Best Face Washes and Cleansers for Whiteheads

Best Face Washes and Cleansers for Whiteheads of 2021

Despite whiteheads being such a common skin concern not many women know that they’re actually a form of acne. Because not all acne breakouts look the same. Some can even be small, round, and marked by a thin white layer at the top. So what is this white layer? It’s your skin flakes, which get trapped below the skin, thus plugging your pores.

The accumulation of excess sebum, dead skin cells, and dirt may block the pores to give rise to whiteheads. But then there are the best face washes and cleansers for whiteheads that reverse this effect. Meaning they unclog the pores and get rid of whitehead-inducing bacteria and impurities. So the root cause of the problem itself is addressed!

Best Face Washes and Cleansers for Whiteheads

1. AcneFree Oil-Free Acne Cleanser

On Sale
AcneFree Acne Free Oil-Free Cleanser, Benzoyl...
  • 1 STEP DAILY CLEANSING ROUTINE – Give your skin...

The first on our list is a medicated acne cleanser formulated with benzoyl peroxide. This is an ingredient that’s used a lot in such skincare solutions for treating and preventing acne breakouts, including whiteheads and blackheads. And it does so by eliminating the bacteria itself that triggers these breakouts.

Your clogged pores and all the excess sebum and dead skin cells accumulated inside them don’t stand a chance. Because the advanced micronized solution of benzoyl peroxide penetrates deep into your pores for activating the cleansing action.

Key Features

  • Dermatologist recommended for acne-prone skin
  • Made using bacteria-killing benzoyl peroxide
  • Infused with ceramides for boosting hydration
  • Light, airy texture for foamy lather
  • Highly effective and gentle for body and back acne

2. CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash

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CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser for Daily Face...
  • [ ALL OVER CLEANSING ] Suitable for use on the...
  • [ ESSENTIAL CERAMIDES ] Unique formula with three...

You can get a clearer complexion if you use this very popular CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash on a daily basis. Unlike other formulas that usually contain harsh chemicals to get the job done, this one’s gentle and clean.

Equipped with only essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid, and no artificial fragrances, parabens, etc., the formula keeps away frequent breakouts. And it eliminates sebum, dirt, bacteria, and even makeup without damaging your skin’s natural moisture barrier. In fact, it boosts this layer of moisture protection.

Key Features

  • Gentle daily cleanser for face and body
  • Hyaluronic acid to moisturize and hydrate
  • Essential ceramides strengthen the skin’s protective barrier
  • Non-comedogenic, non-irritating, and non-drying

3. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser - 20 oz (Bonus Size)
  • Originally formulated for dermatologists; gentle...
  • The optimal choice for patients with skin...
  • Clinically proven to be four times less irritating...

Those with sensitive skin can blindly rely on this Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Even women and men with acne-prone skin have praised the brand’s original formulation. It’s plenty gentle and also clinically proven for enhancing your skin’s natural hydration levels.

Your skin is sure to feel smooth as well, without getting dry or irritated after the deep cleansing action brought about by this non-irritating, mild formula.

Key Features

  • Clinically proven to be non-irritating, even on sensitive skin
  • Neutral pH level, non-comedogenic, and soap-free
  • Contain propylene glycol for boosting hydration
  • Dermatologist-recommended brand and formula for acne breakouts

4. Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam

Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam pH 5.5 for Acne...
  • Sebamed clear face cleansing foam - 150ml
  • Prevents the formation of new pimples
  • Refines the complexion, provides a matt finish and...

When you have acne breakouts like blackheads and whiteheads due to clogged pores and also oily skin, then a cleansing solution like this feels like a stroke of luck. The Sebamed formulation prevents acne and also accelerates the process of healing blemishes.

There’s panthenol infused into it as well for soothing and regenerating inflamed skin. Plus, the pH balance of the product is 5.5. So you know it stabilizes your skin’s natural protective barrier.

Key Features

  • An antibacterial cleansing foam wash
  • Formulated with a coconut oil derivative to treat/prevent acne
  • Also contains skin-soothing and skin-healing panthenol

5. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser | 12 oz | Daily...
  • [ ALL OVER CLEANSING ] Suitable for use on the...
  • [ ESSENTIAL CERAMIDES ] Unique formula with three...

Here’s the second cleanser on the list by none other than CeraVe - a skincare brand known for its gentle, deep-cleansing formulas. Unlike the previous CeraVe solution, this one’s a foaming wash. But just like the first one, it’s got essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Women and men with oily skin benefit the most from this, even those with African American skin that’s more prone to sensitivity. It keeps your skin’s natural sebum production in check for over 8 hours post-wash. More importantly, it helps with pesky whiteheads like no other.

