21 Best Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Men of All Skin Types in 2023

Best Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Men

Acne can strike any man at any age. It is a troublesome and persistent condition that can be difficult to treat. While it is important to choose the best facial moisturizers for acne-prone skin, it is equally as vital to choose a beneficial face cleanser.

Typically, this means a men’s face wash that contains salicylic acid. A remarkable ingredient that is capable of treating even the most stubborn of acne cases, salicylic acid is present in many face cleansers that are suitable for everyday use. Salicylic acid has many factors in treating acne, the more you know about salicylic acid, the easier it will be to see why this BHA should be a part of your daily skincare routine.

Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Acne

1. 100° Celsius Men’s Products Face Wash Acne-Prone

This men’s face wash packs a salicylic acid wallop with its 10-percent content of this incredible agreement. Normally available in concentrations of only two or three percent, this 100° Celsius face wash is for guys who have stubborn acne. Other ingredients in the formula include tea tree oil and thyme, both of which are natural components with known acne-fighting abilities.

If you also are suffering from body acne, then feel free to use this face wash on your body as well. Users report seeing fast results with the use of this product. Keep in mind that it has an unusually high concentration of salicylic acid. If you have particularly sensitive skin, then proceed with caution.


  • High concentration of salicylic acid (10%) for effective acne treatment.
  • Contains natural acne-fighting ingredients such as tea tree oil and thyme.
  • Can be used on both face and body.
  • Fast results reported by users.


  • May not be suitable for those with sensitive skin.
  • High concentration of salicylic acid may cause skin irritation or dryness.

Bottom Line: The 100° Celsius Men’s Products Face Wash Acne-Prone is a powerful acne treatment with high concentration of salicylic acid and natural ingredients.

You can find it here.

2. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne-Fighting Facial Cleanser with Salicylic Acid

This 9.1-ounce bottle of acne-fighting face wash costs less than $16. With two-percent salicylic acid content, you can trust it to control your acne situation without going overboard. Neutrogena includes its Microclear technology in the formula to provide extra acne medicine so that breakouts and blackheads will heal more quickly.

Guys love this product because it is oil-free, non-comedogenic and doesn’t leave behind a residue. Neutrogena claims that this face wash removes as much of 93 percent of the surface oil on your skin, which leads to eliminating breakouts. Gentle enough to be used twice per day, this formula also includes extracts of aloe and chamomile to soothe and soften the skin.


  • Affordable price ($16 for 9.1-ounce bottle).
  • Contains 2% salicylic acid for effective acne treatment.
  • Includes Microclear technology for quick healing of breakouts and blackheads.
  • Oil-free, non-comedogenic and doesn’t leave residue.
  • Removes up to 93% of surface oil on skin.
  • Can be used twice daily.
  • Contains aloe and chamomile extracts for soothing and softening skin.


  • 2% salicylic acid content may not be strong enough for severe acne.

Bottom Line: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne-Fighting Facial Cleanser With Salicylic Acid is a gentle, effective and affordable solution for acne treatment, with added benefits of Microclear technology and skin-soothing extracts. You can find it here.

3. GloxiniaLife by Dr. Calle Enzyme Cleanser

If you’re following skincare tips for men, then you know how important using the right cleanser is. This product from Dr. Calle is an acne-fighting cleanser that provides your skin with antioxidant protection while also getting rid of the bacteria that contribute to breakouts. Several botanical extracts are included in the formula. These ingredients are added to assist with exfoliation, leading to the enhanced production of new skin cells. The result is skin that looks increasingly younger as time goes by.

An absence of sulfates, artificial dyes, fake fragrances, and parabens ensures that this is a safe and natural product that you can use twice daily. Each batch of GloxiniaLife is manufactured in the USA in a facility that is regulated by the FDA. The company even stands behind their product with a 60-day guarantee. If you don’t find that the overall health of your skin is improved or that you have fewer acne breakouts, you can return the product for a refund. You can find it here.

4. Dermlogic Exfoliating Gel Cleanser

Containing salicylic acid, this product from Dermlogic is perfect for unclogging pores and getting rid of whiteheads and blackheads. It also may help to fade old acne scars. This Exfoliating Gel Cleanser is designed to tone and tighten your skin in addition to improving blood circulation so that your skin looks more vibrant.

