6 Best Face Washes (& Cleansers) for Teens + Tweens

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6 Best Face Washes (& Cleansers) for Teens + Tweens
In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

BEST FOR CLEAN SKINCARE

ZELEN Life Cleanser

Let’s face it. Teenage skin can be troublesome. So, it is important to use a face wash formulated with teenagers in mind and address the problems that plague their skin.

Hormonal acne and high sebum production are common in teen skin. To keep these problems under control, a suitable face wash or cleanser is a good starting point.

The best face wash for teens (and tweens) is out there, and the purpose of this review is to help you find yours.

Would you like to find out more?

Well, keep reading because, in this article, we have provided a detailed review of the 6 facial cleansers that made our list. We have shared each face washes’ best features, their pros and cons, and who they are most suitable for.

Before you buy, here are some useful pointers on what you should take into consideration:

Quick summary

Before you buy: 6 Things to consider when purchasing a face wash for teenage skin

Not many products are created for teen skin. Unlike adult skin, teen skin is softer and free of adult age-related issues. However, hormone production varies, so the skin undergoes many changes due to hormonal variations.

The skin is affected by these hormonal changes, such as follicle stimulation and sebum production, leading to acne breakouts. And so, teen skin requires formulas that are sensitive to these needs.

Before you decide to buy a face wash or cleanser for teenage skin, here are a few things to consider:

1. Teen skin type

Most teenagers tend to have oily or combination skin. The hormones tend to ramp up the sebum production, and the skin can become more oily or greasy. A gentle face wash or cleanser that removes the excess oil and controls sebum production can be beneficial.

For those with sensitive skin–a mild, chemical-free cleanser is more suitable. And for those with skin conditions like eczema or another dermatitis, an oil-based cleanser is more beneficial.

2. Having a skincare routine

Most teenagers are just starting their skincare journey and are yet to nail down a skincare routine. Skin preservation and the prevention of age-related issues are not high on a teenager’s priority list. They have more pressing issues to deal with.

Yet, a skincare routine with a basic cleanser and moisturizer is a must for everyone. The cell’s machinery is optimum at this age, and having a skincare routine will go a long way in preventing fine lines and wrinkles as they won’t have to play catch up as most adults do.

3. Frequency of use

Since teenagers are trying to unclog pores and stave off acne, a cleanser must be used at least twice a day for optimum results.

4. Skin problems

One of the most common problems with teenage skin is hormonal acne. And now, there are products available that can help prevent and treat acne and its scars. The days of young people putting some toothpaste on their pimples are long gone.

Several formulas are aimed at staving off bacteria through their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Various formulas will clear the pores of debris and gunk. Others will control sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands.

Some will exfoliate the skin. It all depends to what extent these issues affect the skin.

5. Budget

It is recognized that teenagers would not spend a significant amount of money on a face wash unless they recognize the value of this investment.

It’s crucial to choose products that serve their purpose while being affordable and easily available to purchase.

6. Textures

Since every teenager has different grades of combination to oily skin, you must also consider what texture of face wash you want. Do you like a gel cleanser, or will a jelly-based face wash make you squirm?

There are various textures available, and depending on personal preference, it’s important to consider the texture.

7. Foaming vs. Non-foaming

There are face washes, and there are cleansers. Even among the face washes, not all of them are foaming. Some face washes lather up while others are thin and watery with no sudsy action at all.

For those who want to remove makeup or are looking for the soapy acting, you may want to pick a foaming face wash.

The 6 best face washes and cleansers for teens and tweens

We’ve searched and found the best cleansers and face washes formulated for teenage skin. With our selections, we have ensured there is something for everyone.

Here’s our list.

ZELEN Life Cleanser (Best for clean skincare)

ZELEN Life Cleanser


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Pure organic ingredients
  • Made by hand
  • Premium matte-silve airless bottle

The best face wash/cleanser for:

Teenage skin of all skin types, particularly those with sensitive skin or prone to hormonal acne and breakouts.

