A high-quality face wash is essential for anyone suffering from hormonal acne. Acne-safe cleansers are essential to a good skin care regimen because they help keep the skin clear of excess oil, grime, and environmental pollution that gets stuck on the surface throughout the day.
Even though cleansers are a daily must regardless of your skin type, some do much more than just cleanse the skin.
Some cleaners that contain active ingredients can help get rid of many skin issues, including concerns such as hormonal acne, hyperpigmentation, redness, and even scarring.
While hormonal acne breakouts are typically triggered by internal factors such as diet, hormonal acne-safe cleansers can help manage and soothe inflammatory breakouts on the skin.
However, with so many face washes on the market, how do you know which one is best for you?
Below, I have compiled a list of the best face washes for hormonal acne that will help you tackle other common skin concerns, such as dryness and dehydration, that typically arise from using the wrong cleanser.
From top-rated cleansers made with natural ingredients to high-end formulas packed with powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents, here are the eight best face washes for hormonal acne.
Table of Contents
How I Reviewed Each Product
As an esthetician and skin specialist, I’ve spent years testing out different products partly out of curiosity but also because of my personal struggles with hormonal acne.
Therefore, compiling this list was a breeze as I have already tried and formed an opinion regarding the products you’ll find below.
Additionally, I’ve done extensive research on reviews written by consumers and their experience with each product on the list along with feedback from our in house product testers.
This list is meant to help you figure out which face wash is the best fit for you based on your individual skin concerns and the severity of your hormonal acne.
Best Face Washes for Hormonal Acne Summary
Whether you’re struggling with mild breakouts or severe cystic acne, there’s a face wash on this list that can help clear up and prevent future breakouts.
|Overall||GENTLECLEAN – Vitamin Infused Calming Wash|
|For Oily Skin with Hormonal Acne||La Roche-Posay – Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Cleanser|
|On a Budget||Neutrogena – Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser|
|For Dry Skin||Farmacy – Oil Free Whipped Greens Face Wash|
|For Sensitive Skin||Youth To The People – Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser|
|For Adult Hormonal Acne||COSRX – Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser|
|For Exfoliation||Paula’s Choice – CLEAR Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser|
|Cleanser with Benzoyl Peroxide||CeraVe – Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser|
|Natural/Organic||Tata Harper – Clarifying Cleanser|
|Soap-Free Cleanser||Avène – Cleanance Cleansing Gel|
|Clay Cleanser||First Aid Beauty – Deep Cleanser with Red Clay|
|For Pregnancy Acne||Tula – The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser|
|Prescription Strength||Musely – The Cleanser|
|Glycolic Acid Based (Out of Stock)||SkinCeuticals – Purifying Cleanser Gel|
Best Overall Face Wash For Hormonal Acne:
GENTLECLEAN – Vitamin Infused Calming Wash
This gentle daily cleanser from Clearstem is specifically made with acne-prone complexions in mind. It effectively washes away makeup, dirt, and debris while calming irritation and hydrating the skin.
Hydrates while it cleanses, removes waterproof makeup, and is gentle enough to use morning and night
Purifying, Detoxing & Restoring
Super gentle daily cleanser for acne-prone & sensitive skin
Real Ingredients. Real Results
Formulated with green tea, goldenseal, and vitamin c
No hormone distruptors, no toxins, cruelty free, gluten free, vegan, and silicon free
- Green tea – Green tea is a natural antioxidant and has very powerful antimicrobial properties, making it a key ingredient in thoroughly cleansing the surface of the skin. The compound EGCG that’s found in green tea is known for its acne-fighting benefits.
- Goldenseal – Like green tea, goldenseal is a powerful plant extract known for its antibacterial benefits. It contains a compound called berberine, which has a powerful astringent effect on mucous membranes making it a key acne-fighting ingredient.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce skin redness that’s caused by acne breakouts. Vitamin C works to brighten skin complexion and even skin tone.
Water/Aqua, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Sorbitan Oleate Decylglucoside Crosspolymer, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Sclerotium Gum, Polysorbate 20 (naturally derived), Lauryl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract*, Allantoin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Capsaicin (Vitamin C Bioflavinoid), Hesperidin (Vitamin C Bioflavinoid), Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Oil , Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract. Certified Organic*
While many acne-fighting cleansers on the market contain harsh ingredients that can irritate and strip the skin, the Clearstem GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Calming Wash does the opposite. This gentle yet effective cleanser thoroughly whisks away debris on the skin, but also works to leave the complexion feeling hydrated, calm, and comfortable. That’s why this formula takes the top spot as the best overall cleanser for skin prone to hormonal breakouts. In fact, I’ve switched to this cleanser myself over the last few months.
