitive skin; refreshes and soothes your skin

Features:

  • No-rinse formula for easy use
  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Suitable for all skin types

If you're looking for a refreshing face wash to reduce skin redness, look no further than the Avène Antirougeurs Clean Soothing Cleansing Lotion.

 

The Avène Antirougeurs Clean Soothing Cleansing Lotion is a facial acne wash that reduces redness and refreshes your skin after use. 

This face wash gently cleanses the skin and removes makeup, dirt, and oil. It also relieves irritation and promotes skin tightness. It’s ideal for sensitive skin types.

Plus, this refreshing, no-rinse formula is perfect for anyone looking to soothe their skin.

The secret ingredient? Micro-gels! These release large doses of thermal spring water, an ingredient that calms the skin and gives you a refreshing feeling after use.

2
Versed Keep the Peace Acne Calming Cleanser

This non-drying formula is perfect for unclogging pores and reducing oil, thanks to the gentle exfoliating properties of its apple fruit extracts.

Key Benefits: Helps prevent future breakouts; exfoliates and unclogs pores; cools and soothes irritated, inflamed skin

Features:

  • Non-drying formula
  • Foaming cleanser with 1.5% salicylic acid
  • Cruelty-free and vegan formula

Want a gentle yet effective acne wash for your face that treats and prevents breakouts? Try the Versed Keep the Peace Acne Calming Cleanser!

 

The Versed Keep the Peace Acne Calming Cleanser ranks among the top face washes for acne-prone skin. It contains 1.5% salicylic acid, which keeps your pores clean.

It contains apple fruit extract, which gently exfoliates the skin, leaving it soft after washing. It also includes the antioxidant blue tansy, which helps to calm and soothe irritated, inflamed skin.

We also love that Versed is vegan and cruelty-free. It does not use parabens, silicones, sulfates, or artificial fragrances.

Instead, products from Versed are designed with clean, scientifically-proven ingredients, so you can trust that you’re getting the best possible results.

So if you’re on the hunt for a gentle yet powerful daily cleanser to help clear up your acne, their foaming cream cleanser with salicylic acid is worth a try.

3
Paula's Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser

This cleanser removes excess oil, pore-clogging debris, and makeup without drying your skin or causing redness.

Key benefits: Dissolves pore-clogging impurities; prevents further breakouts, blackheads, and uneven skin tone; leaves skin feeling clean

Features:

  • Gel texture refreshes and calms skin
  • Suitable for all skin types and ages
  • Cruelty-free; no fragrance and parabens

Searching for the best face wash for hormonal or cystic acne? Try the Paula's Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser!

 

Paula’s Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser is completely non-irritating. As a result, it won’t cause dryness or flaking. It’s even gentle enough to be used daily on sensitive skin.

It contains salicylic acid, which dissolves pore-clogging impurities to help prevent acne breakouts, uneven skin tone, and dullness.

Plus, the gel texture refreshes and calms your skin, leaving it feeling clean and comfortable.

We also love how Paula’s Choice features science-backed and effective formulas without fragrance and parabens. This face wash is great for hormonal acne, but it’s also considered the top face wash for cystic acne!

4
CeraVe Renewing Salicylic Acid Cleanser

This cleanser exfoliates and smooths your skin while effectively removing oil and dirt. It sweeps away dead cells and softens rough skin without leaving it feeling dry.

Key benefits: Exfoliates and smooths skin; removes oil, dirt, and dead skin cells; softens skin and improves skin texture

Features:

  • Contains ceramides
  • Transforms from a clear gel to a foaming face wash
  • Suitable for acne-prone skin and all other skin types

Need a gentle face cleanser for pimples that protects your skin's natural oils? Go for the CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser!

 

The CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser is among the top face washes for acne-prone skin. Why? With no abrasive microbeads that might hurt your skin, this exfoliator is perfect for gently scrubbing off dead skin cells.

A woman's hand holding a bottle of cerave renewing salicylic acid cleanser

It also has salicylic acid that keeps your skin acne-free and radiant.

Also, with its three essential ceramides and ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, this face wash helps soften and smooth the skin.

Best of all, CeraVe Skincare is a dermatologist-recommended skincare brand that’s suitable for sensitive skin.

5
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

This oil-free formula gently cleanses deep into the pore and fights and prevents acne breakouts.

Key benefits: Gently cleanses skin and prevents future breakouts; helps clear up acne, pimples, and blackheads; cleanses without over-drying or irritating your skin

Features:

  • Clinically proven technology helps boost the delivery of acne treatment
  • Formulated with 2% salicylic acid acne medication
  • Residue- and the oil-free formula won't clog pores

If you're looking for a powerful acne treatment product and a gentle cleanser in one, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Wash is the perfect solution!

 

Frequently touted as one of the top face washes for hormonal acne and oily skin, the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Wash deeply removes dirt and oil without leaving skin dry or irritated.

Also, this face wash is formulated with oil-free and non-comedogenic ingredients that won’t clog your pores.

