8 Best Over The Counter Face Wash For Acne Pimples And Dark Spots

You must trust what your esthetician/dermatologist recommends for you as the best over the counter face wash for acne. The reason is pretty simple. Our skin type is unique and only the expert can recommend the right one.

I have grouped those highly recommended face washes for acne and dry skin/oily skin in a single article. All of them are backed by actual feedback from real users. And all of them are believed to solve the acne problem.

8 Over The Counter Face Wash For Acne Reviews 2020

face wash for acne scars

It does not matter whether it is hormonal acne, adult or teen acne – I got them all covered. I arranged the above table based on their popularity to make your choice easier. Let’s check some in-depth reviews now.

SkinMedica Cleanser

For acne-prone skin, it’s hard to trust something that won’t make it even worse. Lucky for you! It’s highly expensive BUT this is exactly where you should put your trust and money. Highly recommended for low maintenance people to get a noticeable difference.

over the counter acne face wash from SkinMedia
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Just within a few weeks, lots of people have confirmed that their enlarged pores had almost gone. Your skin will be more smooth and everyone surrounding you can tell the difference. Lots of people are pleasantly surprised by the amazing performance.

Believe it or not, the exfoliating cleanser is recommended by lots of estheticians. If you are looking for an over the counter acne face wash that brings proven results, this is it! More so, it exfoliates and smooths your skin beyond your expectations.

It works for combination skin so well that you will call it a blessing. It keeps your skin fresh and clean and you will feel it for the whole day. It smells good too. Proven to lathers well and for its loyal users, it had never let them down. 

If you are a busy person, you will find it very useful. Very easy to use! Yes, it does keep your face moisturized for the whole day too. And after a few weeks to usage, your skin will be in better shape for sure. Many dermatologists have confirmed this fact as well.

Perfect for almost every skin type. But super effective for oily and combination skin. If you are done wasting your money here and there, just get it. I am pretty sure you will thank me for recommending something really good.

More Pros & Features

  • Enriched with BHA and AHA. Proven to be effective against wrinkles and it increases skin texture.
  • Won’t strip dry your skin.
  • Perfect to be used with Clarisonic.
  • It gets rid of everything off your face fast and easy including makeup, skin cells, etc.
  • Yes, it’s expensive but a little amount of application goes a long way. You don’t need a lot of them, so it lasts for a long time. Max 2 bottles a year!


  • Not effective against blackheads.
  • If you have sensitive skin, avoid this.

Murad Acne Cleanser

If you have adult acne and tried them all to get rid of it but failed, Murad acne cleanser is what you need. It does not dry your skin but every effective against acne. This is exactly what you want from a face wash for hormonal acne, right?

Murad Acne Cleanser
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You must use it as instructed, otherwise, you will hate it. Wash your face continuously using it as instructed and you will see the massive change on your skin. The texture of your skin will be silky smooth and the smoothness remains for days!

Many people have tried literally everything they could and when nothing could get the desired result, they tried Murad. And it worked and rejuvenated their skin! They are now loyal customers for life!

You don’t want to waste money on cheap drugstore cleansers, then you must have this. You do not want your skin to feel tight and dried, then Murad is your answer. Little to no chance of being disappointed. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on products that work.

If you have pores and oil on your T-zone, you will find the cleanser as a blessing. A lot of them who have been using it for 20+ years have confirmed the fact that its the same old good Murad. It kept their skin wrinkle-free and super soft.

Many have switched from this to other brands but they again switched to Murad simply because it was working better for them. It treats your old acne really well and does not dry your skin out. Seriously, what more can you expect?

Why Should You Get Murad?

  • Only suitable for adult acne-prone skin. Thanks to its encapsulated salicylic acid. 
  • Within just 1 week, you will see a significant improvement in your acne condition.
  • Proven to clear blemishes and purify your skin. Yes, it treats wrinkles really well.
  • Suitable for oily, normal, combination, and sensitive skin types.
  • Refreshes your skin by removing oil and all other impurities.
  • Great moisturizing effect on your skin.
  • Paraben and gluten-free.
  • Lots of positive feedback saying it has improved their skin significantly.


  • Depending on your skin, it may make the acne situation worse.

Proactiv Renewing Cleanser

No matter what you have heard, its the same old good Proactiv. Pretty good for acne-prone skin and to remove dead skin cells. You will get a surprising result if you use any repair lotion afterward.

Proactiv Renewing Cleanser
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Yes, you will get nervous reading all those negative feedback but you have to trust your gut. But rest assured, it will leave an immediate good impact on your skin overnight. Read some positive reviews too to understand what you are getting.

As long as you get this from a trusted source like this, you are getting the legit one. Don’t have any confusion about that. And a legit Proactiv is pretty good to deal with pores. If you have a teen in your family, give her this!

No more breakouts when you use Proactiv daily. Many people ditched topical meds to deal with acne and switched to this. The reason is pretty simple. It works! As long as you use it daily, there won’t be any breakouts. 

