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23 Best Face Washes & Cleansers for Blackheads: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Doris Harris -  Last Updated On 27th December 2020
Best Face Washes & Cleansers for Blackheads

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Would you like to have clear skin?

Then use one of the best cleansers and face washes for blackheads.

There are two main kinds that unclog pores.

One type contains salicylic acid.

Then, the other has benzoyl peroxide.

You can choose from different concentrations depending on how sensitive your skin is.

What’s more, you won’t need to scrub to get results.

What is the best face wash for pimples and blackheads?

You can’t go wrong with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide if you’re trying to get rid of acne (1).

The former dissolves the excess oil that clogs pores and helps exfoliate.

The latter kills the bacteria that cause pimples.

Other ingredients like charcoal, witch hazel, Vitamin C, and tea tree oil have similar or additional benefits.

It doesn’t matter if you have dry or oily skin; you can find a product that will help.

Let’s look at the top acne face washes now.

Quick Comparison

If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here are our top picks.

23 Best Cleansers and Face Washes for Blackheads (2021 Update)

1. CURE Natural Aqua Gel Cleanser

I know, I just explained about salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. But my first pick is something out of the ordinary.

It’s mild enough for sensitive skin but powerful enough to cleanse clogged pores.

This is a product from Japan free of harsh chemicals like fragrances, dyes, and preservatives. It doesn’t have exfoliating beads, either.

All you need is water to activate the cleansing gel. Then, it begins to foam to unclog pores and remove excess oil, dirt and impurities.

2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Cleansing Gel for Oily Skin

Here’s one more gentle cleanser that’s free of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.

If you’ve had a bad experience with those ingredients in the past, try this one instead.

Sometimes they sting and leave the skin red and dry. But this face was won’t.

It’s pH-balanced and feels refreshing.

The formula has zinc pidolate that reduces oiliness without the need for soap or alcohol.

Moreover, it’s paraben and oil-free.

3. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Face Cleanser

Perhaps the best drugstore face wash for blackheads is the Effaclar Cleanser.

It has 2% salicylic acid, the maximum over-the-counter concentration. As a result, it clears up pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads alike.

It also minimizes the amount of surface oil to reduce shine.

LaRoche-Posay leaves out artificial fragrances, parabens, and oils to prevent irritation. But there is a little bit of menthol to cool down your skin.

4. L’Oréal Paris Skin Care Pure-Clay Facial Cleanser with Red Algae

L’Oreal makes different versions of the clay facial cleanser. This one has red algae from France along with charcoal and volcanic particles.

It exfoliates dead skin cells to leave it smooth and practically poreless.

The addition of eucalyptus refines and purifies the complexion.

While the formula is mild enough to use every day, it doubles as a face mask.

In that case, you’d leave it on for longer but only apply it three times a week.

5. Biore Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Cooling Cleanser

Witch hazel is excellent as a toner for oily skin. It doesn’t cause dryness like alcohol.

Bioré combines the power of witch hazel with 2% salicylic acid to cleanse acne-prone skin.

It doesn’t just eliminate dirt and makeup; it also breaks down the oil that clogs pores. As a result, you’ll have fewer blackheads.

6. Bioré Rose Quartz Charcoal Daily Purifying Cleanser

Bioré also makes this unusual Rose Quartz Cleanser. It’s based on Japanese Skin Purifying Technology.

Instead of simply washing your face, it reaches deep within pores to purify them.

It soaks up excess oil and removes impurities.

Furthermore, it’s vegan and paraben-free.

7. Bioré Charcoal Acne-Clearing Cleanser

Finally, Bioré’s classic charcoal cleanser is a trusted solution for blackheads and pimples.

It tingles as you wash, then leaves the skin silky soft.

It’s best for oily skin as it has salicylic, alphahydroxy acids and sodium laureth sulfate.

The company says that you will have clearer skin after only two days of washing with it.

