Best Facial Cleanser for African American Skin

Best Facial Cleanser for African American Skin featured photo

African American skin can be prone to dryness, flakiness, irritation, hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and other skin issues.This means it’s extra important to find a facial cleanser and other skincare products that will help manage these personal skin concerns. If there’s one thing I’m thankful I learned in my years of being a skincare enthusiast, it’s the importance of having a staple facial cleanser in my skincare routine.

The best facial cleanser for African American skin is LaRoche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser. It’s a very gentle cleanser that’s free of common allergens like fragrance and sulfates. Plus it will leave your skin feeling moisturized because it will clean without stripping your natural oils away.

If you’re currently on the hunt for a facial cleanser for African American skin, you might want to stop to consider a few things before you make your choice: your skin type, the ingredients, and whether the product is hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic.

If you’re ready to meet some facial cleansers that will do miracles for your skin, no need to look further because I have them all listed all below! Be sure to check which ones are great for which specific concerns you might have about your skin in the product summaries.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

  • Material characteristic: Blemish-Prone Skin
  • Fragrance: Fragrance free
  • Item Shape: Cream
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Material characteristic: Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) Free, Preservative Free, Dye Free, Sulphate Free
  • Material Feature: Paraben Free
  • Item Shape: Cream
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Material characteristic: non-comedogenic
  • Material Feature: Non Comedogenic
  • Item Shape: Cream
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Material characteristic: No soap, no fragrance
  • Material Feature: Paraben Free
  • Item Shape: Liquid
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Material characteristic: No soap, no fragrance
  • Material Feature: Hypoallergenic
  • Item Shape: Cream
View On Amazon →Read Our Review

The Best Facial Cleanser for African American Skin

1. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser – Our Pick!

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

Our pick for the best facial cleanser for African American skin is the Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser from beauty brand La Roche-Posay! This is a daily face cleanser especially formulated for those with normal to dry, sensitive skin. So if you fit in the category, you might want to consider this as your staple cleanser. With this facial cleanser in your skincare routine, you’re sure it can help gently remove dirt, impurities, and even face and eye makeup you have had for the entire day. And not only does this help get rid of everything you need to get rid of, this also leaves your skin feeling hydrated after every wash.

With this facial cleanser in your AM and PM routines, your skin is sure to retain its natural moisture barrier as you are cleansing. This has been formulated with prebiotic thermal water, ceramide, niacinamide, and glycerin for maximum skin benefits with every wash. The prebiotic thermal water this is formulated with has amazing hydrating and soothing properties that’s especially a wanted factor for those with dry skin. This facial cleanser is also infused with glycerin, an effective and natural moisturizing agent to make sure you can fight dry skin with this. The niacinamide in this facial cleanser also has reliable cell-building properties while it protects your skin from harmful external factors.

Aside from effectively and gently cleansing your skin from dirt and impurities, this La Roche-Posay facial cleanser also helps you keep your skin’s pH balance. And a balanced pH level will make sure your skin doesn’t harbor bacteria that can lead to acne and breakouts. This one also promises to be non-drying and non-irritating. It wouldn’t cause more breakouts in the future with this in your daily and nightly routine.

The hydrating gentle cleanser is has a non-foaming and creamy, milky texture not everyone is a huge fan of. It doesn’t lather up much compared to other foaming facial cleansers and would take some getting used to. But rest assured, this is very safe to use thanks to its soap-free, sulfate-free, and fragrance-free formula.

It is non-comedogenic so with every wash, your skin for sure will feel and look clean without any pore-clogging residue. If you have skin sensitivities and are worried about getting horrible reactions with new skin products, no need to worry because this is allergy and dermatologist tested to make sure its safe for use.


