Best Face Wash for Teens Reviewed & Tested in 2018

Once puberty hits, teens might start to feel like their world is ending simply because of an awkwardly-placed pimple or two. While this is not the case at all, to a teenager, their appearance is everything. This can lead to frustration and even a lack of confidence during those crucial teen years where they should be loving who they are and embracing every bit of it. There is one thing that can prevent this unfortunate scenario from happening, and that’s a good, daily face wash. Many underestimate the importance of cleaning your face daily because it’s something that can be easily overlooked and turn into a lazy habit. However, the simple act of washing your face nightly can prevent nearly half the breakouts you’d experience otherwise and greatly eliminate irritation, roughness, and buildups of dry skin and oils. If it sounds gross, that’s because it is! Think about it this way: Once your teen leaves the house, their face is left uncovered and unprotected throughout the day. In addition to anything airborne that’s landing on their skin, they’re also sweating (sometimes without realizing it) and producing oils that are a natural occurrence in order to keep the skin hydrated and protected. While you don’t want to completely rip the skin of its natural barrier, it is important to provide a bit of support in order to keep skin looking healthy, glowing, and not dull or irritated in the slightest.

While it’s sometimes challenging to keep your teen’s skin free and clear of acne, blackheads, and an oily sheen, face wash can help to control breakouts and make them more infrequent. There’s no such thing as a miracle face wash but we’ve done plenty of research in order to find formulas that might seem that way. Since everyone’s skin is different and every teen needs something specific to their own needs, we’ve made sure to include every type of wash we possibly could from those intended for sensitive skin, to oily skin, and even combination skin types. The great news is that many of these are brands you’ve already heard of and can find easily as well as fall into a budget that’s entirely reasonable.

1. CeraVe Foaming

1. CeraVe Foaming
This cleanser is gentle but still packs enough cleaning power to be used in preventing breakouts. It's great for all skin types!
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CeraVe is a well-known brand for two reasons: It's both effective and affordable. It's formulated to be gentle enough for daily use on any skin type from normal to oily. Some might even refer to this face wash as a skin-saver due to its original formula that incorporates vitamin B3 and hyaluronic acid in order to provide a boost of moisture to the skin. CeraVe also makes use of three ceramides in order to retain and lock in moisture, leaving skin looking fresh, renewed, and bright after every single use. Your teen's skin is in good hands with this face wash because the essential ceramides in this formula also help to protect skin and replace the natural barrier that's often lost with harsher face washes. To use, simply lather under lukewarm water, apply to face in gentle swirling motions, and rinse clean. Your teen will be left with nothing but a revitalized feeling of cleanliness with no irritation whatsoever thanks to this incredible hypoallergenic formula.

Benefits
This is one face wash that can actually be seen working. It lathers up almost instantly and provides a clean feeling not only after washing but during as well so that your child knows they're doing their skin some good.

What We Like About It
The moisturizing benefits of CeraVe help to add and lock in moisture to prevent the drying that often occurs in many acne-fighting face washes. Your skin is left with an extra-added layer of moisture as well as the protection it needs to maintain that balance.
Pros

Three ceramides help to protect the skin

Vitamin B3 prevents skin from feeling irritated

Hyaluronic acid maintains and adds moisture

Foaming action reaches deep into pores

Gentle enough for daily use with normal to oily skin

Cons

It might not be as effective for dry or combination skin

2. InstaNatural Vitamin C

2. InstaNatural Vitamin C
This bottle contains everything your child needs to combat dry skin that's also prone to pimples. It's formulated with vitamin C to deliver a much-needed burst of brightness.
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Does your teen have a problem with irritated skin? If that's the case, then InstaNaturals might be one for them to consider. It's all-natural (if you hadn't guessed by the name) and contains no parabens or artificial ingredients that can typically lead to excessive dryness and irritation. While this face wash isn't designed specifically to treat breakouts and blackheads, it has been shown to do wonders for dry or normal skin that just needs a simple and gentle cleansing. It's especially helpful for those with dry skin because along with flaking and discomfort, your teen might also notice a level of dullness if they're using the wrong type of face wash. The addition of vitamin C to this face wash can encourage proper skin growth while aiding in brightening properties, leaving skin refreshed and rejuvenated. Additionally, you'll find aloe vera and coconut water in this formula, which locks in moisture while ensuring that skin is not left feeling dry, cracked, or tight.

