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Home>Blog>The Best Facial Cleansers for Teenage Acne

The Best Facial Cleansers for Teenage Acne

MIRA BEAUTY • updated Dec 15, 2020
The Best Facial Cleansers for Teenage Acne

Wash away blemishes with the best face wash for teens

The teenage years can be a lot of fun - you’re getting to know yourself and your unique style while taking small steps towards adulthood, without all the bad parts like taxes and 9-5’s. But being in this stage also comes with its own set of struggles, like teenage acne. The hormonal changes that happen to teenage skin often result in excess oil, which mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria to cause inflammation.

This can mean anything from a few pimples on the chin to chronic, painful breakouts that decrease your confidence and quality of life. But even if you’re dealing with random zits that seem to pop up at the worst times, it’s not as hopeless as you may believe. You can always soothe your skin and say goodbye to breakouts with facial cleansers for teenage acne!

While these products have less 1:1 time with your face than say, a lightweight moisturizer or serum, they’re equally important when trying to banish pimples. The right face wash for teens will help to balance the pH of the skin, which keeps away wrinkles, inflammation, and acne, and kill bacteria and pollutants underneath the skin to prevent new pimples from forming. All while removing every last trace of your makeup, of course.

When you find the top facial cleansers for teenage acne, your skin will never be the same. That’s why we’ve compiled a few of our favorites below to transform your skin into a teenage dream.

Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam by Clinique, $22

Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam by Clinique
Source: Clinique

No more FOAM-o. You should only expect the best from one of the top beauty brands in the world, and this foam solution by Clinique will rid your face of teen acne while staying gentle on sensitive skin. It contains a mix of Salicylic Acid and Acetyl Glucosamine to remove the dead skin cells that clog pores, plus Laminaria Saccharina Extract to clear oil buildup. Basically, all the bad stuff that happens under the surface of your skin will come to a screeching halt, providing you with a clear complexion and state of mind. This face wash for teens is top-rated on MIRA BEAUTY for both dry and oily skin, and 93% say it provides redness relief and hydration. Thanks, Clinique!

Foaming Facial Cleanser by CeraVe, $15

Foaming Facial Cleanser by CeraVe
Source: CeraVe

“I've tried many face washes through my acne-filled teen years, and can say with confidence this is the best yet.” CeraVe is a brand that follows you through your tween, teen, and adult years - with a lineup of skin care saviors to beat blemishes and deep clean your pores. Foaming Facial Cleanser is simple, yet effective - with ceramides to restore and maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier, hyaluronic acid for a surge of hydration, and niacinamide to keep your skin calm even when it feels like freaking out. The best facial cleansers for teens don’t need to be wrapped in gorgeous glass packaging or cost more than your first car, as evidenced by this drugstore gem that’s under $20 and will zap zits basically overnight.

Oil-Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser by Neutrogena, $6

Oil-Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser by Neutrogena
Source: Neutrogena

The bad news? You just woke up with a major teen acne breakout and have no idea where it came from. The good news? The best facial cleansers for teens are often the least expensive, and come from the beloved brands you’ve used since childhood. Like Neutrogena! Oil-Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser features Salicylic Acid acne medicine to get up close and personal with your skin, stopping pimples in their tracks and banishing breakouts for the foreseeable future. Wipe away dirt, oil, makeup and other impurities with this cream cleanser, restoring your skin’s glow factor and increasing your confidence level to the extreme. 93% agree that this face wash for teens is smooth on sensitive skin, and 90% feel that it minimizes pores.

SkinActive Gentle Sulfate-Free Foaming Face Wash by Garnier, $12

SkinActive Gentle Sulfate-Free Foaming Face Wash by Garnier
Source: Garnier

“Let me tell you, this face wash and also Trader Joe's Facial Antioxidant Moisturizer are both amazing because they're so gentle + affordable. If you want a gel based moisturizer instead of water based, go for the green Garnier Skin Active one.” Amira is a proud MIRA guest that can’t get enough of this face wash for teens, and neither can we! SkinActive packed this beauty product with glycerin to guarantee that your skin always stays hydrated, even while acne-fighting ingredients are hard at work. Your face will never feel dry or tight after using it, which is sadly a common theme with anti-acne products. Since it hydrates as it washes away oil and dirt, you’ll leave your face feeling soft and refreshed after every use. Our community rates this SkinActive favorite as one of the top facial cleansers for teenage acne, with high ratings for creaminess, redness relief, hydration and being smooth and gentle on the skin.

