Top 10 Best Salicylic Acid Face Wash Products

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Best Salicylic Acid Face Wash
Table of Contents

Salicylic acid is widely known for using as a key ingredient in anti-acne products. The acid can serve as a great treatment for those who suffer from different forms of acne. But the salicylic acid face wash can do much more than just treat acne.

In fact, salicylic acid is much more. With that in mind, most people opt for a salicylic acid product when they have acne issues. Acne can affect everyone, regardless of age, gender, and skin type.

That is why you need to be prepared. You are never too old for pimples. Among the many acne fighting ingredients, salicylic acid is one of the most common. It can help fight off inflammation, unclog pores, and give you clearer skin with fewer blemishes.

With that in mind, today, we will talk about salicylic acid, what are the benefits, how to use, how often to use, and which are the best salicylic acid face wash products on the market.

Quick Summary

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Best Salicylic Acid Face Wash Products ( 2021 Review )

#1 CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser

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CeraVe is a great line, and this product is perfect for those with sensitive skin.

Striking a perfect balance between maintaining the natural oils of your skin and not clogging your pores, the CeraVe cleanser will ensure there is no redness or irritation afterward.

In addition to salicylic acid, this cleanser contains ceramide moisturizers.

Found naturally in the skin, ceramides create a protective barrier that locks in moisture in your skin.

CeraVe’s cleanser packs three essential types of ceramides, but also other exfoliating ingredients.

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#2 Vichy Normaderm Daily Deep Cleansing Gel Acne Face Wash with Salicylic Acid

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Vichy has a strong reputation in the beauty world, and it is all thanks to products like this one.

The deep cleansing gel has been tried and tested by many women.

In one clinical trial by Vichy, 76 women used it for a month, and 90% of them reported their skin looked healthier.

That is definitely a good score. Seventy percent also said the texture of their skin improved.

How Vichy achieve this?

By going all-in on ingredients. In addition to salicylic acid, this face wash also contains glycolic acid and BHA. That is one potent formula.

In the same time, there are no parabens or alcohol, making the product safe for usage both in the morning and in the evening.

#3 Salicylic Deep Gel Exfoliating Cleanser – Enhanced with Tea Tree Oil & Green Tea Extract

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This is a professional skin treatment you can use to eliminate unpleasant acne and blemishes on your skin.

In addition to salicylic acid, this cleanser packs tea tree oil and green tea, for even more potent formula.

Eliminating bacteria, this cleanser will leave your skin soft and clean.

And you also get antioxidant properties that will slow down the aging process.

FDA approved, this cleanser is also supported by dermatologists.

#4 La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser

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La Roche is a brand name that has an excellent reputation in helping with acne.

In addition, this product won the Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2016.

With that in mind, you know you are getting a quality product that works.

Recommended for people with oily skin, as the 2% salicylic acid formula will reduce the extra oil by half.

Free of oils, parabens, artificial fragrances, the cleanser is safe for people with sensitive skin as well.

In addition to salicylic acid, the cleanser and face wash contains glycerin that will provide hydration and moisture.

You will fight off acne and dryness at the same time. Last, but not least, menthol helps your skin feel soothing and cool.

#5 Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne-Fighting Face Wash, Daily Cleanser with Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment

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This product by Neutrogena is considered among the best dermatologist approved and recommended products.

The face wash is based on salicylic acid but contains no oil. That is why people with oily skin will find great results.

One downside is that this product is not recommended for usage in combination with other topical acne treatment products.

This can cause dryness and irritation.

On its own, the cleanser does a great job of keeping acne away. Some people might not need anything else. But if this product is not enough, you cannot combine with something else.

#6 Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Cream Face Wash

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We mentioned that you need to get a product you can use for a longer period. And with that in mind, the Clean and Clear face wash will definitely keep your wallet full.

One of the best budget options on the market, the wash can help with blemishes and uneven skin tone.

Designed to clean 85% of the buildup of oil, makeup, and other debris.

The formula is oil-free, meaning it won’t add any shine or greasy feeling to your skin.

If you have acne prone or oily skin, this is probably the best thing you can apply.

#7 BEALUZ Clarifying Facial Cleanser

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This non-greasy and lightweight cleansing oil work well on mild acne. But do not count on it for severe acne issues.

If you are struggling with breakouts for a long time, you might need a stronger punch.

This formula packs lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, but also vitamin B and lavender that will soothe your skin and reduce excess oils on your face.

In addition to cleansing your face of acne, you can also use it to remove makeup.

It is a gentle cleanser, and at the same time, nourishing and hydrating. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, this cleanser is great for daily use.

