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Post in Beauty Advisors

What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

I have big pores with black heads in them, acne, and acne scars. I don't wear makeup, only sunscreen with moisturizer and I have a combination of oily and dry skin.

I'm looking for a daily cleanser that helps me with acne and minimize the pores.

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

For combination skin that is oily and dry that also battles acne and blackheads, consider Murad's Time Release Acne Cleanser. Originally geared to target anti-aging and blemishes, this formula is a bit more conditioning and moisturizing than their original and basic acne wash. It's still infused with salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid used to target oil and acne for its ability to regulate oil along with penetrating pores to dissolve sebum that can lead to blemishes or oxidize and result as blackheads, making it easier to dislodge the issue, but in n encapsulated form, meaning it allows for a more gradual release and delivery into skin as to decrease chances of overwhelming skin or being too harsh. Conditioning sesame and fruit extracts paired with anti-oxidants aid in protecting and balancing skin while hyaluronic acid, a humectant that binds 1000x its own weight in moisture drawn from the atmosphere, hydrates skin in a manner that doesn't feel heavy.


Another option that will focus mainly on oil management which in turn should lead to a decrease in blemishes and blackheads would be Boscia's Detoxifying Black Cleanser, this warming gel breaks down oil and relies on charcoal extract to further purifying purposes but also takes into account pore health. Pore size is determined by genetics and though over the counter treatments can't change their actual size, by keeping them clean and clear and addressing elasticity in cell wall, you're able to improve their appearance. Artichoke extract is used here to do so and by improving elasticity, you're ensuring that skin is more resilient and prone to a healthier recovery after blemishes. 


In terms of tackling the issues at hand, you may consider investing in a well-rounded skin care regimen that supports your skin care goals. Merely relying on one product won't yield the best results and sometimes trying to depend too heavily on one product can also throw skin's balance off. Actual blemishes and post acne scars can be targeted through serums or spot treatments, while blackheads can be tackled with chemical based exfoliants/enzymatic peels or treatments, and oil regulation can further be addressed through proper moisturizers. Let us know what you're currently using so we can see what areas can benefit from changes or additions.

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

Hi lylysa, thank you for the response! I am currently using Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser twice a day and nothing else. But my skin sometimes becomes too dry from using it. I am guessing it is because it acts as an exfoliater should be used once a week? 

Also, I am 19 years old.  Will Murad's Time Release Acne Cleanser be too much for me since it is originally geared toward anti-aging?


Thank  you.

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

If the only skin care product you're using is a cleanser, I would highly advise on expanding your regimen. Though cleansing is an integral part of skin care, having it stand along won't benefit skin to the greatest potential.


At washing twice a day when isn't doesn't call for it can cause imbalance. When you wake up, if your skin isn't a proverbial grease/shine pit all over, cleansing in the AM isn't required. If skin is a tad oily or just needs to feel refreshed, try a toner or facial mist to give skin a pick up. Cleansing when skin doesn't call for it can lead to excess stripping of natural oils produced and thus cause skin to go into over-drive and overcompensate in the oil production department because you're essentially telling your skin "produce more" when you're removing oils at such a high frequency. Since you mention your skin being combination oily/dry, try cutting down to cleansing just at night.

In regards to investing in developing a skin care regimen, find products that work together well and aren't just meant to tackle skin at full-blast though you may want to do so to solve problems.


Cleansers are meant as an initial first step, and though they may contain countless beneficial ingredients, keep in mind a cleanser does get washed off skin, so it's main function will be to actually cleanse and trying to let your cleanser be your "one and only cure-all" isn't realistic. For example, if your skin is blemish prone, merely obtaining a salicylic acid based cleanser and trying to wash multiple times a day to treat skin in turn will dry it out or cause an imbalance of oil production, try instead to focus on treating blemishes or issues with an actual spot treatment or treatment-based item.


Treatments can range from daily items like serums or spot treatments to more time-distributed items such as masks, exfoliators, or peels. These steps will be products that contain a higher percentage of active ingredients, allowing you to focus care and treatment to specific portions and areas of the face needed. This makes for a more efficient and direct approach to the issue rather than touching into areas of the face that aren't affected.


Moisturizer/SPF wraps up a regimen, it's important to ensure skin is hydrated and conditioned following refreshing cleanses and potent treatments. Think of it like this, if you're washing/purifying skin with a cleanser so it's more receptive to topical treatments, and then applying those more potent treatments to focus areas, merely stopping right there halts the full process of caring for skin as what good is skin if you're constantly washing and treating, but not supporting those actions with ensuring skin is also conditioned and managed? Moisturizers can range in formula like any item, and for day time it's especially important to utilize a moisturizer with SPF or apply a separate sunscreen over a non-SPF formula to guard against UV rays and free radicals which in turn is an important step regard to age or skin care concerns.