Notable ingredients:

Aloe vera, sunflower, jojoba

Overview:

If you are looking for a clean cleanser that is handmade and full of natural ingredients then no need to search anywhere else. ZELEN Life’s Cleanser is cruelty-free and full of botanical ingredients (without the inclusion of parabens, synthetic colors, fragrances, or any other harmful chemicals.)

Its main ingredients are aloe vera, sunflower, and jojoba. They work synergistically to unclog blocked pores, removing dirt, oil, and impurities without removing the necessary moisture and oils that keep your skin refreshed and invigorated.

Due to its organic formula, it doesn’t dry or irritate, making it especially suitable for sensitive skin types and teenagers.

The ingredients:

Aloe vera helps restore the skin’s natural pH balance. It helps to reduce scarring, regenerate skin cells, and encourage cell development. Additionally, it’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which helps fight hormonal acne (often seen on teenagers) while reducing itching. Studies have shown that aloe vera includes vitamin E, vitamin C, and a lot of amino acids. These play a vital role in accelerating wound healing by neutralizing free radicals in a wound site.[1][2]

Sunflower retains moisture, allowing the skin to stay hydrated. It absorbs easily and reduces the skin’s sensitivity. It decreases the appearance of redness while also neutralizing free radicals and the damage they cause. Jojoba also has many benefits, such as preventing the build-up of oil (sebum), speeding up the skin’s healing process, and minimizing signs of aging such as wrinkles.

Want more?

This cleanser also contains lemon peel oil that also provides vitamin C, which in combination with other ingredients, eliminates impurities and clears clogged pores. Thus, leaving the skin feeling healthy and pH-balanced. It also has anti-aging compounds that have a brightening effect and encourages an even skin tone.

Its organic formulation creates a lightweight and non-greasy creamy texture without sacrificing any of its action. While it is unlikely that this cleanser will cause any irritations, it is important to note that if you are allergic to any of its ingredients you should avoid using it.

The smell:

While this cleanser doesn’t include any artificial fragrance, it has a raw light citrus/floral scent which many will fall in love with. It has a luxurious smell which, will surely make you wanting more.

Its scent really compliments its premium silver packaging. Its thoughtful airless pump mechanism not only prevents polluted air or dirt from contaminating the cream but also assists in easier dosage (dime-size amount recommended).

While this product offers a great action against regular blemishes, if you suffer from severe acne then I would suggest using the Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash. It contains salicylic acid which is proven to be very effective against breakouts. However, it is important to note that if you have a sensitive skin type, salicylic acid might cause some irritations. So beware of that.

Also, the price tag of the ZELEN Life Cleanser might not be for some. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, then the Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel might be more appropriate for you. For a cheaper price it comes in a very large bottle of 16.7 fl oz / 500 ml compared to 3.4 fl oz / 100 ml of ZELEN Life’s. However, it is worth mentioning that it has a gel texture compared to ZELEN Life’s creamy texture.

The good:

  • Free from harmful chemicals
  • Outstanding hydration that lasts
  • Vitamin and antioxidant-rich
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic

Things to think about:

  • Can mattify the skin
  • Little bit expensive

Bottom line:

This is an excellent cleanser for teenagers with sensitive skin and who are prone to breakouts. Its organic formula moisturizes as it cleanses and does not strip the skin like many chemical-based face washes.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser (Best for mild acne)

boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Acne focused
  • Natural salicylic acid
  • Oil balancing

The best face wash/cleanser for:

Teenagers with blemish-prone skin and looking for a makeup remover.

Notable ingredients:

Willow bark extract, jojoba seed extract, rosemary extract, geranium extract

Overview:

If you are a teenager, chances are that you are experiencing or you have experienced some blemishes. Boscia’s Clear Complexion Cleanser is a cleansing gel that makes makeup removal easier for individuals with blemish-prone skin. Like ZELEN Life, it is an all-natural cleanser with many botanical ingredients that help in fighting acne.

