Best Face Wash for Sensitive Oily Skin – What are the Top Cleansers for Oily and Sensitive Skin?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Having a skincare routine for oily or sensitive skin can be quite difficult. However, it becomes a true challenge to find the right products if you have both oily and sensitive skin. So, what is the best face wash for sensitive oily skin?

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While most products on the market specialize in either oily or sensitive skin, a handful of products are tested by many to be extremely gentle on sensitive skin while reducing sebum and shine. These products include Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Face Wash, which is our top pick as the best overall face cleanser for sensitive oily skin.

But that’s not all! We don’t just have our pick of oily skin cleanser options, but formulated for sensitive skin, too! If you’re looking for a complete guide that walks you through everything you should know about this skin complexion and what face washes for oily and sensitive skin to use, keep on reading.

Table of Contents

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Daily Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, Acne, Eczema & Rosacea, Oil-Free, Soap-Free, Hypoallergenic & Non-Comedogenic Creamy Face Wash, 12 fl. oz
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What Is the Best Face Wash for Oily Sensitive Skin?

Our Pick: Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Daily Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Oily Skin

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Daily Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, Acne, Eczema & Rosacea, Oil-Free, Soap-Free, Hypoallergenic & Non-Comedogenic Creamy Face Wash, 12 fl. oz
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Kicking off the list with one of the best products on the market that targets both oily skins that are exceptionally sensitive.

This unique face cleanser has one of the best formulas that contain a minimal variety of ingredients to reduce any comedogenic or very allergenic activity to the skin.

This makes the Neutrogena Face Wash ultra-gentle for sensitive types of skins that are highly irritated by added chemicals, parabens, fragrances, allergens, and essential oils.

Now for the oily part of the skin. This facial cleanser  is designed with a deep cleansing formula that is able to thoroughly remove the excess oil, sebum, and dirt for the deepest skin layers.

For all these previous reasons, it benefits those who are suffering from both sensitive and dry skin at the same time.

How to Use

Another special feature about this face wash is that it’s as simple as it gets when it comes to usage, like many face washes for oily sensitive skin:

  • All you need is to first wet your face and add some of that creamy cleanser on your hands (about the size of a coin)
  • Work the cleanser until you cover your face with it
  • Then start to gently massage your skin to expose the deep sebum and oils for cleansing
  • After that, rinse the face wash off your face

Best Face Wash for Oily Acne Prone Sensitive Skin: Cetaphil PRO DermaControl Oil Removing Foam Wash

Cetaphil PRO DermaControl Oil Removing Foam Wash 8 oz - Packaging May Vary
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If your oily and sensitive skin is also prone to acne and breakouts, you’ll need a highly exclusive foaming facial cleanser that’s specifically made for that task. One of the best face washes for oily skin and acne prone skin on the market is the Cetaphil Pro DermaControl Foam Wash.

Although marketed as a face wash for oily skin, it’s also good for sensitive skin. In addition to the highly efficient cleansing ingredients in the item, the formula in this excess oil removing foam wash contains mainly liquorice root extract as well as zinc. These substances help sensitive skin by soothing the irritated skin all the while reducing the shine produced by oils. If you have acne prone skin, you can safely use this foaming facial cleanser as it is specifically formulated to not clog pores.

How to Use

  • Similar to regular face washes, you should start by cleaning your hands to avoid transferring bacteria to your pores
  • After that, apply enough foaming facial cleanser to massage your skin with it
  • After you rinse your face, the strong formula may leave your skin a bit dry

You can use an external moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Ideally, you can also get this oil control Cetaphil moisturizer for optimal results along with the foam for sensitive oily skin. These two ought to help you manage your sensitive, oily, and acne prone skin.

RELATED: Best Carrier Oil for Sensitive Skin

Best Cleanser for Sensitive Oily Skin and Large Pores: Paula’s Choice RESIST Foaming Cleanser

Paula's Choice RESIST Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser, Hyaluronic Acid & Aloe, Anti-Aging Face Wash, Large Pores & Oily Skin, 6.4 Ounce
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In addition to being sensitive, one of the most problematic issues for oily skin is having large pores.