Effaclar Gel Facial Wash For Oily Skin by La Roche-Posay, $20

Effaclar Gel Facial Wash For Oily Skin by La Roche-Posay
Source: La Roche-Posay

“It gets all the oil off my face and leaves it clean and baby-soft and tingling pleasantly, and my acne was noticeably decreased.” Sometimes one ingredient is really all it takes, and Zinc Pidolate is it. Effaclar Gel Facial Wash is one of the best and most simple facial cleansers for teenage acne, as it uses a mix of Zinc Pidolate and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water to remove excess oil from your face and unveil a natural, clear complexion. Your skin’s natural pH balance will be restored, which helps to solve a variety of skin issues, while the gel texture feels calming on your oily skin. Join the 97% of MIRA guests who love this face wash for its smooth texture, and 92% that say it’s great for treating acne.

LHA Cleansing Gel by Skinceuticals, $41

LHA Cleansing Gel by Skinceuticals
Source: SkinCeuticals

Sure, this face wash for teens is on the pricey side, but it’s definitely worth it when you have the urge to splurge. The best facial cleansers for teenage acne don’t just clean your face and rinse off makeup, they also exfoliate and pull all the impurities to the surface. Dead skin cells, oil, blackheads, last week’s foundation… all of it gets trapped within your pores and produces the teenage acne we all love to hate. LHA Cleansing Gel tackles every oily skin issue, formulated with lipo-hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, glycerin, and sorbitol to clear up breakouts, refine your pores, and brighten up skin. MIRA ratings agree that this cleansing gel is a teen acne essential, with 98% saying that it’s pore minimizing and reduces redness… producing a complexion that’s refined, refreshed, and free of breakouts.

Acne Foaming Wash by PanOxyl, $9

Acne Foaming Wash by PanOxyl
Source: PanOxyl

“I had bad acne for a long time and nothing could seem to get rid of it, I got recommended for this and it worked so well and my skin is finally clear!” Salicylic acid is an iconic acne-clearing ingredient, and one that you should always look out for in the best facial cleansers for teens. There’s no doubt about it. However, we’re also big fans of Benzoyl Peroxide. This maximum strength ingredient is meant for those with severe or chronic acne, as it contains antibacterial properties that erase pimples instantly and prevent future breakouts. Clogged pores are never fun, and they definitely won’t be a thing as long as you use this cleanser by PanOxyl. The only catch? Always be careful with dosage and use a hydrating moisturizer right afterwards to avoid drying out your skin, like the Moisturizing Cream by CeraVe!

AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser by Murad, $39

AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser by Murad
Source: Murad

Murad doesn’t just have the best facial cleansers for teenage acne, they also carry the best skin care products, period. Seriously, you should try every single one of their moisturizers and night creams. But when struggling with acne, this face wash for teens has you covered. AHA’s and BHA’s are two of the best ingredients to erase blemishes and get a clear complexion, especially BHA’s, and this Murad favorite will make acne disappear. It contains three exfoliating agents - salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid - to loosen buildup of oil and debris underneath the skin, while jojoba beads gently exfoliate and leave you with a natural glow. Demi Lovato has spoken about her love for this cleanser since she was a teenager, and the singer’s gorgeous skin in her makeup-free selfies speaks for itself. But in case you needed to be further convinced that this Murad cleanser is the real deal, about 95% of our MIRA community agrees that it’s good for acne, brightening and gentle on the skin.

