What’s the best cleanser for oily skin and large pores

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Oily skin and large pores can be really annoying, and finding the right cleanser can be really challenging.

Even though there are so many cleansers for oily skin and large pores out there, most of them tend to be drying, doesn’t help with your skin, and some even make your skin worse.

But, guess what, it is actually possible to find the right cleanser. And today, I’m going to help you find the best cleanser for oily skin and large pores.

Read on to find out what cleanser I recommend, and what to look for while buying one.

Cleansers reviews

Our Rating




Cosrx is a very well-known Korean skincare brand. And one of their best sellers is Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser.

This cleanser has betaine salicylate, which is a mix between betaine and salicylic acid. So this ingredient can help unclog your skin’s pore. Additionally, some people like betaine salicylate better because they feel that it is more gentle than salicylic acid. This is why this cleanser can be an excellent choice for people with oily skin and large pores. It also has tea tree oil, which can help with acne.

Moreover, this cleanser has a lot of antioxidants, such as Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Pinus Palustris Leaf Extract. Antioxidants are known to help protect your skin from free radical damages.

The majority of people love this product as it did clean their skin well, and it did not dry their skin. Additionally, some people did find that it did improve their skin texture. However, certain people found that it did have a strong smell.


  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Alcohol-free
  • Antioxidants


  • Strong smell
If you’re looking for a gentle cleanser with simple ingredients, Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser can be the one. The first great thing about this cleanser is that it is alcohol-free and fragrance-free. So it may be suitable for people with sensitive skin.

Another great thing about this cleanser is that it has some humectants and emollients such as glycerin, aloe vera juice, and sunflower oil.

A lot of people love this product because it did clean their skin very well, and it was gentle. Certain people did find that it did help with their oily skin. Additionally, some people did experience fewer breakouts.


  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Aloe vera juice
  • Gentle


  • Pricey

CeraVe is an affordable brand with great products. CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser is one of them.

The reason why this product can be suitable for people with oily skin and large pores is that it has salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is known to be able to unclog your pores and also help with acne.

Additionally, this cleanser has glycerin and hyaluronic acid to help your skin stay hydrated. It has niacinamide, which is known to have so many benefits, such as helping to control sebum and acne. It also has ceramides, which can help protect your skin’s barrier.

A lot of people found that this cleanser was gentle. Some people found that their skin was smoother, and they had fewer breakouts.


  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Alcohol-free
  • Salicylic acid


  • Some people did experience some dryness
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin can be the right choice if you have oily skin. This cleanser has fragrances, even though it is in the latest ingredients, certain people may have some irritation from the fragrances.

A good thing about this product is that it is alcohol-free. Additionally, it has zinc PCA, which may help regulate sebum production, help with hydration, and also acne. So this can definitely be the right choice if you have oily, acne-prone skin.

A lot of people with oily skin did have great results with this cleanser and found that it was gentle. Some people found that their skin was less oily and also had fewer breakouts.


  • Alcohol-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Zinc PCA
  • Gentle


  • Fragrances
Dermalogica is a well-known skincare brand. Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel Face Wash is one of their best sellers. The first thing about this cleanser is that it doesn’t have sodium lauryl sulfate, which is an ingredient that can dry out some people’s skin. It also has glycerin. It is known to be a humectant, which is an excellent ingredient to hydrate your skin.

However, this product has some drawbacks. The brand says that they don’t use artificial fragrances, which is true. But, they definitely use natural fragrances, and they are not necessarily better for your skin. Some people can still have irritation from them. And this cleanser has some of them, such as lavender oil, Melissa Officinalis leaf extract, lemon oil, bergamot oil. So, if you have sensitive skin, this may not be the right cleanser for you.

A lot of people like this cleanser because it is gentle. It does clean your skin very well without drying it, which makes it a great choice for people with oily skin. However, some people did experience some irritation; this may be because of the fragrances.


  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Cleans without drying your skin


  • Natural fragrances
  • Pricey

Causes of oily skin and large pores

Oily skin is actually really common. Many factors can make your skin oily. Most of the time is because of your genetics and environment.

But, sometimes, it is because of your skincare routine. For instance, a lot of people with oily skin use a lot of astringents in their routine, over-exfoliate their skin, don’t apply moisturizers, or use very harsh products to get rid of the sebum.

And, the reality is all of those things may be the reason why your skin is oily. All of these habits can actually damage your skin barrier in the long term, and when this happens, your skin can’t retain moisture. And when your skin can’t retain moisture, then it became dehydrated, and this can make your skin oilier.

This is why when you have oily skin, your skincare routine is really important. You must stop using harsh products to get rid of the sebum. You need to use gentle products and make sure that your skin is moisturized.

Now, when it comes to large pores, the first thing that you need to know is that the size of your pores is genetic. However, some factors can make them appear more prominent. Those factors are oily skin, acne, sun damage, or not removing makeup. So if you want to minimize their appearances here are some examples of thing that you can do:

  • Exfoliate your skin to unclog your pores
  • Use sunscreen to avoid sun damage
  • Make sure to remove your makeup before sleeping
  • Use non-comedogenic products 
  • Moisturize your skin

How to choose the best cleanser

When you have oily skin and large pores, it is best to cleanse your skin twice a day. But you must use a gentle cleanser. You need to find a cleanser that will clean your skin properly without drying it. And for that, you need to avoid drying ingredients. 

Alcohol, for instance, can be really drying to your skin, you definitely want to avoid it. But be careful because there are different types of alcohol and some are good, and some are bad. You want to avoid bad alcohol, such as isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol. 

When alcohol is used in high concentration in a product, it can be drying for your skin. A lot of people with oily skin like to use those products because they removed the excess of oil. The issue is in the long term, they will damage your skin, and your skin will get oilier, and your pores will look larger.

Another ingredient that is often used in cleansers, and can potentially be dring is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). The issue with SLS is that it can strip the natural oil of your skin, and this can cause irritation and dry skin, so it is better to avoid it in your cleanser.

Now, some ingredients can help with oily skin and large pores. For instance, you can use a cleanser that has some salicylic acid. It is an exfoliant, so it can help you unclog your pores, but be careful not to use too many exfoliants in your routine. Otherwise, your skin can get worst.

Another ingredient that can be beneficial is hyaluronic acid. It is able to bring water into your skin, so it will help to hydrate your skin. You also can use niacinamide, which is known to be able to help with the overproduction of sebum and large pores.  


Now, there are a lot of cleansers, but when you have oily skin and large pores, you have to be careful. Because not all of them can work for your skin. 

I’ve found that the best cleanser for oily skin and large pores is Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. It is gentle, and it also has some ingredients that can help with your skin. For its price and ingredients, I find that it is the best from this list.

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