African-American skin is gorgeous. It’s dark and rich because of its ebony color, which many women worldwide have a beautifully gleaming pride for.
Building the best skincare routine to maintain the glow and even complexion in your brown skin starts with finding the best face wash & cleanser for African American skin to address different skin problems.
To do that, you have to be in the know regarding hydrating oils to plump up dry skin and botanical ingredients to brighten up acne scars.
It can be quite overwhelming to purchase a good face cleanser for black skin, so I’ve rounded up some of the best ones you can find in the market today. With any of these rich, purifying face washes, your black skin will glow radiantly and feel oh-so-fresh.
Table of Contents
- Best Face Wash & Cleanser for African American Skin Reviews
- 1. SheaMoisture Facial Wash and Scrub
- 2. O Naturals African Black Soap
- 3. Alaffia Authentic African Black Soap
- 4. SheaMoisture Facial Wash and Scrub
- 5. Hera Nature African Black Soap
- 6. Sky Organics Liquid African Black Soap
- 7. Incredible by Nature African Black Soap
- 8. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
- 9. Aspen Kay Naturals Organic Turmeric Soap
- 10. TruSkin Naturals Daily Facial Cleanser
- 11. Bioré Rose Quartz Daily Face Wash
- 12. Tree to Tub Soapberry Facial Cleanser
- 13. Buttah by Dorian Renaud Facial Cleanser
- 14. Natural Outcome Oily Skin Cleanser
- What to Look for When Buying Face Cleansers for African-American Skin
- What is the Best Face Wash for African-American Skin
- What is Good for African-American Skin
Best Face Wash & Cleanser for African American Skin Reviews
1. SheaMoisture Facial Wash and Scrub
While SheaMoisture is more popular for African-American hair products, it also boasts of this clarifying face cleanser to balance and manage oily, acne-prone skin.
The cleanser thoroughly refreshes the skin, eliminating impurities and grime sitting on your face. It also has fine grains to exfoliate the skin, getting rid of dead skin cells that can make your complexion look dull.
African black soap and tamarind extract work to brighten up the complexion, helping healthy, renewed cells to resurface to make your skin glow. It also has tea tree oil to absorb excess sebum production and mattify oily skin.
That said, the soap also replenishes healthy moisture into your skin. It’s formulated with shea butter, aloe, and oat to add some hydration and plumpness.
If you have sensitive skin, fear not. This cleanser doesn’t have any of those wildly irritating ingredients, such as phthalates, sulfates, mineral oil, and parabens.
2. O Naturals African Black Soap
This African black soap is formulated with natural botanical ingredients, the way traditional black soap is made. It has organic shea butter, plantain, and other natural components to make it highly effective.
This soap cleanses the pores deeply. It purifies the skin and treats pesky pimples, even cystic acne that can be painful on the skin. It also improves the skin texture to ensure there are no leftover bumps and marks from past pimples.
Speaking of painfulness, this soap has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the skin. It heals irritation and redness while combating avid dryness too. That makes it the perfect soap for black women with sensitive skin types. It’s also a top choice for those with eczema, rashes, and other unique skin problems.
This soap is triple-milled, so you can trust the soap is high quality and can last longer than other cheap soaps.
3. Alaffia Authentic African Black Soap
African black soap also comes in a liquid form, if that’s what you prefer. This one by Alaffia is unique because it’s not just a face cleanser. It’s also an all-in-one product for shampoo, body wash, and shaving needs! You can use it for practically anything in your regimen, from head to toe.
Since the formula is unrefined and unscented, you can trust that you’re only getting the natural ingredients that are good for your skin.
The cleanser is infused with organic shea butter from fair-trade communities. This rich shea butter nourishes and moisturizes the skin, which is much-needed if you have dehydrated skin.
That said, this cleanser is perfect for any skin type. It’s geared towards sensitive skin since it’s formulated without potentially irritating ingredients. It doesn’t have harsh sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil and is formulated without unnecessary irritants like artificial coloring or synthetic fragrance.
