fbpx

13 Best Face Washes for Hormonal Acne Breakouts

A hormonal acne-safe face wash is an essential part of a proper skin care regimen for anyone dealing with hormonal acne breakouts. The right face wash will help clear the skin of excess oil, grime, and environmental pollution, while the wrong face wash can worsen clogged pores and inflamed skin.

The best face wash for hormonal acne will actively clear out clogged pores without completely stripping the skin’s natural oils and aggravating already sensitive skin.

However, with so many face washes on the market, how do you know which one is best for you?

After researching over 45 face washes we complied a list of thirteen hormonal acne safe cleansers that should fit every skin type, tone, budget, dietary preference (vegan), and other skin concerns.

We also included cleansers with active ingredients which can help get rid of many skin issues caused by complications from hormonal acne, including hyperpigmentation, redness, and even scarring.

From top-rated cleansers made with natural ingredients to high-end formulas packed with powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents, here are the thirteen best face washes for hormonal acne.

If you are not interested in reading the entire article and just want our top pick then we’d go with Clearstem Skincare’s GENTLECLEAN – Vitamin Infused Calming Wash.

How We Reviewed Each Product

I’ve spent years testing out different face washes due to my personal struggles with hormonal acne.

I as well as many of my clients in GoodGlow’s private acne community, have tried every face wash reviewed below.

Additionally, we’ve had the ingredients of every product below medically reviewed by a licensed dermatologist (Dr. Chacon) to make sure there are no ingredients that could potentially cause unwanted complications. Combining this with feedback from our in-house product testers makes us feel comfortable giving a face wash recommendation for anyone dealing with hormonal acne. The thirteen face washes below are designed to include a hormonal acne safe face wash that fits every budget, skin type, texture and allergy.

BestFace Wash
OverallGENTLECLEAN – Vitamin Infused Calming Wash
For Oily Skin with Hormonal AcneLa Roche-Posay – Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Cleanser
On a BudgetNeutrogena – Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser
For Dry SkinFarmacy – Oil Free Whipped Greens Face Wash
For Sensitive SkinYouth To The People – Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser
For Adult Hormonal AcneCOSRX – Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
For ExfoliationPaula’s Choice – CLEAR Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser
Cleanser with Benzoyl PeroxideCeraVe – Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser
Natural/OrganicTata Harper – Clarifying Cleanser
Soap-Free CleanserAvène – Cleanance Cleansing Gel
Clay CleanserFirst Aid Beauty – Deep Cleanser with Red Clay
For Pregnancy AcneTula – The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser
Prescription StrengthMusely – The Cleanser

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.

GoodGlow Score

4.9 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Effective

Effective

Hydrates while it cleanses, removes waterproof makeup, and is gentle enough to use morning and night

Sensitive

Purifying, Detoxing & Restoring

Super gentle daily cleanser for acne-prone & sensitive skin

Natural

Real Ingredients. Real Results

Formulated with green tea, goldenseal, and vitamin c

Vegan - Clean Ingredients

Clean Formula

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:

  • None.

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.

GoodGlow Score

4.7 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Skin Type

Skin Type

Normal, Oily, and Sensitive Skin

Non-Comedogenic

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.

Benefit

Ingredient Callouts

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:

  • Affordable.
  • 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.

GoodGlow Score

4.6 /5 5/5 Product Rating
hypoallergenic

Soothes Sensitive Skin

Neutrogena’s Gentle Cleanser was designed by dermatologists for people with sensitive skin.

Skin Type

Skin Type

Works well with sensitive, oily, dry, and combination skin.

dermatologically-tested

Dermatologist Tested

Designed & developed by dermatologists.

Benefit

Ingredient Callouts

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 Oil Free 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:

  • None.

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.

GoodGlow Score

4.8 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Skin Type

Skin Type

Farmacy’s Whipped Greens face wash is ideal for oily, sensitive, and normal skin.

Effective

Absorbs Excess Oil

Farmacy’s papaya enzyme helps remove excess oil and dead skin cells without drying out your skin.

Benefit

Ingredient Callouts

Farmacy’s Whipped Greens face wash is free of parabens, formaldehyde, fragrances, phalates, and mineral oil.

Made in the USA

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 alleviates 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.
  • Soothes skin irritation

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.

GoodGlow Score

4.7 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Skin Type

Skin Type

Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, and Sensitive Skin

hypoallergenic

Reduces Infalmmation

Youth To People’s cleanser contains superfoods including kale, spinach, green tea, and alfalfa help redcue redness and inflammation in the skin.

ph-balance

Balances PH of Skin

Vitamin C and E extracts help to balance the natural PH balance of the skin.

Benefit

Ingredient Callouts

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:

  • Pricey.

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.

GoodGlow Score

4.5 /5 4.5/5 Product Rating
Acne

Regulates Oil Production

Tea tree oil and niacinamide help promote a healthy skin barrier and regulate sebum oil production

Benefit

Ingredient Callouts

Free of parabens, sulfates, and Phthalates

Skin Type

Skin Type

Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, and Sensitive Skin

dermatologically-tested

Dermatologist Tested

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.

GoodGlow Score

4.3 /5 4.5/5 Product Rating

Contains Nourishing Amino Acids

Paula’s Choice contains the amino acid arginine, which softens and calms inflamed skin

Benefit

Ingredient Callouts

Contains salicylic acid to help remove excess sebum and dead skin cells from clogged pores

Skin Type

Skin Type

Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, and Sensitive Skin

Non-Comedogenic

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 salicylic acid, 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.

