Tried and tested: 3 really, really great cleansers for oily or acne-prone skin 10 months ago

Tried and tested: 3 really, really great cleansers for oily or acne-prone skin

My skin has definitively changed these past few months.

Between the stress, time spent indoors, the mask-wearing, I have noticed my previously pretty great skin is suddenly coming out in breakouts here and there, especially around my chin and lower cheeks.

Doing what I do for a living, I reached out to some skincare expert to get their advice, and was reminded to take extra good care of my skin these days – and to remember to not go for any harsh cleansers – especially anything containing alcohol.

Why? Because alcohol-based cleansers can strip the skin of its protective barrier, leaving you even more prone to irritation, redness and breakouts as it will trigger more oil production (ultimately leading to more breakouts).

So while it might be tempting to go for something you feel really gives your skin and deep clean – remember, the experts told me, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Instead, I was told, look for cleansers that are calming, to avoid gels and many foaming cleansers, and instead look for gentle cleansers that will rebalance my skin, strengthen the skin's barrier and finally, because of this, help me get rid of breakouts and redness.

Here are three I have tested myself and genuinely love:

1. Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash

I love this brand for its approach to clean, ethical beauty, and am a big fan of all the products I have tested from their range. This cleanser is no exception. I love how it is an exfoliant, yet so, so gentle on my skin, meaning I can use it every day.


The face wah contains jojoba grains, which provide exfoliation without irritating the skin and castor oil that helps clear pores and impurities and evens the appearance of skin tone.

I am usually not a fan of exfoliating face washed, and always feel like they leave my skin feeling dry and sensitive, but this one honestly feels so good on my skin, and has really helped clear any impurities and flakiness.

€50, Brown Thomas

2. CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

A really, really good budget alternative.

The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is developed by dermatologists and is a cleansing cream that cleanses and moisturizes the skin without altering the protective barrier of the skin.

What this means, is that your skin isn't stripped of oil, leaving it feeling dry – because what can happen if it is, is that your skin compensates by producing more oil, leaving your skin feeling greasy and being more prone to breakouts. It can be a vicious circle.


While it says that this cleanser is ideal for normal to dry skin, I found it really, really good on acne-prone skin too. The formula contains three essential ceramides that healthy skin needs to help renew and maintain its natural protective barrier and hyaluronic acid.

€10, McCabes Pharmacy

3. Clarins Cleansing Milk With Gentian

A cult buy – and one everyone with breakout-prone skin should try.

Clarins soothing cleansing milk smoothes away make-up and impurities in just moments, and honestly feels so luxurious on your skin, it gives me all the spa vibes. It contains a blend of purifying plant extracts—including Gentian, Hawthorn and Sage—which all help to rebalance oily-prone skin.

Again, I loved how it left my skin feeling totally clean, yet not even remotely dry or irritated, just soft, glowing and refreshed.

€33, Clarins