Benefits
Aloe Vera is a crucial ingredient in this formula because it will help to reduce the appearance of pores and lines, something many teens are typically self-conscious about. It also locks in moisture to work on healing dry and damaged skin and adding much-needed hydration to wake up those new skin cells.

What We Like About It
This is as natural as a face wash can get and incorporates all the things found in nature that are beneficial to your skin. Your teen will instantly notice a difference if he or she suffers from dry skin, both in feel and in appearance.
Pros

No artificial ingredients

Won't irritate the skin

The formula was designed with all-natural additives

Designed for normal to dry skin

Contains aloe vera for added moisture

Cons

Not adequate for dissolving makeup on its own

3. Cetaphil Gentle for All Skin Types

3. Cetaphil Gentle for All Skin Types
It might not lather up but that's a good thing when it comes to sensitive skin. Cetaphil has a history of being gentle, but don't underestimate its ability to clean and treat existing acne.
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Cetaphil has a long-standing reputation not only with their facial cleansers but with all of their products. Every one of their formulas is designed to be gentle and for everyday use, as is evident by the claim that this cleanser is gentle enough for children as well as teens. It's an all-around great daily moisturizer that will leave your teen's face feeling clean, hydrated, and is even good for removing makeup. It's intended to be unbelievably gentle while also doing a solid job in clearing out pores and reducing the appearance of acne and blackheads, making it good for any skin type. The interesting aspect of this formula is that it doesn't lather up and rather, remains in a liquid form similar to a lotion. This allows it to moisturize as it cleansing, ensuring that your skin is hydrated every step of the way. The gentle, non-lather texture prevents irritation in those who have skin that tends to become inflamed from conditions such as rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis, making it a great option.

Benefits
Cetaphil has been around since 1947 and since then, their products have only improved in quality. You're getting a lot for your money with this brand and you'll be introducing a face cleanser that can be used not only by your teen but by your entire family.

What We Like About It
It's almost magic how this cleanser will leave your skin feeling clean and smooth without any foaming power whatsoever, but that's all part of why it has such an excellent reputation. This cleanser can be used any time of day, twice a day if necessary, making it great for those who need to wash their face often.
Pros

Gentle on skin

Can be used multiple times daily

Non-lathering formula reduces irritation

Good for all skin types

Can be used by all ages

Cons

The lack of lather doesn't work for some with oily skin

4. Biore Deep Pore Charcoal for Oily Skin

4. Biore Deep Pore Charcoal for Oily Skin
Charcoal has natural cleansing and purifying properties so it's no wonder that you can now find it in face wash. This formula by Biore is gentle, yet gets the job done.
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As your teen goes through puberty, they might notice one tiny thing wrecking big havoc on their face: Blackheads. These tiny annoyances are produced by the buildup and clogging of pores, much of which is easy to see if you look closely enough. Blackheads are often found in the T-zone, otherwise known as your forehead, nose, and even chin. They're challenging to remove and even more stubborn when they repeatedly get clogged, thus, we find a solution in charcoal. If you've never heard of charcoal being used in beauty care before, allow us to explain how this awesome face wash works: Charcoal has natural cleansing properties which help to draw out and clean pores gently, reducing the need for things such as pore strip which can be harsh on the skin. This Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser is formulated for oily skin and those who suffer from it know the battle of blackheads very well. Biore already has an overwhelming stellar reputation and this face wash, although fairly new, has received a positive review amongst most users. It can be used daily in order to keep your face clean as well as keep pores free of dirt and oil.

Benefits
Charcoal isn't just for the barbeque anymore and can now be found in many face washes and face masks. Its natural purifying properties help to draw out impurities and keep your teen's face clean, free of acne-inducing grime, and feeling refreshed all day long.

