The Best Exfoliating Cream for Acne Prone Skin


Washing your face on a regular basis is one of the most important skincare routines. For people who have oily skin or those who are susceptible to acne, washing your face effectively using the right exfoliation cream can make all the difference. There are many different products that are available on the market today. Picking the right one for your needs can be quite difficult if you don’t know what you are doing.

For me, it took a lot of time to find creams that worked finally. There are simply too many factors to consider. What face wash should you use, gel or creams? What are the ingredients to keep an eye on? Which ones should you avoid? Should you choose all-natural products or go for the highly advertised acne treatment options? All these questions will be important as you decide which face wash you will buy.

Most of the time though experimenting with different products can help you find the right face wash. Although it is something quite risky, the huge diversity of products available necessitates it. After all, just because there are thousands of people who are using a certain cream and getting the benefits they want doesn’t mean the product is the right choice for you. Each skin is different and different people have different skin care needs. While some products will work for most people, depending on the type of skin you have you may end up trying to find alternatives to popular mainstream solutions. In this article, we are going to give you the ultimate guide to finding the right exfoliating cream including what you should look out for. We also have a lot of skin care information for you.

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What is Acne?

Acne is a problem that affects the oil glands and pores on the skin. Since most oil glands on the skin are in the face, the back, the chest, and the neck, acne will usually affect these areas.

Each hair of your skin has a small oil gland. When pores get blocked with dirt, pimples start to form. The pores can also be blocked by oils and dead skin cells. The blocked pores can become inflamed leading to severe pain and the formation of zits.

There are a few types of pimples. They include blackheads, cysts, pustules, whiteheads, nodules, and papules.  The severity and type of pimples will determine the kind of zits that form. If the pimples remain untreated, they can significantly affect your skin.

What Causes Acne?

Acne can be caused by many things some of which are in fact not in our control. For instance, genetics may increase the risk of acne. Hormonal fluctuations may also lead to the development of acne. However, the most usual cause is associated with the blocking of pores in the skin. When pores get clogged with dirt, dead skin, or oils, the bacteria that’s stuck inside them will start to grow. Due to the infection, the body’s immune system will initiate an inflammatory reaction to deal with the bacteria. This inflammatory response leads to pain, redness, swelling, and zits around the affected area. This is often the early stage of acne, and the pain, redness, swelling, and redness might get worse if not treated in time.

Who Gets Affected By Acne?

Acne is by far the most frequent skin condition today. It affects people of all skin types. However, acne is more common among teenagers. It’s estimated though that at least 80% of the total world population has been affected by acne. The severity of the condition also differs from one person to another. While some people may suffer from malignant breakouts, others may have chronic acne.

The most important thing to remember here is that acne can be treated with a simple skincare routine. In addition to this, even for people who don’t have it yet, a skincare routine can prevent the occurrence of acne in the future. Although there’s this notion out there that skin care is a thing for women when you consider that acne affects both genders it would be good for men too to maintain a skincare routine. It will indeed be worth it!

How to Prevent Acne

There doesn’t exist any specific foolproof way to stop acne. In fact, most of the time stopping acne may involve a combination of many things. However, one sure way of reducing the risk of acne substantively is regular skin care. A basic skincare routine can have a huge impact on overall skin health too.

But what does it involve? Well, you don’t need to do a lot. All you need is a toner, an exfoliating cream, and a moisturizer. The exfoliating cream will be very important in preventing and treating acne. However, if combined with other simple skin care solutions, it will achieve better results in overall skin health.

What Attributes Define a Good Exfoliating Cream for Acne?

A good exfoliating cream should be none-drying, gentle, and tough on oils. In addition to this, ensure that the cream you are about to buy doesn’t contain comedogenics. Comedogenics are acne-causing substances that can be found in some exfoliating creams. There’s always an ingredient list on the product packaging. Take a look at it and see what ingredients are in the product.

For people who have dry skin that’s too prone to acne, it would be best to use a creamy face wash. The creamy options have many moisturizing ingredients, and this would offer very important relief for your dry skin. A gentle exfoliating cleanser will also be a perfect solution.

For people who have oily skin, then the best option would be to go for a gel cleanser. The gel face wash will easily break down the oils. In addition to this, if you can get a gel-based cleaner that also has powerful moisturizing properties, it will be even better. The most important thing to keep in mind here is that your skin type determines the kind of exfoliating cream you should go for. Before you go shopping, make sure you understand the type of skin you have.