Women who have been washing their faces using this have confirmed that they did not have any acne problem for more than 20+ years. They experimentally stopped using this and the nasty cysts came back!

Trust the face wash for acne and oily skin that is recommended by thousands. When you have REALLY oily skin, you got a few options that will work. But this has been proven to be effective for oily skin types to keep them clear.

Proactiv has already worked like a miracle to clear acne for lots of teens when other non-prescription face washes failed to do so.

Vital Information & Pros

  • A perfect solution for all skin dulling impurities and oily skin acne. If you pick the 6-ounce pack, you are set for 90 days.
  • Removes dead skin cells and keeps your skin moisturized.
  • Very effective to unclog pores. Thanks to its exfoliating tiny beads. You will get tremendous help with your whiteheads.
  • Not just acne, it helps to improve your blemish too.
  • A great preventive measure for breakouts. As long as you use this daily, there won’t be any.


  • Many said it’s effective against mild to moderate acne only.

Christina Moss Naturals

It’s so frustrating when you eat healthily and do everything right but the acne situation is not improving. Well, lots of men and women had gone through this phase. But when they started using Christina’s face wash, the noticed huge improvement within just a few days!

Christina Moss Naturals
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If you have oily skin and the acne situation is getting worse day by day, try this today. Lots of people like you have changed the game. No matter how stubborn or old acne you got, they will be gone within a few days.

Yes, it keeps your skin moisturized and radiant. There is no chance it will leave your skin dry. There will be no residue left on your skin. It cleans your skin quickly and with no effort. Just smooth and hydrated skin throughout the day!

I know purists people can be skeptical and most people prefer natural solutions. This is everything that you are looking for. A gentle facial cleanser for your sensitive, oily, and combination skin. After trying most other organic facial cleansers, many have confirmed this is the best.

It’s so gentle and mild on any skin type that there is little to no chance of having a negative impact. And it’s suitable for all the seasons. You do not need different items for various seasons for your skin. 

It cleans your excess makeup from your face fast and thoroughly without drying it. If you hate chemicals because of your skin type, give this a try to take care of your skin. And let it rejuvenate your skin as you have never experienced before.

Why Should You Get It?

  • Perfect for every skin type but its a blessing for sensitive skin. No harmful chemical used. No artificial scent used either. Totally paraben-free.
  • Concentrated formula. It takes less to give your face a deep cleaning.
  • A deep cleanser that does not dry out or strip your skin.
  • Suitable for both men and women with an acute acne problem.
  • Works great with all the cleaning tools including a Clarisonic.
  • Irrespective of your age, it helps to rejuvenate your skin and offers a vibrant look. 


  • In rare instances, it may make your skin oily.

Proactiv Solution

You need something reliable, you must put your faith in Proactiv. So, I have decided to review another Proactive face wash. And why not? It’s recommended by thousands of hundreds of happy users who got huge benefits for their acne problems.

Proactiv Solution
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This is the original and legit product and lots of people who have been using it for years have confirmed this fact. So, don’t have any doubt, and don’t let all the negative reviews prevent you from getting this miracle face wash.

You will find lots of positive feedback saying it helped them overnight to reduce acne. And they are right. If you have a teen who has been suffering from moderate to severe acne problem, give her Proactiv today! It works like a charm. 

When every other OTC products failed to deliver your expected result, seriously think about this. It’s true, not every OTC cleanser will respond to your skin. But many have tried this as the last effort and found massive improvement for their acne problems.

You must put a very little on your face as directed. Do not use a lot each time to avoid frustrations. Follow the instruction to get the best outcome from it. Just wash your face twice a day as instructed and you will be surprised in a few days.

A trusted over the counter acne face wash that treats breakouts fast too. Yes, it clears your skin rapidly and keeps it moisturized. The end result is radiant skin free of all impurities in a few days. And this is exactly what you expect from the best over the counter face wash for acne, right?

Why Should You Get It?

  • The 3-step formula is available for 30/60/90 days. If you have never used this, try the 30 days treatment first and see the result yourself.
  • Perfect for oily and combination skin to treat acne and blemishes. And it works like a miracle to treat breakouts. 
  • Enriched with benzoyl peroxide to treat acne faster.
  • It treats redness and skin inflammation too.
  • A great face wash for pimples and dark spots too. Even if you have pimples inside your skin that don’t come out in months.


  • Not great against pores.

CLNS Exfoliating Cleanser

The company does nothing but producing skincare products and apparently they got some huge loyal customers. And the cleanser has done a great job treating adult acne for lots of people. Many have described it as amazing!

CLNS Exfoliating CleanserFor oily and sensitive skin, it is great. It is gentle and PH balanced but it does a great job helping with acne situation. You may not notice any overnight result, but in a few days, you will notice your clear face free of all the impurities.

If you have combination skin, most dermatologists and estheticians will recommend lactic acid cleansers instead of something made of Salicylic acid. Guess what! CLNS is enriched with lactic acid and free of all those chemicals that your combination skin can’t tolerate.

