12 Best Cleansers for Oily Skin UK

Isn’t it annoying when you cleanse your face in the morning, but the grease and shine make a comeback by the afternoon? If this sounds familiar, you might have oily skin. The dermal layer of the skin contains sebaceous glands that produce natural oils or sebum. In those with oily skin, these glands are usually overactive. While sebum is essential for protecting the skin and keeping it healthy, an excess can lead to various skin problems, including acne. So, adopting a good skincare routine is a must for those with oily skin. And having the perfect cleanser is an essential part of this routine.

The biggest challenge faced by cleansers is to give clear, oil-free skin without leaving the face dry like a desert. Here is a list of the best cleanser for oily skin UK that we think are up for the job. Take your pick!

Top Cleansers For Oily Skin UK

Best cleanser for oily skin Link
CeraVe foaming cleanserLink
Kiehl’s CalendulaLink
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish cleanserLink
Neutrogena oil-free acne wash Link
Mario Badescu cleanserLink
Paula’s Choice Link
Rosa Centifolia cleanserLink
Cetaphil oily skin cleanser Link
La RocheLink
Youth to the peopleLink

#1 – CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

face cleansers UK

We love how the pH-balanced formula of this gentle cleanser removes excess oil from the skin without drying it out.

The CeraVe foaming cleanser is also free of harsh ingredients like artificial fragrances that can act as irritants. What it does contain are hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and essential ceramides.

They maintain moisture levels and retain the skin’s protective barrier. The mild gel formulation is also non-comedogenic.

Which means it doesn’t clog the pores while cleansing dirt, dead skin cells, excess sebum and makeup from the face. 

#2 – Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foam Face Wash

cleansers in UK

What we like most about Kiehl’s Calendula face wash is how gentle it is on sensitive skin. Completely free of soaps or sulphates, it removes excess sebum without drying the skin.

The gloopy gel formula deeply-cleanses skin removing oil, dirt, makeup and impurities of all kinds. Ingredients like glycerine, however, keep the skin’s moisture levels intact.

The calendula extracts in the formulation also help soothe irritated skin, leaving it clear and refreshed.

This face wash is not only well-suited to acne-prone, oily skin but also great for normal skin type as well. 

#3 – Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

cleansers UK

Don’t you sometimes wish that you could have a facial every day? With the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish cleanser, this is entirely possible.

All you need to do is add one extra step to your cleansing routine. Before rinsing the foam off, wipe your face down with a soft cotton cloth dipped in hot water.

This cleanser gently removes dead cells, excess oil, dirt and the most stubborn makeup, without being harsh on your skin.

It contains ingredients like cocoa butter that retain the natural moisture levels of the skin and chamomile, eucalyptus and rosemary that soothe redness and shrink pores.

The Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish is not only a great choice for those with sensitive skin, but it is cruelty-free as well. 

#4 – Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

oil free cleansers UK

Acne is one consequence of having excessively oily skin. But the dermatologist-recommended Neutrogena oil-free acne wash tries to keep this problem at bay.

It is packed with ingredients like chamomile and aloe that soothe redness and irritation.

Salicylic acid that helps clear excess oil from the skin and reduces the occurrence of acne and blackheads is also a part of the formulation.

The non-comedogenic face wash also helps unclog pores, leaving the face looking smooth, clean and radiant. 

#5 – Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

top facial cleansers

The best part about this Mario Badescu cleanser is the glycolic acid-based formula that breaks down the sebum on the skin, clearing away the excess without causing dryness.

It also dissolves any impurities or makeup on the face, leaving it clear and smooth.

What’s more, the cleanser helps refine pores and reduce the appearance of fine lines, age spots, acne scars and more, giving the skin a youthful glow. The soothing ingredients which include chamomile, sage, marshmallow and yarrow extracts help maintain the pH balance.

With regular use, the Mario Badescu Glycolic foaming cleanser gives a radiant, rejuvenated look to the skin. 

#6 – Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

cleansers UK

As the name suggests, this cleanser by Paula’s Choice is all about balance. Its unique cream to foam formula cleanses excess oil from the skin while at the same time moisturizing the dry areas.

Not only does it remove any impurities, makeup or grease from the skin but also helps refine pores and reduce the appearance of blackheads.

What we like the most about this cleanser is that it does not contain any fragrances or parabens that can irritate the skin.

It does contain soothing aloe vera extracts though. And guess what? It’s also completely cruelty-free!

#7 – REN Rosa Centifolia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

best cleansers to get rid of oil

This gentle cleanser not only removes excess oil, dirt and makeup from the skin, but it also leaves your face refreshed thanks to its soothing rose formulation.

The Rosa Centifolia cleanser by REN is great for those with sensitive skin as it is dermatologically-approved and free of harmful components.

You will find it free of parabens, sulphates, artificial fragrances, silicones and synthetic colours.

What we love most about the cleanser is that it is also cruelty-free.

This product instantly refreshes dull, greasy skin, and the aloe extracts in it keep the face nourished while cleansing excess sebum.

#8 – Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser

cetaphil cleansers

The Cetaphil oily skin cleanser is clinically-proven to control excess sebum production in two weeks.

It’s mild yet powerful and leaves the skin cleansed from dirt and other impurities without drying it out.

The cleanser is non-comedogenic and prevents clogging of pores. It’s also a boon for sensitive skin as it is pH balanced and doesn’t leave any harsh residue on the face that can lead to irritation.

Dermatologist-approved, the Cetaphil oily skin cleanser is perfect for acne-prone, teenage skin.