With clinically proven MicroClear technology, it helps decrease oil production and accelerates acne therapy, which boosts the delivery of salicylic acid to clear the skin.

Best of all, it gently but deeply cleanses the pores to prevent future breakouts.

6
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser

Formulated with 2% salicylic acid and lipo-hydroxy acid, this face wash removes impurities without harsh scrub particles that can cause skin irritation.

Key benefits: Removes excess oil and impurities; helps clear acne breakouts; smooths skin texture and improves blemishes

Features:

  • Contains 2% salicylic acid and lipo-hydroxy acid
  • Clinically tested and reduces excess surface oil by up to 47%
  • Contains glycerin, a moisturizing and restoring ingredient

If you're struggling with acne-prone skin and want smooth and blemish-free skin, you'll love La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash!

 

This face wash for acne-prone skin is dermatologist-tested and is recommended for targeting clogged pores, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, oily skin, and uneven skin texture.

Clinical tests on La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash show that this product can reduce excess surface oil by as much as 47%. How? By targeting excess oil to help clear breakouts!

Its unique formula contains 2% salicylic acid and lipo-hydroxy acid that will help renew your skin and treat acne to achieve a smooth skin texture.

Also, it’s formulated with glycerin, a moisturizing ingredient that helps offset the drying effects many acne treatments can have on the skin.

Plus, it’s oil- and paraben-free, so it’s a gentle option for sensitive skin.

7
PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash

Dermatologists recommend this fast-acting foaming wash that kills acne-causing bacteria on contact and lifts dirt from pores for fresher, clearer skin.

Key benefits: Kills over 99% of acne-causing bacteria; clears existing acne and helps prevent breakouts; moisturizes skin

Features:

  • Formulated to treat severe breakouts
  • Can be used on both the face and body
  • Contains moisturizers to help combat dryness

If you're looking for a powerful acne face wash that can handle even the worst breakouts, opt for the PanOxyl 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Maximum Strength Acne Foaming Wash!

 

PanOxyl 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Maximum Strength Acne Foaming Wash is a multiuse cleanser perfect for daily acne maintenance.

It’s one of the top cleansing wash for acne that offers a clinically proven, dermatologist-recommended line of products designed to treat and prevent breakouts. It also helps clear acne so you can reveal your best-looking skin.

This maximum strength formula contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, making it the highest over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide wash available.

It also contains moisturizers to combat dryness, so it’s also great for sensitive skin.

8
Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser

This ultimate acne gel cleanser helps dissolve excess oil, clear blemishes, and purify pores. What's more, it prevents future breakouts.

Key benefits: Clears away excess oil and dirt from pores; treats blemishes; soothes and calms irritation for healthier-looking skin

Features:

  • Formulated with two types of salicylic acid
  • Contains green tea extract
  • Mint scent

Murad's Clarifying Cleanser is the best face wash for pimples and marks. Its unique formula balances the skin and clears acne and blemishes.

 

This clarifying cleanser’s formula features two types of salicylic acid. One type — the free-form type — starts treating your skin immediately while you’re washing your face.

The other — the encapsulated-form type — continues to treat your skin even after you rinse it.

It’s the ideal acne gel cleanser for oily, combination, or sensitive skin. It effectively dissolves excess oil, deeply cleanses the skin, and improves overall appearance, leaving your pores clean of impurities.

Its formula treats your skin problems immediately and over time. Plus, the green tea extract helps soothe and calm irritation for healthier-looking skin.

9
Differin Daily Deep Cleanser

This face wash is perfect for those seeking a deep, powerful cleanse that won't strip your skin's natural moisture.

Key benefits: Combats acne and blemishes; penetrates deep into pores to absorb excess oil; releases a gentle moisturizer that won't clog pores

Features:

  • As effective as 10% benzoyl peroxide but with less irritation and dryness
  • Dual-action formula
  • Great for daily use

If you're looking for a deep, powerful cleanser as effective as 10% benzoyl peroxide, try the Differin Daily Deep Cleanser!

 

Differin Daily Deep Cleanser is designed to gently cleanse the skin without over-drying it.

This cleanser is non-comedogenic. It contains a dual-action formula that removes excess oil from the skin and hydrates it without causing pore blockage. 

Formulated by dermatologists, its 5% benzoyl peroxide ingredient is as effective as 10% benzoyl peroxide, which combats acne-causing bacteria but with less irritation.

This deep cleanser is also perfect for those with sensitive skin! It will make your skin clean and fresh without leaving it feeling tight and dry.

10
Hero Cosmetics Clear Collective Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser

This pore cleanser is packed with gentle exfoliants to handle acne-prone skin issues for less oily and textured skin.

Key benefits: Clears away clogged-up grime, dirt, and oil; unclogs pores, visibly brightens skin, and evens out texture; leaves skin feeling velvety soft

Features:

  • Packed with gentle exfoliants to improve skin texture
  • Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and artificial colors
  • Luxurious jelly-to-foam texture

If you're looking for a daily face cleanser that gently exfoliates your skin, you'll love Hero Cosmetics' Exfoliating Daily Face Cleanser.

