Gel-to-Foam Facial Cleansers for Oily Skin

Let your skin shine without the shine.

Black woman with clear skin
Nix excess oil without stripping your skin of its glow.Unsplash/Park Street

Oily peeps need to strike a delicate balance when choosing a face wash: anything too heavy will clog pores and cause irritation. Anything too drying will cause skin to overcompensate by creating more sebum...clogging pores and causing irritation! Gel-to-foam face cleansers are the answer.

Obagi Medical Nu-Derm Foaming Gel
Part of a line of complementary products, this a.m./p.m. cleanser not only combats oil but also treats sallowness and discoloration.Obagi

Purchasing a set of complementary products (e.g. cleanser, toner, moisturizer, etc.) from one particular line takes the guesswork out of shopping for products, because you don’t have to worry about contraindicating ingredients. In this collection’s face wash, alfalfa extract detoxifies to prevent breakouts, and borage (or starflower) extract reduces excess sebum. Aloe vera helps soothe inflammation and calm redness.

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
Quillaja Saponaria (a.k.a. soapbark) naturally foams to rinse skin, while lemon balm and lavender calm it down, making this gentle pick perfect for sensitive types. It’s also gluten-free, cruelty-free and vegan.Dermalogica

If you can’t commit to a luxury skin care product, look for brands that offer multiple sizes and invest in a small one. Just make sure to use it for three to four weeks to decide whether you like it: skin can go through a purge period, when breakouts occur. That doesn’t necessarily mean the product isn’t for you—your complexion may just need time to adjust.

Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Foaming Cleanser - Gel-to-Foam Hydrating + Exfoliating Face Wash with Hyaluronic Acid + Blueberry Extract - Sulfate + Paraben Free
The soothing formula is packed with antioxidants and AHAs, which slough off dead skin sans stripping, leaving you dewy. (And don’t be fooled by the name: The fragrance is very subtle.)Glow Recipe

Richer than straight gel, a gel-to-foam formula works for all skin types. The bubbles remove makeup and dirt, and as long as your cleanser also has moisturizing ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, it’ll hydrate too.