This purifying formula – which is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin – is powered by plant extracts and other ingredients that support overall skin health. One of the key ingredients is green tea leaf extract, which has potent antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Goldenseal extract (which has antibacterial effects) works alongside the green tea to further minimize acne, while antioxidant and anti-inflammatory vitamin C reduces redness and promotes a more radiant complexion.
While these are some of the stars of the face wash, the formula features a blend of other ingredients that hydrate and soothe redness and irritation related to hormonal breakouts. This includes cucumber fruit extract, licorice root extract, and glycerin. The gentle cleanser is also completely free of pore-clogging ingredients, so you don’t need to worry about it contributing to breakouts.
Lastly, the formula is also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, and made without gluten, silicones, parabens, or hormone disruptors.
Clearstem GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Calming Wash Pros:
- Gentle on the skin but thoroughly washes away debris, including makeup.
- Formulated with ingredients that hydrate, calm, and brighten.
- Vegan, cruelty-free, silicone-free, paraben-free, and gluten-free.
Clearstem GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Calming Wash Cons:
Best for Oily Skin with Hormonal Acne:
La Roche-Posay – Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Cleanser
La Roche’s Toleraine cleanser will efficiently remove the daily grime, excess oils, and dirt off your skin, but it will also leave it soft and hydrated. The unique blend contains hydrating humectants, soothing and repairing ingredients such as propanediol and niacinamide, and ceramides, which are the building blocks of a healthy skin barrier.
Normal, Oily, and Sensitive Skin
Made with 100% non-comedogenic ingredients.
Balances PH of Skin
LA Roche’s facial clearser contains propanediol and niacinamide, and ceramides to help protect the skin barrier and maintain natural PH levels.
La Roche’s cleanser is absent of any fragrances or parabens
Aqua / Water / Eau (La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water, Glycerin, Coco-Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Peg-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Sodium Chloride, Ceramide Np, Niacinamide, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium Edta, Capryloyl Glycine, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Acrylates Copolymer.
The Toleriane Purifying Foaming Face Wash by La Roche Posay is another excellent and budget-friendly option for hormonal acne and those dealing with excessively oily skin.
The cleanser also doesn’t contain any fragrance or fragrant components such as essential oils, making it an excellent option for those whose skin is on the sensitive and reactive side.
When it comes to consistency, like most suggestions on this list, the Purifying Face Wash has a thick, gel consistency that lathers up into a rich foam when in contact with water.
Overall, if you are looking for an affordable face wash for oily skin and hormonal acne that will not only stop breakouts but also keep your skin adequately cleansed, soft and hydrated, the Purifying Foaming Face Wash is a great option.
La Roche Posay – Toleriane Purifying Foaming Face Wash Pros:
- Gentle and efficient in removing makeup and daily grime.
- Leaves the skin soft, plump, and hydrated.
La Roche Posay – Toleriane Purifying Foaming Face Wash Cons:
- Can be drying if a lot of product is used too frequently.
Best Face Wash For Hormonal Acne on a Budget:
Neutrogena – Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser
The short ingredient list consists of mild surfactants, as well as glycerin to hydrate the skin and prevent trans-epidermal water loss. The Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser can be used once or twice a day, depending on your routine, without worrying that it will leave the skin feeling stripped.
Soothes Sensitive Skin
Neutrogena’s Gentle Cleanser was designed by dermatologists for people with sensitive skin.
Works well with sensitive, oily, dry, and combination skin.
Designed & developed by dermatologists.
Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser is oil-free, soap-free, and hypoallergenic, which makes it perfect for anyone with sensitive skin.
Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Glucoside, Potassium Acrylates Copolymer, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance.
If you are dealing with hormonal acne, but you don’t feel like breaking the bank for more complex products with active ingredients, such as the SkinCeuticals Purifying Cleanser, the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanse can be an excellent option for you.
This cleanser has a creamy consistency that doesn’t create a rich foam when in contact with water, but rather, it lathers nicely to cleanse the skin of excess sebum oil without leaving it dry, dehydrated, and stretched.
It’s also hypoallergenic, which is always a bonus, especially when dealing with hormonal acne, as the last thing you want is to irritate your skin further.
Overall, if you are looking for a simple, no-fuss face wash that will get the job done without overcomplicating things, the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser is a great option.
Neutrogena – Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser Pros:
- Best budget option.
- Decent bottle size to make the product last for a long time.
- Easily available.
