Best Face Wash for Whiteheads: Top 5 De-Gunking Cleansers

Young female washing her face with clear water

On the hunt for the best face wash for whiteheads? Good for you. Whenever you’re trying to fix a skin problem, it’s a good idea to start with the facial cleanser. It is, after all, one of the most important weapons in your skin care arsenal.

You use it two to three times every day, which is more than any other product you apply on your face. So it just makes sense to use these opportunities for good – to banish whiteheads and improve your overall skin health – rather than evil – to dry out and irritate your skin.

It can be a tricky balance, especially when it comes to whiteheads. On one hand, you want an effective cleanser that removes every last trace of makeup, dirt and other impurities from your pores. But you want to do this without stripping your skin of its natural oils.

Because when you dehydrate your skin, your ​pores will actually produce more oil to compensate for what was lost. ​And excess sebum is the last thing you want – it’s one of the main causes of whiteheads, after all.

So how are you supposed to maintain that delicate balance? Choose wisely. We’ve rounded up the top candidates – all of which deserve the title of “best face wash for whiteheads” – to help you find the perfect one for you.

They all have their perks and downsides, it’s all about choosing the one that suits your skin type and your unique needs the best. Read through the reviews ’til you meet your whitehead cleansing soulmate!

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Wash

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser, 6 Fl Oz
  • Aloe Vera and chamomile repair, soften and heal inflamed skin
  • Thyme and salicylic acid disinfect and exfoliate
  • Prevents future breakouts

Mario Badescu’s entire line of acne products are great for anyone struggling with blemishes but his Acne Facial Cleanser is especially helpful for whiteheads. Why?

Well, when it comes to whiteheads, salicylic acid is your best friend and that happens to be the active ingredient in this facial cleanser. You see, salicylic acid is – unlike glycolic or lactic acid – oil soluble which means it can penetrate deep into your pores to dissolve and “de-gunk” the ​excess sebum that’s causing the whiteheads in the first place.

On top of helping to unclog your pores, it also  promotes skin cell turnover, providing gentle exfoliation. The result? Dead skin cells are sloughed off rather than getting trapped in your pores.

Perfect Body Harmony Acne Face Wash

Sensitive Skin Face Wash Cleanser; 72% Organic & Loaded with The Best Natural Botanical Ingredients;...
  • You Can Get Great Results for your face and skin!ion, Blemish Prone Skin Types!***
  • ~ Plant Oils Maintain Integrity Of Your Skin Without Stripping * Organic Geranium...
  • ~ Lavender, Tea Tree, & Oregano*

This is probably the best face wash to get rid of whiteheads – without stripping or irritating your skin. This gentle gel cleanser is sulfate-free, which is great since sulfates can strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead, its full of skin soothing ingredients like Aloe Vera, MSM and Rose Hip Oil alongside deep-pore-cleaning ingredients like Tea Tree Oil and Orange Peel Tincture.

We especially love that it contains Tea Tree Oil, which is great at penetrating the blockage between your skin and sebaceous glands to disinfect pores and dry out whiteheads and blackheads. The cleanser does an excellent job of keeping oil production under wraps without making your skin “squeaky clean” dry.

Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Cleanser

Michael Todd Beauty - Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser, Formulated with Highly Absorbent...
  • DEEP PORE CLEANSER clarifies and exfoliates to unclog pores and reduce blackheads,...
  • ACTIVATED CHARCOAL is highly absorbent, helps lift and remove excess oil and...
  • IDEAL FOR OILY SKIN and blemish prone skin, leaves skin feeling squeaky clean without...

Michael Todd’s Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser is pretty new to the market but it’s already one of the best face cleansers for whiteheads and blackheads. Its claim to fame? Activated charcoal.

If you haven’t tried activated charcoal for skin care yet – you need to give it a go. It’s one of the best, all-natural deep cleansing ingredients ever – it gets deep into your pores and soaks up excess sebum, impurities and other gunk that’s been taking up precious real estate in your skin. It’s crucial for both drawing out whiteheads and preventing new ones from forming.

And it does it all without stripping your skin’s natural oils or causing irritation. Extra perk?​ This gel cleanser is free of sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrances and artificial dyes, making it great for sensitive-skinned beauties.

Christina Moss Organic Facial Wash

Face Wash - Facial Cleanser Made With Organic Aloe – Face Soap With Skin Soothing & Clearing...
  • ESPECIALLY GREAT FOR THOSE WITH VERY SENSITIVE SKIN: NO harmful chemicals of any kind...
  • OUR PRODUCTS ARE CONCENTRATED AND EFFECTIVE: Gently and thoroughly cleanses your skin...
  • MADE WITH CERTIFIED ORGANIC ALOE VERA: We only use de-colorized Aloe Vera in our...

If you have sensitive skin or you’re using potent, active ingredients like salicylic acid to combat whiteheads – you might want to go with a very gentle cleanser to use on your skin on a regular basis. And when it comes to super gentle yet super effective facial cleansers, Christina Moss’s Organic Facial Wash is the best.

​It contains no harsh, irritating ingredients and absolutely no harmful chemicals like sulfates, parabens, dyes, or fragrance that can upset your skin’s pH balance and wreak havoc on your skin in the long run. Instead, it uses natural ingredients like citric acids and rosemary extract to promote exfoliation and clear out your pores.

This face wash is also perfect for those with already​ oily skin as it’ll protect, rather than destroy, your delicate acid mantle barrier, which will eventually balance out excess sebum production.

Foreo Luna Facial Cleansing Device

Okay, we’ve saved the best for last. This isn’t a face wash, per se, but it is a must have facial cleanser to get rid of whiteheads, blackheads and whatever else plagues your pores.

Here’s why: The Foreo Luna2 vibrates using 8,000 T-Sonic pulsations per minute. These vibrations are channeled through smooth silicone touch-points to go deep into the skin and drive out impurities from your pores. In other words, it does what no other exfoliator can – it gently stimulates your skin to effectively dislodge oil, dirt or makeup residue from your pores.

External, manual exfoliators (think St Ives scrub) only work to slough off dead skin cells lingering on your outer epidermis but they can’t do much for what’s in your pores. This little gadget, though, softly “buzzes” away to unclog pores and leave a smoother complexion without scouring your face with anything abrasive.

The result is the ultimate deep clean without dryness or irritation. Even better? The pulsations also stimulate blood and lymph flow, helping to detoxify the skin even further and promote an overall healthier glow. Oh, and did we mention that the vibrations also enable your skin to absorb the ingredient in your cleanser as well as the serums and creams you’ll be applying afterwards?

Overall, if you’re looking for the most effective cleanser to unclog your pores and get rid of both whiteheads and blackheads – this one’s a must have.

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