In order to know what skin-cleansing formulas are best for oily skin, it's important to understand what causes oily skin in the first place. Oil in the skin is known as sebum, which is created by the skin's sebaceous glands. Everyone has these glands, but people with oily skin produce excessive amounts of sebum. Too much oil can make skin overly shiny, and the sebum can mix with dead skin cells to clog hair follicles and cause acne [source: Mayo Clinic].
If you have oily skin, you need a thorough but gentle cleanser. You may instinctively want to use the strongest cleanser available, but oil is produced to protect the skin from irritants, so using strong cleansers can actually cause the skin to produce more oil. Look for skin-cleansing formulas with a low pH level -- lower pH levels will be gentle on the skin while still removing excess oil. Products that contain glycolic acid or salicylic acid are good choices for oily skin -- they gently exfoliate the skin's surface while reducing sebum buildup [source: Web MD].
Some people with oily skin will be tempted to wash their face repeatedly throughout the day. However, washing more than twice a day can remove too much of the body's natural oils, which will cause the body to increase sebum production [source: Web MD].
Oily skin can be frustrating, but so is its opposite. Read on to learn about the different types of skin cleansers available for people with dry skin.