#8 Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne and Redness Facial Cleanser

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If you need something milder, and a product that you can combine with other acne treatments, try something else from Neutrogena.

This salicylic acid cleanser contains aloe vera and chamomile extracts that will provide a soothing experience for your face.

The formula is designed to soothe the skin.

The anti-redness will kick in immediately, but you will have to wait a bit more to take care of acne and blemishes.

With that in mind, if you are consistent and persistent, you can expect clear face within a few weeks.

#9 Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser

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Mario Badescu is a commodity in the market for acne products.

When used successfully, this product can prevent and treat different forms of acne in an efficient way. And the price is quite reasonable.

It is not a budget product, but the price is somewhere in between. And those are the results you get.

Made of an important concentration of aloe vera and chamomile, the wash will also calm your skin and provide moisture.

We know that you need to follow up a salicylic acid face wash with moisturizer, but this product gives you both in one package.

Your skin will become softer and healthier, and you can use it to treat inflamed skin and blackheads.

#10 Neutrogena Men Skin Clearing Daily Acne Face Wash with Salicylic Acid

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The biggest downside of this product is that it is gender specific.

Yes, some women try to use it, but they do not get the results as with gender-neutral products.

Designed for men, the skin care solution can be used on a daily basis.

The company recommends applying on wet skin, and massage it until the layer is entirely absorbed.

The non-comedogenic cream can help you eliminate excess oil and unclog your pores.

You will be left with a pleasant look of your skin.

How often to use salicylic acid face wash products?

Products that contain salicylic acid, including face washes, can be drying to your skin. If you have sensitive skin, the issue can be even worse.

However, the typical over-the-counter cleanser and face wash product is typically safe to use.

You can use these products two times per day

And remember, you might not get results instantly. The salicylic acid face wash might produce results after one month of usage.

Benefits of salicylic acid

As we mentioned previously, most people get face washes to clear up acne. But salicylic acid does much more for your face and skin.

Here are some of the benefits.

  • Gently and healthily exfoliate your skin, eliminating dead skin cells and unclogging pores in the process
  • Help with all forms of acne
  • Eliminates scars, blemishes, and other issues on your face, resulting in soft and healthy skin
  • Salicylic acid can help open pores, and keep them clean, preventing pimples and blackheads in the process
  • Reduces inflammation of the skin after just one usage
  • Delays the natural aging process
  • Reduces oily skin and can balance the production of oil in your skin
  • Nourishes your skin from outside in and provides a moisturizing and hydrating effect
  • Dissolves warts and leaves your skin beautiful and natural looking

How to apply salicylic acid face wash?

When you get a product with salicylic acid, it is important that you follow instructions. Otherwise, you may fall victim to the possible side effects.

As a general rule of thumb, always apply the product on a clean face. You can use the face wash once or twice per day.

Apply it once in the morning, and once in the evening if you go for two appliances. If you apply it only once, apply the face wash before bedtime.

Allow your skin to absorb the product for up to one minute, and then gently wash with warm water.

Tips by dermatologists

We recommend consulting with a dermatologist or a doctor before you try salicylic acid on your face.

With that in mind, here are some tips dermatologists give when using salicylic acid.

  • Always follow up the face wash with a good moisturizer
  • Do not start strong, instead, add salicylic acid to your routine gradually

Possible side effects

We said that salicylic acid products are generally considered safe. However, even the safest product can cause some side effects if not used properly.

Here are the common side effects that occur due to the usage of salicylic acid

  • The acid can dry your skin, therefore, combine it with moisturizing ingredients
  • People with sensitive skin should be careful, and sometimes avoid products with salicylic acid
  • Regular and constant use of salicylic acid can discolor or darken your skin
  • Make sure to use sunscreen after using salicylic acid products

How to select the best salicylic acid face wash?

You can find many products with salicylic acid on the market. And it can be challenging to select the best one. While we give you 10 options, we would like to share with you some of the factors you need to consider.

For starters, skin type. Always go for a product that is suitable for your skin type. Yes, products for all skin types are great, but in many cases, it is best that you go for one that is designed for your skin type.

This applies to those with oily skin. If you have normal, or combined skin, you can go with all skin types product.

Next on the menu is the ingredients list. Go for a product made with natural ingredients.

Avoid products with parabens and artificial fragrances. Aloe vera, green tea, honey, tea tree oil, these are some great ingredients in addition to salicylic acid for anti-acne treatment.

Last, but not least, take a look at the price. Given that you will probably use the product for a couple of months, you want something that fits your budget.

Do not buy a product that you can only afford for one month only.



My name is Fani Gulevska, and I am passionate about helping people live better lives. I am a nutritionist, a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur, and the founder of Rock the Trend.
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