How To Choose Face Wash For Oily Skin Type

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 Sebaceous glands Everyone has natural oils (sebum) on their skin. These oils are produced by “sebaceous glands“. However, when these glands produce excess sebum, it results in oily skin.

Most beauty and cosmetic companies advertise face wash for people with “oily skin type” or “all skin types”. Despite such claims and assurances, not any and every face wash will work for you.

We have curated a guide that will help you get started on choosing a face wash for oily skin types. You will learn about the ingredients you should look for and the components you should avoid. Finding a suitable face wash will help you achieve soft, gentle skin that does not feel overly greasy or dry and itchy.


Ingredients You Should Use

Ingredients You Should Use on your Skin

When choosing a face wash for oily skin types, it is essential to look for ingredients that take care of the following concerns –

  • Balance sebum production
  • Break the oils down without irritating the skin.

Let us go through some of them!

  • Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is a form of “Beta-Hydroxy Acid”, commonly known as BHA. This component penetrates through oily layers of the skin and cleans thoroughly via gentle exfoliation. As a result, the pores are steered clear of clogged oils and dead skin cells.

Furthermore, it minimises blackheads and acne.


  • Hyaluronic Acid: 

A sugar naturally created by the human body, Hyaluronic Acid ensures healthy and plump skin. Incorporating this component in your face wash will add a hydrating layer to the skin’s surface, resulting in smooth and firm skin without clogging any pores.


  • Benzoyl peroxide

Since oily skin is prone to acne, Benzoyl peroxide is a recommended component. It not just removes excess oil from clogged pores but also kills acne-causing bacteria.

Benzoyl peroxide works effectively on oily skin with pimples containing puss. Since it is more reactive than Salicylic Acid, start by finding a face wash with a 2.5% Benzoyl peroxide concentration.

In a situation where you see minimal to little change or improvement in six weeks, you can change to a face wash with up to 5% Benzoyl peroxide concentration.


  • Niacinamide

Niacinamide, commonly known as Vitamin B3, helps in balancing excess sebum production, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and providing a soothing effect on the skin.

Moreover, it helps maintain the skin’s outermost layer (the epidermis), retaining water levels and controlling dryness and itchiness. Any face wash with up to 5% Niacinamide concentration works effectively on sensitive skin.



  • Retinol:

Like Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide, Retinol controls excess sebum production and hydrates the skin adequately. Since Retinol-based products build more collagen, it tightens the pores, thus preventing excess facial oil production.

It is also used to treat acne, inflammation, and different forms of hyperpigmentation.


  • Tea Tree:

Tea Tree is a mild component that combats oily skin through antiseptic qualities. Tea Tree is also suitable for oily skin types that are sensitive and prone to acne! 

In fact, a study conducted by Oliveria et al. (2016) found that using tea-tree combined with sunscreen resulted in sebum control by 30%!


Ingredients You Should Avoid

Ingredients You Should Avoid

When choosing a face wash suitable for oily skin, it is essential to avoid components that 

  • Strip the skin of their natural oils
  • Cause dryness, irritation, and/or inflammation

Let us take a look at these ingredients.

  • Alcohol:

Alcohol-based skincare will provide the absolute opposite of what you want to achieve.

Alcohol-based components may provide an immediate matte, smooth finish. However, they enlarge pores which leads to clogging, thus making the skin feel greasy.

Moreover, alcohol-based face washes will aggravate acne, thereby causing more bumps and itchy skin.


  • Alpha-hydroxy Acid:

Commonly known as AHA, Alpha-hydroxy acids are suitable for dry skin and anti-ageing purposes.

While it cleanses and exfoliates the epidermis, it may cause your face to feel overly dry and irritated. Some dermatologists may even recommend using AHAs such as Glycolic Acid.

However, using high concentrated amounts of this acid in your face wash will cause more damage than protection.


  • Artificial Fragrances:

While you might be tempted to purchase a face wash that smells great, there are concerning reasons to put it back on the shelf immediately!

Artificial fragrances contain chemicals such as phthalates and aldehydes that usually cause horrible skin rashes and allergies. If you already have skin problems such as acne or eczema, using these products will only worsen the condition.


  • Sulphates:

The adverse effects of sulphate-based face washes are not immediately visible. They build gradually over time in small quantities, causing prolonged damage to the skin.

In general, sulphate-based face washes will irritate the skin and eyes. The adversities are worse if you have sensitive skin, as it will also clog your pores.


Type of face wash for “Oily Skin”

While the ingredients are a vital component in selecting a suitable face wash, it is essential to look at the type of face wash for oily skin types.

Several types of face washes are available in the market, such as gel-based, oil-based, cream-based, etc.

An ideal face wash for oily skin types is a gel-based face wash with foaming qualities. 

Gel-based face washes are lightweight and deep cleanse the epidermis. The foam helps in maintaining a matte-finish for a longer time without drying the skin excessively.


Also Asked:

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Oily skin can be challenging to maintain. However, choosing the right kind of face wash will make it easier.

Being educated about ingredients used in various face washes will heal your skin and prevent unforeseen damages. This is why it is necessary to go through the components of a face wash before purchasing them.

(Author’s Note: To know the concentration levels of ingredients, read the key-ingredients section at the back of the bottle. Components listed in the beginning contain the highest percentages.)

Did you find this article informative? Let us know what you think in the comment box below! Feel free to add to the list of ingredients that should be considered and avoided, as well.

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