The ingredients:

It contains Willow Bark which works as a natural Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA). This is because it contains salicin, the natural version of synthetic salicylic acid. It assists in tackling blemishes on teenage skin but also minimizes dark spots from previous breakouts. All without the side effects of synthetic salicylic acid, such as irritations to sensitive skin.

Jojoba oil keeps the hydration locked in the skin keeping it moisturized. It also balances oil as it imitates the skin’s sebum, which prevents the overproduction of sebum that often is responsible for breakouts.

Rosemary leaf extract acts as a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient while also aiding in circulation. Studies have shown that ethanolic rosemary extract sufficiently minimizes the production and appearance of proinflammatory cytokines.[3] Geranium Extract improves skin elasticity by increasing circulation and balancing sebum production.

Texture:

All the ingredients blend together in a lightweight gel texture that effectively exfoliates the skin, unclogging and purifying pores for a clearer complexion. It foams up nicely, which makes it easy to apply to the face. You can clearly distinguish the smell of rosemary and geranium from its formula. Its scent is pleasant, fresh, but not overwhelming. Also, while the bottle has a basic look, its minimalistic and simple design makes it look more premium.

While this cleanser is great for oily and combination acne-prone skin types, if you have dry skin then it might not be for you. Not only me but also many reviewers found it a little bit drying when using it. If you are looking to combat hormonal acne and looking for a cleanser that will not dry out your skin, then a great alternative is ZELEN Life’s Cleanser. It contains a plethora of moisturizing botanical ingredients, such as aloe vera and sunflower, to name a few.

If you are looking for an alternative (as a makeup remover) then the TONYMOLY Vital Vita 12 Jelly also provides great action without overdrying the skin. It contains squalane which leaves the skin soft, vibrant, and hydrated.

The good:

  • Contains natural salicylic acid from willow bark
  • Minimizes blemishes and dark spots
  • Balances the production of sebum
  • Great makeup remover

Things to think about:

  • Can dry out the skin and make it flaky

Bottom line:

This is a great face wash for those teens who have blemish-prone skin and looking for a makeup remover that contains natural salicylic acid.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

TONYMOLY Vital Vita 12 Jelly Cleanser (Best for glowing skin)

 TONYMOLY Vital Vita 12 Jelly Cleanser


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • 12% vitamins
  • Contains squalane

The best face wash/cleanser for:

Teens of all skin types aspiring for glowing skin.

Notable ingredients:

Vita-12 multivitamin complex, squalane

Overview:

Are you low on vitamins? Then look here!

TONYMOLY’s Vital Vita 12 Jelly is a cleanser that contains a long list of unique blend of vitamins (including vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6, B8, B12, C, E, F, H). I said it was long, didn’t I! Whatsmore, it includes squalane to create rich antioxidant, cleansing, and hydration effects, which protects the skin from various ailments.

Vitamin A promotes hydration while speeding up wound healing. Vitamin C (along with vitamin A) promotes collagen production reducing the appearance of fine lines. Vitamin B helps balance sebum production which controls acne breakouts. The combination of these essential vitamins promotes a healthier, more radiant but also brighter complexion.

Squalane increases hydration of the skin making it appear brighter and glowy. Regular use on the skin has been proven to promote collagen production, resulting in tighter and wrinkle-free skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which assist in fighting acne by reducing redness and blemishes.

Bonus:

This cleanser contains a unique combination of chlorella and spirulina, both of which are body superfoods. Several studies have shown that marine algae extracts such as chlorella and algal carbohydrates can assist with hyperpigmentation, dry skin disorders and inflammation. [4] Spirulina has radical fighting properties due to its biliprotein called C-phycocyanin (C-PC).[5]

All the ingredients combined create an effective cleanser that instantly dissolves dirt, excess surface residue, and makeup. It has a heavy jelly texture that lathers to provide a thick cleansing foam. While I love its subtle slimy jelly texture, some might prefer a more lightweight standard cream or gel. If you are looking for an all-rounder cream cleanser then ZELEN Life might be more suitable for you. It has an all-natural formulation making it suitable for all skin types.