GoodGlow Score

4.6 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Skin Type

Skin Type

Normal, Oily, Combination, and Sensitive Skin

Effective Cream

Soothes Inflammation

Contains niacinamide to reduce the size of pores and decrease redness in skin

dermatologically-tested

Dermatologist Tested

CeraVe’s Acne Foaming Cleanser was developed by dermatologists to help remove impurities from the skin to treat and prevent acne.

Benefit

Ingredient Callouts

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.

Best Natural/Organic:
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.

GoodGlow Score

4.6 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Skin Type

Skin Type

Suitable for normal to oily and acne-prone skin.

Natural

Natural and Organic

100% of the ingredients are naturally-derived, while 46% are organic.

Effective

Soothing

Redness and inflammation levels are reduced by ingredients like honey and chlorella.

Benefit

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:

  • Expensive.
  • 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.

GoodGlow Score

4.7 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Skin Type

Skin Type

Suitable for normal to oily and acne-prone skin.

Gentle

Reduces Redness

Zinc gluconate and thermal spring water soothe the skin.

Clinically Proven

Soap-Free

Cleanser is free of stripping soaps, and is also made without parabens, alcohol, or mineral oil.

Protecting Skin

Minimizes Breakouts

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:

Contains fragrance.

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.

GoodGlow Score

4.6 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Skin Type

Skin Type

Suitable for normal to oily and acne-prone skin.

Natural

Clean Formula

Cleanser is vegan and cruelty-free, and free of parabens, phthalates, or fragrances.

Effective

Hydrating and Soothing

Ingredients like glycerin, bisabolol, and licorice root extract ensure the skin stays calm and hydrated.

Purifying

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.

GoodGlow Score

4.7 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Skin Type

Skin Type

Suitable for all skin types.

Natural

Clean Formula

Formula is made without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, silicone, or mineral oil.

Benefit

Balancing

Prebiotics and probiotics strengthen and balance the skin.

Effective

Purifying

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.

GoodGlow Score

4.9 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Skin Type

Skin Type

Suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone and sensitive skin.

Natural

Clean Formula

The formula is vegan and cruelty-free, and is fragrance-free and non-GMO.

Effective

Soothes

Cucumber, kiwi, green tea and other extracts minimize irritation, redness and other signs of inflammation.

Protecting Skin

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 clear complexion, which makes it a good candidate for severe acne breakouts.

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).

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.

An endocrine evaluation is a crucial tool to understand how much hormone fluctuations are actually contributing to excess oil production and acne breakouts. Before looking at medical interventions to raise or lower hormone levels acne sufferers should first follow a low-inflammation diet, and make sure they are using non-comedogenic, gentle skincare products.

Dr. Anna Chacon

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?

Following a low inflammation diet and using non-comedogenic skincare products are the best long-term solution to prevent and treat hormonal acne. Acne prone skin can also be worsened 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?

Most people should wash their 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. The “right answer” is personal for everyone and depends greatly on the skincare products you use.

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 hormone friendly healthy diet is one of the best things you can do to manage hormones in the long-term and keep hormonal acne at bay, however, lifestyle habits, genetics, and environment all effect your hormone levels. Maintaining healthy hormone levels goes far beyond diet has a wide range of effects on your body including sleep, metabolism, and recovery, fertility, and much more. If you believe your hormonal levels are not in a healthy range you should make an appointment with a health professional.

What Skincare Product Ingredients Worsen 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
  • Lanolin
  • Algae extracts
  • Isopropyl myristate and isopropyl palmitate
  • Drying alcohol
  • Silicones

What are the best skincare ingredients for hormonal acne?

There are a variety of skincare ingredients that effectively support the treatment of 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
  • Retinol
  • 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:

  • Squalane
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Green tea extract
  • Chamomile extract
  • Niacinamide
  • Panthenol
  • Aloe

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to naturally clear hormonal acne?

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.

Can Benzoyl Peroxide Be Used For Hormonal Acne?

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.

How to Shrink Hormonal Acne

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.

Originally Published: January 09, 2024

Need more help? Ask our team!

I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their acne naturally. If you cannot easily find an answer to your question on the website, please reach out to me by email ([email protected]) or send me a message on Instagram or Twitter. I will reply within 24 hours.

Get The Definitive Guide To Permanently Clear Skin

Everything you need to beat acne at the source. 250-Page eBook, Clear Skin Food + Drink Database, and Members-Only Content

Get The Kit

sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood

Hi, I’m Sam Wood, the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach at GoodGlow, as well as a best-selling author for one of the top acne books on Amazon. I struggled with acne for over 10 years, and began studying the effects of diet on skin quality while pursuing a degree in Nutrition Sciences at the University of Missouri. After shifting from mainstream skincare trends to in-depth research in medical journals, I experienced significant personal success in managing my acne. This inspired me to start GoodGlow, where I simplify complex scientific findings into easy-to-understand advice. With over 10 years in the field, I’ve helped more than 2,500 people achieve clearer skin through natural, holistic methods, and I’m dedicated to personally assisting those seeking guidance on their acne journey.

Read more of Sam's articles.

Leave a Comment