What We Like About It
We love that this is part of a long range of Biore products that help to target and reduce irritation, the appearance of pores, and acne. Additionally, it provides relief from these in a natural way without any harsh additives or chemicals.
Pros

Draws out impurities

Reduces the appearance of pores

Targeted for oily skin

Can be used daily

Free of harmful irritants

Cons

Can be drying for those with normal or combination skin

5. Clean & Clear 2-Pack of Day & Night

5. Clean & Clear 2-Pack of Day & Night
Is it a nighttime face wash? Or a daytime facewash? It's both! Your teen will have one to wake up those tired skin cells and another to rejuvenate after a long day.
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Not all cleansers are designed for all-day, any time of day use, and that's why Clean & Clear designed a pair of face washes that deals with both appropriately. This pack includes a citrus morning facial cleanser and a relaxing night cleanser, both designed to serve a purpose for each time of day. In the morning, this citrus wash will help to wake up, invigorate, and refresh skin with a bit of vitamin C, ginseng, and cucumber. The nighttime wash contains sea kelp, sea minerals, and a nice, calming scent to help soothe you after a long day. The tiny scrubbing beads help to eliminate dirt and dry skin cells to reveal fresh, healthy skin underneath. When used together, they provide strong acne and blackhead-fighting abilities that will surely make a difference in your teen's daily routine. Before using any other face washes twice a day, give these two a try and watch as your teen starts to love their skin again!

Benefits
Having two face washes designed for separate purposes is helpful to teens who play sports and are highly active. Sometimes one wash just won't cut it and not only will these face washes wake you up in the morning, but they'll soothe your teen to sleep with helpful skin properties as well.

What We Like About It
These two work hand-in-hand to provide strong relief from excess oil and breakouts. By washing their face twice a day with formulas specifically designed to deal with each time of day, your teen will be doing their skin a huge favor and will notice a big difference.
Pros

Two face washes designed for day and night

Powerful when used together to prevent acne

Made for teenagers

Designed to prevent overdrying

Helpful for those with oily skin

Cons

The scrubbing beads might be too rough for those with sensitive skin

The aroma might be irritating

6. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying

6. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying
It sounds fancy but we assure you that this face wash is affordable, efficient, and comes in clutch for oily skin. It's a worthy face wash that strips just enough oil away to leave skin feeling naturally refreshed and comfortable moisturized.
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Occasionally puberty brings about a bit more than just unwanted hair and unusual body odors. With it, teens might notice an increase in oily skin when previously, they had only normal or even dry skin. La Roche-Posay sounds unnecessarily fancy when it comes to your teenager's face wash but you'd be surprised to know that it contains everything your child needs for combatting excessively oily skin. It's been designed by dermatologists to specifically target and clear up oily skin which can lead to problematic breakouts and severe acne. It contains no parabens or alcohol that can often dry out even the oiliest of skin types and leave teens at a loss for what they can do when they end up with even more oily skin than before. This wash is also intended for daily use, meaning it's gentle enough to prevent drying while being strong enough to rid your child's face of the oils that they don't need.

Benefits
Dermatologist-tested is something that we love to hear, mainly because it's reassuring to know that something your teen is using on their face has been created by professionals. You can't do much better than using something that comes straight from an expert's hands!

What We Like About It
This rich lather helps to rid skin of excess oils while still cleaning it and ensuring that a natural moisture balance is maintained. There's little risk of skin being too dry or producing extra oil with a face wash such as this.
Pros

Intended for oily skin

Created by dermatologists

Tested by doctors

Can be used daily

Foaming action encourages a deep clean

Cons

It can be too strong for normal skin types

7. Free & Clear Liquid Cleanser

7. Free & Clear Liquid Cleanser
Even if your teen shows no signs of breakouts, it never hurts to have a face wash on-hand for those extra oily days. this Free & Clear liquid cleanser is great for maintaining balance and cleanliness.
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We've loaded this list up with plenty of face washes that are great for oily and dry skin types, but what about those who have normal skin types? We hear you! This face wash is natural and purely for keeping pimples and zits far, far away from your teen's face. It's not designed for any skin type in particular but instead has been created for normal skin types that aren't prone to breakouts but still battle the occasional blemish. It's also safe for the entire family so that not only can your teenager use it, but the adults and kids in your household can use it, too.