If you are looking for a gel-based cleanser then Boscia Clear Complexion or Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel are ideal candidates. They are very lightweight while providing great action in removing makeup. However, please note that Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser is mostly suitable for oily acne-prone skin, as it contains natural salicylic acid. It can be a little bit drying.

What else?

It has a subtle citrusy smell that fades away 1-2 minutes after use (which I really enjoy.) The packaging is nothing special which in my opinion doesn’t reflect the quality of this cleanser. Shame! While this is not an issue with me, some reviewers also criticized it by stating that the jelly continues to pour out even after closing the lid. Do keep that in mind.

The good:

  • Leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed
  • Packed with a long list of vitamins
  • Powerful action quickly dissolves impurities and removes makeup

Things to think about:

  • May cause an acne breakout
  • Has a slimy consistency

Bottom line:

This is a great face wash for those with an oily T-zone and combination skin that also wants to remove heavy makeup, fast!

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash (Best for stubborn acne)

Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Salicylic acid 0.5%

The best face wash/cleanser for:

Teenagers with very large pores and stronger acne.

Notable ingredients:

Salicylic acid, orange peel extract, tea tree extract, lavender

Overview:

Dermalogica’s Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash is a cleanser that is specifically formulated to combat acne breakouts and whiteheads. Its main ingredients are salicylic acid, orange peel extract, tea tree extract, and lavender.

Let’s analyze:

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). It has been shown to minimize the severity of all acne-related pimples.[6] It exfoliates the skin which prevents clogged pores that often lead to blackheads and whiteheads.

The orange peel extract revitalizes, energizes, and refreshes the skin’s appearance. Citrus peels contain poly methoxy flavonoids (PMFs) as a major ingredient of their anti-inflammatory activity. Orange peel extract, in particular, contains a high concentration of PMFs, which can help to prevent or mitigate UV damage.[7]

Tea tree along with lavender has shown to have anti-inflammatory properties assisting in reducing this way redness and swelling from acne. Lavender has also been proven to reduce signs of aging, such as fine lines or wrinkles, and speed up wound healing. All botanicals included in this formula are known to soothe and calm irritated skin.

The ingredients are great but what about performance…

Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash has a liquid gel-like texture that lathers up easily to create a thick but not greasy foam. Applying a pea-sized amount is enough for a smooth application and a good lather. Be aware that salicylic acid has a strong action, and can irritate sensitive skin if it is over-used.

If you have sensitive skin then I would suggest avoiding this product completely (or use it in a very small amount.) A great alternative is Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser. It is also formulated to combat acne but includes natural salicylic acid (willow bark) instead of the synthetic version. This makes it more appropriate for sensitive skin types.

As for the scent, this cleanser has a subtle citrus smell that reminds me of oranges, tangerines, and lemons. The scent fades away almost immediately after applying the product. The packaging is basic but it does get the job done. However, I expected more from a reputable brand such as Dermatologica.

The good:

  • Lathers well and protects against UV radiation
  • Leaves skin very smooth
  • Unclogs pores

Things to think about:

  • Can increase acne in some (i.e. if you have very sensitive skin)

Bottom line:

This is a good face wash for teens with very large visible pores.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
3.5 Overall Score

Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel Facial Cleanser for Combination to Oily Skin (Best budget-friendly)

Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel Facial Cleanser for Combination to Oily Skin


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Reduces pore size
  • Decreases sebum production

The best face wash/cleanser for:

Teen skin of a greasy/oily appearance.

Notable ingredients:

Zinc sulphate, zinc gluconate, fructooligosaccharides, ginkgo biloba

Overview:

Bioderma’s Sebium Foaming Gel Facial Cleanser is specifically formulated for combination and oily skin. It contains ingredients that gently cleanse and purify your skin without overdrying it. It contains ingredients such as zinc sulphate, zinc gluconate, fructooligosaccharides, ginkgo biloba, etc.

Zinc sulphate and zinc gluconate can help reduce acne blemishes. This is because zinc is rich in anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Therefore it can also assist in minimizing the effects of other skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema.

