Has the surge in hormones made your face greasy?
Then, you need the best face wash for oily skin during pregnancy.
It will help reduce shine and clear up acne.
But what makes a face cleanser safe to use while you’re expecting?
And how do you know if it’s suitable for treating pregnancy acne?
Before we review the oily skin face washes below, let’s discuss the answers to those questions.
- 1 What can you wash your face with while pregnant?
- 2 Top Face Wash for Oily Skin During Pregnancy
- 2.1 La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser for Normal, Oily, & Sensitive Skin
- 2.2 Eau Thermale Avene Cleansing Foam
- 2.3 CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Oily Skin
- 2.4 Garnier SkinActive Micellar Foaming Face Wash for Oily Skin
- 2.5 Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
- 2.6 Clean & Clear Essentials Foaming Facial Cleanser
- 2.7 Solimo Daily Facial Cleanser, Normal to Oily Skin
- 2.8 Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash
- 2.9 Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Facial Cleanser
- 2.10 Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Daily Facial Cleanser
- 2.11 First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
- 2.12 WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Exfoliating Face Wash
- 2.13 InstaNatural Glycolic Cleanser
- 2.14 Vera Botanics Oil Cleanser
- 2.15 Bioré Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Cleanser
- 2.16 Alba Botanica Acnedote Maximum Strength Deep Pore Wash
- 2.17 Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Cleanser with Salicylic Acid
- 2.18 Vichy Normaderm Daily Acne Treatment Face Wash
- 3 Conclusion
What can you wash your face with while pregnant?
If you’re wondering which is the best face care for acne during pregnancy, you’re not alone.
Most pregnant women are concerned about the impact of using specific products.
My advice is to speak to your OB/GYN about your situation.
In the meantime, it’s smart to avoid any products with retinoids.
On the other hand, some sources suggest skipping salicylic acid, while others recommend it (1).
Salicylic acid is an over-the-counter acne medication. It opens up clogged pores and exfoliates dead skin.
When it’s in a face wash, it only stays on the skin for a short time before it’s rinsed. It’s unlikely that it would be harmful to a developing baby as it doesn’t have a chance to absorb into the skin.
But when in doubt, avoid salicylic acid during the first trimester.
Benzoyl peroxide is another acne medication that kills bacteria. Although it’s effective against blemishes, there are no studies showing that it’s safe to use during pregnancy. I would stay away from it for now.
Don’t worry, you still have plenty of alternatives to care for oily skin while you’re pregnant.
For one, choose non-comedogenic cleansers. Generally, these are oil-free (2).
Even a mild face wash can help reduce oiliness. Choose one that’s fragrance-free if you have sensitive skin. If you can avoid parabens and other harsh ingredients, that’s even better.
You’ll see several gentle and safe face washes in the reviews below.
You may like them enough to continue using them during nursing and in the years to come.
On the bright side, after you give birth, your skin will likely return to normal (3).
Top Face Wash for Oily Skin During Pregnancy
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser for Normal, Oily, & Sensitive Skin
European pharmacies have a whole section devoted to this brand, LaRoche-Posay. Each of their products is made with prebiotic thermal water from hot springs in France.
The mineral-rich water soothes sensitive skin and imparts essential nutrients.
Next, this gel cleanser is infused with niacinamide to soothe redness caused by acne or rosacea. Plus, it has glycerin and ceramides to restore healthy moisture levels and balance oil production.
It’s fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. It doesn’t have sulfates, oil, or parabens, either.
Eau Thermale Avene Cleansing Foam
Avene’s foaming cleanser is also based on thermal spring water.
It removes excess oil immediately after only one wash. Yet, it doesn’t leave the skin dry or feeling tight.
It has lactic acid, a safe and gentle exfoliant.
Moreover, it’s non-comedogenic and paraben-free.
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Oily Skin
There are pros and cons to CeraVe’s face cleanser for oily skin.
On the plus side, you can use it anywhere on your body. That’s convenient if you have body acne.
Also, it’s fortified with essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients ensure that the skin stays moisturized without creating excess oil.