8. Tea Tree Oil Face Cleanser by Era Organics

Let’s detour for a moment to look at a tea tree oil face wash.

This one features other natural and organic ingredients like aloe, St. John’s wort, pomegranate, burdock, and dandelion.

It also has salicylic acid.

Happily, it doesn’t have sulfates, parabens, or perfumes.

Enjoy this cleanser on your face or body, anywhere you want to eliminate acne for blackheads.

You have sixty days to try it and get a refund if you’re not pleased.

9. Clean & Clear Daily Pore Face Cleanser

Clean & Clear is a household name. But does their cleanser do a good job on blackheads?

It appears that it does. Countless comments report that it’s successful at reducing acne as well as minimizing pores.

It doesn’t even have salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

On the downside, some people find it a bit drying. Reduce your use to one time per day, and be sure to apply a suitable moisturizer.

10. Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Daily Facial Cleanser

Neutrogena has branched out into a line of natural products. This cleanser, for example, has salicylic acid derived from willow bark.

It’s also free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, and petroleum.

Dermatologists declare it safe for sensitive skin.

Users say that it’s pleasant to use as a cooling and cleansing gel that doesn’t burn their skin.

11. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser

Paula’s Choice is a company that avoids unnecessary ingredients like scents and parabens.

Their CLEAR gentle cleanser has a minimal amount of salicylic acid – just 0.5%.

It’s strong enough to remove makeup and keep the skin clear and bright. But it’s soothing enough to avoid reddening or to dehydrate the complexion.

It’s even safe for dry skin as long as you moisturize afterward.

12. Humane Face & Body Acne Wash

Let’s switch gears to a potent benzoyl peroxide acne wash.

The 10% concentration is the strongest you can buy over-the-counter. Don’t use it if you have sensitive skin.

Otherwise, it’s just what you need if you have moderate to severe acne. Not only will it eliminate blackheads, but it also clears up whiteheads, pimples, and cysts.

Luckily, this formula is free of other harsh ingredients like sulfates, artificial fragrances, parabens, and formaldehyde.

13. Acne Free Oil-Free Acne Cleanser

Here’s a milder face wash with a lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide.

You might be able to use it twice a day once your skin gets used to it.

The benzoyl peroxide is micronized. That means it’s in tiny particles that sink deep into pores.

The cleanser also has ceramides to maintain a healthy moisture balance.

When you wash your face, let the products it on your skin for a few minutes to do its work.

14. Proactiv Renewing & Exfoliating Cleanser

Proactiv also puts 2.5% benzoyl peroxide in this daily cleanser.

It has tiny exfoliating beads to get rid of the dead skin cells that can clog your pores and cause blackheads.

Massage it into your face, then wait a couple of minutes before you rinse.

Although this active ingredient can cause dryness and irritation, the formula has chamomile and hyaluronic acid to counteract those side effects.

One bottle lasts about ninety days.

15. Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Clay Face Mask and Facial Cleanser

Neutrogena provides two purposes for this clay-based cleanser. You can wash with it or use it as a mask up to three times a week.

It absorbs impurities to keep pores clean and tight.

Be sure to keep it away from your eyes.

16. Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Facial Cleansing Pads

If you’re not a fan of face washes, try these cleansing pads instead. They are saturated with 0.6% salicylic acid.

There are two sides to each pad: one smooth, one rough. The rough side is to help exfoliate.

Massage them on damp skin and watch the foam bubble away impurities.

There’s no soap or oil, or alcohol in the formula. Instead, it has soy extract to clarify the skin and improve the texture.

17. CHIC REPUBLIC All-Natural Activated Charcoal Facial Cleanser

Fans of this charcoal cleanser love that it smells like fresh oranges.

It’s rich in natural ingredients like white and green tea plus aloe and coconut oil.

Regular use reduces blackheads and acne.

But it has other excellent benefits. For one, it’s packed with antioxidants.

The antioxidants minimize wrinkles and defend against premature aging.