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are naturally occurring oligosaccharides found in plants, such as onion, chicory, garlic, asparagus, artichoke. According to some studies, they can provide an increase in antioxidant defenses which protects the skin from environmental stressors and slows the effects of aging.[8]

Ginkgo biloba also has many antioxidant properties. Trials have shown they can halt the progression of vitiligo and hyperpigmentation disorders.[9]

My thoughts:

While it doesn’t include a lot of botanical ingredients, Bioderma’s formulation is still very effective in terms of cleansing and removing makeup. It manages to cleanse without drying the skin while having a very lightweight gel texture. It glides smoothly onto the skin and can be used on both face and body. A big plus in my book!

If you are looking for more natural options then the ZELEN Life Cleanser or Boscia’s Clear Complexion might be more suitable for you. ZELEN Life provides powerful cleansing while keeping the skin hydrated due to the inclusion of aloe and sunflower. Whereas Boscia Clear Complexion offers great makeup removal action and combats acne, due to the inclusion of natural salicylic acid (willow bark).

However, both of the above products can’t compete on the price of Bioderma’s Cleanser. For a similar cost, you get a significantly larger bottle of 16.7 fl oz / 500 ml. That is to be expected though as ZELEN Life and Boscia have more premium quality ingredients and are also cruelty-free. It depends on what you value most from a cleanser.

Lastly, as you would expect due to its cheaper price the packaging is simple. However, the pump proves useful in applying the correct amount. Simple yet effective.

The good:

  • Good for oily and combination skin
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Antioxidant-rich to delay and free radical damage

Things to think about:

  • Can cause red patches. Do a skin test first.
  • Contains sulfates

Bottom line:

This is a very good face wash for teens with oily and combination skin, especially those with excess sebum production.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

Billy Jealousy LiquidSand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser (Best for men)

Billy Jealousy LiquidSand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Exfoliating facewash with silica
  • Removes blackheads

The best face wash/cleanser for:

Men’s teenage skin with blackheads looking for natural exfoliation.

Notable ingredients:

Sunflower, lactic acid, morus nigra leaf

Overview:

Billy Jealousy’s LiquidSand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser is a 2-in-1 scrub and a cleanser. It is formulated specifically for men’s skin. While it doesn’t provide very strong exfoliation like a regular scrub, it helps to clear clogged pores and improve skin’s radiance. If needed, it also preps the skin for a less irritating shave. Since dirt and oil may get stuck in pores, the exfoliating action can clear them from deep which can also help to avoid acne.

Its main ingredients are sunflower, lactic acid, and morus nigra leaf.

Sunflower is anti-inflammatory and can help reduce redness. It also maintains the skin’s natural barrier assisting this way to retain its moisture. Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that offers hydration locking properties while being gentle. It’s made from natural ingredients and promotes cell turnover. This helps to enhance skin tone and texture. It also helps to smooth the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.[10] Studies have shown that treatment with as much as 12% lactic acid causes an increased epidermal and dermal firmness and thickness. In the case of a teenager, it can assist in delaying these unwanted signs of aging. It also helps in repairing photodamage from the sun.

Morus nigra is also known as black mulberry. Just like any other berry, it is rich in antioxidants. It helps soften the skin and promote collagen production. The result can be more rejuvenated skin and a greater natural glow.

Billy Jealousy’s Cleanser also contains licorice root and quillaja saponaria bark extract. Licorice root extract protects the skin from oxidative stress, speeds up wound healing, and effectively reduces atopic dermatitis symptoms.[11] Quillaja saponaria bark extract has a wide range of uses, such as cleansing, moisturizing, skin conditioning, and reducing dandruff.[12] This is thanks to it containing saponins and triterpenoids.

Taking all these ingredients into account, there is no doubt that this cleanser gets the job done. Despite providing combined cleansing and exfoliation, it manages to stay gentle and does not dehydrate the skin. Its texture is lightweight and glides easily onto the skin without leaving any greasy residue. It has a masculine yet mild scent. I highly doubt that it would intervene with the smell from cologne as it fades away quickly.