Give this a try if you are dealing with adult acne for years. It has already surprised a lot and you will be amazed too. You will see improvement in zits and feel soft and refreshed skin in just about a few days. And it solves your pimple problem too.

Unlike many other face washes for hormonal acne, it does not overly dry out your skin. It balances your skin and gives it an even appearance. Works gently but offers a thorough cleaning. For a soft, clean, and bright face, CLNS should be on your list.

For those who are looking for less harsh facial wash, look no further. It has already proven its magic.  Read some feedback from its long time users and you will understand it won’t disappoint you either.

More Pros

  • CLNS does not strip your skin. Thanks to its gentle surfactant.
  • One 8-ounce PET bottle is more than enough for 4 months.
  • Enriched with sea salt and lactic acid
  • Great exfoliation (non-foaming) to gently remove dead skin cells.
  • Mostly natural, very safe for your skin.
  • Works like magic for hormonal acne. It reduces redness and inflammation noticeably.
  • Eliminates whiteheads if used with lotion like BENZD.
  • A true blessing for acne-prone oily, sensitive, and combination skin.
  • They are very bold about the effectiveness of CLNS. Read the refund policy carefully to understand how bold they are.


  • Not ideal for heavy makeup removal.


They call it the pimple stopper. If the breakout is beyond your control, try the Neutrogena oil-free salicylic acid acne fighting face wash. After continuous use for a few days, you will notice the acne is dissipating FAST!

Neutrogena oil-free salicylic acid acne fighting face washNow, let me tell you a negative thing about it. You will see some negative feedback saying it dries out your skin which is true. But if you use any moisturizer after washing your face, it won’t be a problem. Besides, it’s imperative you apply moisturizing lotion after washing your face, right?

For greasy faces, this is a blessing. You will thank it’s drying out feature. But don’t forget to apply any moisturizing lotion afterward. It has proven to be effective against blackheads too. Many have confirmed these facts after getting amazing results against blackheads.

Many people with sensitive skin have confirmed that it’s very gentle on their faces and does not bother them at all. And if you have sensitive skin with rosacea with acne, this is you must have. It keeps your acne under control and over time removes them.

It literally cleans everything on your face and you won’t feel anything is left on your skin. In many cases depending on your skin, it will leave your skin less dry out. If you have been struggling with acne for your entire life, don’t wait too long. Act now and get it today. 

Keep it in your shower rack and tell everyone in your family who have been suffering from acne. No matter how old and stubborn the problem is, it will get them reduced significantly within a few days. And you will see the improvements day by day.

Why Should You Get It?

  • Very affordable acne solution. The 3 pump bottles are enough to see its magic.
  • Not just cure acne, it prevents breakouts too.
  • Proven to fight against pimples, blackheads, acne, and many other impurities.
  • No skin irritation.
  • Clinically proven to unclog pores to deep clean them and prevent new acne to emerge.
  • Highly recommended by dermatologists and long-term loyal users.
  • It removes excess oil from your face. 


  • This is really strong. You should use lotion immediately.


Out of desperation, many people look for a miracle face wash for acne and dry skin & oily skin. Though you must go through some disappointing trial and error methods, you will find something that actually works.

InstaNaturalInsta Natural face cleanser is also a miracle face wash. At least, that’s how some of its loyal customers have described it. But it’s promising and it does not cost much. It’s natural, so it won’t leave any negative impact. There is no harm to give it a try.

Now, let’s see why it got so much positive feedback.

Lots of women and men with uneven skin tone, adult acne, and other impurities have confirmed that InstaNatural helped them to solve their aforementioned skin problems. If you have really sensitive skin, you will get the same result.

InstaNatural is enriched with glycolic acid. So, you will notice it’s the mild effect but it will go away as soon as you rinse it off. Later on, there won’t be any redness or irritation issue. It’s not over-drying either. There are lots of reviews to confirm that.

If you are someone of mid-age and already lost some elasticity, this will be a great choice for you. Right after washing your face off, you will feel the tightness. Very rejuvenating. You should apply any good moisturizer though right away.

For oily skin, it’s a blessing to get a grip on the excess oil while gradually removing acne. Regular washing your face with InstaNatural also prevents future acne to come back.

Why InstaNatural?

  • Enriched with cucumber, green tea, and chamomile extract. 
  • Perfect for cystic acne, redness, and pore irritation too.
  • It smooths dehydrated skin cells.
  • A great exfoliator to get rid of pesky dry skin cells. It fixes your skin discoloration too.
  • Its ant-aging cleaning agent gives you age-defying radiant skin upon regular usage.
  • Fight wrinkles and acne scars too.
  • It helps to produce collagen for increased fairness.
  • No harmful ingredients like parabens and no unsafe preservatives used.
  • 100% cruelty-free.


  • Some don’t like its smell.
Final Verdict

Though I strongly recommend the SkinMedica and Murad as the best over the counter face wash for acne, you can pick any affordable solution reviewed here. 

Our skin type is unique and no matter how good the cleanser is, it may not respond equally. You will have to just trust the recommendations from dermatologists and experienced users.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own ReliefInBath.com From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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