#9 – La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin

oil free cleansers

Sensitive skin? The Effaclar foaming gel cleanser by La Roche is your best bet. It’s dermatologically-approved for acne-prone skin, tested for allergies, and non-comedogenic.

What’s more, it is free of harsh components like parabens, alcohol or sulphates.

The best thing about this cleanser is how it effectively clears the skin of excess oil while nourishing it and maintaining the pH levels.

All this courtesy of its special ingredient – zinc pidolate! The foaming gel texture of the cleanser leaves the skin clean, fresh and radiant in seconds. 

#10 – Youth To The People Kale Superfood Cleanser 

best cleanser UK

If you want to go completely natural, the superfood cleanser by Youth To The People is the one for you. Not only is it free of ingredients like sulphates, mineral oil, silicones, phthalates and more, but it is also 100 percent cruelty-free.

Even the bottle it comes in is recyclable! Just as the so-called superfoods, kale, alfalfa, spinach and green tea nourish your body, this cleanser gives your skin a boost of vitamins too.

The antioxidant-rich formulation removes excess oil without drying out the skin or disturbing its pH balance.

Containing organic cold-pressed ingredients, the superfood cleanser removes all forms of impurities, including makeup, from the face and leaves it clear and glowing.

#11 – Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

best cleanser for face

The best thing about this cleansing cream by Burt’s Bees is that it is completely devoid of sulphates, phthalates, parabens or any other harsh ingredients.

Instead, it relies on soap bark extracts as a foaming agent. This natural component removes dirt and excess oil gently from the skin and without drying it out.

The aloe extracts make sure skin retains its moisture while the chamomile soothes any irritation. There’s also the dash of menthol that keeps you feeling refreshed for a long time. 

#12 – Morpheme Remedies Neem, Tea Tree & Basil Face Wash

natural cleanseer for face

This dermatologist-recommended cleanser is packed with nourishing natural ingredients.

It contains antibacterial neem, anti-inflammatory tea tree oil and other natural botanicals that help maintain the skin’s pH levels.

There’s also the moisturising shea butter that prevents skin from drying out and menthol that keeps it refreshed.

This Morpheme Remedies face wash is a great pick for sensitive, acne-prone skin as it not just cleanses excess oil but also maintains its protective barrier, leaving the face smooth and supple. 

Oily skin can lead to a lot of different skin woes. And it can be a constant challenge trying to control the shiny, greasy look on the face too. So we have set out to answer a few of your queries related to oily skincare routines. Check out some of the frequently asked questions below:

How many times should I cleanse my face to get rid of oily skin?

Most people think cleansing your face frequently is a sure way to get rid of oily skin. But doing so only strips the skin of its natural protective oils, causing the sebum-producing glands to go into overdrive. And this makes skin oilier than before. It’s best to limit face cleansing to twice a day (morning and night). However, you should cleanse your skin post-workout as well. So three time’s the charm!

What cleanser do dermatologists recommend for oily skin?

If you have excessively oily skin, dermatologists recommend using face cleansers with the following ingredients:

  • Salicylic Acid: This ingredient removes excess sebum and dead skin cells from the face, leaving it clear.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide – It acts as an exfoliating agent and unclogs pores, reducing acne.
  • Glycolic Acid – It cleanses pores, exfoliates dead skin cells and dissolves excess oil, reducing breakouts.
  • Niacinamide – A type of Vitamin B3, it reduces oiliness and acne and soothes irritation too.

How can I stop my face from being oily?

Oily skin can get hard to manage as it not only causes the face to look greasy but also results in blackheads, whiteheads, acne and other skin problems. It can be controlled by using a gentle cleanser that reduces excess sebum production without stripping skin of its natural oils. Also, choosing gel or water-based skincare products and makeup is one of the ways to manage oily skin. Dermatologists recommend using toners after cleansing to shrink the pores and prevent breakouts. Washing the face with lukewarm water and patting it dry instead of using a loofah, also helps. If you want to control shine, especially at the T-zone, blotting papers or pads can absorb the excess sebum and are a good idea.

What products make oily skin worse?

When it comes to cleansers, those containing alcohol should be avoided. Alcohol strips the skin of its natural oils, leading to an increased sebum production that leaves the face looking oilier than before. On the flip side, ultra-gentle cleansers are also not a good choice as they don’t remove the excess oil. A cleanser that balances the skin’s natural oil is your best bet. When it comes to other skincare products like moisturisers, those with heavy ingredients and creamy bases make oily skin worse. Try using lotions or gel-based formulations instead. While picking out a sunscreen, avoid the oil-based ones and go for the water-based products.

What to remember while choosing a cleanser for oily skin?

Before picking out a face wash or cleanser for oily skin, you need to check for the following things.

  • The face wash or cleanser should be lightweight and preferably have a gel base.
  • It should not have any artificial fragrances as these can irritate oily skin.
  • As oily skin is more prone to acne, the cleanser must be non-comedogenic. That is, it must not clog the pores.
  • The cleanser must be gentle on the skin and free of harsh ingredients such as sulphates.
  • It must contain sebum-controlling ingredients such as clay or salicylic acid.

Using the right cleanser can do wonders for oily skin. Just imagine having a clear, shine-free complexion throughout the day! No more excusing yourself to the bathroom to powder your nose. Or to dab blotting paper on your T-zone. So take your pick from our list of the best cleanser for oily skin UK and keep your skin clean, refreshed and glowing every day. 

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CeraVe facial cleanser removes dirt from within the skin and gives you flawless and spotless skin.

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