How to Choose the Best Exfoliating Cream

The first thing is to figure out your skin type. This will ensure that the cream you go for delivers the expected results. In case you are not sure what skin type you have, you can always consult with your dermatologist.

The second step is to find face cleansers that work for you. Shortlist three or four products and look for as much information as possible about them. In addition to this, you may also want to ensure that the face exfoliating cream is within your budget. Once you find a well-reviewed product that meets your budget, you can buy it.

It’s important to note that for the face wash to work you must use it on a regular basis. Two times a day would be enough. Use the product for a few weeks too to adapt to the new skin care product. Even if it doesn’t feel comfortable at first, give it time.

Choosing the Right Price

Each skin is unique in its way. There’s always going to be a product out there that works for you, and the only thing you need to do is find it. However, even as you logically assess various exfoliating solutions, the cost will remain one of the most important considerations. You don’t need to pay a lot of money to get a quality cream. There’s often this assumption among people that if a product it’s too expensive, then it has to be a high-quality exfoliating cream. This is not true. There are many factors that define quality in cream and cost is never one of them. Looking at things like customer reviews and opinions and ingredients would be a great approach.

There are many exfoliating creams on the market at the moment.

However, we have done some research for you and here are our top picks:

Art Naturals Clarifying Face Wash

The Art Natural Clarifying Face Wash features several gentle ingredients such as Aloe Vera and cucumber. The product also has deep cleaning ingredients, and it’s designed to deliver a fresh and unique experience to its users. The product is also 100% natural and eco-friendly. For people who are looking for a natural exfoliating cream that works, this would be the product to go for. Besides, Art Natural is a reputable skin care company that specializes in the development of effective natural skin care solutions.


  • The product is creamy and thick. This makes it easy for it to lather into a satisfying, rich form that delivers great benefits to your skin health
  • Can easily help to balance your skin
  • Offers effective deep skin cleaning without causing any drying
  • A unique spa product that comes with some measure of luxury
  • Features a very convenient pump for ease of use and application


  • May not get rid of all the oils in some people
  • The thick and creamy texture can sometimes make the bottle difficult to pump.
  • The texture may also make the product hard to use
  • Some users have found the product to cause excess oiliness in their skin
  • The green colored product can be unpleasant to some people
  • Some users felt it cumbersome to use the cream two times a day

African Black Soap

The African Black Soap is a very popular product. They are many people who have used the soap and seen outstanding results. I have had the pleasure of using the African black soap, and it was lovely. The product is very different from the others on this list simply because it comes in the form of a bar instead of liquid cream. In case you don’t like the idea of applying liquid creams on your face, using a bar soap would be highly recommended. The African Black Soap is a great choice in this regard.


  • The face wash comes in bar form, making it easier to ship without any risk of spills
  • The product features raw and organic ingredients and can work for any skin type
  • Full of minerals and vitamins that are designed to nourish the skin
  • 100% vegan for people looking for an all-natural product
  • Has powerful moisturizing ingredients that will make your skin soft and tender
  • Very easy to use


  • The soap contains palm oil, which is an eco-objectionable ingredient
  • The physical exfoliating ingredients in the soap can have negative effects on the skin if they are not washed carefully
  • The scent can be off-putting to some people
  • Requires the use of hot water to avoid skin drying
  • The bar is quite huge, and some people might have a hard time holding it
  • The color can be unappealing to some people
  • The product also contains some comedogenic elements
  • Can make a mess in your shower or sink after use

Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

The Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser is designed to deliver two important skin care benefits. In addition to its potent acne prevention ingredients, the product also contains glycolic acid, an important ingredient that’s designed to alleviate early aging signs. The product also contains salicylic acid. Combined with glycolic acid, the two ingredients are very successful solutions that can be used for soft and tender skin.


  • The product contains jojoba beads that can gently help with exfoliating
  • The salicylic acid is ideal for fighting acne
  • A highly economical, small bottle can last a very long time
  • Glycolic will also help tone up the skin which has a positive impact on its overall look
  • The product has anti-aging properties as a bonus
  • Features 100% all-natural ingredients
  • Can easily remove oils from the skin without drying it


  • Some users have reported feeling sensitivity on their skins after using the product
  • The product can sometimes cause the skin to dry
  • If you have dry skin, the product might not work well for you
  • Using two times a day can be a little harsh
  • The packaging is not good enough

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is considered by many people as one of the best products for acne on the market now. The product contains an array of elements that can fight off oily skin. The ingredients are well balanced, and they blend for acne-free skin. The product also has incredible benefits for overall skin health.