4. SheaMoisture Facial Wash and Scrub
Who says the best facial cleanser for African American skin should exclusively be for women? Black men need some skin-loving too! This SheaMoisture cleanser is designed just for male African Americans who need smoother, softer skin after suffering from razor bumps and roughness.
This cleanser is made with African black soap to soothe skin irritation and redness. It also has rich and creamy shea butter to moisturize the skin intensely. This softens and smoothens the skin, preventing painful razor burn as you shave on rough skin.
The formula features jojoba beads and kaolin clay to scrub and exfoliate the skin. These slough off dead skin cells and any other grime, dirt, and oil sitting on your face and making it look and feel dull. This helps dissolve excess sebum in the pores, unclogging them to eliminate the risk of acne.
The cleanser leaves your skin feeling and smelling fresh, which is sure to add a boost of confidence to any man.
5. Hera Nature African Black Soap
This African black soap by Hera Nature is imported from Ghana, where Africans in fair trade communities farm and work hard to produce these soaps. So in buying this face cleanser, you can be sure your money is going to a fantastic cause.
The soap is made of many nourishing ingredients, such as unrefined shea butter, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, cocoa pods, and more. These provide intense moisture, so it’s excellent for dry skin that needs more hydration.
The cleanser is also infused with plantain skin rich in antioxidants to protect your skin from free radical damage. It also has some vitamin C, known to help brighten acne scars and dark spots.
This cleanser has many anti-aging properties, so it’s a great option for maturing skin. It can delay the onset of skin aging. As a result, you don’t have to worry about fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging for a while longer.
The best thing about this soap is that it comes in a huge, one-pound slab that’s sure to last you many months without repurchasing.
6. Sky Organics Liquid African Black Soap
Sky Organics’ vegan African black soap formula is rich in oils and butters to provide intense moisture to your skin. It has cocoa butter, shea butter, and aloe vera to hydrate your skin and leave a healthy dew and glow to your face.
It’s also infused with plantain skin ash, which helps purify your skin and detoxify your clogged pores. This combats acne and pimples, helping your complexion become smoother.
This cleanser is also rich in vitamin E, known in the skincare world to strengthen the skin barrier and improve elasticity.
This soap can even reduce the appearance of blemishes and dark spots on the face—presumably due to pimples or rashes. This evens out your complexion, allowing your rich, dark skin to look more flawless.
It has a gentle formulation that doesn’t contain irritants like sulfates or synthetic fragrances, so it’s perfect for sensitive skin.
7. Incredible by Nature African Black Soap
This soap by Incredible by Nature is sourced and produced in Ghana in West Africa, so you know you’re getting an authentic soap with a traditional African recipe.
It’s infused with gorgeous palm oil, coconut oil, and shea butter for the utmost moisture level for your skin. It softens and conditions your skin, making it silky to the touch.
These oils are also rich in vitamins A and E, which strengthen the skin barrier and protect it from free radical damage that can cause aging and dark spots.
The cleanser contains small particles of ash from plantain skin. These particles add a slightly grainy texture to the soap, allowing you to exfoliate and scrub away dead skin cells and dirt trapped on your skin.
The soap is great for combating the signs of skin aging, which includes fine lines, wrinkles, and stubborn age spots.
8. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
This CeraVe non-foaming facial cleanser doesn’t have a singular magic ingredient to brighten up the skin and fight acne or dark spots. Instead, it’s a simple, skin-strengthening formula that keeps your skin healthy and hydrated to face whatever skin conditions you face.
It’s rich in hyaluronic acid, three essential ceramides, and glycerin to hydrate your skin as you wash. This hydration restores and strengthens your skin barrier, making it more resilient against skin damage and impending breakouts.
The formula is non-comedogenic. As a result, you don’t have to worry about it clogging your pores and causing pesky breakouts that litter your face with red, inflamed pimples. It’s also non-foaming, so it’s super gentle and doesn’t strip your skin of natural moisture with harsh sulfates and unnecessary suds.