Neutrogena – Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser Cons:
Best for Dry Skin with Hormonal Acne:
Farmacy – Oil Free Whipped Greens Face Wash
The Farmacy Whipped Greens Foaming Cleanser is a soap-free cleanser with a creamy consistency that creates a rich lather when in contact with water and is suitable for those with hormonal acne whose skin is on the dry side.
Farmacy’s Whipped Greens face wash is ideal for oily, sensitive, and normal skin.
Absorbs Excess Oil
Farmacy’s papaya enzyme helps remove excess oil and dead skin cells without drying out your skin.
Farmacy’s Whipped Greens face wash is free of parabens, formaldehyde, fragrances, phalates, and mineral oil.
Made In USA
Farmacy’s products are designed, developed, and manufactured in the United States
Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Decyl Glucoside, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Coconut Acid, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Myristic Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Moringa Oleifera Leaf Water, Sodium PCA, Kaolin, Lactobacillus/Papaya Fruit Ferment Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Extract, Montmorillonite, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Quillaja Saponaria Wood Extract, Lauric Acid, Cocamide Mipa, Sodium Isethionate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Sodium Benzoate, Palmitic Acid, Lactic Acid, Illite, 3-Hexenol, Beta-Caryophyllene, Canarium Luzonicum Gum Nonvolatiles, Citronellal, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Eugenol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Hexenyl Acetate, Linalool, Linalyl Acetate, Triethyl Citrate, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Extract, Capric Acid, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Quartz, Saponaria Officinalis Leaf/Root Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Gluconolactone, Maltodextrin, Limonene.
Don’t let the Foaming part in the name scare you, as this cleanser is super gentle and contains hydrating and nourishing ingredients such as moringa seed extract and moringa water that purifies the skin and strengthens the skin barrier at the same time.
Additionally, the Whipped Greens Foaming Cleanser also contains papaya enzyme, which is a mild exfoliating agent that breaks down dead skin cells and helps to unclog pores, leaving a clear, nourished, and glowy complexion behind.
Furthermore, the Whipped Greens Cleanser also contains hydrating sodium PCA and Hydroxyacetophenone, an antioxidant and soothing agent that relieves the redness and irritation caused by breakouts.
Lastly, the cleanser is also cruelty-free, gluten-free, and comes in recyclable packaging.
Farmacy – Whipped Greens Foaming Cleanser Pros:
- Contains mild exfoliating agents for non-irritating exfoliation.
- Packed with skin-loving greens.
- Great for all skin types.
Farmacy – Whipped Greens Foaming Cleanser Cons:
- Can be drying if a lot of product is used.
Best For Sensitive Skin:
Youth To The People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser
The key ingredients in Youth To People’s face wash are kale, spinach, and alfalfa, which are all rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and provide a wealth of antioxidants that protect the skin from environmental damage as well as help calm inflammation from breakouts. Additionally, this face wash also contains hydrating aloe vera, green tea extract to soothe irritation, and soothing lavender and rose extracts.
Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, and Sensitive Skin
Youth To People’s cleanser contains superfoods including kale, spinach, green tea, and alfalfa help redcue redness and inflammation in the skin.
Balances PH of Skin
Vitamin C and E extracts help to balance the natural PH balance of the skin.
Youth To People’s cleanser is completely free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dimethicone, and mineral oil
Water/Aqua/Eau, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Sorbeth-230 Tetraoleate, Polysorbate 20, Brassica Oleracea Acephala (Kale) Extract, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Glycerin, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Decyl Glucoside, Sorbitan Laurate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Gluconolactone, Calcium Gluconate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810), Gardenia Jasminoides (Jasmine) Fruit Extract, Fragrance/Parfum.
The Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser by Youth to the People is suitable for those with hormonal acne whose skin is on the sensitive side, as it’s super gentle and doesn’t contain any irritating or drying ingredients.
Furthermore, the Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser also contains panthenol, which is one of the best ingredients for irritated and reactive skin, as its soothing, calming, and repairing properties are unmatched.
Lastly, the Superfood Cleanser has a lightweight gel consistency that lathers easily and feels fantastic on the skin.
Bonus points for its glass packaging, making it the best sustainable option on this list.
Overall, if you are looking for a face wash for hormonal acne that is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin, the Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser by Youth to the People is a great option.
Youth to the People – Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser Pros:
- Packed with vitamins and skin-loving antioxidants.
- Non-drying and non-irritating.
- Suitable for all skin types.
- Recyclable glass packaging.