While it doesn’t have premium-looking packaging, it fits the bill. It does a great job of keeping the product from leaking. Top marks for reliability!

If you are looking for a regular cleanser that doesn’t provide both exfoliating and cleansing action then ZELEN Life Cleanser is unisex and suitable for men’s skin. It provides a mattifying cleansing effect which is often more preferable by men.

The good:

  • Provides exfoliation
  • Keeps the skin hydrated and supple
  • Makes the skin look healthier and younger

Things to think about:

  • Contains parabens

Bottom line:

This is a useful face wash for teens with blackheads who are looking for a face wash with an exfoliating action.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

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How we chose these products

As we searched for the best face washes and cleansers for teen skin, we considered suitable ingredients. We focused our search on formulas rich in essential oils, leaf and seed extracts, and other ingredients that especially controlled sebum production.

Some even have unusual ingredients like marine algae, chlorella, and spirulina. Most of the products on this list can unclog pores and clear dead cells since this is a common issue with teenage skin.

The products that made our list are all tried and trusted at removing impurities and ridding the skin of dirt and grime. Some even have exfoliating properties for those with uneven skin and dermal build-up. For those with blackheads and whiteheads, many of these products can help with breakouts.

In some cases, where the pores are large and visible, some formulas reduce pore size. Since acne is common in teenage skin, many of the formulas have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity.

We did consider that some teenagers might be looking for an all-inclusive cleanser that removes makeup, and a few of our choices do dissolve makeup.

We considered a variety of textures like gel-based cleansers, foam-based cleansers, and even jelly-like consistencies.

We chose a formula for every skin type and researched each product to see how well it did on teen skin. For those with sensitive skin, several products are all-natural and made from organic ingredients.

We also chose products that have antioxidants, promote photo-protection and depigmentation activity. This is because teenagers may not be thinking about sunscreen and other moisturizers to prevent damage. And so many of these formulas are dual-acting.

Finally, we also considered the budget. We chose a range of products that won’t cause a huge dent in the pocket.

Our extensive research and selection process ensured that there is something for everyone on this list.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

What is a face wash?

A face wash or cleanser is a formula that is meant to cleanse your skin and remove dirt, grime, makeup, epidermal build up.

What is the difference between a face wash and a cleanser?

A cleanser is more like a gel consistency. It does not have any foaming or soap action. It cleanses but also hydrates and moisturizes the skin. A face wash can be foaming or non-foaming. The foaming varieties lather and feel more like soap.

When should a teenager start using a face wash?

The earlier, the better. As soon as changes become apparent in teen skin, from normal or dry to oily and combination, a face wash is needed.

A teenager who has shown signs of a growth spurt such as change in height, facial hair, or menstrual changes, should consider starting a skincare regimen.

This will counteract any bacteria in the skin and also pre-emptively tackle any acne before it gets full-blown. If acne is already present, look for face washes specifically formulated to target acne and have antibacterial activity.

How do I use a face wash for teenagers?

Start by using it twice a day and decide if that’s enough to keep sebum production under control. Twice a day should be sufficient.

After cleansing the face, apply a suitable moisturizer depending on the skin type. Preferably, apply the moisturizer while the skin is still damp from the wash.

What if a breakout develops?

If using an exfoliating face wash, it is possible a breakout can develop in the first week of use. This is because, as the fresh skin is revealed, many underlying pores filled with bacteria and dirt will rise to the surface.

If the breakout persists after one week of use, discontinue the use of the face wash and consult a dermatologist about other options. Also, review the ingredient list to check for any allergic reactions.

What to do in case of an allergic reaction?

Halt the face wash—ice any inflamed, red patches and rashes. If itching and pain develop, seek medical help. You might need medical treatment to reduce the inflammation.

Conclusion

The best face wash for teens (and tweens) is out there. It does take some searching. And all of them tend to have many similar characteristics.

Compare the differences by taking into account the key ingredients and their benefits.

Are you a teenager, or are you a parent of a teenager? What do you think is the best face wash for teenage skin?

