10 Best Face Washes for African American Skin in 2023

Cleansing sets the stage to the rest of your skincare routine, so it’s important to get it right. You can’t just go with the first cleanser you find.

Do people with black skin need a special set of skincare products? Yes and no. While it’s true that skin is skin no matter the color, it’s also important to note that black skin is more prone hyperpigmentation due to a higher melanin content.

The key to finding the best face wash is to look for formulas that are suitable for your skin type. For example, if you have dry and sensitive skin, you should look for gentle, gel-based formulas. But if you have oily skin, you can go with foaming face washes as they can get rid of excess oil with ease. 

There are a lot of products available on the market, but finding the right one can be tricky. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Ahead, you’ll find the best face washes for African-American skin

Our Top Picks

1. Best for Dry Skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

2. Suitable for All Skin Types: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Facial Cleansing Gel

3. Best for Normal & Sensitive Skin: Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Water

4. Best for Acne-Prone: belif Creamy Cleansing Foam

5. Best for Oily Skin: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser

Best Face Washes for African-American Skin Reviewed

1. Best Overall: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser for black skin

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With prebiotic thermal water to soothe irritation, this facial cleanser is a perfect choice for dry or sensitive skin. It features a non-comedogenic formula to gently cleanse your face without clogging pores. 

The thick, creamy gel draws out all the impurities without stripping your skin of moisture. And it’s super hydrating. It doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry or parched post-application, so no need to go chasing that moisturizer almost immediately (moisturization is important, though!).

We talked about how increased melanin content makes black skin more prone to dark spots. Luckily, this formula is infused with niacinamide, which is a hero skin-brightening ingredient. 

Additionally, it contains ceramides that reinforce the skin’s barrier. Glycerin absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and keeps your skin highly moisturized. 

It just feels so luxurious on the skin that you’ll be hooked on this product. Finally, it boasts an impressive star rating of 4.5 on Amazon, so you know you can’t go wrong with this cleanser. 

Skin Type: Dry, Sensitive

2. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Facial Cleansing Gel

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Facial Cleansing Gel

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If you’re on a budget, reach for this drugstore pick by Neutrogena. It’s super affordable and highly effective. The star ingredient here is hyaluronic acid that deeply hydrates your skin and reduces the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. 

The gel-based formula turns into silky leather to gently remove dirt and grime without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Instead, it plumps your skin and adds moisture. 

The formula is paraben-, soap-, and oil-free, so it’s totally safe for all skin types including sensitive skin. And it’s non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. 

What’s more, it has a fresh and clean scent. It’s also effective in removing makeup, however, take note that it may not be a great choice for lifting heavy-duty makeup such as your waterproof mascara

It doesn’t contain irritating ingredients, and it’s also suitable for mature skin. Finally, Neutrogena is a wildly popular dermatologist-recommended brand, so there’s that. 

Skin Type: All

3. Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Water

Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Water

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Packed with skin-loving ingredients, Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Water packs a serious punch. It’s enriched with micellar cleansing water that increases skin hydration by up to 90 percent. This almighty ingredient is also an excellent makeup remover.

It also contains other powerful ingredients such as Matricaria flower extract and glycerin. Matricaria flower extract is known for its soothing and skin-saving properties. Glycerin keeps your skin moisturized and supple. 

Looking to brighten up your complexion? No problem! It contains niacinamide galore to combat dullness and dark spots. 

The best part? It’s suitable for all skin types. There are no harsh ingredients, so your skin will never freak out post-application. 

It’s really effective, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It’s also one of the best-selling cleansers out there. Tell me, what else could you ask for?

Skin Type: Normal, Sensitive

4. belif Creamy Cleansing Foam

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We can all agree that combination skin is the hardest to treat. Finding the right products for this skin type is also not easy. But belif has successfully developed an effective formula that’s just right for folks with combination skin. 

It contains vitamin C and a boatload of natural herbs that effectively lift all the impurities and makeup. Vitamin C helps in collagen synthesis and improves overall skin health. It may also be helpful in treating sun damage. 

What’s more, it not only removes impurities from the surface of your skin but it penetrates deep into your skin to clean those pores. 

It has a creamy lather that gives you a fresh and clean feel without stripping the moisture barrier. And the formula is very hydrating. Your skin won’t feel dried out post-application. 

Skin Type: Acne-Prone, Normal

5. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser

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If your skin is oily or acne-prone, then La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser is an ideal pick for you. The gel formula gently eliminates all the toxins without disrupting the pH balance. It’s oil-free and soap-free as well.

This cleanser not only zaps excess oil but it also regulates oil production. So, your skin won’t get shiny or oily as the day progresses. In fact, it has a mattifying effect. 

Also, it doesn’t dry out your skin. Your face won’t feel stripped at all. It lathers really well and gets rid of all the impurities and your makeup. The result is a fresh, vibrant, and youthful skin. 

This face wash is really a game-changer for oily or acne-prone skin. It’s gentle enough for daily use, and you can use it in the morning as well as before going to bed. 

Skin Type: Oily, Sensitive, Acne-Prone

6. SheaMoisture Clarifying Facial Wash

SheaMoisture Clarifying Facial Wash for african american skin

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SheaMoisture Clarifying Facial Wash is formulated for people with oily and blemish-prone complexion. It’s the perfect cleanser for African-American skin for so many good reasons. 

