13 Best Face Washes For Black African American Skin 2023
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The beauty community is making a change.
While decades have shown us an emphasis on foundation, concealer, and eyeshadow, the industry is now evolving.
Skincare is becoming more and more popular.
While a full coverage foundation is amazing, what happens when you want to wear a lightweight, lighter coverage foundation but your skin is out of whack?
The skincare experts in Korea love a 10-step routine, but it all starts with step one – a face wash or cleanser.
If you’re looking to amp up your skincare routine and take better care of your face, here are some amazing products for dry, oily, and sensitive skin.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser
When it comes to cleansers, they often don’t get better than the Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser.
A highly-rated product and best-selling cleanser, this product has a ton of benefits.
While most face products appeal to one skin type over another, this works well on dry, oily, and sensitive skin..
Not only does this product help remove makeup, dirt, and oil, but it doubles as a source of hydration as well.
While most might think hydration contributes to oily skin, it doesn’t.
The Philosophy award-winning cleanser is made without harmful parabens and is gentle enough to use twice a day.
Just like their motto, the choice for this cleanser is easy – “when life is complicated, purity is simple.”
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
For those worried about how their sensitive skin might handle a product, they should try the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.
When it comes to drug store products that are great for the skin, you’ll always see the brand Cetaphil pop up.
While this particular formula was made for those with dry or sensitive skin, this product works well for those with oily skin as well.
Another gentle cleanser, it will help clean the skin as it also helps to moisturize it.
While most of the products on this list are for the face, this product can be used all over the body.
There are two other aspects that make this product ideal for all skin types.
One, it’s hypoallergenic which means it won’t irritate the skin.
Two, it’s non-comedogenic.
This is just a fancy word that means it won’t clog your pores.
Clogged pores often lead to bumps and pimples on the skin, so this product can help you avoid that build up.
This Cetaphil cleanser is also gentle enough for daily use.
Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser
If you have oily skin, one product on your wishlist should be the Mario Bedescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser.
Too harsh for those with dry or sensitive skin, this product can work wonders on oily skin.
Because of the glycolic acid in the product, this cleanser does a few things.
It helps break down makeup, oil, and dirt so they can be easily washed away.
It also acts as a chemical exfoliant to help buff the top layer of dead skin to leave the skin looking and feeling smoother.
Because it helps to cleanse the face while also exfoliating it, it can help with issues like dullness and hyperpigmentation.
While most cleansers might be used daily, this formula is strong but effective.
It’s only recommended for use 2-3 times a week, so if you use it in your skincare routine, be sure to supplement it with another cleanser that is safe and ideal for daily use.
While you should always wear sunscreen no matter the day or weather condition, it is recommended to wear sunscreen with this Mario Bedescu cleanser.
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
If you’re looking for a niche brand to try, look into First Aid Beauty’s Face Cleanser.
The product works well on oily, dry, and combination skin.
This cleanser is fragrance-free and gentle enough for those with sensitive skin to use.
Like many other cleansers, it also helps to remove makeup, dirt, and oil without leaving the skin dry.
First Aid Beauty also lists the product as a solution to dryness and redness, especially when face cleansers are also known to help moisturize the skin.
A few other things to note about this product is that it is vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, and soy-free.
You also won’t find a lot of harmful ingredients that you might find in other face products including alcohol, artificial fragrances, parabens, and hydroquinone.
Proactiv Renewing Facial Cleanser
In the world of acne-prone skin, there’s no way you can have a conversation without bringing up Proactiv.
That’s why you’ll find the Proactiv Renewing Facial Cleanser on this list.
It’s hard to find a millennial who didn’t use or once think of using their products.
The product is part of Proactiv’s acne-fighting products.
The first thing this product is going to do is help wash away dirt, makeup, and excess oil.
One ingredient you’ll receive in this product that you won’t mind in many others is benzoyl peroxide.
A strong chemical, this is known for fighting acne as well as clearing the skin and pores of bacteria.
Because this product is strong,you want to ease into use.
Start by using it every other day or once a day.
As your skin begins to get used to it, you can work up to using it twice daily.
Proactiv has been known to help adolescents and adults fight acne, so if you’re looking for a great cleanser for acne-prone skin, give this a try.
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
CeraVe is another popular drugstore brand and their Foaming Facial Cleanser helps add to their list of great products.
The cleanser features key ingredients that are ideal for the user.
It contains ceramides which help protect the skin’s barrier.
The product also features hyaluronic acid, a skincare must-have.
This gentle acid is ideal for keeping the skin hydrated and helping it retain moisture.
The Foaming Facial Cleanser also contains niacinamide.
An ingredient we’ve yet to mention on this list, this form of vitamin B3 helps the skin’s barrier while also working to soothe it.Fragrance-free, this CeraVe product is also non-comedogenic so it won’t clog the pores.