If it is not on our list, let us know, and we might consider adding it!

Did you find this article useful? Enter your email to receive subscriber-only skincare advice to help you perfect your routine and achieve radiant skin. Get tips and tricks, how to's and exclusive offers direct to your inbox...

References

  1. Kashanian M., Lakeh M. M., Ghasemi A., Noori S. Evaluation of vitamin E’s effect on pelvic pain reduction in women suffering from primary dysmenorrhea. Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 2013;58(1-2):34–38.
  2. Hajhashemi V., Ghannadi A., Heidari A. H. Anti-inflammatory and wound healing activities of Aloe littoralis in rats. Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2012;7(2):73–78.
  3. Tsai TH, Chuang LT, Lien TJ, Liing YR, Chen WY, Tsai PJ. Rosmarinus officinalis extract suppresses Propionibacterium acnes-induced inflammatory responses. J Med Food. 2013;16(4):324-333. doi:10.1089/jmf.2012.2577
  4. Kim JH, Lee JE, Kim KH, Kang NJ. Beneficial Effects of Marine Algae-Derived Carbohydrates for Skin Health. Mar Drugs. 2018;16(11):459. Published 2018 Nov 21. doi:10.3390/md16110459
  5. Karkos PD, Leong SC, Karkos CD, Sivaji N, Assimakopoulos DA. Spirulina in clinical practice: evidence-based human applications. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:531053. doi:10.1093/ecam/nen058
  6. Zander E, Weisman S. Treatment of acne vulgaris with salicylic acid pads. Clin Ther. 1992 Mar-Apr;14(2):247-53. PMID: 1535287.
  7. Yoshizaki N, Fujii T, Masaki H, Okubo T, Shimada K, Hashizume R. Orange peel extract, containing high levels of polymethoxyflavonoid, suppressed UVB-induced COX-2 expression and PGE2 production in HaCaT cells through PPAR-γ activation. Exp Dermatol. 2014 Oct;23 Suppl 1:18-22. doi: 10.1111/exd.12394. PMID: 25234831.
  8. Franco-Robles E, López MG. Implication of fructans in health: immunomodulatory and antioxidant mechanisms. ScientificWorldJournal. 2015;2015:289267. doi:10.1155/2015/289267
  9. Szczurko O, Shear N, Taddio A, Boon H. Ginkgo biloba for the treatment of vitilgo vulgaris: an open label pilot clinical trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011;11:21. Published 2011 Mar 15. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-21
  10. Smith WP. Epidermal and dermal effects of topical lactic acid. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1996 Sep;35(3 Pt 1):388-91. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(96)90602-7. PMID: 8784274.
  11. Ciganović P, Jakimiuk K, Tomczyk M, Zovko Končić M. Glycerolic Licorice Extracts as Active Cosmeceutical Ingredients: Extraction Optimization, Chemical Characterization, and Biological Activity. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019;8(10):445. Published 2019 Oct 1. doi:10.3390/antiox8100445
  12. Fleck JD, Betti AH, da Silva FP, et al. Saponins from Quillaja saponaria and Quillaja brasiliensis: Particular Chemical Characteristics and Biological Activities. Molecules. 2019;24(1):171. Published 2019 Jan 4. doi:10.3390/molecules24010171
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About The Author

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Doctor and Seasoned Medical Writer

Doctor of Medicine MD (Angeles University College of Medicine)

United States

Pamela Q. Fernandes is a doctor and medical writer. Born and raised in Kuwait, she graduated from Angeles University College of Medicine, Philippines in 2007. Soon after that, she started her career as a medical writer and physician. Pamela is an advocate of preventive health, rural medicine, women’s health and tele-medicine having been active in these roles for the majority of her decade long career in medicine. As a seasoned medical writer, she has worked with many medical publishing houses and doctors, as well as pharmaceuticals, hospitals and practices. She specializes in training material for doctors and patient education material. As an academic writer, she is a qualified writer of articles for medical journals, case reports and medical presentations.

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