Benefits
This face wash is free of anything that would cause irritation making it a great option for sensitive skin. It's safe for kids as well and will be loved by your entire family.

What We Like About It
We really appreciate the fact that this face wash doesn't contain any harmful chemicals or harsh irritants. While it might not be strong enough to combat acne fully, it is a good overall face wash for those who don't have a daily pimple problem.
Pros

Free of unnatural and harsh ingredients

Good for the entire family

Great for daily use

Formulated for normal skin

Highly affordable and contains plenty of product

Cons

Not formulated for treating acne

8. Bioré Baking Soda Pore for Combination Skin

8. Bioré Baking Soda Pore for Combination Skin
We haven't neglected combination skin, especially since it's often one of the most challenging to treat. Biore has come up with a solution for that: Baking soda!
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Having combination skin can be frustrating and, at times, even a bit infuriating. The problem occurs when you have a naturally oily T-zone with normal or dry skin surrounding it. This can lead to many trial and error attempts with face washes that just aren't designed to effectively target both areas without overdrying or encouraging excess oil. While combination skin can be tricky to treat, having it isn't the end of the world and your teen doesn't need to feel like he or she has no options. Biore, which is already a leading contender in the battle for good face care, has created a line that deals with exactly this. Their Baking Soda Pore Cleanser helps to clear up skin by treating blackheads that can turn into pimples while also keeping the rest of the face clean and oil-free. It's gentle enough for everyday use without overdrying since baking soda is a natural, foaming cleanser. This wash will penetrate deep into pores to help eliminate and treat blackheads and breakouts while continuing to keep skin healthy and radiant.

Benefits
Your teen will instantly notice that this face wash contains tiny baking soda beads that not only help to clean face but actually exfoliate it as well. By using gentle scrubbing motions, your teen can effectively clean their skin, reduce clogged pores, and rid their face of dry and dull skin.

What We Like About It
This three-in-one face wash should be on the shelf of every teen who has combination skin. It works wonders to free pores of built-up dirt and grime and will prevent breakouts due to baking soda's natural ability to cleans and purify.
Pros

Intended for combination skin

Tiny beads help to exfoliate

Baking soda is a natural cleanser and removes blackheads

Created by a leading brand in facial hygiene

Results in radiant and glowing skin

Cons

Can be harsh on sensitive skin

9. Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser

9. Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser
Although this is a relatively new brand, Simple takes the utmost of care in how they formulate their face washes. This one even features purified water which is over the top in the best way possible.
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For those who value a strong face cleanser without all the unnecessary additives or harsh chemicals, Simple is a great brand to consider. Their foaming facial cleanser helps to produce a lather that will wash away dirt and dead skin cells without stripping the skin of its natural protective barrier. This face wash will also remove any traces of makeup which is excellent for teenagers who wear it daily. Additionally, a blend of B5, chamomile, geranium, and glycerin will help skin to feel rejuvenated and smooth after every wash. It's formulated to prevent irritation while still digging deep down to remove any traces of oil or dirt that could lead to a breakout.

Benefits
The interesting thing about this formula is that it's not just made with any normal water. Rather, all the water that goes into Simple products has been purified to remove anything unwanted, keeping their products as natural as possible.

What We Like About It
The addition of chamomile is one that stood out to us as something more face washes should incorporate into their formulas. It helps to calm the skin while providing a feeling of relaxation during and after daily use.
Pros