Youth to the People – Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser Cons:
Best For Adult Hormonal Acne:
COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
This cleanser has a low pH, which helps restore the skin’s natural balance while also cleansing away excess sebum and dirt. The low pH face wash also contains tea tree oil and niacinamide, two ingredients that have been shown to be effective in treating acne and balancing skin oil production without irritating the skin.
Regulates Oil Production
Tea tree oil and niacinamide help promote a healthy skin barrier and regulate sebum oil production
Free of parabens, sulfates, and Phthalates
Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, and Sensitive Skin
Designed & tested by dermatologists without the use of animal testing.
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Polysorbate 20, Styrax Japonicus Branch/Fruit/Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Saccharomyces Ferment, Cryptomeria Japonica Leaf Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract, Pinus Palustris Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Flower Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Allantoin, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Betaine Salicylate, Citric Acid, Ethyl Hexanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA.
The COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is my top pick for the best face wash for adult hormonal acne because it is gentle yet effective, non-drying, and oil-free.
The Low pH Good Morning Cleanser has a gel consistency that lathers up nicely when in contact with water and does a great job in removing heavier products such as sunscreen and even BB creams and lightweight foundations.
It also has a mild, fresh scent of tea tree oil that isn’t annoyingly strong, but it does linger for a little while after you wash the cleanser off.
If this isn’t something you’re a big fan of, you might want to be careful with choosing this one, however, overall the Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is an excellent option for anyone dealing with adult hormonal acne, as well as other issues such as compromised skin barrier, very sensitive skin, rosacea, etc., and it gets our top recommendation for its gentle yet effective formula.
COSRX – Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser Pros:
- Effective in removing excess oil and dirt.
- Balances the skin’s pH level.
- Suitable for all skin types.
COSRX – Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser Cons:
- The scent might be too strong for some.
Best Hormonal Acne Face Wash for Exfoliation:
Paula’s Choice – CLEAR Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser
Paula’s Choice Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser from the CLEAR line is one of the best exfoliating cleansers for hormonal acne due to containing gentle yet effective ingredients such as a mild concentration of 0.5% salicylic acid to gently remove impurities from the skin, unclog pores, and get rid of closed comedones and acne.
Contains Nourishing Amino Acids
Paula’s Choice contains the amino acid arginine, which softens and calms inflamed skin
Contains salicylic acid to help remove excess sebum and dead skin cells from clogged pores
Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, and Sensitive Skin
Paula’s Chocie is made with 100% non-comedogenic ingredients.
Salicylic Acid 0.5%, Water (Aqua), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Glycerin, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Arginine, Butylene Glycol, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin.
Besides the main active ingredient, Paula’s Cleanser also contains arginine, a skin-softening amino acid, and panthenol, which is one of the most calming and soothing ingredients found in skincare products.
The Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser has a thick gel consistency, and while little definitely goes a long way, you would need to work it into a lather between your hands before applying it to the face and cleansing your skin.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that while this is a gentle exfoliating cleanser, and the concentration of the active ingredient is mild, you should avoid using it more than once a day, as this may lead to dryness and irritation. If you want to learn more about the Paula’s Choice brand, make sure to check out our review of Paula’s Choice’s most popular acne products.
Paula’s Choice – CLEAR Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser Pros:
- Gentle, yet effective exfoliation.
- Contains soothing and skin-softening ingredients.
- Non-drying and non-irritating.
- Helps smooth uneven skin tone
Paula’s Choice – CLEAR Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser Cons:
- Can become drying if a lot is used frequently.
Best Cleanser with Benzoyl Peroxide:
CeraVe – Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser
CeraVe’s Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser contains a 4% concentration of benzoyl peroxide, making it highly effective at clearing clogged pores and treating active acne lesions. It also contains niacinamide, an ingredient that has been shown to help reduce the size of pores and the appearance of hyperpigmentation and post-inflammatory redness.
Normal, Oily, Combination, and Sensitive Skin
Contains niacinamide to reduce the size of pores and decrease redness in skin
CeraVe’s Acne Foaming Cleanser was developed by dermatologists to help remove impurities from the skin to treat and prevent acne.
Fragrance free, paraben free, and non-comedogenic
Active: Benzoyl Peroxide 4%. Inactive: Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Hydroxide, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Niacinamide, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Hydroxide, Cholesterol, Phenoxyethanol, Propanediol, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium Edta, Diethylhexyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Phytosphingosine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzoic Acid.
When it comes to face washes for hormonal acne that contain benzoyl peroxide, CeraVe’s Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser is one of the best options available.
In addition, this face wash also contains hyaluronic acid, which helps to hydrate and soothe the skin.
The CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser has a thick cream consistency that turns into a rich lather when in contact with water.
