10 Best Salicylic Acid Face Washes In India (With Buying Guide)

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You managed to purchase your favourite dress and the perfect pair of heels to go with it. You have decided what makeup you are going to wear – bold and fiery red lipstick with that oh-so-subtle but classy nude pink undertone look. Two days before your sister’s “big day”, a stubborn acne makes your cheek it’s home. 

We know that it can be frustrating, not to mention a buzzkill for all your wedding preparations. Whether it is a girl or guy, acne can be a hassle for everyone and especially the scars that it leaves behind.

So if you have acne-prone skin, the salicylic acid component in your face wash can work wonders for your skin. Now the primary concern that comes in at this point is – What is it? Won’t it be harmful to my skin?

What is Salicylic Acid?

We’ll not bore you with the usual chemistry slangs other than the fact that salicylic acid has a beta-hydroxy ingredient which is oil-soluble and derived from plants. Yes, vegans out there have nothing to worry about too! The acid helps in thoroughly exfoliating the skin, thus keeping your pores clean.

It does miracles on blackheads, whiteheads and mild acne thus preventing further breakouts. Now let us consider the second question – is salicylic acid harmful? The answer is a resounding “No”. All companies use a set quantity – 1 or 2 percent of salicylic acid in their products, keeping in mind the safety of their buyers.

Since you now have a brief idea of the acid component and its usage, and you are someone with a significant problem of acne breakouts, here is a list of 10 salicylic acid face wash which can help in significantly reducing if not eliminating your acne problem.

Top 10 Best Salicylic Acid Face Washes In India 2021

1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash For Acne Prone Skin With Salicylic Acid

Skin Type – Best suited for normal and oily skin.

One of the best face cleansers out there, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash consists of 2% salicylic acid component, which is apt for human usage. 

It effectively exfoliates the skin, keeping the pores free of any dead skin which may cause sebum. The sebum is attacked by bacteria which in turn results in acne. As per many user reviews, Neutrogena has worked very well for all skin types, especially suiting the normal to oily skin category. 

Within a couple of weeks, users were able to see a difference in the dark spots and blemishes, which was reduced exponentially by the regular usage of Neutrogena Oil-Free acne clear face wash.

  • Non-greasy
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Tested by the dermatologists
  • Easily available
  • Very suited to acne-prone skin
  • Not suitable for dry skin type.
  • Not ideal for sensitive skin types.
  • A bit on the expensive side
Key Components – The active ingredients include 2% salicylic acid. On the contrary, the inactive ingredients include sodium chloride, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, water, citric acid, among others.

2. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit Facial Acne Wash

Skin Type – Best suited for normal to oily skin.

For acne-prone people, it is always challenging to find the right face wash or cleanser, which does not overdo it and make the problem worse. The answer to your prayers is another great product coming from the Neutrogena family – the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser. 

So how is this Neutrogena face wash different from the one we mentioned above? The biggest plus with this is that along with salicylic acid; it also contains Vitamin C. Yes, you heard me right! No more sipping on lemon water or applying the lemon pulp on acne to reduce inflammation. That burning sensation did probably leave you in tears. 

It has 100 percent naturally derived grapefruit extract as well. So, leave the cleanser to do its job. You need to be religiously regular. From repairing dull skin to brightening your face by removing the scars and preventing future breakouts, Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit face wash does it all.

  • Non-greasy
  • Tested by the dermatologists
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Very suited to acne-prone skin
  • Oil-free
  • Not suitable for dry skin type.
  • Not ideal for sensitive skin type.
  • Leaning towards the expensive side
Key Components – The active ingredient include salicylic acid 2% and Vitamin C. On the other hand, the inactive ingredients include sodium hydroxide, sodium chloride, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, anthemis nobilis flower extract, citrus grandis grapefruit extract, violet 2, among others.

3. Kaya Acne Free Purifying Cleanser

Kaya Clinic Acne Free Purifying Cleanser

Skin Type – Best suited for combination and oily skin.

Do you want to contain your acne, pimple and scar problem? If yes, then the Kaya Acne Free Purifying Cleanser is the answer for you. This product is not only cheap on the pockets, but also recommended and dermatologically tested by the experts.

With the help of salicylic acid, this face wash claims to eliminate the acne problem to a great extent. It also helps deep clean the pores of your skin, removing extra oil, dirt and other harmful particles which gives you a long-lasting effect and nourishment for future as well.

Kaya Acne Free Purifying Cleanser contains distinctive skin conditioners developed by dermatologists. These elements not only clean your face or give a fresh look but also make sure that your skin does not feel irritated or dry.

  • Contains a mild fragrance.
  • Visibly reduces acne with its deep cleansing mechanism.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin as well.
  • Removes excess dirt, oil and impurities.
  • Prevents extra drying of the skin.
  • Contains sodium lauryl ether sulphate
  • Contains parabens
Key Components – The active ingredient is salicylic acid. It also contains sodium lauryl ether sulfate, stearath, cocoaide propyl betain, water, among others.

4. Dermafique Acne Avert Cleansing Mousse

Dermafique Acne Avert Cleansing Mousse Facewash

Skin Type – Best suited for oily skin and acne-prone skin.

Deeply cleanses the skin without stripping it off the natural oils. Removes dirt and impurities, therefore preventing the accumulation of sebum inside the pores. Well, we, of course, can’t promise something as smooth as the BTS, but you will notice a stark difference after a few days of use. 

If you are looking to fix your dark spots and pimples, then the buck stops here! 