These pores accumulate excess oil, called sebum, to cause much bigger issues, such as intense acne and blackheads. Dead skin cells also tend to accumulate in large pores, so you’ll need a face cleanser that takes care of that, too.

If you want to avoid this problem altogether while enjoying a nourished oily sensitive skin, consider this Resist Foam Cleanser from Paula’s Choice.

What makes this foaming facial cleanser special is that it also has a sun-blocking factor and moisturizer to keep your complexion clear without any kind of hypersensitivity or irritation.

How to Use

  • Wet your face
  • Apply the foaming cleanser on your hand

The great thing about this foaming cleanser is that it starts to give decent results within a few days of usage!

Best Face Wash for Oily Sensitive Skin Drugstore: EltaMD Deep Pore Sensitivity-Free Facial Cleanser

EltaMD Deep Pore Facial Cleanser, Sensitivity-Free, Soap-Free and Oil-Free Face Wash For Oily Skin, 8 oz
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This one is an excellent drugstore face wash that’s designed for sensitive skin.

The EltaMD Deep Pore Facial Cleanser is designed and proven clinically to remove all the oily impurities, dead skin cells, and sebum that’s embedded deeply into the skin, which accumulates with bacteria to create acne breakouts.

Additionally, it has a skin-nourishing polyglycerin formula that will adjust the moisture level to help your skin breathe while being moisturized.

It’s ideal for those looking for the maximum level of care that comes with premium drugstore skincare products.

How to Use

  • You apply a small amount of the cleanser on your hand
  • Apply it to the skin on your face
  • Massage skin gentle
  • Remember to rinse your face with water before and after your treatment with this medical-grade facial cleanser

Natural Cleanser for Oily Sensitive Skin: Beauty By Earth Face Wash

Foaming Face Wash - Organic Face Wash, Peppermint Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser, Acne Face Wash for Women & Mens Face Wash, Men Face Wash for Acne, Acne Cleanser, Natural Face Wash For Oily Skin
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If you prefer an organic approach while treating your ultra-sensitive oily skin, you should consider this face wash from Beauty by Earth.

What makes this product special is that it’s designed from all-natural ingredients only and is mainly used for oily skin.

Since all the ingredients in this product are organic, you shouldn’t worry about any kind of skin reactions or irritations

How to Use

The facial cleanser is used just like other commercial ones.

  • You just need to apply it on a wet face
  • Massage it into skin in a circular motion

The gentle formula allows you to follow up with your skincare routine without worrying about breakouts and irritations.

Best Face Wash for Oily Sensitive Skin with Blackheads: Neutrogena Oil Free Pink Grapefruit Pore Cleansing Acne Wash

Neutrogena Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit Pore Cleansing Acne Wash and Daily Liquid Facial Cleanser with 2% Salicylic Acid Acne Medicine and Vitamin C, 6 fl. oz
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The problem with blackheads is that charcoal is the best ingredient to get rid of them. Unfortunately, this ingredient is often too intense for sensitive oily skin.

RELATED: Is charcoal good for the skin

The best viable option to use as a face wash for oily sensitive skin with blackheads is Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Acne Wash. it works like magic for everything from removing excess oils all the way to blackheads. This is also oil free, so no need to worry about clogged pores from comedogenic ingredients.

How to Use

While using this face wash like usual, make sure you immediately follow it up with a moisturizer.

Despite being gentle on sensitive skin, it does remove a lot of excess oil, which might leave your skin a bit dried out.

Medicated Face Wash for Oily Sensitive Skin (Derma Prescribed): ASEPXIA Medicated Acne Face Wash

ASEPXIA Medicated Acne Face Wash - Facial Cleanser for Pimples and Blackheads with 3% Sulfur, 8.45 fluid ounce
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Last but not least, this facial wash acne cleanser by Asepxia. If all the over the counter face washes didn’t work for your skin, you should consult a dermatologist to prescribe medicated face washes for you.

Most of these face washes contain sulfur, which is known for its abilities to fight and prevent acne.