 

Hero Cosmetics’ Exfoliating Daily Face Cleanser feels amazing on the skin with its luxurious jelly-to-foam texture. It leaves your pores feeling clean and makes your skin velvety soft even before you use a moisturizer.

This cleanser is packed with gentle exfoliants like Konjac jellies that dissolve as you cleanse, activating a rich lather.

It’s also free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and artificial colors, so it’s safe for all skin types.

Plus, this superfruit cleanser helps clear away clogged-up grime, dirt, and oil. It’ll help you achieve a bright and even skin tone with its tropical superfruits, exfoliants, and antioxidants.

11
Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser

This cleanser is powered by lactic and glycolic acids, which deeply cleanse to unclog and purify pores.

Key benefits: Reduces excess oil and cleanses pores; does not strip the skin’s natural oils; loosens and lifts dead skin cells that can cause pore-clogging buildup

Features:

  • Powered by lactic and glycolic acids
  • Non-stripping formula
  • Calms and soothes the skin

Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser is the best natural face wash for hormonal acne that reduces excess oil and unclogs the pores for clearer skin!

 

The Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser features Green Fusion Complex. It’s made of a proprietary blend of botanicals like green tea, eucalyptus, algae (kelp), Irish moss extracts, and neem seed oil.

These ingredients help unclog and purify pores without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. Plus, it has glycolic and lactic acids to loosen and lift dead skin cells to prevent pore clogging and buildup.

The Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser also features a unique cooling sensation and invigorating fresh eucalyptus scent to soothe sensitive or irritated skin.

This cleanser will leave your skin feeling incredibly refreshed, balanced, and healthy-looking. Plus, a small amount of the product goes a long way!

Tips for Using a Face Wash for Hormonal Acne

Here’s how to use your face wash for hormonal acne correctly to achieve the best results:

  • Don’t over-wash your face, as this can make acne worse. Cleanse in the morning and before bed, but adjust as needed.
  • Follow the directions on the packaging carefully. For instance, don’t use more than the recommended amount of product. 
  • Treat your skin with care and remember to be gentle when washing your face. Try massaging the cleanser into your skin with your fingertips instead of scrubbing it to avoid aggravating acne.

How To Manage Hormones

It’s essential to manage your hormones effectively to keep your acne under control. Here’s what you can do to maintain a healthy hormone balance:

  • Pick a facial cleanser formulated for oily or acne-prone skin with ingredients like salicylic acid that may help unclog pores and prevent breakouts from occurring.
  • Prioritize a healthy lifestyle by managing stress, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a balanced diet to help regulate hormonal fluctuations and reduce acne breakouts.

FAQs About the Top Face Wash for Hormonal Acne

How Often Should You Use a Wash for Facial Acne?

If you’re dealing with hormonal acne, use a face wash for your acne regularly. It’s generally recommended that you wash your face twice a day to gently remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup residue from your skin. 

This is a must if you have combination or oily, acne-prone skin! Consistency is key when managing hormonal acne, so keep up your regular cleansing routine.

Now if you have sensitive or dry skin, once a day may be enough.

Be sure to follow the specific guidelines provided by the product, and if you have concerns, consult a dermatologist for personalized advice.

What Are the Ingredients To Avoid for Acne-Prone Skin?

When selecting a face wash for acne-prone skin, it’s crucial to determine which ingredients to avoid. Some ingredients to avoid include the following:

  • Alcohol can cause irritation and dryness, increasing oil production and breakouts.
  • Synthetic fragrances can irritate sensitive skin and contribute to acne flare-ups.
  • Harsh exfoliants like abrasive scrubs or using cleansers with strong exfoliants daily can irritate the skin and exacerbate acne.

Improve Your Skin Condition With the Top Face Wash for Hormonal Acne!

Dealing with hormonal acne can be challenging, but finding the top face wash for hormonal acne can make a huge difference in your skincare routine.

We recommend considering your skin type, preferences, and budget before deciding.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try experimenting with a few different products? You might find your new favorite face wash that way!

Of course, everyone has different skin, so results may vary from person to person. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult a dermatologist for personalized advice.

Once you’ve found the perfect face wash for your hormonal acne, incorporate it into a consistent skincare regimen and give it time to work its magic.

With patience, you’ll eventually start to notice improvements in your skin’s appearance and feel more confident in your skin.

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Author

  • Shai Urbano

    Shai is a licensed pharmacist with a Bachelor of Arts in Pharmacy. She uniquely intertwines her medical expertise with a fervent passion for beauty. With an intrinsic understanding of ingredients and formulation, she's the proud creator of her own line of products designed exclusively for naturally curly hair. Over her four-year writing career, Shai consistently delivers content enriched by her distinct blend of knowledge and enthusiasm.

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