  • Ideal for normal to dry, sensitive skin
  • Non-comedogenic, allergy and dermatologist tested
  • Breaks down and removes makeup
  • Gently and effectively removes dirt and impurities
  • Leaves skin feeling and looking hydrated
  • Retains skin’s natural moisture barrier
  • Keeps skin’s pH level balanced
  • Minimizes acne and breakouts
  • Non-drying and non-irritating
  • Free from harsh and harmful chemicals
  • Doesn’t clog pores


  • Doesn’t lather up much
  • Texture is not for everyone

2. SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Facial Wash & Scrub – Best for Problematic Skin!

SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Facial Wash & Scrub

If what you’re looking for is a facial cleanser that will do wonders for problematic African American skin, then hold on to your seat because this next item on our list might be for you. Our next favorite facial cleanser for African American skin is the SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Facial Wash & Scrub! A facial cleanser, facial scrub, and exfoliator all in one, this clarifying facial cleanser promises and boasts of wonderful skin results with every wash. This can efficiently transform blemish-prone skin into much glowing and healthier skin!

With this facial cleanser in your hands every time you need to wash your face as part of your skincare routine, your skin is promised to be brighter and will look and feel renewed overtime. If you have had constant issues with dry and irritated skin, this will help calm your skin down and will help your skin’s complexion bounce back to its healthy balance. Using this every time you need to wash your face will absorb excess oil your skin has accumulated throughout the day or night, all the while locking in the essential moisture into your skin to make sure it doesn’t dry you out.

This SheaMoisture facial cleanser is formulated with the famous African black soap, tamarind extract, and tea tree oil, this promises you glowing skin overtime with minimized and reduced skin blemishes and imperfections. The African black soap ingredient has amazing antibacterial and healing properties that will help keep acne and breakouts at bay if ever it’s one of your main concerns. The tamarind extract in its formula is rich in AHA and will help gently exfoliate your skin. And the tea tree oil helps calm down and keeps your skin blemish-free.

Aside from its cleansing properties, it also helps lighten acne scars from previous breakouts and keeps your skin blemish-free for days. This helps clear up acne, redness, and even deeply cleanses your pores and frees them from dirt. It’s very gentle on the skin and doesn’t leave you feeling over-scrubbed and overly dry. This one is also formulated without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and mineral oil and is sure to be very safe to use on those with skin sensitivities. There is a scent to this, however, that not everyone is a fan of.


  • Ideal for problematic skin
  • Transforms to glowing and healthier skin
  • Eliminates blemishes and skin imperfections
  • Skin is brighter and renewed with every wash
  • Calms and soothes dry, irritated skin
  • Absorbs excess oil
  • Retains skin’s natural and needed moisture
  • Keeps acne and redness at bay
  • Deeply and gently cleanses and exfoliates
  • Lightens and brightens acne scars
  • Doesn’t dry out skin
  • No harsh chemicals


  • Scent is not for everyone

3. Christina Moss Naturals Facial Wash – Best Premium Choice!

Christina Moss Naturals Facial Wash

The next item on our list of the best facial cleansers for African American skin and our best premium choice is the Christina Moss Naturals Facial Wash! If you’re looking for a facial cleanser to splurge on for all the amazing skin benefits you get with every wash, then this might be just what you’re looking for. With this cleanser in your AM and PM routines, you are sure to gently and thoroughly cleanse your face from dirt and impurities while allowing you to get all the benefits of its nourishing ingredients. Every time you wash with this cleanser, your skin is left feeling and looking dewy fresh.

Each bottle of this Christina Moss Naturals cleanser is packed with rosemary, aloe vera, olive oil, and coconut oil for maximum nourishment and benefits of your skin. Rosemary helps to protect your skin from severe damage from the sun and from free radicals. Aloe vera is an effective ingredient in soothing and calming irritated skin, even acne-prone skin. Olive oil also helps in minimizing bacterial growth which, in the long run, will help reduce acne and breakouts. And coconut oil is an effective moisturizer that will keep your skin from drying through the day and night.

Though you can rest assured this will thoroughly cleanse your face from accumulated dirt and impurities, it’s formulated to be gentle enough that it doesn’t strip your skin off its natural oils leaving you feeling dry and irritated. And no worries because it also doesn’t leave build-up which can potentially clog your pores that can lead to even more skin issues. This face wash instead makes sure to clear up your skin, leaving you with glowing and radiant skin.

