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The Best Teenage Face Wash: Find Face Cleansers for Teens With Your Baumann Skin Type

Written by: Dr. Leslie Baumann

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Time to read 7 min

Hey there! I'm a dermatologist, and today we're diving into something super crucial – finding the right face wash for your teenage or tween years. Whether you're tackling acne, curious about skin care, or just aiming for that perfect glow, the key is all about matching your teenage face wash to your skin type.

Teenage Face Wash: Your Ultimate Guide

Oily or Dry? Time to Find Out!

First things first, let's figure out if your skin is oily or dry. This isn’t just some random skin tip – it's majorly important for choosing your face wash. Oily skin might be super shiny, while dry skin can feel tight and rough. If you have bumps on your forehead or  nose- you may be starting to get acne and need a good acne face wash for teens.

Also-think about other skin issues you might have. Got redness, stinging, or dark spots from old acne? Yep, these are all big clues in picking out the best face wash for your skin.

Another reason to take the quiz now: Once you take the quiz, you can earn points towards product purchases!

Facial Cleansers For Teens with Oily Skin

If you're dealing with oily skin, here’s the deal – you need a face wash that can handle the oil, and unclog pores but still be kind to your skin. Look for labels like 'oil-control' or 'non-comedogenic' – that means it won’t block your pores.  

Click here to find a list of skincare ingredients that clog pores (also called comedones).

teenage face wash for oily skin

Morning Cleanser for Teens with Oily Skin

Start your day out with a clean face so you don't look shiny or oily at school. The teenage face wash that I recommend more for my oily skin patients are salicylic acid (SA) cleansers.  These are the best SA Cleansers for teens (prices may change):

Night Cleanser for Teens with Oily Skin

Your night cleanser should be different than your morning cleanser because it has different goals.  You can learn more about why you need two different cleansers, click here.


You night cleanser needs to have more detergents than your day cleanser because it must remove sweat, oil, sunscreen and makeup before you go to bed so you do not get clogged pores and acne.


These are good night cleansers for oily skin types :

face cleansers for teens with dry skin types

Teenage Face Wash for Dry Skin

 Let's talk about why using a gentle cleanser is super important for dry skin types. Our skin has this thing called the 'moisture barrier.' Think of it like a superhero shield that keeps the good stuff (like moisture) in and the bad stuff (like dirt and pollution) out. When your skin is dry, it's like having tiny cracks in this shield, which makes it hard for your skin to hold onto moisture.

Strong detergents that foam and make lots of bubbles can make the cracks in your moisture barrier even bigger, leading to even drier skin – and nobody wants that!

So, if your skin is on the dry side, it's super important to choose a cleanser that's gentle and 'barrier-safe.'  These are either nonfoaming cleansers, gentle foaming cleansers or cream cleansers made for teens with dry skin. Dry skin types can use the same morning and night cleanser unless you have acne or dark spots.  These are the best teenage face wash cleansers for dry skin:

These are the best cleansers to use for very dry skin.

Teenage Acne Face Wash

If acne is crashing your skin party, look for face washes with ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. They’re great at showing acne the door. But remember, too much of a good thing can be irritating, so don’t overdo it.


For best results, take the teenage skin type quiz and we will help you find the best cleansers for your acne skin type. It can be hard to pick- so let me guide you.

It you have dry skin and acne look for a cleanser with hydroxyacids like glycolic acid for the am and use one of the dry skin cleansers mentioned above at  night.


If you have oily skin, use one of the salicylic acid cleansers mentioned above in the morning and a foaming cleansing at  night.


These are our favorite foaming cleansers:

If you are using acne medications like retinoids or benzoyl peroxide, you cannot use a low pH cleanser 2 times a day- this is why we recommend a different cleanser in the am and pm for teens with acne.

face cleanser for teens with acn escars and spots

Cleansers To Erase Acne Marks in Teens

Those pesky dark spots left by acne can be annoying, right? Here's a pro tip: low pH (acidic) cleansers can help lighten those spots and even out your skin tone. But remember, only use these once a day.