Acne Facial Cleanser by Mario Badescu, $15

Acne Facial Cleanser by Mario Badescu
Source: Mario Badescu

Go back to basics with Mario Badescu. The name probably sounds a bit familiar, as you may have used the brand’s facial spray all summer for a natural and hydrating glow. But when you’re not channeling your inner VSCO girl, you can also beat blemishes with one of the top facial cleansers for teenage acne. You’ll always be ready to glow with the Acne Facial Cleanser. And we mean glow, not shine from excess oil. This face wash for teens is formulated with salicylic acid to deep clean your pores and clear up mild to severe acne, and even contains a soothing blend of botanicals like Aloe Vera, Chamomile, and Thyme to prevent skin from drying out. With this cleanser in your skin care collection, you’ll always be fresh-faced and radiant… exactly what you’d expect from Mario Badescu.

Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash by Dermalogica, $20

Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash by Dermalogica
Source: Dermalogica

Go hard or go FOAM. That’s right, we’re definitely not done with the foam puns, as this texture is a favorite when searching for the best facial cleansers for teenage acne. Clear Start is an overachiever in every way, with Salicylic Acid to remove dead skin cells and oil trapped underneath the skin, clearing up current and future breakouts in the process. But that’s not all. Your skin will also receive a custom blend of Tea Tree, Lavender, Camellia and Balm Mint to fight bacteria and calm down even the most inflamed skin, along with Orange Peel Extract to energize and refresh. Use in the morning and night for a skin transformation and beautiful, blemish-free skin complexion that only the best facial cleansers for teens can provide.

Gentle Foaming Face Wash by Skin Laundry, $20

Gentle Foaming Face Wash by Skin Laundry
Source: Skin Laundry

You’ve got to admit, Skin Laundry is a pretty awesome name. And the brand’s collection of masks, serums, and face wash for teens is just as cool, in every sense of the word. Gentle Foaming Face Wash feels cool and calming on your sensitive skin, washing away oil and impurities (and pimples!) without drying out your skin. It’s formulated with a list of soothing ingredients like Shea Butter, Cucumber Extract, Chamomile Extract, and Panthenol, and even smells like fresh linens to live up to the name. 92% of MIRA guests recommend this face wash for teens for those with combination skin, while 88% say it’s hydrating and provides redness relief.

Gentle Skin Cleanser by Cetaphil, $14

Gentle Skin Cleanser by Cetaphil
Source: Cetaphil

You already know all about CeraVe, now let’s talk about Cetaphil. Both drugstore brands are universally loved for their affordable and ultra-effective skincare products, and deserve a spot in any oily skin or acne-prone beauty regime. Especially this Gentle Skin Cleanser that’s formulated to be calming on even the most sensitive skin. It contains simple ingredients that wash away excess oil, dirt, and makeup products while leaving your face feeling fresh at all times. Without the feeling of dryness or “tightness” left behind by many acne-fighting cleansers. Gentle Skin Cleanser won’t just rid your face of acne and oil, either… it’s also recommended by dermatologists to treat advanced skin conditions like eczema or rosacea. Gentle Skin Cleanser feels smooth on your complexion, according to 97% of MIRA reviews, and 94% feel that it’s a hydrating beauty product that zaps zits while simultaneously giving your skin the moisture surge it deserves.

Botanical Kinetics Purifying Gel Cleanser by Aveda, $23

Botanical Kinetics Purifying Gel Cleanser by Aveda
Source: Aveda

Sometimes you feel like you just can’t win with teenage skin. Your complexion is sensitive and has a strong reaction to just about every skincare product you apply, whether that’s good or bad. But you can keep your skin happy and pimple-free with the most gentle gel cleansers, like this one by Aveda. This plant-derived face wash for teens will clear up every last bit of leftover makeup from last night, along with the dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that get trapped in your pores and cause pimples. Our MIRA community rates it as good for acne, pore minimizing, smooth, hydrating, and brightening on even the most acne-prone skin, and it’s a major game-changer for any oily skin beauty regime.

Shop all the best face washes for teenage acne & other skincare essentials today on MIRA BEAUTY.