Extracts of numerous flowers such as aloe vera, camellia, calendula, and chamomile are a part of the formulation to soothe and nourish your skin as it recovers from acne breakouts. Benefitting from papaya fruit extract and green tea extract, your skin will look and feel younger than it has in years. As the weeks go by, you’ll see a new smoothness and radiance as well as fewer pimples.


  • Contains salicylic acid for unclogging pores and removing whiteheads and blackheads.
  • Helps fade old acne scars.
  • Tones and tightens skin and improves blood circulation for a more vibrant look.
  • Contains extracts of aloe vera, camellia, calendula, and chamomile for soothing and nourishing skin.
  • Includes papaya fruit extract and green tea extract for a youthful look and feel.
  • Promises smoother and more radiant skin with fewer pimples over time.


  • No specific cons mentioned.

Bottom Line: Dermlogic Exfoliating Gel Cleanser is an acne-fighting solution that unclogs pores, fades scars, and nourishes skin with its blend of salicylic acid and botanical extracts. You can find it here.

5. Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Oil-Free Facial Cleanser with Salicylic Acid

With a formulation that is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic, there’s plenty to love about this product from Aveeno. It is the ideal face wash to utilize before trying one of the best face masks for men because it won’t cause any irritation. This six-ounce bottle is available for about $20, making it a bargain choice as well.

Missing from this formula are soaps and oils. This means that it won’t over-dry your skin, nor will it cause it to become oily. The salicylic acid and soy extracts work together to soothe and calm your skin while also reducing acne breakouts. Another reason to love soy is that it may reduce skin discoloration and blotchiness.

You can find it here.

6. CLn Acne Cleanser

This advanced acne treatment contains 0.5 percent salicylic acid for a gentle clean. Dead skin cells are washed away without effort, and harmful bacteria are eradicated thanks to this rejuvenating face wash. CLn relies upon an exclusive therapeutic formula to rid the skin of excess oil and to minimize redness. The result is skin that is soothed and smoother than it has been in years.

Acne-prone skin is bound to thrive when this product is used twice per day. Dermatologists recommend it for patients who are troubled by blemishes as well as seborrheic dermatitis. If you have red, flaky skin in addition to acne problems, CLn Acne Cleanser may be a great product for you.

You can find it here.

7. Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming Cleanser

Containing a two-percent concentration of salicylic acid, this is among the most powerful acne-control face washes that are available today. This product is designed to remove all dirt and excess oil as well as wash away impurities that would otherwise clog the pores and cause a breakout. This product has the additional benefit of containing menthol to produce a cool, calming finish.

Obagi claims that most users see a significant reduction in acne within just one week of using their products. Combine this face wash with other products from the same line so that you can start seeing your clearest skin ever. Even people who have been battling acne unsuccessfully for years have noticed a marked improvement in the health of their skin thanks to these products.

You can find it here.

8. Nivea Men Moisturizing Face Wash

nivea face wash

If you have a particularly dry skin type, opting for Nivea Men’s Moisturizing Face Wash is a good way to go. This formula is made with two humectants, glycerin, and provitamin B5, which work by attracting water, bringing necessary moisture back into the skin. Specially formulated with aloe vera, this hydrating formula also deeply cleanses the skin by removing dirt and excess oil, which keeps your face feeling healthy and clean. This gel-based formula also includes menthol, which provides a refreshing, cooling effect. While some may enjoy this feeling, those with sensitive skin may find it slightly irritating.

Nivea’s Men’s skincare line is designed to boost skin moisture levels and limit tightness in the skin, so if you like the cleanser, consider purchasing the moisturizer, as well!

You can find it here.

9. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash

la rouche face wash

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash is a great face wash for healing cystic or severe acne, as well as treating extra oily skin. This hormonal acne-friendly cleanser uses salicylic acid as an active ingredient to keep skin greasiness to a minimum.

This oil-free face wash has been clinically tested to reduce excess surface oil by up to 47%, leaving skin less oily throughout the day. The acids in the formula also work to effectively reduce common acne concerns such as oiliness, pimples, and blackheads. Because it has an acid-heavy formula, try to only use one or two other products with active ingredients if you opt for this cleanser to avoid irritating or over-drying your skin.

