9 Face Wash Acids That Are Actually Good for Your Skin

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A woman's face from the neck up
Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Friday May 31, 2024

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Consumers are becoming more conscious about the ingredients in their skincare. While watching for certain keywords is good, you must stay educated about what they mean and their impact on the skin. For instance, it’s quick to assume a face wash acid like glycolic or salicylic acid is bad because of the connotation of toxicity in these solutions. However, these components can actually enhance your complexion in the long run. 

How a Face Wash Acid Can Benefit You

Face wash acid is a convenient way to thoroughly cleanse your skin and exfoliate it at the same time. About 38% of American women almost never use exfoliators, and around 70% of men also avoid such products. If you also avoid scrubs or peels, face wash acid is one of the best hassle-free ways to remove dead skin cells and dirt.

A face wash acid is also beneficial because it provides a clean slate for the rest of your moisturizer. Cleansers are the first step in almost every skincare routine, so you can prep your skin and increase the effectiveness of the toner, serums and moisturizers.

Remember to check the concentration of the facial acids and their impact. Purchase items with your skin type in mind too. All skincare products can act differently depending on their composition and your skin condition, so be meticulous.

What Face Wash Acid Should You Try?

Face wash acids can all vary in terms of formulation. This list comprises some of the top products with facial acids that are actually good for your skin. 

1. CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

CeraVe cleansers have a good reputation for hydrating and foaming without overwhelming the skin. The Renewing SA Cleanser keeps those perks and offers so much more, as it contains salicylic acid to soften the skin and give it a smoother texture. 

Salicylic acid can slightly dry the skin, especially with higher percentages in the formula. While this may benefit those with oily and combination skin, limit its use to once a day or every other day. Be gentle with application and rinsing as well to keep your skin supple. 

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2. Skinfix Acne+ 2% BHA Cleanser 

Skinfix Acne+ 2% BHA cleanser is a great face wash acid with minimal stripping powers. Beta-Hydroxy Acids or BHAs can make fine lines less obvious by lifting dead skin. The main BHAs used in this solution are salicylic and glycolic acid.

Skinfix’s BHA cleanser is quite gentle and focuses on restoring the skin. They can also minimize wrinkles and pores to give your skin a flawless look and feel. People with active acne will find it also offers a few calming properties while cleansing the face. 

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3. Cetaphil Gentle Clear Clarifying Acne Cream Cleanser

Another drugstore holy grail when it comes to facial acids is the Cetaphil Gentle Clear Clarifying Acne Cream Cleanser. Despite its milky consistency, it foams quite well, so a little goes a long way for cleansing. It also contains salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and improve its barrier.

The Cetaphil Gentle Clear Clarifying Acne Cream Cleanser also does a good job of clearing out excess sebum. Too many face oils can feel too greasy, so a face wash acid like this can take away those impurities without drying out the skin. 

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4. COSRX Calming Foam Cleanser

COSRX is a popular Korean skincare brand best known for its Advanced Snail 96 Mucin line. However, their Calming Foam Cleanser with salicylic acid and CentellAC-RX is an underrated gem that deserves more love. 

The calming foam cleanser contains salicylic acid to gently exfoliate the skin. Unlike the COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser, it also contains centella asiatic acid to help with redness and appease sensitive skin.

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5. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser is a medicated face wash that can thoroughly exfoliate and clean the skin. It has 2% salicylic acid to add gentle exfoliating properties, which is ideal for beginners who are just starting to explore the world of face wash acid.

La Roche-Posay also includes lipohydroxy acid in the Effaclar Gel Cleanser. This ingredient assists salicylic acid in renewing the skin. As acne skin is more sensitive than other types, gentler variations like this acid are a breath of fresh air for your skin.

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6. Derma-E Anti-Wrinkle Cleanser

Derna-E Anti-Wrinkle Cleanser is a glycolic acid-based face wash that removes dirt. As the name suggests, it also reduces signs of aging like lines and wrinkles. You can even pair this with heavy cream moisturizer to really smooth out the skin and relieve tightness, which makes those features more evident. 

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7. Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Face Cleanser

Glow Recipe is known for its mild but effective skincare line. Their Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser fits in perfectly, as it contains AHAs or Alpha-Hydroxy Acids like lactic acid to hydrate and brighten the skin.

Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Face Cleanser is also packed with hyaluronic acid. This unique component can boost moisture and improve its retention in the skin. Using this on dry skin can make your skin appear more plump and youthful. 

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8. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser

Another hidden gem in terms of face wash acids is the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser. This skincare product mixes glycolic and lactic acids to improve complexion and add glow to the skin. It also improves skin texture, making it ideal for people who want to heal old acne and facial scars and rejuvenate their skin. 

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9. The INKEY List Salicylic Acid Cleanser

The INKEY List Salicylic Acid Cleanser offers classic facial acids like salicylic acid. It is advertised to unclog pores and target blemishes gently. There are additional Zinc compounds in is formulation to clear out excess oil. If it feels too dry, you may have to scale back from using it daily. You can also invest in a hydrating moisturizer to combat those effects. 

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Get Your Skin Some Treats

Several face wash acids on the market can remove dirt and enhance skin. Think about what your complexion needs and pick out a product to match it. Share your favorites from this list on Instagram and tag us!

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