This dermatologist-developed face cleanser is amazing for sensitive skin because it’s non-irritating. It has no soap, parabens, and fragrances in the formula.
9. Aspen Kay Naturals Organic Turmeric Soap
Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and brightening properties that are terrific for those with acne-prone skin and scarring.
The turmeric root powder and extracts in this cleanser calm pimples and breakouts on the skin. It also helps fade dark spots left behind by your pesky blemishes, so you can restore your smooth and even skin tone.
It’s infused with shea butter, olive oil, and sunflower oil. These ingredients soften the skin and give it the utmost hydration for proper skin health. It also contains chamomile and calendula extracts to soothe redness and irritation that may come with acne issues.
This cleanser is versatile in that it can be used as a body soap and shaving lubricant as well. It’s a multi-functional product that will be super useful in the bathroom.
This environment-friendly cleanser comes in plastic-free packaging, which is made of 25% recycled materials. You’ll get an awesome soap while helping the planet!
10. TruSkin Naturals Daily Facial Cleanser
Another powerhouse ingredient for acne scars and hyperpigmentation is vitamin C. This cleanser by TruSkin gives you your daily dose of this brightening vitamin to give you the smooth complexion you strive for.
In this gel cleanser, vitamin C works with rosehip oil to brighten dark spots on your face, creating a smoother and more flawless, blemish-free complexion.
It also has some tea tree oil and aloe vera to hydrate lightly and soothe breakouts on your skin. Olive oil and borage seed oil, on the other hand, provide rich moisture to the skin, making it feel soft and plump.
This cleanser is also rich in antioxidants that prioritize collagen production. That means it does well in refining and smoothing out your skin texture. It brings back that glow in your dark skin, eliminating dullness.
As this cleanser has a vegan formula, you can use it if you’re cutting down on animal-tested products. It also doesn’t have sulfates, phthalates, and parabens, which sensitive skin types will adore.
11. Bioré Rose Quartz Daily Face Wash
This cleanser by Bioré features the purifying properties of charcoal and radiant rose quartz to give you fresh and luminous skin without the oiliness.
Charcoal pulls out excess sebum and impurities from your skin, giving you a deep cleanse. It uses a skin purifying technology that cleans deep in the pores to prevent your chances of developing acne.
Meanwhile, rose quartz adds a glow and luminosity to your skin. You’ll look healthy and radiant without looking like a total greaseball!
It has a non-comedogenic formula; therefore, you don’t have to suffer from congested, clogged skin. That means no pesky, painful pimples!
If you enjoy cute and charming skincare products, you’ll love the pink formula this skin cleanser has. It looks exciting and girly, making it a fantastic addition to your skincare shelf.
12. Tree to Tub Soapberry Facial Cleanser
Uber-sensitive skin will appreciate the gentle formulation of this cleanser, as well as its natural botanicals that soothe irritation.
Soapberry, aloe vera, and chamomile are some of its star ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties to soothe breakouts and red rashes on the skin from skin problems like eczema or acne.
To add light moisture to the skin, the cleanser is infused with coconut cleansers and rich shea butter for some hydration. The cleanser maintains the skin’s natural pH level at 5.5, which helps it retain this hydration and plumpness.
Even though this cleanser doesn’t contain sulfates (as well as other irritating chemicals like parabens and unnecessary silicones), it still creates that rich, creamy lather that makes washing your face feel luxurious.
It also has a relaxing lavender scent that calms the senses as you wash your face. It’s perfect if you love floral and therapeutic fragrances.
13. Buttah by Dorian Renaud Facial Cleanser
One of the gel cleansers on our list, this cleanser by Buttah cleanses the skin of stubborn dirt and debris stuck in your skin after a long day. Instead of using harsh sulfates that strip the skin of its natural oil, it’s made with coconut-derived surfactants for a more gentle wash without much irritation.
It’s infused with lavender flower extracts that help calm and soothe breakouts and irritation on your skin, combating redness and rashes. It’s perfect for days when you have a couple of stubborn zits.