You can combine these with skincare products to lighten the dark spots.

Teen Cleanser for Oily Skin with Dark Spots

If you have oily skin with acne and dark spots, you should use a low pH cleanser with salicylic acid in the am.  

These are some options for low pH cleaners for teens with oily skin:

Teenage Face Wash for Dry Skin With Dark Acne Marks

If you have dark spots from pimples and your skin is dry, choose one of these AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) cleansers:

You can see that there are many things for teens to consider when choosing a face wash. Make it easy on yourselves and take the teenage skin type quiz and I will guide you on what products to choose.

You can see that there are many things for teens to consider when choosing a face wash. Make it easy on yourself and take the teenage skin type quiz and I will guide you on what products to choose. 

16 Bauman Skin Types
Level up your skin care knowledge

How to wash your face if you are a teenager?

Choose a cleanser based on your Baumann Skin Type. Chances are you need a different cleanser in the morning than at night to avoid overexfoliation.

Best cleanser for teenage acne?

If you are oily, a salicylic acid cleanser is best. If you are dry, a glycolic acid cleanser may be best. Take the Baumann Skin Type Quiz to know for sure which face wash to use.

What cleanser should teens use to get rid of bumps on forehead?

If you have small sandpaper bumps on your forehead or hairline, use a low pH cleanser like a salicylic acid cleanser to help get rid of the bumps. If you have dry skin, use a glycolic cleanser. Take the Baumann Skin Type Quiz to know what skin type you have.

What is the best drugstore cleanser for teens?

Cera Ve and La Roche Posay are good brands for teenage skin. Take our skin type quiz to see which of these brand's cleansers are best for you because not all cleansers are right for all teens.

What is the best affordable face wash for teens?

Good affordable face cleansers for teens are Cera Ve, La Roche Posay, and Bright Girl. Take our skin type quiz to see which is best for your skin because there are 16 Baumann Skin Types and the best cheap face wash depends on which skin type you are.

Best References and Scientific Publications on Teenage Face Washes:

  1. Baumann L. Cleansing Agents in Ch. 40 of Baumann's Cosmetic Dermatology Ed 3. (McGraw Hill 2022)
  2. Baumann, L. Ch.6  Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients (McGraw Hill 2015)
  3. Lee, E. J., Yim, M. H., Ku, H. Y., Shin, E. K., Ann, M. J., & Whang, W. K. (2009). The actual condition of makeup and attitude on cleansing of teenage girls. Kor J Aesthet Cosmetol, 7(4), 327-337.
  4. Marcoux, D. (1999, September). Cosmetics, skin care, and appearance in teenagers. In Seminars in cutaneous medicine and surgery (Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 244-249). WB Saunders.
  5. Fendall, L. S., & Sewell, M. A. (2009). Contributing to marine pollution by washing your face: microplastics in facial cleansers. Marine pollution bulletin, 58(8), 1225-1228.
  6. Bayo, J., Martínez, A., Guillén, M., Olmos, S., Roca, M. J., & Alcolea, A. (2017). Microbeads in commercial facial cleansers: threatening the environment. CLEAN–Soil, Air, Water, 45(7), 1600683.
  7. Gold, M., Ablon, G., Andriessen, A., Goldberg, D., Hooper, D., & Mandy, S. (2019). Facial cleansing with a sonic brush—A review of the literature and current recommendations. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 18(3), 686-691.
  8. Kuehl, B. L., Fyfe, K. S., & Shear, N. H. (2003). Cutaneous cleansers. Skin Therapy Letter, 8(3), 1-4.
  9. Subramanyan, K. (2004). Role of mild cleansing in the management of patient skin. Dermatologic Therapy, 17, 26-34.
  10. Barlage, T., Griffiths‐Brophy, S., & Hasenoehrl, E. J. (2015). Facial cleansers and cleansing cloths. Cosmetic Dermatology: Products and Procedures, 103-109.