Review UK

Types of Cleansers For Oily Skin UK 2024

by Jon Ng on Jun 11, 2024

Types of Cleansers For Oily Skin UK 2024

Washed your face in the morning, but it's greasy by the afternoon? If this sounds familiar, should try the best cleansers for oily skin UK.

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.

Best Cleansers for Oily Skin - Quick Summary

Best Cleanser for Oily Skin Ingredients
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser Water, niacinamide, citric acid
Kiehl's CALENDULA FOAMING WASH Calendula, critic peel oil, water 
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
Neutrogena Acne Face Wash Salicylic acid, citric acid
Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser Glycolic acid, water
Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Oil Reducing Facial Cleanser Coconut , glycerin, aloe vera
REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel Aloe, aqua, lactic acid
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Aqua, alcohol, paraben
La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Sodium hydroxide, citric acid, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol
Youth To The People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser Vitamin E, C + K, green tea, kale
Burt's Bees 99.9% Natural Cleanser Soap Bark Chamomile, water, glycerin
Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser Kaolin, bentonite, and green clays

Which is the best cleanser for oily skin?

I tested 20 cleansers for oily skin with the help of a few skincare experts on the basis of ingredients, formula, results and prices. We found CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser to be the best and here’s why:

CeraVe foaming facial cleanser has a balanced pH that removes excess oils without drying out your skin. It’s formulated with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid as well as essential ceramides that hydrates the skin deeply. This cleanser is non-comedogenic and dermatologically tested. It’s available for sale on Amazon UK.

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!


Best Cleansers For Oily Skin

#1 - CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Best Face Cleanser For Oily Skin UK Overall

best cleanser for oily skin 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 wash 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.CeraVe is my all-time favorite because it balances my natural oil and is free of toxic ingredients. It also made my face supple and soft.

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by CeraVe below! 

Key features:

  • Non-comedogenic 
  • Fragrance-free
  • Contains benefitting ingredients
  • Balances skin’s pH level 


  • Ingredients: 9/10
  • Cleansing power: 10/10
  • Affordability: 10/10


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

Best Cleanser For Oily Sensitive Skin UK

facial cleanser for oily skin

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 barrier and 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 types as well. 

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Kiehl's that have reduced the oiliness of my skin and reduced the redness that was caused due to UV radiation.

Key features:

  • Free of toxic ingredients
  • Removes excess sebum
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Gentle on skin


  • Ingredients: 9/.510
  • Cleansing power: 9/10
  • Affordability: 910

#3 - Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Best Cleanser For Oily Skin And Large Pores UK

face wash or cleanser for oily skin

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 product 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. I love this cleanser because it's cruelty-free and formulated with natural ingredients that has benefited my skin.

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

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Liz Earle below!

Key features:

  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Retains natural moisture level
  • Soothes irritated and redness 
  • Cruelty-free 


  • Ingredients: 9/.510
  • Cleansing power: 9/10
  • Affordability: 910

#4 - Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

Best Budget Cleanser For Oily Skin UK

Best Cleansers For Oily Skin

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 active 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. 

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Neutrogena below!

#5 - Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

Best Cleanser For Oily Spot Prone Skin UK

Best Cleansers For Oily Skin

The best part about this Mario Badescu face wash is the glycolic acid-based (alpha hydroxy acid) 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 product 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 wash gives a radiant, rejuvenated look to the skin. 

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Mario Badescu below!

#6 - Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

Best Cleanser For Combination Skin

Best Cleansers For Oily Skin

As the name suggests, this product 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 face wash 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! It's a really gentle face cleanser for oily skin.

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Paula's Choice below!

#7 - REN Rosa Centifolia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

Best Cleanser To Remove Makeup

Best Cleansers For Oily Skin

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 face wash by REN is great for those with sensitive skin as it is dermatologically approved and free of harmful components. It's the best facial cleanser for oily faces.

You will find it free of parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, silicones, and synthetic colors.

What we love most about the product 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.

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Ren below!

#8 - Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser

Best Drugstore Cleanser For Oily Skin UK

Best Cleansers For Oily Skin

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

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

The product is non-comedogenic and prevents clogged 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. It's one of the cheap face cleansers for oily skin.

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Cetaphil below!

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

Best Ph-balanced Cleanser For Oily Skin

Best Cleansers For Oily Skin

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 cult beauty product is how it effectively clears the skin of excess oil while nourishing it and maintaining the pH levels.

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

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by La Roshe-Posay below!