You can find it here.

10. Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub


If you are looking specifically for an exfoliating wash for men, Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub is one of the best options available. This brightening facial scrub is gentle enough to be used every day but strong enough to remove dirt, oil, acne-causing bacteria, and impurities for softer and more radiant skin. The best part? This cleanser is from a dermatologist-recommended skincare brand, and it won’t put too much of a dent in your bank account. This soap-free and hypoallergenic scrub is also non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores.

You can find it here.

Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Dry Skin

11. Repechage Hydra Medic Face Wash

This revitalizing face wash can be used twice per day to control acne without stripping the skin of the hydration it needs to be healthy. Repechage Hydra Medic Face Wash provides daily exfoliation for clearer, healthier skin in no time. Developed by a well-known esthetician whose work has been featured in Vogue, this product contains salicylic acid to control acne and numerous other ingredients that are designed to soothe irritated skin.

Among the components is a unicellular seaweed that is rich in essential fatty acids, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B. This ingredient not only helps to control the production of excess oil but also moisturizes and protects sensitive skin. Also in the formula are ylang-ylang oil, lavender oil, and basil oil to clear away congestion, provide anti-inflammatory benefits and produce smoother skin. This is an all-natural, vegan product that is made in the USA and does not contain any parabens.

You can find it here.

12. skyn ICELAND Glacial Face Wash

This surprisingly mild yet effective formulation is perfect for the guy who is troubled by both acne-prone skin and dry patches. While it contains salicylic acid to help manage and stop acne breakouts, this face wash further is formulated to provide a gentle clean that does not strip essential hydration from the skin. Ingredients include surfactants that are derived from oats and amino acids for an amazingly soothing experience.

Another notable ingredient is Icelandic kelp, a unique ingredient that fights inflammation while also revitalizing tired skin. A natural antioxidant, cylindrical seed oil works to fight free radicals and repair the skin’s lipid barrier. Even if you have cystic acne and are troubled by flaky patches, this skyn ICELAND product will probably work for you. A five-ounce container costs just over $20.

You can find it here.

13. Nurture by Nature Acne Edit Cleanser

This men’s face wash is ideal for the guy who is troubled by dry spots as well as acne. The formulation features salicylic acid to dissolve dirt and oil, yet it doesn’t strip essential hydration that the skin needs to be well-nourished. Among the ingredients is gotu kola to fight the signs of aging and to protect the skin from environmental toxins as well as green tea to promote cellular repair. Green tea also features antioxidants that work against damage from UV rays.

Another ingredient is marine algae, which is dense with minerals, nutrients, peptides, and antioxidants, all of which are outstanding for minimizing the signs of aging. If you want to combat the lines and wrinkles that result from UV damage and dry skin as well as minimize future acne breakouts, then this Nurture by Nature product is just right for you.

You can find it here.

14. Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser

This rich formulation is just right for guys who want to win the battle against acne and dry skin. Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser fights excess oil and pore-clogging impurities, but it also includes numerous nourishing ingredients that help to keep the skin in perfect balance.

In addition to willow bark extract, which also is referred to as salicylic acid, this face wash features ingredients that purify and detox your skin. Cucumber juice provides toning and revitalization, which may make pores appear smaller and less noticeable. Yogurt exfoliates while also providing essential moisture. It further contains lactic acid for even more hydration. With sweet almond milk, this formulation is slightly aromatic while providing softer, younger-looking skin. This product is easily gentle enough to use twice per day.

You can find it here.

Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Sensitive Skin

15. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser

If you have ever used any of Paula’s Choice products, then you know that they are capable of producing amazing results for sensitive skin. This particular cleanser contains a 0.5-percent concentration of salicylic acid, making it perfect for the guy who wants to control his acne but doesn’t want to irritate his skin in the process.

The smooth gel texture of this face wash soothes and calms the skin, easing redness and inflammation from the very first use. Make it a part of your skincare routine in the morning and evening to get a handle on acne breakouts without ever feeling like your skin is getting dry or tight. Paula’s Choice also makes an Exfoliating Solution that contains salicylic acid if you’re interested in following additional grooming advice.

You can find it here.