What makes this one the best for your condition is that it’s tried by a lot of people with oily sensitive skin and got great results with consistency and sticking to the dermatologist instructions.

How to Use

Unlike the previous items, this one should be used as prescribed by your dermatologist.

Can You Have Oily Sensitive Skin?

Some people deal with sensitive skin while others suffer from oily skin types.

However, there’s a wide possibility for some people to have a skin type that’s both oily and sensitive at the same time.

What Is Oily Sensitive Skin?

Oily sensitive skin is a quite challenging skin type where the skin produces more sebum and oils than regular. This excess oil production can cause breakouts, because debris can get trapped in pores.

However, being more sensitive, the skin also starts to break out with acne, blackheads, and other conditions quite easily.

Sensitive skin also makes it more difficult to choose suitable skincare routine products, as some of the oil removing ones might be too harsh for the sensitive skin’s skin barrier.

What Happens to Your Skin When you Have Both Oily and Sensitive Skin?

While having both a sensitive and an oily skin type sound a bit offbeat, sensitive oily skin causes more frequent breakouts and intense acne than regular skin.

What Causes…

What Causes Oily Skin?

According to Dr. Vikram Rajkomar, Consultant Dermatologist who treats adults and children alike for various skin issues,

Sebum helps moisturize and protect the skin and is one of the key causes of oily skin. When your sebaceous glands produce excess sebum, your skin can be more on the oily side. The environment, genetics and hormones can cause you to produce more sebum”

While sebaceous glands responsible for oil production make sebum to actually benefit the skin, when it over produces oil, it can be bad, too. Which is why it’s important to manage it.

What Causes Sensitive Skin?

Dr. Rajkomar also defines sensitive skin:

Sensitive skin is skin which demonstrates lower tolerance to the application of certain products, for example cosmetic products. This includes stinging, burning, redness, dryness or itching. Causes include eczema, allergic contact dermatitis, irritant dermatitis and rosacea as the most common.”

What Causes Oily Sensitive Skin?

Finally, Dr Rajkomar sheds some light on this skin combination:

The top causes of both sensitive and oily skin are genetics and hormonal changes. If you have oily skin, do not wash your skin more often as this can increase sensitivity.”

How Do You Treat Oily Sensitive Skin?

The biggest problem while treating oily sensitive skin is finding products that fit both bills.

Ideally, you treat these types of skin by using a face wash or a cleanser that is specifically designed for oily skin.

However, these products should also be free of allergens and other ingredients that might irritate sensitive skin.

Thus, face washes for oily skin – targeted specifically for oily skin types – may not be the best bet for you. You’re going to want to look for products that are geared toward helping both sensitive and oily skin combinations. Face washes for oily skin might also be too stripping of the skin barrier, which can cause your sensitive skin to flare up due to lack of moisture, causing you to have dry skin as well.

Face washes for oily skin AND sensitive skin are key!

What Products Are Good for Oily Sensitive Skin?

While such a unique complexion minimizes the options you have, there are some products that can do the trick.

Always look for products that are labelled with “ultra care” as well as “treating oily skin conditions”. Such products are designed to work on oily skin types while staying gentle.

You can also use a clay cleanser to help manage this combination skin type. Dermalogica Active Clay Cleanser is formulated so that it works for sensitive oily, and acne prone skin, all at once.

Dermalogica Active Clay Cleanser (5.1 Fl Oz) Face Wash - Purifies Pores and Absorbs Excess Oils and Impurities for Smooth, Revitalized Skin
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Green tea is also a good ingredient to manage acne but also sensitive oily skin. When added to face washes for oily skin, green tea has been known to help reduce sebum and acne. Green tea is also a natural ingredient that benefits skin sensitivities due to its anti inflammatory properties. The DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB Real Fresh Foam Cleanser removes makeup and dirt without making your skin more oily, or exacerbating sensitive skin problems.

DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB Real Fresh Foam Cleanser, Green Tea, 5.6 Fl Oz
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Using glycolic and lactic acids is also helpful for oily skin. Glycolic acid helps reduce oil production while cleaning the pores. Lactic acid also helps with oil control while also healing the skin.