This Christina Moss face cleanser is a concentrated formula and allows you to use less and save more. So even if it’s on the more expensive side of face cleansers, you won’t have to buy another one in a good few months. And with the environment in mind, every tube of this is recyclable so you produce less waste. This is formulated without harsh and harmful chemicals such as preservatives, SLS, parabens, dyes, or synthetic fragrance and totally hypoallergenic. Though it has a slight scent from its pool of natural ingredients that not everyone is a huge fan of.


  • Best premium choice
  • Skin is dewy fresh with every wash
  • Protects skin from sun and free radicals damage
  • Calms and soothes skin
  • Reduced bacterial growth and breakouts
  • Keeps skin moisturized and hydrated
  • Mild and gentle on skin
  • No buildup and residue that can clog pores
  • Glowing and radiant skin
  • Concentrated formula
  • Each tube is recyclable
  • No harsh chemicals


  • A bit expensive
  • Scent is not for everyone

4. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

The cult-favorite CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser also made it into our list of favorites and the best facial cleansers for African American skin! With this CeraVe facial cleanser, you’re sure to be able to effectively remove makeup, dirt, and excess oil that has been sitting on your face for the day and night. On top of its cleansing properties, it provides you with 24-hour hydration that leaves your skin deeply moisturized without ever feeling overly oily and greasy. With every wash using this face cleanser, your skin’s natural moisture and protective barrier is sure to be restored back to its tiptop health.

Packed with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides, you are certain that every time you wash with this, you get the maximum skin benefits. Both hyaluronic acid and ceramides help your skin seal in and retain moisture to keep you from feeling dry throughout the day or night. Glycerin also allows your skin to increase hydration and relieves you from dryness. If these seem like benefits your skin needs, then this is a good option for you. With this hydrating facial cleanser, you are sure to clean your face and remove dirt without leaving you feeling tight or dry.

This CeraVe facial cleanser has a lotion-like consistency and texture that feels smooth on the skin as you are cleansing. It’s also non-foaming and this plus the texture might get some getting used to for some people. It’s formulated without parabens, soap, and artificial fragrances. It’s non-comedogenic and non-irritating, so if you’re extra sensitive, no need to worry with this one.


  • Ideal for normal to very dry skin
  • Sensitive skin-friendly
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Non-comedogenic and non-irritating
  • Cleans without stripping off moisture, non-drying
  • Removes dirt, oil, impurities, and face makeup
  • 24-hour hydration without an oily and greasy feeling
  • Non-foaming, lotion-like texture
  • Helps skin retain natural moisture level
  • Restores skin’s natural protective barrier


  • Texture is not for everyone

5. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

We’re rounding up our list of the best facial cleansers for African American skin with Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser! Being a brand that has been recommended by dermatologists and experts for over 70 years, you know you’re in good hands with this in your AM and PM facial washes. This promises to be very effective in gently removing dirt, excess oil, impurities, and even makeup you have sitting on your face as you are out and about for the day. This is also totally non-irritating and even soothes your skin as it cleans!

The Cetaphil facial cleanser is formulated with pH balancing properties, on top of being an effective yet gentle cleanser. As you cleanse with this one, it will help your skin maintain its natural and healthy pH balance which results in less bacterial growth aka less acne and breakouts. Continued use of this gentle skin cleanser promises skin that looks and feels overall smooth, soft, and healthier. You can rest assured that this will effectively clean out dirt without leaving you feeling tight or dry. It will even help you restore and maintain your skin’s natural moisture barrier without leaving you feeling greasy.

And although this facial cleanser aims to hydrate and soothe skin on top of cleansing, it will do so without leaving any residue that can potentially lead to clogged pores and even more skin issues. This is also great on those with sensitive skin as this is formulated to be hypoallergenic and doesn’t cause any more skin issues like irritation to arise. It’s also soap free and fragrance-free to assure its gentle formula. Though a quick reminder that this has a creamy, non-foaming texture that not everyone loves and might take some getting used to.