16. Neostrata Clarify Mandelic Acid Clarifying Cleanser

Packed with soothing ingredients like glycerin and castor oil, this refreshing face wash also contains salicylic acid to reach deep down into pores to remove impurities. The formulation further contains tea tree oil, a noted natural ingredient that has been used in the fight against acne for decades.

The Mandelic Acid Clarifying Cleanser is remarkably gentle. It lightly exfoliates so as not to interfere with the skin’s natural moisture barrier. This makes it the ideal choice for guys who are dealing with acne and sensitive skin that flares up at the slightest provocation. Soap-free, you can trust that this is one face wash that won’t upset the balance of your delicate facial skin.

You can find it here.

17. Exposed Skin Care Acne Facial Cleanser

With a salicylic acid content of just 0.5 percent, this Exposed Skin Care face wash is effective at treating and preventing acne while also being gentle enough to use on the most sensitive skin. Also in the formulation is pro-vitamin B5 to regulate oil production and sage extract to protect against irritation and dryness.

The absence of lauryl and laureth sulfates also makes this an incredibly nurturing and gentle cleanser. This hypoallergenic product is safe to use if you worry about whether or not a new skincare product is likely to cause a negative reaction. Users swear by this product for giving them smoother, clearer skin than they have seen in years without suffering any irritation.

You can find it here.

18. iS CLINICAL Cleansing Complex

A lightweight, clear cleansing gel, it’s easy to see why this product from iS CLINICAL is so beneficial for guys who have sensitive, acne-prone skin. This product leaves the lipid barrier intact while still getting rid of all of the dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells that combine to cause acne breakouts. The white willow bark, otherwise known as salicylic acid, in the formulation is powerful enough to dissolve pore-clogging toxins. With exfoliating action, this product helps to reduce the size and improve the appearance of pores for smoother skin.

This face wash also includes antioxidants that are derived from sources such as Centella Asiatica and chamomile to provide all of the soothing and healing that sensitive skin requires. For even better results, periodically leave this product on your skin for two or three minutes to act as an acne-clearing mask.

You can find it here.

Face Wash with Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid

19. My Alle Care Face Wash AHA BHA Exfoliating Cleanser for Women and Men

This gentle gel cleanser is precisely what sensitive, acne-prone skin needs in the fight against breakouts. With salicylic acid, this face wash not only makes blackheads and pimples smaller but also prevents new blemishes from forming. At the same time, this is an exfoliating face wash that helps the skin to slough away the dead skin cells that would otherwise clog pores.

Other ingredients include glycolic acid and lactic acid to help deal with even more dead skin cells and additional impurities. Jojoba beads provide essential hydration so that your skin looks younger and more radiant by the day. The deep yet gentle cleansing helps to promote the production of collagen and may even reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Many users report that their skin looks and feels different after the first use.

You can find it here.

20. LAVO Clarifying Facial Cleanser

This lightweight, non-greasy cleanser features an outstanding lineup of restorative ingredients. In addition to salicylic acid, the formulation contains lactic acid and glycolic acid for even better cleansing of clogged pores. This cleanser exfoliates away blackheads and provides nourishing aloe vera to soothe your irritated skin.

It’s important to note that this is a cleansing oil. However, this doesn’t mean that it will make your skin oily or that it will contribute to breakouts. To the contrary, it is a remarkably clean and soothing formula that is guaranteed to help you see fewer acne breakouts or you can request a refund. The three acids penetrate into the pores to dissolve dead skin cells while extracts of pineapple and papaya get rid of even more dead skin. Sun damage is repaired by watercress extract while a combination of lavender and vitamin B regulates the production of sebum oil and fights the bacteria that cause acne.

You can find it here.

21. Promesse Daily Facial Cleanser

Promesse combines salicylic acid with two powerful AHAs, glycolic acid and lactic acid. While the salicylic acid stops acne in its tracks, the glycolic and lactic acids replenish vital antioxidants. The result is remarkably clearer, smoother skin that does not suffer from irritation or overdrying.

This Promesse formulation also contains aloe for additional soothing and hydration. With anti-aging ingredients, skin is made smoother and fine lines and wrinkles appear less prominent. Other benefits include the fading of sunspots and discoloration. If you are dealing with keratosis pilaris, cystic acne or rosacea, all of these conditions may be improved with the use of this product.