Intended for normal skin types

Cleans without overdrying

Chamomile helps to calm skin

Designed to provide a moisture boost

Simple uses only purified water

Cons

Might be too gentle for some skin types

10. Clean & Clear Daily Acne

10. Clean & Clear Daily Acne
It's music to our ears to hear a "three-in-one" and even more so when we hear the word "essential". This is a stellar way to introduce proper skin care to your teen's routine in the easiest way possible.
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We're coming at you with some heavy hitters... Face washing-heavy hitters, that is! This three-in-one kit from Clean & Clear might be the last listed on our list but it's definitely not least in terms of excellent face care. Clean & Clear consider this set to be "essential" to any teen's face-washing routine since it contains three steps to naturally glowing, clean, and healthy skin. The first step is their classic Foaming Facial Cleanser which first helps to remove dirt, makeup, and any extra oils that don't need to be on your teen's skin. After the skin has been thoroughly cleansed, the astringent is an essential part of drying out troublesome T-zone areas that produce any excess oil. Then finally, a dual-action moisturizer is key to packing back in much-needed hydration to each layer of your teen's skin in order to keep it healthy and glowing. It's through these three steps that skin becomes as clean as it can possibly be while still getting the necessary moisture that many teens notice missing with combination or dry skin.

Benefits
This set is a wonderful way to introduce your teen to face care without overwhelming them. Each of these steps takes less than two minutes to complete and trust us, your teenager will definitely notice a difference as they advance through puberty.

What We Like About It
The three-step process is unique in the sense that everything you need is coming from one brand. Each of these products has been formulated to work with most skin types, making it versatile and easy to use.
Pros

This set contains everything your teen needs

Designed to be an easy three-step process

Only needs to be done once a day

Useful for normal to oily skin types

It's a great introduction to face care for teenagers

Cons

Some might find the astringent to be a bit strong

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Face Wash for Teens

We could have just created a list with the most popular face washes, claimed it to be a solution, and forgotten about it. Instead, we did our research into what works, what doesn’t, and, most importantly, how it succeeds or fails. This gave us a solid basis for creating content that was both relevant and helpful to teens no matter what their skin type or problem, and we hope that our research will be just as valuable to you as it was to us. In order to understand our findings, we must first discuss the fact that the skin on your face is prone to one of four types: Oily, dry, normal, or combination. Combination skin was the most challenging to find face washes for since it includes both dry and oily skin, mainly in the T-zone. While dry skin requires a bit of extra moisturizer in the form of vitamins, oils, or hyaluronic acid, oily skin needed an ingredient such as salicylic acid in order to dry out excess oil to prevent buildup. Normal skin functions just fine with a good balance of both and, if necessary, an accompanying lightweight moisturizer. As you can see, it was a demanding process from the get-go, but an interesting and informative one. Additionally, we had to learn exactly how face wash worked and which formulas, specifically, showed improvements in acne, redness reduction, moisturization, and/or oil absorption. Some of these turned out to be common, well-known brands, while others are less popular with a new following. Lastly, each face wash had to be designed for daily use. If it caused the skin to dry out too quickly or did not do enough to reduce oil upon one daily use, it was left off our list. It was the combination of these things that helped to guide the list that you have in front of you.

Additional Factors to Consider: The Science Behind Face Washes

Now it’s time to get into the hard facts and science behind what a face wash actually does which only reinforces why it’s so important. It’s important to note that there is a difference between a face wash and a facial cleanser; a face wash is specifically designed to work its way inside your pores in order to clear out any dirt and impurities that would eventually lead to buildup and annoying pimples, zits, blackheads, etc. A facial cleanser is used to dissolve and clear off any surface dirt, such as makeup and general grime from the day. While each serves a purpose, it’s the face wash that will dig deep down and both prevent and treat breakouts. By foaming up — similar to shampoo or body wash — a face wash will gently clear out pores that have been clogged and over time it will remove a solid amount of buildup in addition to dry skin cells. The washing away of all this helps to keep your skin glowing, healthy, and prevent future breakouts. The one thing that separates face washes are the formulas used and while some might include moisturizers, others can contain acne-fighting ingredients; which of these your teen might need is dependent on their skin type.

How Do You Figure Out Your Skin Type?