This Mild Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub Gel by Promesse has salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid. All 3 ingredients cleanses the skin, stripping it of impurities but keeping it moisturized without irritation.

Face Wash with Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid & Glycolic Acid. Face Wash Exfoliating Cleanser with AHA. Mild Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub GEL to control Acne & Keratosis Pilaris.
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If you’re looking to deep cleanse but you have easily irritated skin, try Tatcha’s The Deep Cleanse: Non-irritating Daily Gel Cleanser that’s non-oily but creamy enough to work for sensitive skin.

Tatcha The Deep Cleanse: Non-irritating Daily Gel Cleanser to Hydrate, Exfoliate and Tighten Pores - 150 ml / 5 oz
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Hyaluronic acid is also great for oily sensitive skin. We already know that hyaluronic acid moisturizes the skin, but it is also non comedogenic, making it great for sensitive acne prone skin. Try The Lab’s Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Facial Foam Deep Hydrating Cleanser, which doesn’t clog the pores or irritate the skin, while still cleansing of impurities. Although it says it’s good for dry skin, the fact that it has non comedogenic ingredients while still moisturizing the skin helps oily types. Not only does this foaming cleanser do its job cleansing oily skin and sensitive skin, it’s cruelty free, too!

Blanc Doux Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Facial Foam Deep Hydrating Cleanser 4.05 fl. oz. for Dry, Sensitive Skin VEGAN Certified Deeply Moisturizing Face Wash | K-Beauty Korean Skin Care
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What Ingredients Should You Avoid If You Have Oily and Sensitive Skin?

Chemical ingredients, such as preservatives, colors, and perfumes unnecessarily irritate the skin. These can also make your skin produce excess oil.

Moreover, the formula should be intensively minimalistic, as it’s free of all kinds of chemicals that irritate sensitive oily skin types. This includes masking fragrances, parabens, and pore-clogging elements. No one wants clogged pores, least of all if you have the skin type combination where all 3 react badly to this issue, creating more skin problems.

The skin care routine for sensitive oily skin types should be similar to the skin routine of normal oily skin but with the exclusion of intense ingredients that irritates the skin.

Cleansing with a face wash, toning and moisturizing the skin at day and night count as the best skincare routine.

You should also incorporate it with wearing sunscreens while going outdoors and washing your face after workouts.

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Wrap Up

There you have it. A complete guide with everything you need to know about sensitive oily skin.

Here’s a quick recap of the top choices of face wash for sensitive oily skin:

  1. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Daily Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Oily Skin
  2. Cetaphil PRO DermaControl Oil Removing Foam Wash
  3. Paula’s Choice RESIST Foaming Cleanser
  4. EltaMD Deep Pore Sensitivity-Free Facial Cleanser
  5. Beauty By Earth Face Wash
  6. Neutrogena Oil Free Pink Grapefruit Pore Cleansing Acne Wash
  7. ASEPXIA Medicated Acne Face Wash

Thanks to the excellent blend of soothing and oil removing ingredients, we pick Neutrogena Ultra Gentle as the best face wash for sensitive oily skin. But with any of our picks for best cleanser for oily sensitive skin on this post, you’re sure to take care of this skin type well!

Related posts on our blog:

If you have any questions, valuable tips, or suggestions for great products to add to the list, don’t forget to leave us a comment below!

What are some of your tips for oily sensitive skin? Does it also improve your skin tone?

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  1. I loved the tips!
    My skin is mixed and oily, and soon I’m going to need to research some moisturizing and anti-aging creams.

  2. Oooh I have a sensitive skin so not all face washes work well on me :(. Love that there is a lot of different options out there. Cetaphil is great! Used it for a few years. Thanks for sharing all of these different options!

    Nancy ✨

  3. Great post, and some great products on the list. I use an oil-based cleanser on my skin, as I’ve read that this can help balance out the skin.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo

  4. I have oily skin so I will have to try out these recommendations. Thanks so much for sharing them!

  5. Love this post so much! It is so important to use face washes that are particular for your skin type, so this is such a useful post!

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