Differin Daily Deep Cleanser with Benzoyl Peroxide
Acne is a big point of contention for teenagers and adults alike, which is why we can’t help but provide multiple products as a solution.
The Differin Daily Deep Cleanser is another product worth trying.
Similar to the Proactiv product, this cleanser also includes 5% benzoyl peroxide.
This low percentage is going to help prevent irritation and dryness.
It is important to be careful when using these products.
They should always be used with sunscreen.
In fact, using higher amounts of these ingredients always come with some caution.
If you’re tired of acne-prone skin, speak to a dermatologist about adding Differin to your skincare routine.
Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser
Many of us think we can “shrink” our pores, but we can’t.
Products like the Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser can help them look smaller though.
Our pores often look enlarged when we have oil, dirt, and makeup sitting on the surface.
This exfoliating cleanser does a few things to help.
It cleanses away the build up on the surface of the skin and in the pores.
It also rids the skin of bacteria as well.
While it’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog the pores, it does contain alpha-hydroxy acids which help penetrate the pores to leave them clean.
Neutrogena has always been a staple in the skincare community, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
While formulated for all skin-types, the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser works particularly well for sensitive skin.
Perfect for washing the face even after makeup, it works well even on pesky mascara.
This Fresh cleanser can even be used for sensitive skin as it works to soothe and tone with ingredients like cucumber extract and rosewater.
Aveeno Positively Radiant 60 Second In-Shower Facial
For cleansing in a matter of seconds, the Aveeno Positively Radiant 60 Second In-Shower Facial will give you clean skin in under a minute.
The product contains lemon-peel extract which will help brighten the skin as well as glycolic acid which is great for breaking down makeup and oil.
Aveeno claims this product will gently exfoliate and brighten the skin while removing dirt and impurities.
Dermalogica Age Smart Skin Resurfacing Cleanser
Dermalogica is a brand that is known for their daily exfoliant, but their Age Smart Skin Resurfacing Cleanser is what earned them a spot on this list.
Working as both a cleanser and exfoliant, it contains lactic acid which helps buff the skin to make it look visibly smoother and younger.
Keeping in line with many other Dermalogica products, it is gluten-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free as well as being vegan and having no artificial fragrances or colors.
BOSCIA Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser
Charcoal is a popular ingredient in skincare now which is how the BOSCIA Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser made it to this list.
Having charcoal as an active ingredient can help absorb oil and helps buff out the skin of any extra dirt or dead skin that might be sitting on the surface.
The ingredients in this BOSCIA product also help with skin elasticity and inflammation.
Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser
If you have gentle skin or are weary about using harsh chemicals on your face, consider the Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser.
This product is free of artificial fragrances, colors and dyes, drying alcohol, parabens, phthalates, and more.
While it is without a lot of harsh ingredients, it includes some great ones.
The Simple cleanser has pro-Vitamin B5 which is great for removing impurities and makeup.
It also has chamomile which helps soothe the skin and Vitamin E as well.
What Are The Best Face Washes For Oily African American Skin?
There are quite a few misconceptions out there about oily skin.
Some think that oily skin signifies that someone’s skin isn’t clean, but the oiliness of one’s skin has nothing to do with cleanliness.
The glands in the skin produce sebum.
Sebum is essential because it not only creates a protective barrier, but it also helps the skin lock in moisture.
For those with oily skin, your skin just so happens to be producing too much sebum.
And while some might think that washing your face multiple times a day will stop this from happening, it won’t.
Controlling oily skin is less about how many times you wash your face and more about the products you are using.
In fact, washing your face too many times can lead to dry skin, which you won’t want either.
Essentially, you’ll want to find products that will help you control the oil.
While these products won’t stop your sebum production, they will help reduce the amount of oil that reaches the skin’s surface.
According to an interview with HelloGiggles, two board-certified dermatologists recommend using face washes that include alpha-hydroxy acids or citrus.
These two ingredients will help break up the oil on the skin’s surface without stripping the skin of moisture and hydration.
They also recommend products that include glycolic acid and salicylic acid.
Glycolic acid is also great for reducing oil and buffing away the top layer of dead skin.
Salicylic acid, on the other hand, is another anti-acne ingredient that is also great for oily skin.
When looking for the right cleanser, you also want to avoid a few things.
While micellar water is popular, you want to avoid it if it includes added oils.
People with oily skin should also avoid harsh scrubs and cleansers.
As previously mentioned, sebum production is actually a part of the body’s response to protect the skin.
When harsh scrubs and cleansers damage the surface, this can often cause the skin to overcompensate and produce even more sebum.
Some options on this list that will work great for those with oily skin are the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser and Mario Bedescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser.
What Are The Best Face Washes For Dry Skin?
Most cleansers aren’t one size fits all.