It also comes with essential vitamins that promote healing.

18. Eve Hansen Face Wash

If you’re reluctant to try benzoyl peroxide face wash, use a vitamin C product instead.

Vitamin C is a natural pore minimizer that brightens skin tone.

This face wash features organic aloe as well as tea tree, rosehip seed, and olive oil.

It protects the skin’s natural moisture while it exfoliates dead skin cells.

Also, it’s made in the USA and free from sulfates, phthalates, and parabens.

19. Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

Glycolic acid is a smart choice if you have naturally dry skin. It’s good for exfoliating and hydrating at the same time.

The only con is that it doesn’t dissolve oil in pores as salicylic acid does.

That’s why this cleanser is perfectly balanced. It has 2.5% glycolic acid along with willow bark – a natural source of salicylic acid.

More exfoliating action comes from tiny jojoba beads, too. They won’t harm the environment or tear up your skin.

Plus, if you struggle with acne scars, the formula has kojic acid. It’s a natural skin lightener like hydroquinone.

Try this glycolic acid-based exfoliating cleanser for up to ninety days and request a refund if you’re not happy with it.

20. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit

Were you wondering when I would include the pink grapefruit Neutrogena face wash?

This is the archetypal acne cleanser for a reason.

It’s pleasant to use, and it gets the job done without a lot of hassle. If you don’t mind the scent, you’ll probably love the lather.

The secret to its success lies with salicylic acid in a proprietary format. It’s called MicroClear Technology.

The technology ensures that this acid penetrates deep into the skin to purify the pores.

Without the need for scrubbing or steaming, you’ll end up with healthy-looking skin.

Neutrogena is also one of the top brands recommended by dermatologists to their patients.

21. CeraVe Foaming Daily Face Wash for Oily Skin

But what if you have sensitive skin that reacts badly to just about everything? You still need to wash your face.

While this foaming face wash doesn’t have the acne-fighting power of others in this review, it at least gets your skin clean.

Not only will it remove makeup, but it also clears away excess oil. It will help you keep a fresh and clean complexion throughout the day or night.

Less oil means less chance for clogged pores and blackheads.

CeraVe includes three essential ceramides that protect the skin’s natural barrier against moisture loss. There’s also hyaluronic acid to attract water into the skin. And finally, there’s niacinamide to diminish redness.

Since it’s made for persons prone to allergic reactions, it’s free of artificial fragrances and dyes. Unfortunately, it does contain parabens.

22. Super Soft Silicone Face Cleanser and Massager Brush

What do you use to wash your face beside a cleanser?

Have you tried a silicone brush yet?

It’s more effective than using only your hands. Moreover, it’s super soft and supple so that it won’t hurt the skin.

The thick bristles work your favorite face wash deep into the pores. It exfoliates and improves circulation.

The little handle on the other side gives you a non-slip grip.

23. Clarisonic Mia Prima

Even better than a silicone brush is the Clarisonic.

It’s a motorized brush that doesn’t spin. It oscillates or vibrates, which sucks the dirt and oil up out of the pores.

The bristles eventually wear out, but the brush will indicate when it’s time to change the head.

Tests show that the Clarisonic cleanses six times better than only using hands. Of course, you’ll need to use it for sixty seconds at a time to get that result.

Happily, it’s waterproof.

Plus, each time you charge it, it runs for up to a hundred minutes. That’s more than three months of washing your face with it before you need to charge it again.


Blackheads are a pain because they’re unsightly, and they keep coming back if you don’t take care of them.

On the other hand, the right face cleanser ensures that your skin stays smooth and clear.

If you discovered a new favorite face wash today, let us know about it in the comments below.


1. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/understanding-acne-treatment#1 accessed February 14, 2020

2. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/salicylic-acid/  by Vanessa Ngan, published 2005, accessed February 14, 2020

3. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/benzoyl-peroxide/by Dr. Amanda Oakley, published 1999, accessed February 14, 2020

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