This is why it’s best to use a chickpea-sized amount of product, as anything more than that is excessive and a waste.
This cleanser is also suitable for daily use; however, if you have overly dry or sensitive skin, it’s recommended that you use it in combination with a good moisturizer, as daily use may lead to some flaking and dryness.
Overall, if you are looking for a face wash that contains the gold standard ingredient for treating hormonal acne, then CeraVe’s Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser is definitely worth considering.
CeraVe – Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser Pros:
- Antibacterial benzoyl peroxide destroys the overgrowth of acne-causing bacteria.
- Brightening niacinamide and ceramides help strengthen the skin barrier.
- Hydrating hyaluronic acid prevents dryness.
- Thick cream consistency and rich lather.
CeraVe – Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser Cons:
- Can be drying if used too frequently.
Tata Harper – Clarifying Cleanser
This fully natural Tata Harper cleanser is made to clarify the pores while reducing signs of irritation and balancing the production of sebum.
Suitable for normal to oily and acne-prone skin.
Natural and Organic
100% of the ingredients are naturally-derived, while 46% are organic.
Redness and inflammation levels are reduced by ingredients like honey and chlorella.
Fights Acne and Balances Oil
Naturally-derived exfoliants and other botanicals help purify pores and control sebum production.
Hordeum Vulgare Leaf Juice*, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, Water, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Mel/Honey/Miel, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Aroma**, Hydrolyzed Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate, Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Extract, L (+) Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Chlorella Pyrenoidosa, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Arnica Montana (Arnica) Extract*, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Leaf Extract*, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Extract*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil*, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, p-Anisic Acid, Menthol, Menthyl Lactate, Sodium Phytate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Caproyl/Lauroyl Lactylate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, CI 77288, Alcohol, Limonene, Linalool.
The Tata Harper – Clarifying Cleanser is packed with 12 botanical ingredients that balance oil production and minimize blemishes while reducing redness and inflammation tied to hormonal breakouts for a clear and comfortable complexion. Most importantly, it’s also able to thoroughly clean the skin without drying it out. It’s an ideal choice for anyone looking for a nature-powered formula, as 100% of the ingredients are from natural origin, while 46% are organic.
This foaming gel cleanser is made with a range of naturally-derived exfoliants that remove dead skin cells, excess oil, and debris from the pores and the surface of the skin to help prevent clogged pores. This includes prickly pear enzymes, lactic acid (from fermented sugar), citric acid (from fermented corn sugar), and salicylic acid (from white willow bark). These are joined by yucca root, cassava tapioca, and juniper fruit, all of which work to balance oil levels.
As these ingredients get to work, a range of nourishing and soothing botanicals help minimize redness and inflammation for a complexion that looks and feels more comfortable. This includes honey, mint extract, and chlorella.
Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser Pros:
- Made with gentle exfoliants and oil-controlling ingredients.
- Formulated to soothe and help minimize redness and discomfort.
- 100% natural, cruelty-free, non-GMO, and made without artificial colors, fragrances, or synthetic chemicals.
Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser Cons:
- Not vegan-friendly (contains honey).
Best Soap-Free Cleanser:
Avène – Cleanance Cleansing Gel
This soap-free cleanser from Avène thoroughly cleanses the skin without stripping away its natural moisture. It’s also formulated with ingredients that minimize blemishes and lessen redness.
Suitable for normal to oily and acne-prone skin.
Zinc gluconate and thermal spring water soothe the skin.
Cleanser is free of stripping soaps, and is also made without parabens, alcohol, or mineral oil.
Milk thistle extract reduces the appearance of current breakouts.
Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua), Water (Aqua), Zinc Coceth Sulphate, Lauryl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Ceteareth-60 Myristyl Glycol, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Perfume), Green 5 (Ci 61570), Isopropyl Alcohol, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Peg-6, Ppg-26-Buteth-26, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Yellow 5 (Ci 19140), Zinc Gluconate.
If you’re looking for a soap-free cleanser, it doesn’t get better than the Avène – Cleanance Cleansing Gel. This non-stripping gel cleanser is designed to give acne-prone oily skin the support it needs without causing any irritation. It’s gentle on the skin, making it an ideal choice for twice daily use.
As gentle surfactants clear away pore-clogging debris and excess oil, zinc gluconate works to minimize redness and soothe the skin. A milk thistle extract also helps prevent blemishes and reduce the appearance of current breakouts, while thermal spring water softens and calms the skin.
Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel Pros:
- Formulated to calm, reduce redness, and limit breakouts.
- Gentle formula that is made without soap, parabens, alcohol, or mineral oil.
Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel Cons:
Best Clay Cleanser:
First Aid Beauty – Deep Cleanser with Red Clay
This First Aid Beauty cleanser combines red clay with other ingredients that clear away excess oil and impurities while softening and calming the skin.
Suitable for normal to oily and acne-prone skin.
Cleanser is vegan and cruelty-free, and free of parabens, phthalates, or fragrances.
Hydrating and Soothing
Ingredients like glycerin, bisabolol, and licorice root extract ensure the skin stays calm and hydrated.
Red clay and rosemary draw out impurities and kill bacteria.
Aqua / Water / Eau, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Peg-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Dipropylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Bisabolol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Llite, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium Edta, Mica, Tetrasodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide).
The First Aid – Beauty Deep Cleanser with Red Clay is designed to draw impurities out of the pores to deeply cleanse the skin. It’s also packed with calming and hydrating ingredients to promote a healthy, comfortable complexion.
Red clay and antibacterial rosemary leaf oil work in tandem to treat and prevent blemishes and clear away debris. The red clay purifies the pores by acting as a magnet for excess sebum and debris, while rosemary leaf oil kills acne-causing bacteria.
As these ingredients get to work, soothing and hydrating ingredients help calm the skin and promote a supple and soft complexion. Some key ingredients include licorice root extract, panthenol, bisabolol, and glycerin.
First Aid Beauty Deep Cleanser with Red Clay Pros:
- Purifying formula that effectively fights clogged pores and breakouts.
- Infused with soothing and hydrating ingredients.
- Vegan, cruelty-free, and made without fragrances, drying alcohols, phthalates, or parabens.
First Aid Beauty Deep Cleanser with Red Clay Cons:
- Some reviewers complained about the natural smell of the cleanser.
Best for Pregnancy Acne:
Tula – The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser
This Tula cleanser is an excellent pregnancy-safe option, as it contains gentle yet effective ingredients that purify, soothe, and nourish the skin.
Suitable for all skin types.
Formula is made without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, silicone, or mineral oil.
Prebiotics and probiotics strengthen and balance the skin.
Plant extracts purify the skin while also soothing and improving texture.
Aqua/Water/Eau, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Laurylglucoside Crosspolymer, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Chloride, Disteareth-75 IPDI, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Cichorium Intybus (Chicory) Root Extract, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Lactose, Lactis proteinum/Milk Protein/Protéine du lait, Yogurt Powder, Olus Oil/Vegetable Oil/Huile végétale, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Panthenol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Inulin, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Coco-Glucoside, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Sorbitan Isostearate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Glutaral, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Phenethyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Parfum), Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool.
If you’re battling hormonal acne tied to pregnancy, finding an effective cleanser that is pregnancy-safe can be a challenge. There are some acne-fighting ingredients that are safe to use in limited amounts while pregnant, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid (but of course, always talk to your obstetrician before adding any new products to your routine). However, if you’d like to use a face wash that takes a gentler approach to cleansing the skin and fighting blemishes, I suggest Tula – The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser.
This dermatologist tested gel-based cleanser has a sulfate-free formula that removes impurities from the skin without stripping its natural moisture. It’s made with both prebiotics and probiotics to balance and nourish the skin. At the same time, a range of plant extracts help purify and soothe the skin and improve texture and radiance for a clear and smooth complexion. This includes turmeric, blueberry, white tea, and green tea extracts.
Tula The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser Pros:
- Prebiotics and probiotics strengthen and balance the complexion.
- Made with purifying and soothing plant extracts.
- Cruelty-free and made without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, silicone, or mineral oil.
Tula The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser Cons:
- Not vegan-friendly (contains dairy).
- Contains fragrance.
Best Prescription Strength:
Musely – The Cleanser
This Musely cleanser has a super gentle yet deeply purifying formula that soothes the complexion while whisking away impurities in the pores and on the skin. It’s also able to cleanse without stripping the skin’s natural moisture.
Suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone and sensitive skin.
The formula is vegan and cruelty-free, and is fragrance-free and non-GMO.
Cucumber, kiwi, green tea and other extracts minimize irritation, redness and other signs of inflammation.
Deep Yet Gentle Cleanse
This formula is created to deeply cleanse the pores without stripping away moisture.
Water, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Coco Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Betaine , Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Citric Acid, Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit) Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polysorbate 20, Behetrimonium Chloride, Sorbitol, Caffeine, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (and) Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract (and) Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract (and) Actinidia, Chinensis (Kiwi) Extract (and) Spinacea Oleracea (and) Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract (and) Brassica Oleracea Acephala Leaf Extract
Another one of the best face washes for hormonal acne-prone skin is Musely’s The Cleanser. Unlike most other Musely products, this face wash doesn’t require a prescription. However, it’s packed with powerful ingredients that soothe and support acne-prone skin to help you achieve a calm and clear complexion.