If your teen is at a loss for how to determine which type of skin they have, the best way to determine this is by doing the blot test. This is done simply by taking a tissue and blotting their face (best done first thing in the morning) and taking note of which spots, if any, appear to be oily. If there’s a definitive excess of oil all over the tissue, they have oily-prone skin. If there’s a distinct “T” shape where their forehead and nose is, but the rest of the tissue is completely dry, they likely have combination skin. If there are no noticeable oil marks, they’re prone to having skin on the dryer side. If there’s a light indication of oil but nothing that’s terribly discernable, the ruling is a normal skin type. Your child might notice as well that once they start using a face wash, their skin might become more oily. This is an indication that their face wash is too strong as their skin is producing excess oil to make up for the natural oils that are being stripped from it. If you notice that your face is dry or tight-feeling afterward, try either a gentler face wash or a lightweight daily moisturizer. Lastly, if you notice no difference in normally oily skin, this could imply that your teen’s face wash is not strong enough and should consider something with an acid in the formula.

How Does One Use A Face Wash correctly?

While there are instructions on the back of every face wash bottle, it can be a bit intimidating and confusing initially. The most common procedure is to use lukewarm water to initially dampen your face, then apply a dime-sized amount of fash wash to your hands. Rub it together, similar to how you would with hand soap, in order to work up a foam or lather (not even wash will create this). Then, simply wash your face using gentle, swirling motions in order to remove dirt and dry skin without irritating the skin underneath. After 20 to 30 seconds or so, gently wash your face off using lukewarm water once again. In order to avoid irritating the skin, simply just blot your face dry with a clean towel. It’s simple, takes less than five minutes, and will do wonders in the way of keeping your skin clean and fresh!

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What happens if this face wash dries my child’s skin out?

A: This can be remedied with the simple use of a moisturizer that’s intended for light day or night wear, or an essential oil. Essential oils such as tea tree, jojoba, and even coconut oil can be excellent in the way of locking in and maintaining moisture. Dehydration can also be the cause of dry skin and should be addressed as well.

Q: Can these be used more than once daily?

A: Typically, a face wash is designed for use either in the morning or at night, depending on its formula. One option is to get a face wash that’s vigorous at night to remove all-day dirt and oil while having one that’s designed to gently wake and treat skin in the morning. Some face washes, such as CeraVe and Cetaphil, can be used daily due to their gentle formula.

Q: Are these designed to treat acne?

A: None of these are a miracle acne treatment but they are designed to help control and prevent breakouts. We’ve specified their usage in each product summary as well, including ingredients that are designed to cleanse problem areas and promote healthy skin.

Q: Can they be incorporated into a shower routine?

A: Many face washes actually benefit their user more from being used in the shower because the steam will aid in opening up pores. By allowing pores an ample chance to remain open, your teen will just be helping their body out by allowing their wash to really get in their, dig deep, and remove stubborn dirt and oil. However, it’s worthy to note that face wash should always be rinsed off with lukewarm or cool water after the shower in order to close pores.

Q: How will these treat combination skin?

A: Combination skin is tough because it needs a balance of both oil-fighting power and proper moisturization. The Biore Baking Soda face wash is designed specifically to target problem areas without drying, as is Cetaphil and CeraVe. They basically make up the trinity of face washes for combination skin because they’re gentle but effective. Your teen can always follow up with an all-natural face oil if they feel that their skin is too dry or tight-feeling afterward.

Q: How are these different from typical soap and water?

A: Face wash is designed to be meant only for the skin on your face. Regular soaps can dry out and even damage your skin over time by leaving residue behind with dry skin. By tampering with the normal PH level of your skin, especially on your face, you become even more prone to breakouts, dry skin, and irritation. A face wash is the best and only option when it comes to maintaining the balance in addition to keeping breakouts at bay.

Sources

  1. Unknown Author, This is How Face Wash Works On Your Skin, Online Article,
  2. Unknown Author, Cleanser & face wash: what's the difference & when to use what., Online Article,
  3. Lela Lankerani, MD, SKIN CLEANSING 101: WHY WASHING YOUR FACE IS IMPORTANT, Online Article, Sep 19, 2014
  4. Mamta Khati, 6 Benefits of Using A Face Wash for Clean Face, Online Article, Jul 19, 2018
  5. Unknown Author, Skin Care Tips for Teens, Online Article,