  • The product contains hyaluronic acid which is a very potent moisturizer
  • Forms a nice creamy texture that feels very gentle on the skin
  • Gentle enough to be used at least two times a day without any issues
  • The highly recommended product from dermatologists out there
  • Contains ceramides that form a protective layer over the skin


  • The product is not 100% natural
  • There are traces of parabens which can be problematic
  • If you have sensitive skin, the product might not work well for you
  • The texture, especially before lathering, can be unpleasant to some people
  • Not 100% effective in removing all types of makeup

Christine Moss Organics Facial Wash

The Christine Moss Organics Facial Wash is created with 100% all-natural ingredients. The product has both saponified and essential oils. Although the product can work for people with different skin types, often it delivers great results when used for dry skin. People with oily skin may use it too, but the results won’t be as good.


  • The product features an organic formula with natural ingredients
  • The rich texture will be very comfortable on the skin
  • Can be used in the morning and at night with ease
  • Very economical
  • Helps to restore moisture to the skin
  • Doesn’t dry as fast as other face wash solutions
  • Comes with rosemary essential oils that help to regulate the production of oils in the skin


  • Some of the essential oils in the product may lead to skin sensitivity in some people
  • The coconut oil contained in the product can be comedogenic
  • The product may accelerate the appearance of acne
  • Doesn’t rinse effectively after wash
  • The pungent smell can be off-putting for first-time users

Himalaya Clarina Gel

The Himalaya Clarina Gel is created using some keratolytic, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial ingredients. It’s a simple product that offers so much. The properties are designed to work together in controlling or fighting the appearance of acne on the skin. The product can also help prevent the excess production of sebum, limiting this way the formation of acne bacterium. This wash is one of the best preventative solutions for acne. If you don’t have acne at the moment or perhaps you have already treated the condition before, using the Himalaya Clarina Gel can reduce the risk of acne or its reoccurrence substantially.


  • The product contains an array of natural ingredients
  • The fragrance is quite pleasant compared to most products on this list
  • Will not cause skin dryness
  • The very affordable product, especially when you consider the value it brings
  • Gentle


  • You will have to use a lot of product if your face is full of oils or makeup
  • The product doesn’t lather as effectively as other solutions

Jovees Tea Tree Oil Control Face Wash

Jovees Tea Tree Oil Control Face Wash is a product created using herb extracts and other botanical ingredients. The product is specifically developed to help people with sensitive, oily skin get rid of acne. It can deeply cleanse your skin and helps to control or remove acne and other pimples.


  • Very affordable compared to other products in this category
  • Offers effective deep cleaning
  • Can help to control the production of oils
  • Can easily help to control the occurrence of acne
  • Will be ideal to use during sunny days
  • The fragrance is very appealing to most people


  • Can cause too much skin drying, especially when used during cold days

Seaweed Deep Cleansing Gel Wash

The Seaweed Deep Cleansing Gel Wash is a 100% free oil soap. It’s created to remove all the excessive oils on your skin and dirt without any dryness. The soap is also used to remove other impurities and makeup. It will leave your skin feeling refreshed, shine free and beautiful.


  • The soap can be used by people who have sensitive skin
  • It doesn’t dry up the skin, and instead, it leaves you feeling fresh and soft
  • Can be used during hot summer months
  • A very simple packaging
  • Improves skin texture remarkably
  • Can easily control oiliness on the skin


  • The product contains some artificial parabens and preservatives. This means that it’s not 100% natural

Clean and Clear Pimple Clearing Face Wash

The Clean and Clear Pimple Clearing Face Wash is a lemon-based product. The two ingredients are known for their ability to treat acne on the skin. The product is also very gentle and can help with deep cleansing. Although I have not used it personally, there are some people who say that results from this face wash start to appear after seven days.