On the downside, although it’s fragrance-free, it contains parabens. Parabens are preservatives that keep the product fresh but may disrupt the endocrine system.
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Foaming Face Wash for Oily Skin
For the ultimate mild face cleanser for oily skin, use micellar water.
Garnier has taken micellar water and turned it into a gel cleanser. It’s enjoyable to use as it foams nicely and has no fragrance.
What is micellar water? The micellar technology uses tiny molecules to bond with impurities so that they rinse away clean without drying out the skin.
It fixes the problems that come from using hard water to bathe.
Furthermore, this cleanser is free of alcohol, sulfates, parabens, and oil. It’s kind to sensitive skin, yet effective enough to remove makeup without scrubbing.
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
If you have very sensitive skin, you might already recognize this brand.
For the ultimate mild face wash, you need Vanicream. It’s also known as Free & Clear.
Honestly, you need to read the label. It lacks more ingredients than it contains.
Not only does it avoid perfumes and masking fragrances, but it doesn’t have parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde releasers, dyes, or even cocamidopropyl betaine.
Instead, it removes oil and makeup with one of the mildest coconut-based cleansers available.
Clean & Clear Essentials Foaming Facial Cleanser
Which is the best drugstore face wash for oily skin?
I’d be tempted to say it’s Clean & Clear. After all, this brand makes a variety of versions for specific needs.
Happily, they are inexpensive and easy to find.
I selected the Essentials Foaming Cleanser as it’s best for sensitive skin. It’s oil-free to avoid clogging pores.
It lathers up well, but won’t leave a residue.
Unfortunately, it has a fragrance and sodium laureth sulfate. If you’re trying to avoid those ingredients, it’s best to look elsewhere.
Solimo Daily Facial Cleanser, Normal to Oily Skin
Amazon’s Solimo brand created a knockoff of Cetaphil’s face cleanser for normal to oily skin.
The advantage of selecting this over Cetaphil’s product is that this one has no parabens.
Some users say that the fragrance is a bit strong. But, since it comes with a satisfaction guarantee, you can return it for a refund.
Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash
Belli makes products for pregnant and nursing mothers. They use a screening process to avoid ingredients that cause miscarriages, birth defects, and harm to the baby while breastfeeding.
With that recommendation, it’s worth taking a second look at their face wash.
It’s made with lactic acid to exfoliate sensitive skin.
It also has lemon essential oil, which is naturally antibacterial. It helps brighten skin tone.
Lastly, there are plenty of antioxidants from green tea and cucumber. These promote healing and keep the skin firm.
There’s one more thing to love about this face wash. You can use it as an anti-acne mask by leaving it on your face for five minutes before rinsing.
Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Facial Cleanser
Neutrogena offers more than one type of face wash. Some, like the famous pink grapefruit version, contain salicylic acid to battle acne.
This one, however, won’t make your skin sting or burn your eyes. It’s non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic.
The nice part is that it doesn’t just remove excess oil and clean the skin, but it can also take off makeup.
It lathers away impurities with plenty of foam that has a light, clean fragrance.
The formula is also alcohol-free. The detergent it contains is one of the mildest: ammonium laureth sulfate.
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Daily Facial Cleanser
What if your face is sensitive to just about everything? Then, try Neutrogena’s gentle face wash.
It has no parabens, no oil, and no artificial fragrance.
The first two ingredients are water and glycerin. Glycerin is a humectant that draws moisture into the skin.
You might think that adding extra moisture would make your skin oilier, but oddly enough, it doesn’t. Instead, it keeps your face comfortably hydrated so that your natural oil production stays under control.
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
You never need allergens like gluten, nuts, artificial dyes, or fragrances to clean your skin.
This cleanser avoids all of that, plus it doesn’t have parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, alcohol, or several other harsh ingredients.
It has a whipped cream texture that infuses your skin with antioxidants to keep it young. It’s pH-balanced to prevent irritation and dryness.
Helpful botanicals like licorice, white tea, and feverfew leave your complexion radiant.
WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Exfoliating Face Wash
Get rid of acne and reduce shine naturally with apple cider vinegar.