#10 - Youth To The People Kale Superfood Cleanser 

Best Brightening Cleanser For Oily Skin

Best Cleansers For Oily Skin

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.

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by YTTP below!

#11 - Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

Best Cleanser And Toner For Oily Skin UK

Best Cleansers For Oily Skin

The best thing about this cleansing cream by Burt’s Bees is that it is completely devoid of sulfates, phthalates, parabens or any other harsh ingredients. It's the best face wash or cleanser for oily skin.

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. 

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Burt's Bees below!

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

Best Cleanser For Oily Acne Prone Skin UK

Best Cleansers For Oily Skin

This dermatologist-recommended cleanser is packed with nourishing natural ingredients. Morpheme Remedies face wash is the top cleanser for oily skin.

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. 

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Morpheme Remedies below!

#13 - Gallinée Foaming Facial Cleanser

Best Vegan Face Wash For Oily Skin

If most other cleansers for oily skin are leaving your face dry, try this Gallinée Foaming Facial Cleanser. It contains lactic acid that keeps your skin hydrated and the prebiotic fibers protect the skin's natural moisture barrier. It's one of the foam cleansers for oily skin.

The face wash is free of sulfates and soaps and restores your skin's natural pH balance. We like that formula is vegan and contains 98 percent natural ingredients.

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Galliene below!

Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser

Best Cleanser for Oily Sensitive Skin UK

Best cleanser for oily skin

Dermalogica is one of the most promising cleansers for oily skin. It consists of kaolin, bentonite, and green clays that eliminates extra oil from the skin and deeply cleanses the skin. It also eliminates impurities and the menthol present in it gives a cooling effect. 

You’ll definitely feel refreshed after using this cleanser. The best part about it is that it’s dermatologically tested and safe to be used for all skin types. This cleanser is my personal favourite as it works so well on the skin.

This face cleanser can be used twice a day to remove excessive oils and face debris. 

Check out the best cleansers for oily skin by Dermalogica below!

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:

What is the best cleanser for oily skin?

After looking at the different products in the UK market, and considering various factors like price, ingredients, formula, etc., we've decided that the CeraVe Face Wash is the best cleanser for oily skin. A lot of users have also left positive reviews on this

It comes at a reasonable price. It has a pH balanced formula. And it doesn't contain any harsh ingredients. The hyaluronic acid formula gets rid of oily skin without leaving your face dry.

Best Face Wash For Oily Skin: FAQs

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 ingredients 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. Oily skin can be controlled by using a gentle face wash 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 for oily skin. 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 for oily skin as they don’t remove the excess oil. A cleanser that balances the skin's natural oil while hydrating oily skin the best. 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.

Are gel cleansers good for oily skin?

Gel cleansers are great for oily skin. They help remove excess oil and dirt from the face, and they also help to control shine. Gel cleansers typically have a less harsh formula than other types of cleansers, so they won’t dry out your skin or strip it of its natural oils.

Is cleansing good for oily skin?

Cleansing is definitely good for oily skin! Excess sebum production can be caused by a variety of factors, including exposure to pollution, high-stress levels, and a diet high in unhealthy fats. By cleansing your skin regularly, you can help remove the dirt, oil, and other impurities that can contribute to oiliness.

How to choose the best cleanser for oily skin?

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

  • Ingredients for oily skin: make sure your cleanser has ingredients that can swipe away excessive oils like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, clay, charcoal, etc. The cleanser must be gentle on the skin and free of harsh ingredients such as sulfates.
  • Foam but not excess: generally, oily skin cleansers contain sulfates for the easy removal of oils from the skin. However, too much of it can dry out your skin. 
  • Gel Formula: These are the best variants as they remove excess oil as well as keep the skin hydrated. The face wash or cleanser should be lightweight and preferably have a gel base.
  • No fragrance: It should not have any artificial fragrances as these can irritate oily skin.
  • Non-comedogenic: As oily skin is more prone to acne, the cleanser must be non-comedogenic. That is, it must not clog the pores.

Benefits of using Cleanser for Oily Skin:

Using a cleanser specifically designed for oily skin can be helpful. Here are some of the benefits:

  • It helps in balancing your skin's natural oil production.
  • Cleansers for oily skin also help in unclogging pores and glands.
  • They remove blackheads and reduce the overall chance of developing acne. 
  • While people with oily skin may be more prone to certain skin problems, using an appropriate face wash can go a long way in keeping your complexion healthy and clear.

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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