With products, the key point that I always find is to not get hung up in names or how a product is directly advertised, for example with the Murad Anti-Aging Acne Cleanser, if your skin is indeed acne prone and dry, opting for a more conditioning wash that still targets the issues may benefit skin more or at least serve to a more gentle aspect.


I would suggest cutting cleansing down to just the PM hours and seeing if that may help cut down and improve the dry aspects of your skin, continue with your SPF/moisturizer as mentioned in your original post and if that aids in the balancing of your skin, then begin searching for a more gentle wash and spot treatment/treatment based items.

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

I am no lylysa (none of us is -- her advice is amazing!), but I adore Tria's Foam Cleanser. It is only available on .com, so you can't try it in-store. It has salicylic acid, and it has a velvety texture.

i have very (!!!!) sensitive skin that is acne-prone, and i am in love with this cleanser.

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

Hey, HarlemJPN! Smiley Very Happy Thanks for the kind words, we all pitch in to make Beauty Talk that much more of an awesome place with all our contributions! I actually looked into the Tria Foam Cleanser that works well with your skin and can say it actually shares commonalities with my below suggestions. The Tria Foam has salicylic acid, as well as glycolic acid (also in the Boscia Detox wash), which, to Ygao416, is an alpha hydroxy acid that is derived from the sugar enzymes of fruits and plants. Most commonly it's sourced from sugarcane, papaya, or pineapple and often time glycolic acids share like-sources with citric acids. Alpha hydroxy acids work to even skin's texture and tone by sloughing off excess dead surface cells but also promotes newer and healthier cells to regenerate, allowing for skin to heal and better itself. Foams are also used alongside gel-based cleansers for oily skin as both formulas penetrate and break down surface oils easier than thick creamy washes with foams being a bit more lightweight in comparison to gels.


And to HarlemJPN, toss out the name of the website as Mods remove outside links posted. Smiley Happy

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

I really have liked the Boscia products I have tried so far. I loved the 4-mask sample kit. The blue and black masks worked wonders for me! 


by .com above, I just meant that the Tria Foam Cleanser is only available at It isnt in stores. Whoops!


your posts are so informative. I have found a routine that works for my acneic skin, but if i had had you and these boards when I was a teenager and in my twenties, it would've been a much easier road for me!


see you on BT....

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

Ahhh! Haha, I thought your link had already been removed and all that was left was the ".com" part! Smiley Tongue


Boscia's really hit it on the head with the kits they launch, it's a great way to sample goods and then come back and invest in what you really enjoyed!


I really am very happy to help out here in anyway I can, gotta share the beauty knowledge, it's no good keeping it all to myself. Smiley Very Happy

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

Thank you for the response!

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

I was just thinking Lylysa should create a Dear Lylysa thread (kind of like a Dear Abby for skincare and makeup advice), so people can go there and ask her questions.  Based on your comment, I cannot be the only one who thinks this would be a great idea.  I love stumbling upon her amazing advice, but it would be nice to see it all in one place (so I miss less).  Of course, she can still help new BTers on their specific threads, but eventually the long term members would know where to go to get the best advice on BT.


Once Lylysa drops by a thread, I am usually not going to comment.  What could I possibly add other than the obvious, "What she said!"

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

Great idea!


hey mods: hire lylsa as a BT columnist!!

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

Awww, you gals are too sweet, thank you so much for the continued support and kind words! Smiley Happy


I never could have imagine that when I first hopped into BT that I would have received such a generous out pour of love!


Feel free to kick me personal messages any time for one-on-one advice/consultation help! I try to keep track of extensive posts with info that can be applied to circumstances and not just one particular user so you'll see me referencing threads and you can bookmark them if you find they may benefit you some too! Smiley Very Happy Thank you so much again, HarlemJPN and Notcreative!

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

i second this suggestion!! Lylysa is my personal skincare consultant, i go to her before i make any changes! she's phenomenal and I cannot say enough kind words about her!  She has the best advice and I am shocked that Sephora hasn't snatched her up to be a skincare professional or something!! haha love you lylysa!!!

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

You're so sweet, Lauren! Smiley Very Happy I certainly hope things are still progressing well for you and your skin! Thank you so much for your vote of confidence, it really means a lot that what I share can be of such benefit!

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

Thank you guys so much for the response! I will try them! 

Re: What cleanser should I get to treat my pores and acne?

Hi ygao416,


Everyone (especially Lylysa!) really gave some great recommendations!  I'm a huge fan of both the Murad acne products & the Boscia Black line.  Ironically, we have similar skin-types & I actually use both Smiley Happy  In case you wanted to try to target your acne scars directly, I wanted to also suggest trying the Murad Post Acne Spot Lightening Gel>  It is one of my must have items, that I've purchase at least 3 times now Smiley Happy  


xo, Mia

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