Drugstore Cleansers for Oily Skin

Lately, I have been getting a lot of questions on my Instagram about skincare routines; therefore I decided to make this into a series. Interestingly, one of the most commonly asked questions are regarding affordable drugstore cleansers for oily skin. This article will take you through some of the best cleansers for your skin type.

Cleansers for Oily Skin

First things first, skincare routines are not as complicated as you might think, but at the same time, you can’t use adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. It depends on your skin type, age, colour, geography and budget.

Before you start, here is an article I recently posted about the different skin types. I recommend giving it a read before continuing.

General tips

  • If you are over washing your face, please stop. This is the commonest mistake that seems to happen. Over washing can strip off the natural protective oils in your face that you need. Always opt for a gentle cleanser and apply a light hydrating moisturizer afterwards.
  • Since your skin is prone to being oily, stay away from heavy greasy emollients and oil based moisturizers. Vitamin C oil is a definite exception to this rule, and it is one that I will be covering in future posts.
  • Steer clear of beads or gritty scrubs that can be too harsh on skin and may lead to hyper pigmentation.
  • Try to avoid alcohol-based or scented products that can cause dryness and irritation.
  • Face wipes are always a no-no unless you’re using them as a last resort at the gym or on the go.
  • Always choose cleansers that are labelled “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic”.

Disclaimer: Each of the products listed below are independently selected. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission from Amazon Associates and this helps to keep the blog running.

Drugstore Cleansers for Oily Skin

Drugstore cleansers for oily skin
Best Drugstore Cleansers for Oily Skin

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel For Oily Skin

Why we love it?

This water-based cleanser is alcohol-free and it gently cleanses without over drying. It also contains Zinc PCA, which is both a humectant and has anti-microbial properties, thereby making it suitable for sensitive skin with Rosacea and Cystic Acne. Overall, it has a good quality/price/quantity ratio. For U.A.E listing click here.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

Why we love it?

This is a no fuss cleanser and while it is marketed for those who have dry to combination skin types, I find this works great even on oily skin especially if you’re prone to breakouts. It contains three essential ceramides as well as hyaluronic acid, glycerin (moisture locking ingredients) and phytosphingosine (a phospholipid with skin restoring properties). Together, these ingredients work to restore your skin’s natural barrier. Overall, good quality/price/quantity ratio.

Avène Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser

Avene Cleanance Gel

Why we love it?

This soap-less cleansing gel is perfect for those who have oily or acne prone skin and need an everyday cleanser. Plus, its hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic. It offers a good price/quantity ratio. However, it has a slight scent which can be irritating to sensitive skin and is relatively higher priced.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser Oily Skin

Why we love it?

This cleanser has a creamy, non-foaming consistency that effectively removes debris from the face. Fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic formula makes it an excellent choice for those with sensitive/ acne prone skin. Plus, the non-medicated formula means you can use it even if you’re using drying acne medications, like topical benzoyl peroxide. Overall, good quality/price/quantity ratio.

Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel Cleanser

Bioderma Cleanser

Why we love it?

This is a gentle cleanser that can be used on a daily basis. It has a soap-free formula and has an overall good price/quantity ratio. Only downside is its relatively higher price.

Sukin Rosehip Nourishing Cream Cleanser

Sukin Affordable Drugstore Cleasners for Oily Skin

Why we love it?

Despite having a creamy consistency, I find this works better than than Sukin’s foaming cleanser even for combination/oily skin types. Another plus point, it doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils. I use this as the first step in a double cleanse on the days that I wear makeup, then follow up with Cetaphil cleanser. Suitable for sensitive skin. And overall, good quality/price/quantity ratio.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash

Why we love it?

This cleanser contains salicylic acid. However, using salicylic acid in cleansers may not provide sufficient contact time for its action. Good price/quantity ratio.


With sensitive skin, it is best to do a small patch test before applying anything new to your face. Also, please consult your dermatologist for further questions or concerns.

Are you using any of these cleansers? Let me know in the comments below. Also you can check some of the common skincare mistakes here.

Sahar x

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