First off, it contains tea tree oil that gently purifies your skin and removes excess oil. Its antibacterial properties keep acne breakouts in check. 

Secondly, this cleanser is loaded with African Black Soap, which is a star ingredient when it comes to moisturization. It’s incredibly hydrating, and it can also reduce fine lines and wrinkles. What’s more, it’s also an excellent exfoliator. 

Then there’s Kaolin clay that absorbs all the impurities and excess oil, so your skin feels squeaky clean.

Finally, it’s paraben- and sulfate-free. And it’s also animal-cruelty free. 

Skin Type: Acne-Prone

7. CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser

CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser

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If you have a history of acne breakouts, you may have already heard of the almighty benzoyl peroxide. It not only removes excess oil and dead skin cells but it also kills acne-causing bacteria underneath your skin. And it’s also considered one of the best ingredients for fighting acne. 

So, if you have acne-prone skin, you would want a product that’s loaded with benzoyl peroxide. Luckily, this cleanser from CeraVe might just be the product you were looking for. It contains 4% benzoyl peroxide to clear pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and other forms of acne. 

The inclusion of hyaluronic acid and ceramides helps give your skin a hydration boost. Ceramides also strengthen the skin barrier.

What’s more, this cleanser heals your skin and prevents future breakouts. The hard-working formula lathers into a rich foam that gently cleanses your skin and removes makeup. This one is also non-irritating, non-comedogenic, and animal cruelty-free (but the brand does sell in China).

Skin Type: Acne-Prone

8. VaniCream Gentle Facial Cleanser

VaniCream Gentle Facial Cleanser

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VaniCream has crafted a unique formula that’s perfect for sensitive skin. It’s so gentle that it will never freak out your skin. So, you don’t need to worry about redness, acne breakouts, and inflammation that occur as a result of irritation. 

This formula is also oil-free and non-comedogenic. So, if you’re sick of those pesky blackheads, this product is your answer. It’s free of dyes, fragrances, and sulfates. Additionally, it is also betaine- and gluten-free. 

But does it work? You bet. It contains simple ingredients, but it’s so darn effective. As a matter of fact, it’s also accepted by the National Eczema Association.

It’s easily one of the best face washes for black skin. Even the most sensitive complexions can use it without any worries. Needless to say, it’s one of the safest choices for folks with easily irritated skin. 

Skin Type: Dry, Normal, Sensitive

9. Christina Moss Naturals Original Face Wash

Christina Moss Naturals Original Face Wash

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If you like natural and organic products, Christina Moss Naturals Original Face Wash is exactly what you need. It is made from certified natural and plant-based ingredients. It contains nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, olive oil, sunflower oil, etc. that deeply moisturize your skin while detoxifying your face. 

What’s more, it is also a great choice for reducing the size of pores and improving the overall skin texture. You’ll also love that there are no parabens, sulfates, fragrances, dyes, etc. The formula works quite well on both men and women. 

It’s so gentle that even pregnant women can use this cleanser. Christina Moss is a small family-owned business and all its products are manufactured here in the US. They work very hard to ensure that their products are best-in-class. So, you can shop for these products with confidence. 

Even the pickiest skin types will love this product. There will be no irritation, redness, or inflammation. 

Skin Type: All

10. Honest Beauty Gentle Gel Cleanser

Honest Beauty Gentle Gel Cleanser

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Founded in 2015, Honest Beauty is the real deal. They offer some really exciting skincare and makeup products. And Honest Beauty Gentle Gel Cleanser is no exception. 

The gentle formula zaps excess oil, makeup, and all the impurities in just one step. And it does so without drying out your skin. Rest assured your skin will never feel stripped or parched. Better yet, it will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.

The inclusion of soothing chamomile really throws a powerful defensive punch. Chamomile soothes irritation and inflammation. Additionally, it also protects you from environmental aggressors. 

It also contains calendula extracts that not only prevent acne but also promote collagen production. Furthermore, dryness won’t be a problem anymore. 

And it’s pretty affordable, and who doesn’t love a product that’s affordable yet highly effective?

How to Choose the Best Cleanser for African-American Skin?

Okay, so there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for the facial cleansers. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Understand Your Skin Concerns

It’s important that you understand your skin concerns before you get yourself a cleanser. And by that, we mean that you should look for formulas made specifically for your needs. If you have oily skin, you should reach for formulas designed for oily complexions. 

A face wash designed with dry skin in mind won’t do any good for oily-skinned folks. Similarly, if you’re looking to combat dullness, reach for formulas that contain skin-brightening ingredients. It sounds like a no-brainer but there are still people who just use any cleanser they could find. 


As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid toxic ingredients like parabens, sulfates, fragrances, etc. This bit becomes even more important if you have sensitive skin. Organic products are a great choice because they don’t do your skin any harm. 

Look for hydrating and moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, shea butter, etc. 


As with anything, price is an important factor to be considered. You should always buy products that fit your budget. An expensive product doesn’t necessarily produce better results. Always keep that in mind when shopping for your new cleanser. 


Cleansing is perhaps the most important part of your skincare routine. It prepares your face for the rest of your skincare routine. And it also helps you put your best face forward. 

That’s why it’s important to invest in quality products. Hopefully, our review of the best face washes for African-American skin helped you find the right product. So, which of these cleansers are you gonna use? Let us know in the comments below. 

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