Instead of pouring the vinegar straight from the bottle, you might prefer this face wash. It’s formulated with a pleasant fragrance.
It comes with a silicone brush to cleanse pores and gently exfoliate dead skin.
The foaming mixture is free of sulfates and parabens. Alternatively, it uses gentle plant-derived surfactants to remove excess oil and dirt.
The fact that it has aloe, glycerin, and allatoin ensures that your skin looks and feels refreshed afterward.
InstaNatural Glycolic Cleanser
Dermatologists sometimes recommend glycolic acid as an alternative to salicylic acid. It isn’t as drying, yet it’s still effective against acne.
InstaNatural’s face cleanser also fades discoloration like acne scars and melasma.
The formula is packed with natural ingredients like sugarcane, apple, and lemon. These provide essential vitamins and brighten the complexion.
Meanwhile, arginine draws out impurities from the pores while centella promotes the healing of blemishes.
Happily, although there is a fragrance, it’s natural, not synthetic. And there are no parabens, either.
Vera Botanics Oil Cleanser
Not to be contradictory, but you might try fighting oil with oil. Some beauty experts advise oil cleansing for oily complexions.
In that case, Vera Botanic’s cleanser is a great place to start. There are only four ingredients: caprylic triglyceride (similar to fractionated coconut oil), olive oil, geranium oil, and PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate. (The latter is an emulsifier that makes it possible to rinse the oil off your skin without leaving a residue.)
It easily dissolves makeup and sunscreen so that you don’t need to scrub. Then, it leaves the skin soft and smooth.
It’s suitable for all skin types as it won’t leave the face dry or prone to breakouts.
Bioré Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Cleanser
What about witch hazel for acne during pregnancy?
That’s actually a good suggestion as witch hazel is an ideal astringent. It cleanses and tightens pores without causing dryness.
Extreme dryness will simply cause your face to overproduce oil. But a little hydration will keep it happy.
This face cleanser keeps the complexion clear with a blend of witch hazel and salicylic acid. It cleans out the pores to get rid of the excess oil before the blemishes form.
Take note that this is not the mildest face cleanser you could choose. It has menthol, which feels cooling, but may cause your skin to sting. It also has an artificial fragrance and sulfates.
Alba Botanica Acnedote Maximum Strength Deep Pore Wash
If your doctor approves of it, salicylic acid will keep an oily complexion under control.
This face wash has 2% salicylic acid, the maximum over-the-counter concentration. It will leave your skin squeaky-clean.
The cruelty-free formula is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. The light fragrance comes from natural ingredients like peppermint and orange peel oil.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Cleanser with Salicylic Acid
After your first trimester, if the pregnancy acne is out of control, you might need a cleanser like this one.
Neutrogena’s formula has Micro-Clear technology that sends salicylic acid deep into pores. That’s where it breaks up the clogs the cause blemishes.
Using this face wash at least once a day will diminish blackheads and prevent pimples.
It’s free of oil, parabens, and sulfates. Regrettably, it does contain artificial dyes.
Vichy Normaderm Daily Acne Treatment Face Wash
Here’s another acne-fighting face wash from a brand sold in pharmacies. What’s great about it is that it has only 0.5% salicylic acid. That’s a low concentration that’s typically safe for sensitive skin.
It’s just potent enough to cleanse pores and reduce oil production. But it won’t make the skin feel tight after washing.
It even has zinc and copper to exfoliate and purify the skin.
The cleanser has been tested against common allergies. It’s free of parabens, sulfates, dyes, and alcohol.
If your pregnancy glow comes from extra oily skin, you might need a better face wash. To keep acne at bay, it’s crucial to cleanse morning and night.
I hope that you discovered your new favorite face cleanser in the reviews above. If so, please leave us a comment below.
We wish you and your baby the best of health.
1. https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-life/beauty/pregnancy-skin-care-tactics/ by Laura Kenney and Alessandra Foresto, accessed June 29, 2020
2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/pregnancy-acne/faq-20058045 by Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., accessed June 29, 2020
3. https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=pregnancy-and-skin-changes-134-7 accessed June 29, 2020