  • The product is budget-friendly, so anyone can afford it
  • Readily available on the market at the moment
  • The packaging is delightful
  • Proven acne prevention solution
  • Helps to control excessive oiliness in skin


  • Although the face wash will help control acne, it does very little actually to prevent it.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser

Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser is a product of the oily skin type. It’s an effective face wash that dissolves grime, makeup, and oils from your pores. The product is also enriched with hydroxyl acid, an ingredient that’s known for effective exfoliation. The Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser is also tested by dermatologists through rigorous trials. It’s also free of any alcohols and oils. This helps to reduce the risk of clogged pores. Neutrogena is one of the most effective face washes out there.


  • The product can control oiliness on the skin
  • Can be easily used as a makeup remover
  • Controls the severity and the spread of acne
  • The packaging is easy to pump
  • Very economical, you can use a little bottle for a long time


  • Some users have complained that the product tends to dry their skin

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Topic Related Questions

We do understand that you may have a lot of questions regarding the use of face wash solutions and exfoliating creams. We have created a simple FAQs section here below to address any concerns you might have:

What is Skin Exfoliation?

Exfoliation is the process of removing the dead keratinized skin cells that are found on the skin’s surface. Exfoliation is designed to leave the skin looking fresh, smooth, and radiant. It also helps to make sure that other skin care creams can easily penetrate the skin and deliver the benefits intended. However, overdoing exfoliation can lead to skin damage.

How to Know if You Need Exfoliation?

There’s a simple test you can do at home for this. Take a piece of clear tape and place it gently on your forehead. Remove it and check whether there are pieces of dead skin attached to it. If there are, then you need to exfoliate.

Why is Exfoliation Important?

The process of exfoliation is an important skincare routine. It helps to keep the skin healthy and radiant. Exfoliation is also a transformative process that can change how your skin looks dramatically.

Why You Should Not Over-Exfoliate

Although exfoliation has many benefits, it’s important to do it in moderation. Over exfoliation can lead to sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is prone to many risks including swelling and redness. Some exfoliation creams may also contain harmful ingredients for your skin or the environment. Overusing them could put your health at risk.

Types of Exfoliation: Mechanical and Chemical

There are two major types of exfoliation. They include chemical and mechanical exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation simply rubs off the dead skin using an abrasive solution. It could be anything from a diamond tip microdermabrasion tool to the popular jojoba beads. On the other hand, chemical exfoliation tends to use acids. Gentle fruit enzymes or powerful creams are used for this purpose. The chemicals simply dissolve the dead skin cells which are then washed away.

Here are a few examples of both mechanical and chemical exfoliation:

  • Mechanical Exfoliation

Mechanical exfoliation removes the dead skin cells physically. Some of the commonly used solutions include; salt glow, a homemade body scrub made of sugar and other elements, and face brushing. As a rule of thumb, because the skin of the face can be sensitive, it’s often advisable to use less abrasive solutions like jojoba beads to avoid any harm.

  • Chemical Exfoliation

Some of the solutions used for chemical exfoliation include plant-based enzymes, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). The acids simply dissolve the glue-like substance that holds the dry cells in place, making it easier for you to wash the dead skin off. Some chemical peels on the market can be very gentle while others tend to be very abrasive.

What Skin Care Issues Does Exfoliation Fix?

Exfoliation can fix some skin care issues

Here are some of the main ones:

  • Blemished Skin

The reason why exfoliation is promoted as a foundational skincare routine is based on its ability to deal with blemished skin. Exfoliation opens the pores of the skin and reduces the risk of acne. The removal of dead skin cells also allows for proper circulation of skin nutrients. This ensures the skin remains healthy all the time.

  • Red or Dark Marks

Red and dark marks on the skin can look very bad. Exfoliation can help remove the dark spots and prevent them from happening in the future. Removal of dead skin cells helps to create room for new healthy cells to develop. The new cells revitalize the skin and remove any dark spots in the process.

  • Clogged Pores

Clogged pores are the number one cause of acne and inflammation on the skin. Exfoliating on a regular basis can help unclog pores by removing the dirt, oils, and dead skin cells from the skin. This reduces the risk of acne or pimples significantly.

  • Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a condition where dark brown spots form on the skin surface. Although the problem is often associated with old age, it can also be caused by hormonal changes in the body and genetics. Exfoliation on a regular basis will help break down the pigmented cells. Over time, the dark spots will start to fade. Complimenting the process with a skin lightening agent such as vitamin C can help accelerate the fading of the dark spots.

  • Dry Skin

One of the common solutions most people go for in treating dry skin is applying moisturizer regularly. There’s nothing wrong with this. However, if you are looking for real results, it would be nice actually to exfoliate too. Moisturizing your skin after exfoliation will achieve more effective outcomes for people with dry skin.