It also has citric acid, an alpha-hydroxy-acid that exfoliates the skin gently. It buffs away dead skin cells sitting on your face to make room for new, brighter, more renewed skin lying underneath.
This cleanser has a non-comedogenic formula, meaning there are no ingredients that can clog your skin and make your pores feel congested and suffocated.
14. Natural Outcome Oily Skin Cleanser
This cleanser by Natural Outcome was designed primarily for oily skin. It works hard to wash away impurities and excess sebum clogging your pores to prevent impending breakouts.
The cleanser is infused with extracts from grapefruit, orange, and lime. These extracts have an AHA component that purifies the skin and even dry out pesky, inflamed pimples. They’re also rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C to strengthen, brighten, and clear up the skin of blemishes.
The formula clarifies oily skin to keep greasiness at bay. This results in skin that looks more matte immediately after washing your face. It’s a great option if you need to get rid of the oily look for a few hours.
This facial cleanser is terrific to use in the morning because it has an invigorating tropical citrus scent that will refresh and wake you up as you cleanse your skin.
What to Look for When Buying Face Cleansers for African-American Skin
- Thoroughly gets rid of dirt, oil, and impurities on the skin surface
Always go for face washes that cleanse and refresh your skin thoroughly. You have to ensure that your cleanser will work deep into your pores to pull out all the dirt and oil that can clog and congest your skin. Your goal is fresh, clean, and radiant skin.
- Features brightening and hydrating ingredients to keep your African-American skin healthy
Look for brightening ingredients that can fade dark spots and allow your brown skin to shine through. These include vitamin C, tamarind extract, salicylic acid, and more.
You should also keep your eyes peeled for hydrating botanicals, like aloe vera and shea butter. These can replenish moisture in your skin to keep it healthy and plump-looking.
- Formulated without harsh ingredients that can end up irritating the skin
If you have a sensitive skin type susceptible to multiple skin issues (like acne and irritation), always make sure your cleanser is formulated gently. Avoid face washes ridden with sulfates, parabens, and unnecessary fragrances and dyes.
What is the Best Face Wash for African-American Skin
There are tons of face washes that can be considered the best out there for black skin. If you have combination skin, you might want to try out something both purifying and hydrating, like SheaMoisture face washes that control oil production but also moisturize the skin with shea butter.
Authentic African black soaps from brands like Hera Nature, Incredible by Nature, and Sky Organics are also some of the best traditional soaps for black skin.
If you love products on the more natural side and want to cut down on costs, you can even make a homemade face cleanser for African American skin. You can follow traditional African black soap recipes if you have shea butter and plantains lying around at home, or you can make your own cocktail of vitamins, minerals, and brightening ingredients you know your skin will respond to.
What is Good for African-American Skin
Building a skincare routine specific to African-American skin means keeping an eye out for products that will work for your deep, rich color and skin sensitivities.
What’s good for your skin will differ depending on your skin problems (not your skin tones, obviously) —hydration is good for dry skin, while detoxifying face cleansers are better for oily skin types.
The first step to being good to your skin is finding an efficient skin cleanser for black skin with super-effective ingredients.
For example, hyaluronic acid and shea butter are fabulous additions to facial cleansers for dry skin types, since it’s able to nourish your skin back to health. Meanwhile, tea tree oil and vitamin C are godsend ingredients for brightening acne scars, which many black women are susceptible to.
Another key skincare product to care for your complexion is a good face moisturizer for African American skin. This allows your skin to be plump and nourished throughout the day. It’s crucial for all skin types, from dry to oily.
As long as you incorporate the best face wash & cleanser for African American skin in your skincare routine, you’re all set to maintain your complexion’s natural glow.
Whether it’s a black-owned face wash from a small business or a mass-produced soap that’s friendly to black skin, your unique skin will thank you for giving it a cleanser that brightens, hydrates, controls sebum production, and allows it to shine with pride.
Just ensure you wash your face religiously without slacking in your daily beauty regimen, and you’ll reap the benefits of luminous skin that is brown and proud.