You can find it here.

What is Salicylic Acid?

What is Salicylic Acid?

Derived from the Salix, or willow, tree, salicylic acid also is known as a beta hydroxy acid. The substance is used in a wide variety of applications, including as a food preservative and a stomach-relief aid. In medicine, salicylic acid is used to treat various conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and warts. This means that it is frequently found in skincare products.

Willow bark, from which salicylic acid is derived, has been used for centuries by healers like Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder, and texts from ancient Egypt and Assyria also attest to its efficacy. Likewise, many Native American tribes relied upon willow bark for medicinal use.

Today, salicylic acid may be obtained from natural or laboratory sources, after which it is added to a vast array of skincare products. In fact, many consumers swear by the helpfulness of using salicylic acid in their skincare regimen because of the effect that it has on acne and other conditions.

What Does Salicylic Acid Do?

As a beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid is oil soluble. This means that it can penetrate deeper into the pores than a water-based ingredient is able to do. Accordingly, salicylic acid is capable of delivering unbelievably clear pores. With regular use, whiteheads, blackheads, and other forms of acne may become a thing of the past.

While in the pores, salicylic acid dissolves the debris that clogs pores, and its anti-inflammatory properties kick in. This means that pustules and pimples heal faster. Additionally, the acid in this substance is capable of dissolving some of the adhesives that keep skin cells glued together, which translates to exfoliation. The top layer of skin cells is sloughed away, revealing softer skin. Regular use of salicylic acid may be responsible for minimizing breakouts when they occur and preventing breakouts from occurring in the first place.

In concentrations of two or three percent, salicylic acid is gentle enough for everyday use for conditions like acne and dry skin. Even sensitive skin may respond well to a face wash that contains this ingredient.

Salicylic Acid Benefits for Your Skin

Salicylic Acid Benefits for Your Skin

Salicylic acid may have overall benefits for your skin. It’s a powerhouse ingredient that can’t be ignored if you’ve been fighting, and losing, the war on acne. One of the primary benefits of using salicylic acid is that it provides exfoliation. Numerous skin issues, including acne, are the result of toxins, oil and dead skin cells building upon the skin. Salicylic acid removes all sorts of dirt and oil to leave your pores clear and clean like never before.

Salicylic acid additionally is your ally in the fight against acne. This single ingredient can clear up whiteheads and blackheads, especially around the T-zone where acne is most common. Salicylic acid is capable of breaking through oily skin like no other ingredient, enabling it to prevent breakouts. This means that you see clearer skin over the long run.

Furthermore, salicylic acid will make your skin less oily. This BHA breaks down the fatty compounds that congest the surface of the skin. Not only does this get rid of excess oil but also it prevents the skin from producing too much oil.

How to Pick a Salicylic Acid Face Wash

When choosing a face wash, keep in mind any other skincare concerns that you may have. Is your skin prone to dryness in some places and oiliness in others? Do you have incredibly sensitive skin that tends to get irritated whenever you introduce a new product?

These considerations will affect the face wash that you choose. If acne is your overriding concern, go with a cleanser that contains a maximum of two-percent salicylic acid. This will address your biggest concern and bring balance back to your skin.

However, if you have sensitive skin or are prone to dry spots, then choose a formulation that has a smaller concentration, such as 0.5 percent, of salicylic acid as well as some powerful moisturizers that will nourish and protect your skin.

Don’t be wary of engaging in some trial and error. You may enjoy taking the time to compare various products before finding the one that’s perfect for your skin.

How to Use a Salicylic Acid Face Wash

How to Pick a Salicylic Acid Face Wash

Most salicylic acid face washes are designed to be used in the morning and evening as the first step in an overall skincare routine. Typically, the use of these products involves dampening your face with warm water, then dispensing a small amount of cleanser onto your fingertips.

Apply the cleanser to your skin using gentle, circular motions, being sure to reach every corner of your face. If you’re prone to breakouts on your neck, consider using the cleanser here as well. Rinse away the cleanser to leave your skin feeling clean, revitalized, and refreshed.

Remember, when in doubt, always read and follow the usage instructions on the bottle of cleanser. This should help you to avoid any negative reactions.

Enjoy your journey as you find the most nourishing and effective acne face wash for you.