  • Smoother Skin

Exfoliation can also help you develop a smoother skin. When you exfoliate, the dead skin layer that covers your face is removed, leaving behind a soft, radiant layer full of new skin cells.

  • Wrinkles

You can also use exfoliation to get rid of wrinkles. Wrinkles occur due to the suppression of collagen production in the skin. Removing the dead outer layer of the skin and exposing the sensitive underlayer to the sun will trigger the production of more collagen. This will help reduce wrinkles.

How Often Should You Exfoliate?

Normally, five times a week would be enough. However, if you are using a chemical based exfoliating solution, then three nights are enough. You can combine chemical exfoliation with a mild facial scrub not more than two times a week. Remember that your skin also needs a break from all the chemicals and exfoliating daily could have negative repercussions.

The History of Exfoliating Creams

Exfoliation can be traced back to ancient Egyptians. Although the methods used at the time were not as advanced as they are today, they were still very effective in keeping the skin radiant and healthy. In the middle ages, people started to use wine as part of their skincare routine. Wine contains tartaric acid which helps to get rid of dead skin cells. Tartaric acid has become a common ingredient in many skin care products. If you are looking for a nonalcoholic version of it, your baking soda at home would be a perfect option. The development of exfoliating solutions can also be observed in ancient Asian history. Natural plant-based solutions used centuries ago are still central to skin care culture for most people in Asia today.

How to Exfoliate Sensitive Skin

People who have sensitive skin must buy exfoliation products that are suitable. There’s some unique exfoliation creams specifically designed for sensitive skin types. These are the solutions to go for. Try to also limit your exfoliation methods to natural products. This reduces the risk of complications. Minimally abrasive solutions can be used, but softer solutions that work would be the best option.

Exfoliating Your Face vs. Your Body

The skin on your face is very different from the skin on your body. In that case, you need to exfoliate differently in each part. The facial skin is often softer and delicate compared to the skin on the body. Using minimally abrasive exfoliation techniques on the face is highly recommended. In addition to this, you will also notice that the skin on the back area can be tougher compared to the chest and the stomach. Using loofahs for the back is often recommended. In case your back is a little sensitive than normal you can consider a softer mitt for the job. Highly abrasive solutions shouldn’t be used on the chest, stomach, or the face. Simple chemical exfoliation solutions would be ideal in this regard. It’s also important to note that it’s normal for your skin to feel sensitive, sore, or tight after exfoliation. This normally goes away after a few hours.

Can You Use Natural Exfoliating Solutions?

Yes, in fact, there are several types of natural exfoliation products on the market today. Natural exfoliation solutions have some benefits. They are relatively affordable compared to chemical exfoliation creams and tend to have very minimal side effects. The natural nutrients are also easily absorbed by the skin, leading to more visible results.

Although most homemade exfoliation solutions use salt, we recommend sugar instead. This reduces the risk of dry skin. Baking soda can also be a perfect substitute for sugar. Its smaller granules offer a minimally abrasive solution. For people with sensitive skin, using baking soda as opposed to sugar in homemade exfoliating solutions will work better.

You can also use some coffee. The caffeic acid contained in coffee has anti-inflammatory properties. This will help relieve the inflammation that’s often caused by the abrasive nature of exfoliation. In addition to this, the Caffeic acid may also trigger the production of collagen leading to a revitalized and vibrant skin. Natural exfoliation solutions will, however, take time before the results are seen. Be patient and maintain your routine for a few weeks.

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Although all the products we have listed above are ideal face wash solutions, we think that there were some that stood out from the others. Our top pick here is the Art Naturals Clarifying Face Wash. Its strong blend of soothing, moisturizing properties and deep cleansing abilities delivers great results. For an acne prone skin, this is the kind of product that normally makes a big difference.

In case you don’t like creams then using the African Bar soap can help. But if you don’t mind both, mixing up the bar soap with the Art Naturals Clarifying Face Wash will deliver the best results. Use the soap in the morning and the cream at night for the best results.

Nonetheless, skin care is more often a subjective thing. This means that different people have different opinions about what works based on their own experiences. Besides, every skin is different and unique. There’s no single product out there that works for everyone. In that case, even as you start shopping for a face wash, keep an open mind. Check out as many products as you can before finally making your final decision.

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