This fragrance-free cleanser has a super gentle formula, and is enhanced with ingredients that minimize irritation and redness, ultimately making it the perfect solution for inflamed, blemish-prone skin. Some of the key soothing ingredients include cucumber fruit extract, green tea leaf extract, and kiwi extract.
Despite the gentle formula, The Cleanser is also able to deeply cleanse the pores. However, unlike many other acne-focused face washes, it does so without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.
Musely The Cleanser Pros:
- Contains plant extracts that soothe the skin for a more comfortable complexion.
- Cleanses without stripping away moisture.
- Vegan, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, and non-GMO.
Musely The Cleanser Cons:
- Only offered in a small tube (2 ounces).
Best Glycolic Acid Based Cleanser For Hormonal Acne (Out of Stock)
SkinCeuticals – Purifying Cleanser Gel
This cleanser is formulated with a mild surfactant system that aims to dissolve impurities on the skin’s surface and leave it feeling fresh and cleansed. The main active ingredient is a mild 2% concentration of glycolic acid to gently exfoliate dead skin cells without causing dry skin issues. Glycolic acid can be a beneficial component in the skincare routine of someone with acne-prone skin, and the milder the concentration – the less potential irritation, making it a huge win even for those who are dealing with sensitive and dry skin that’s prone to acne.
Keeps Skin Hydrated
Glycerin helps keep skin clear & moisturized.
SkinCeutical’s gentle cleanser uses glycolic acid to remove impurities without clogging or inflamming your pores.
SkinCeuticla’s gel cleanser has been tested by numerous dermatologists and licensed estheticians.
SkinCeutical’s gel cleanser is free of parabens, sulfates, soap, fragrances, dyes and alcohol.
Aqua / Water / Eau, Propylene Glycol, Peg-30 Glyceryl Cocoate, Capryl/Capramidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Glycolic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzoic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate.
Having worked with and used SkinCeuticals skincare line for a few years now, I can say that the Purifying Cleanser is one of my top face wash choices for hormonal acne, especially those dealing lots of dead skin cells.
Additionally, the Purifying Cleanser also contains glycerin, a powerful humectant that helps to bind moisture to the skin, keeping it hydrated.
Lastly, the texture of this cleanser is a thick, slimy gel, so you would only need a little bit of product to cover your entire face and neck.
The cleanser is also excellent for body acne and one of my personal favorites for problematic areas such as the chest, back, and bum.
SkinCeuticals – Purifying Cleanser Pros:
- Gentle enough to be suitable for daily use.
- Creates a rich lather when in contact with water.
- Little goes a long way.
SkinCeuticals – Purifying Cleanser Cons:
- Can become irritating if used too frequently.
What Causes Hormonal Acne?
Hormonal acne is multifactorial, but like other forms of acne, it is linked to an overproduction of sebum, which can lead to clogged pores. This overproduction is caused largely by a rise in the levels of androgens, which are sex hormones (with testosterone being the primary androgen).
Multiple factors can play a role in hormonal acne, including diet, stress, lack of sleep, and inflammatory skincare products. Additionally, hormonal fluctuations tied to puberty, menstruation cycles, pregnancy, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and menopause can all trigger hormonal acne.
Hormonal Acne vs. Regular Acne
While both hormonal acne and regular acne are caused by clogged pores, there’s a difference in how they present. Hormonal acne typically appears as deeper cysts or nodules that can feel tender, rather than blackheads and whiteheads. Most women prone to hormonal acne will also notice a pattern with flare ups occurring during a specific point of their menstrual cycle. This type of acne also most frequently affects the lower parts of the face, around the jaw, chin, neck, and lower cheeks.
What is the Best Long-Term Strategy to Prevent Hormonal Acne?
The long-term prevention of hormonal acne requires a multi-faceted approach with lifestyle habits and skincare products. First and foremost, it’s important to consider how your diet may be affecting breakouts. Hormonal acne can also be affected by stress and poor sleep quality, which means it’s important to ensure you’re doing your part to practice good sleep hygiene and take care of your stress levels.
As is the case with all forms of acne, establishing a targeted skincare routine is also essential. This includes using a high-quality cleanser, as well as topical treatments that can help keep pores clear and keep the skin calm, hydrated, and healthy.