Key Features

  • A gentle, non-drying, non-irritating cleanser for face and body
  • Formulated with essential ceramides that remove oil
  • Hyaluronic acid activates skin hydration and anti-aging benefits
  • Non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, thus ideal for oily and sensitive skin

6. Beauty Facial Extreme Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cleanser

Benzoyl Peroxide 5% Acne Cleanser- Clinically...
  • Clinically proven, non-irritating 5% micronized...
  • Recommended for those who need an advanced acne...
  • Reduces the occurrence of clogged pores. Helps to...

Not the first acne cleanser on the list formulated with benzoyl peroxide, but it’s certainly the most highly recommended for sensitive skin. All because the product has zero amount of irritation-triggering and acne-inducing ingredients. For example, artificial fragrances and parabens.

Expect to see less frequent i.e. only occasional breakouts because the facial cleanser gets absorbed deep into the skin and pores to produce instant results. So you can keep acne and even acne blemishes at bay.

Key Features

  • Clinically proven to fight acne-causing bacteria
  • Contains micronized benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria and dead skin cells
  • Formulated for acne-prone and oily skin
  • Free of artificial fragrances and parabens

7. iUNIK Centella Bubble Foaming Facial Cleanser

IUNIK Centella Bubble Foaming Vegan Facial...
  • ✅ Centella Bubble Cleansing Foam is a gentle...
  • ✅ Centella Asiatica Extract 69% and naturally...
  • ✅ Key ingredients: Centella Asiatica Extract....

Use this Bubble Foaming Facial Cleanser day and night if you have oily and/or acne-prone skin. And you won’t take time to notice your skin getting clearer and your acne breakouts in the form of whiteheads and blackheads becoming more and more uncommon.

On top of that, this Centella Asiatica extract solution also heals acne scars very quickly. Other naturally derived substances are also used, such as tea tree leaf water, Oryza Sativa Bran Extract, and some more. These ingredients, together, perform the task of soothing and moisturizing without exhausting your skin’s natural moisture protection.

Key Features

  • Cleanses with Centella Asiatica extract to preserve moisture
  • Contains tea tree water for treating acne, scars, inflammation, etc.
  • All-natural ingredients soothe and moisturize without any skin irritation
  • Hypoallergenic and free of comedogenics and fragrances

8. Biore Charcoal Acne Clearing Face Wash

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Bioré Charcoal Acne Cleanser, Salicylic Acid...
  • CHARCOAL FACE WASH - Infused with natural charcoal...
  • DEEP PORE CLEANSER - With deep cleansing, natural...
  • HELPS PREVENT BREAKOUTS - By combining a charcoal...

The final pick is one that comes with deep-cleaning and oil-absorbing charcoal. Just two days of cleansing is enough for you to see a drastic change in your sensitive skin, whiteheads, and oily T-zone.

It’s a gentle, soothing formula that also minimizes the visibility of blemishes. So feel free to make this one a part of your daily skincare regimen.

Key Features

  • Oil-free and dermatologist-tested
  • Natural charcoal removes bacteria and controls oil
  • Acne-fighting salicylic acid is also added
  • Non-comedogenic, vegan-friendly, and cruelty-free

What Causes Whiteheads?

Best Face Washes and Cleansers for Whiteheads

The main culprit here is clogged pores. When there’s too much oil or sebum, dead skin cells, dirt, and other such impurities, they end up congesting your pores. And that, in turn, gives rise to whiteheads. One of the common causes of clogged pores is hormonal fluctuations as well.

Speaking of hormones, progesterone-only contraceptives also lead to hormonal changes, which often increase the frequency of acne flare-ups. This explains why so many women are compelled to deal with more acne during the menstrual cycle.

Genetics too plays an important part here, even in the case of breakouts like whiteheads. And sometimes whiteheads also take form when there’s friction on the surface of the skin. For example, when wearing gear that has a chin strap.

How to Get Rid of Whiteheads On the Face?

The good news is that whiteheads are a form of acne breakouts that are relatively milder in nature. This means it’s easier to get rid of and even prevent altogether.

Dermatologists, more often than not, recommend using a topical retinoid for treating whiteheads. Retinoids do indeed take a while to show favorable and noticeable changes, but they get the job done eventually. But this is something you should discuss with your dermatologist.

But there’s no denying that topical retinoids treat and prevent acne. They have a magic-like ability to keep your pores from clogging.