In fact, there are some cleansers that would work extremely well while having the complete opposite effect for those with dry skin.
As previously mentioned, our skin is often categorized by the amount of sebum production.
While those with oily skin have overactive sebum glands, those with dry skin don’t produce enough.
This is why many with dry skin need to seek out a specific cleanser for themselves.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic acid) and beta-hydroxy acids (salicylic acid) work well on those with oily skin, but these harsh acids aren’t ideal for those with dry skin.
Since they work to help those with oily skin control the amount of oil that breaks through the surface, it can lead to dryer skin.
Instead, dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali suggests a few other ingredients in an interview with Allure.
People with dry skin should gravitate towards ingredients that help with moisture-retention.
Instead of harsh acids, look for products that contain hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which are great ingredients you’ll find in many facial cleansers and serums.
One of the best facial cleansers for dry skin can be found on this list – the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.
What Are The Best Face Washes For Sensitive African American Skin?
When it comes to treating the skin, dry and sensitive skin are often treated similarly.
The products used for oily skin are often too harsh, so dry and sensitive skin are often lumped in together.
Similarly to dry skin, those with sensitive skin should look for cleansers that have glycerin or ceramides.
Not only will they help give the skin more moisture, but ceramides help soothe sensitive skin as well.
Ceramides especially work for those with eczema-prone skin.
Those with sensitive skin can also use facial cleansers that also double as chemical exfoliants.
While you’d still want to keep away from strong alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, sensitive skin can benefit from exfoliants that contain mind acids like azelaic acid.
While chemical exfoliants are great, physical exfoliants can cause damage to sensitive skin.
Physical exfoliants aren’t recommended for daily use for anyone, so those with sensitive skin should trade in their harsh scrubs for something more gentle.
While you might currently be on the hunt for face washes, here are a few amazing exfoliators that are perfect for cleansing, toning, and scrubbing oily, dry, and sensitive skin.
Two great options in cleansers for those with sensitive skin are the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser.
How Often Should You Wash Your Face?
Most might think there’s a magic number for how often you should wash your face.
Truth be told, it depends.
Most people thrive on washing their face once a day, and others work with two.
Regardless, you should probably never go over washing your face twice a day because this can lead to drying out your skin.
Even so, there are a few suggestions that can be made.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, try washing your face once a day.
This doesn’t mean wetting your face.
This means actually using a type of cleanser on your skin.
Using a cleanser once a day can help prevent you from drying out your skin and might be what your skin needs.
If you have acne-prone or oily skin, washing your face twice a day might help.
Just be mindful.
It is still possible to dry out your skin if you have naturally oily skin.
What you want to do is avoid using your harsher cleansers both times.
Instead, try combining both a strong and gentle cleanser into your skincare routine.
If you notice that your skin appears dryer than normal, try washing once a day.
Now, there’s one reason to always wash your skin twice a day.
If you’re like me, I always feel like it’s necessary to wash my face before putting on makeup.
There’s just something about starting with a clean, blank canvas.
Regardless, I think we all know now that washing our faces after wearing makeup is mandatory.
This is where my skincare routine thrives the most and when I wash my face twice a day.
Not only am I hitting my face with a regular gentle cleanser to help remove the makeup, but I often follow up with another cleanser that will actually help cleanse my skin and pores.
If your skin can only handle washing once a day and you’re a frequent makeup wearer, then it has to be after the makeup process and not before.
Is There A Difference Between Face Wash And Face Cleanser?
Looking at both face washes and face cleansers, you’re probably thinking they’re exactly the same.
To be honest, their purpose is often the same, but their form isn’t.
Both products are essential in cleansing the skin.
They help remove dirt, oil, and any build up you might have on the skin or hiding in your pores.
However, their forms are different.
Face washes are normally foaming cleansers.
When you wash your face, if the product creates a nice lather, it’s most likely a face wash.
The ingredient in face washes that cause this lather are sulfates.
Think about all the products you know to lather.
Toothpaste, dish soap, and hand soap are all products that lather because they contain sulfates.
Truth be told, sulfates aren’t the safest, but many have manufactured them to be essentially harmless in these products.
For face washes, they almost always contain sulfates.
Face cleansers are slightly different.
Definitely more gentle than face washes, these products help cleans the skin while also helping to moisturize it as well.
Many face washes are safe to use, but if you’re feeling a bit weary, try a cleanser or talk to a dermatologist about what product might be best for you.
The Best Face Washes For Black Skin Conclusion
If you love beauty, it’s easy to see that the beauty industry is bombarded with makeup products.
What many fail to realize is that you need to start with a great base (skin) first.
Tons of brands are beginning to realize this with many of them emphasizing on skincare.
Love your skin and take care of it!
Whether you have oily, dry, or sensitive skin, one of the face washes on this list could be your new Holy Grail product.