For those that wear makeup, it’s also important to pick formulas that are made without pore-clogging ingredients, especially when it comes to foundations, tinted moisturizers, blushes, and bronzers. It’s equally as important to thoroughly wash off all traces of makeup at the end of the day.
On a final note, one often overlooked factor are pillowcases. Our pillowcases can harbor dead skin cells, hair products, bacteria, and other debris that can easily get transferred to our face – which can be a huge issue for those prone to acne. If you aren’t already, be sure to get in the habit of changing out your pillowcases every few days to prevent breakouts.
How Often Should I Wash My Face?
As a general rule of thumb, you should wash your face once in the morning and once in the evening. That said, some (especially those with drier or more sensitive skin) may find that only washing their skin in the evening works for their skin.
It’s important to note that cleansers made with higher concentrations of active acne-fighting ingredients (such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid) typically should only be used once a day – or depending on your skin type, just a few times a week. This is because overuse of these ingredients can lead to irritation and dryness. If you wash your face twice a day, this means you can use a gentler cleanser in the morning, and use your more powerful cleanser in the evening.
What Skin Types Suffer from Hormonal Acne?
Oily skin types are in general more likely to deal with acne, since there is more sebum present to clog pores. That said, anyone of any skin type can be affected by hormonal acne.
What Other Skincare Products Should I Use to Treat Hormonal Acne?
As noted, it’s crucial that you establish (and are consistent with) a targeted acne-fighting skincare routine. Here’s a quick breakdown of the products you’ll want to use:
- Moisturizer: It’s incredibly important that you use a breakout-prone skin-friendly moisturizer both morning and night. This will help balance your skin’s moisture levels, promote a comfortable and healthy complexion, and counteract the drying effects of any acne-fighting treatments you’re using. Skipping a moisturizer can actually trigger your skin to produce more oil to overcompensate, which can lead to more breakouts.
- Makeup Remover: If you wear makeup, it’s crucial that you use a makeup remover (such as a cleansing oil, micellar water, or face wipe) that’s safe for acne-prone skin. You’ll first use this product to remove any traces of makeup, and then follow up with your cleanser of choice.
- Retinol: Retinol is helpful not only for keeping the pores clear to prevent breakouts, but also for lightening post-inflammatory pigmentation from previous breakouts. Retinol can degrade when exposed to UV light and can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it’s important to only use it in the evening.
- Face Mask: While it might not be as essential as the other products mentioned, a face mask can still be a beneficial addition to your routine. Face masks made with ingredients like clay, charcoal, or exfoliants can all be beneficial for fighting hormonal acne. Calming masks (that are free of comedogenic ingredients) can also help reduce redness and soothe inflammation tied to current breakouts.
How to Manage Hormones
Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do to manage hormones in the long-term and keep hormonal acne at bay. Be sure to check out our article that dives deep into the strategies you can implement to create a hormonal acne-safe diet. This diet can also help those with PCOS manage their symptoms.
Skincare Product Ingredients to Avoid For Hormonal Acne
Everyone’s skin is different and will react differently to certain skincare ingredients. That said, there are a few comedogenic ingredients that are generally considered not to be safe for acne-prone skin, including the following:
- Coconut oil
- Cocoa butter
- Algae extracts
- Isopropyl myristate and isopropyl palmitate
- Drying alcohol
Best Skincare Ingredients for Hormonal Acne
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a variety of skincare ingredients that effectively support acne-prone skin. If you deal with hormonal acne, there are certain active ingredients that can help you maintain a clear complexion, including the following:
- Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Tea tree oil
Soothing and hydrating ingredients that calm inflammation and promote a more comfortable complexion are also ideal for hormonal acne-prone skin. Look for formulas with some of the following ingredients:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Green tea extract
- Chamomile extract
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to “naturally clear hormonal acne is to follow a low inflammation diet that excludes sugar, processed foods, and seed oils. Additionally, using non-comedogenic skincare products and regularly washing your pillowcases and sheets play an important role in clearing hormonal acne.
If you are dealing with acne breakouts, you may need to wash your face 2-3 times per day depending on your skin type, makeup requirements, diet, and activity level. The “right answer” is personal for everyone and depends greatly on the skincare products you use.
Yes, benzoyl peroxide can help control hormonal breakouts, but you won’t want to overuse products with this ingredient, because it can be drying. The CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser is a great option because it’s made with hydrating ingredients to help counteract the drying effects of benzoyl peroxide.
If you’re dealing with a hormonal acne breakout, you can apply ice to clean skin to help reduce swelling and redness. You’ll also want to use topical treatments to help speed up the healing process.