Another line of treatment for whiteheads includes topical or oral antibiotics. This particular approach is very useful for those struggling with inflammatory acne (for example, red pustules and bumps on the face). This remedy destroys acne-causing bacteria. But then, once again, get in touch with a dermatologist before you take any action.

As for simple, harmless practices to prevent whiteheads.

  • Wash your face with gentle cleansers that penetrate deep within your pores to unclog them. And do this twice a day, and with lukewarm water.
  • After cleansing, it’s necessary to apply a moisturizer and then your sunscreen. No matter indoors or outdoors and no matter how oily or acne-prone your skin!
  • Don’t ever squeeze your breakouts. What you’re actually doing is causing more inflammation and increasing the chances of scar formation.
  • Make sure your skincare products are non-comedogenic and oil-free to keep your pores decongested. They should also be free of harsh ingredients like artificial fragrances, dyes, parabens, sulfates, and the like.

Things to Look for When Buying

Skin Type

It simply goes without saying that all your skincare products should be chosen based on your particular skin type. That means those with dry skin demand a solution that cleanses without further drying out or irritating your skin.

As for women with oily skin, they require a cleansing formula that is oil-free and non-comedogenic.

What about sensitive skin? For this, there are plenty of dermatologist-tested, clinically proven, hypoallergenic, etc. formulations that remove excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells, and makeup without triggering skin sensitivities.

Suitable Ingredients

Firstly, make sure harsh or harmful ingredients are excluded. The list includes artificial fragrances, parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, phthalates, etc. Secondly, the more natural ingredients the face wash has, the better it is for your skin’s long-term appearance, health, and overall condition.

So what are the most commonly used ingredients in facial cleansers that treat acne breakouts like whiteheads and blackheads? Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, essential ceramides, and more. These keep your pores clean. And make sure that acne-causing bacteria, dead skin cells, excess sebum, etc. are under control.

Plus, ingredients like hyaluronic acid and essential ceramides deep cleanse without destroying your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often to Wash the Face?

Cleansing twice a day is a must. But if your skin type is excessively oily, then you can add one more session. However, don’t overdo it as that is a counterproductive approach. Meaning it’s likely to give rise to more acne and sebum production while also destroying your skin’s natural moisture protection.

Does Washing the Face Prevent Whiteheads?

To prevent whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples, it’s necessary to get rid of all that extra oil, sweat, dirt, dead skin cells, etc. And the only way to do that is by cleansing your face.

How to Patch Test A Face Wash?

Just take a pea-sized amount of your facial cleanser and apply it to the right or left side of your cheek. Gently scrub and then wash it off. And now wait for a few hours to check if it causes any unfavorable or unwarranted reaction.

How Much to Spend On A Face Wash?

Is it a drugstore brand like CeraVe, Cetaphil, Sebamed, etc.? Then you don’t have to worry about spending a lot as these are comparatively more affordable. Then there are other slightly more expensive solutions too.

But, on the whole, you don’t necessarily have to spend an exorbitant amount just to keep common concerns like whiteheads at bay.

Should I Use A Face Wash with Salicylic Acid?

You can indeed incorporate a facial cleanser formulated with salicylic acid to fight acne breakouts. After all, these body washes contain salicylic acid as the main ingredient when it comes to combating body acne.

But, at the same time, you should know that the commonly used acne-fighting ingredient has to be in contact with your skin for a long time in order to exfoliate properly.

Should I Use A Face Wash with Benzoyl Peroxide?

You can use facial cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide for treating and preventing acne breakouts. But that’s only if your skin can tolerate it. Meaning if you have extremely sensitive skin, then do a patch test first.

Do I Need to Use A Whitehead Removal Cream?

Whitehead removal creams are equipped with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid for more effective spot treatment. And this is more beneficial than just using a facial cleanser for getting rid of whiteheads.

Do I Need to Use A Whitehead Toner After Washing the Face?

To be honest, toners are optional in your skincare routine. Originally, they were created for removing the leftover products from your face post-cleansing. So if you’re using a water-soluble face wash, then there’s no place in your skincare regimen for a toner.


The good news is that whiteheads are a common concern among both women and men. Another piece of great news is that you can treat and prevent this form of acne breakouts. Simply by including a gentle face wash that unclogs your pores without destroying your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

We have compiled a list of some of the most effective and even mild formulations that are suitable for even those with incredibly sensitive skin. Labels like non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, clinically-proven, paraben-free, etc. are a part of almost every product.

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