  • Ideal for dry, sensitive skin
  • Clinically tested and dermatologist recommended
  • Non-irritating and non-drying
  • Gentle and effective cleanser
  • pH balancing formula
  • Retains and mantain’s skin’s natural moisture barrier
  • Skin looks and feels soft, smooth, and healthy
  • No tight or greasy feeling
  • No residue that can clog pores
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No harmful chemicals


  • Non-foaming texture is not for everyone

Dealing With Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots on Black Skin

Hyperpigmentation and dark spots affect anyone with any skin tone. But they can be more prominent and are very common for those with darker skin tones. This may be caused by a lot of factors – your skin’s overproduction of melanin, sun exposure, hormonal factors, and skin inflammation.

It is not necessary to seek treatments for dark spots and hyperpigmentation as they are usually not harmful. They fade on their own overtime but there are still some cases where people choose to take necessary steps to help speed up the process. So, what are some ways to help speed up this process and prevent future appearance of dark spots on your skin?

One of the most basic things anyone can do to try and prevent developing hyperpigmentation is using sunscreen daily. Protecting yourself from overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays will also protect you from developing dark spots. On top of prevention, you can also opt to use skin lightening products on dark spots that have already appeared on the surface of your skin. Some ingredients you can look out for include vitamin C, kojic acid, and niacinamide for maximum results. Regularly exfoliating your skin can also help reduce its appearance on your skin. By exfoliating, you are able to remove dead skin cells that sit on top of your skin. It will not completely remove the discoloration but will help in reducing its appearance.

With so many ways of dealing with dark spots and hyperpigmentation available to you, make sure you read up on it and you stay extra careful on what you apply to your skin to avoid adverse effects on you.

How to Choose the Best Facial Cleanser for African American Skin

With so many options available for just about anyone when it comes to facial cleansers, it’s very important that you know what to look for and consider in a skincare product to make sure you get maximum benefits for your skin.

Skin type

As with all other skincare products you put on your face, one of the first things you should think about is your skin type. Not all facial cleansers will give the same results for all skin types. And in some situations, using a product that doesn’t fit your skin type may actually cause more adverse and unwanted effects. If you’re dealing with a specific issue like acne, something more targeted will have to be used.

Whether you have dry skin, normal or combination, oily skin, sensitive skin, or acne-prone skin, you will find a facial cleanser that fits your skin type’s needs. Be sure to check on what skin type a facial cleanser caters to before you make your purchase.


No matter what your skin type and skin concerns are, it’s always safe to go for something that has been formulated with safe and gentle ingredients. Getting one just like that will make sure you don’t experience and develop even more skin issues and will help you prevent developing irritation, allergies, and acne. You can also always take it a step further by choosing a facial cleanser that has natural ingredients so you’re sure of its safety.

Hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic

It’s also important to choose a facial cleanser that’s hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic. A hypoallergenic skin product will assure you that there are no irritants in the formula that can cause allergies on those with skin sensitivities. Non-comedogenic products are always a good option as these are specially formulated to not cause pore clogging that can ultimately lead to even more skin problems.


A facial cleanser should be a number one staple in anyone’s skincare routine. Having one that has a wide array of skin benefits on top of amazing cleansing properties brings you one step closer to achieving healthier and more beautiful skin.

Our pick for the best facial cleanser for African American skin is the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser thanks to its effective formula in removing dirt, impurities, and even makeup while retaining your skin’s natural moisture and pH balance.

The SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Facial Wash & Scrub is our choice for the best facial cleanser for problematic African American skin for its calming and soothing properties while actively working on eliminating skin blemishes and imperfections.

And if you’re looking to splurge on your new facial cleanser, you might want to look at Christina Moss Naturals Facial Wash. This keeps your skin hydrated and moisturized and protects your skin from damage caused by free radicals.

We hope you were able to find and meet your new favorite facial cleanser with the help of our review and guide above. Be sure to follow up in your skincare routine with a great lotion. Cheers to your happy and healthy skin!

Michelle Jackson
Michelle Jackson