The face wash has niacinamide and salicylic acid, which is incredible for dealing with anything ranging from acne and blemishes to scarring and irritable skin. You can also use this product for the removal of hyperpigmentation from old pimples, giving you better, even-toned skin.

Enhanced with the Bio-Intel System, it impedes not only acne-causing bacteria but also helps clean pores and remove extra oil from your face. You are also protected from the formation of any new acne on your skin.

The Demafique Acne Avert Cleansing Mousse is also very gentle on the skin, thanks to it being soap and silicone-free. This not only helps you to have a more clean, clearer skin but also to keep a check on the health of your skin.

  • Considerable reduction in acne spots
  • Paraben-free
  • Soap-free
  • Silicone free
  • Oil-free
  • Suited for all skin types
  • None at all
Key Components – The active ingredient is salicylic acid. It also contains glycerine, aqua, fragrance, linalool, butyl hydroxytoluene, zinc PCA, among others.

5. Re’equil Oil Control Acne-Prone Face Wash

RE' EQUIL Oil Control Anti Acne Face Wash for Oily

Skin Type – Best suited for oily, sensitive and acne-prone skin.

A gel-based cleanser, Re’equil Oil Control Acne Prone Face Wash, is another excellent salicylic based option if you are dead tired of that frequent acne outbursts. The face wash has the perfect gel consistency – not too runny and not too thick. 

Re’equil oil control face wash also provides a subtle moisturising effect, thereby preventing the skin from going dry. The brand claims it’s a highly researched formulation and is developed in a WHO-GMP certified facility. It is made for oily, combination and sensitive skin to cleanse off dirt and unclogs pores gently.

Re’equil is enriched with salicylic acid and Zinc PCA, which is clinically proven to have a significant effect on sensitive and acne-prone skin. Its soap-free formula has undergone several dermatological testings and is fit to be used even if you have sensitive skin. 

Ideally, this face wash should be used twice a day for best results.

  • Instantly removes the excess oil from the face.
  • Silicone, Sulphate & Soap-free
  • Zinc PCA component effectively treats pimples
  • Visible reduction in acne breakouts and spots
  • A great moisture balance
  • None
Key Components – Salicylic acid, Aqua, Zinc PCA, Citric Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Potassium Sorbate, among others.

6. Himalaya Clarina Anti-Acne Face Wash Gel

Himalaya Clarina Anti Acne N Face Wash Gel

Skin Type – Best suited for normal and oily skin

The Himalaya Clarina Anti-Acne Face Wash Gel has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These elements work together to counter and control the formation of acne on your face.

It terminates the acne bacteria and hinders sebum production on the skin, which are the two leading causes of any sort of acne. The healing of acne scars and lesions on the skin also become more quick and easy due to the presence of keratolytic, which is a peeling agent.

This face wash also contains neem, which is highly beneficial for any sort of skin ailments or disorders and acts as a natural healer for eczema and minor skin infections.

For best results apply this face wash twice a day and rinse well.     

  • Lathers and foams up well
  • Also suited for eczema patients
  • Reduces excess sebum production thus preventing acne
  • Eliminates bacteria causing acne
  • Helps in healing lesions, wounds and acne scars
  • Perfect for retaining skin elasticity
  • Not exactly suited for all skin types
  • Results may take a longer time to appear
  • Uses more product to clean the skin effectively
  • After usage, some slippery residue might be left.
Key Components – Himalaya Clarina face wash contains salicylic acid, Kumari (aloe vera), Nimba (neem), Haridra (Turmeric), and Jalavetasa ( commonly known as willow)

7. Bombay Shaving Company Oil Control Face Cleanser

Bombay Shaving Company Anti-Acne Face Cleanser

Skin Type – Best suited for oily and acne-prone skin

The Bombay Shaving Company Oil Control Face Cleaner is a very thoughtfully formulated cleanser. It has salicylic acid, and Vitamin C exfoliate which possess anti-bacterial properties. It not only removes dirt, dust and excess oil from your skin but also revitalises your skin by restoring collagen. 

The deep cleansing formulation acts as an anti-bacterial and is very good for the general health of the skin. This also has Acai extracts which are rich with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and the prevent oil from clogging up the pores of the skin.

This cleanser can be used twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed.

  • Uses deep penetration control
  • Reduces Inflammation
  • Prevents the build-up of oil or sebum
  • Prevents the skin from going dry
  • Nourishing effects on the skin
  • Detoxifies and unclogs stubborn pores
  • The fragrance is a bit overpowering.
  • May feel like an aftershave for some.
  • Some foam residue might be left after cleansing.
Key Components – Bombay Shaving company face wash is a bundle comprising all the great ingredients that your skin needs. It contains salicylic acid, wheat extracts, acai extracts, and Vitamin C. Other than that, it also contains pea extract which efficiently revitalises and rejuvenates the collagen. 

8. Cipla Saslic DS Foaming Face Wash

Cipla Saslic DS Foaming Face Wash

Skin Type – Best suited for very acne-prone and oily skin

Cipla Saslic Ds Foaming Face Wash contains 2 % salicylic acid. The primary purpose of the use of salicylic acid is in its form. Salicylic acid acts as a peeling agent. It holds the top layer of the skin after it settles till you peel it off. 

The agent also proliferates the pores of your skin, removing any extra dirt or oil which cause acne. This even kills the bacteria present in the pores of your skin and makes your skin look more clearer. 

It can also be used daily as a regular face wash and an everyday cleansing product to clean your face. And on top of everything, it is also very easy on your pocket. Use it twice a day, once in the morning and once before you sleep for best results.

  • Very effective for oily skin
  • Deep cleansing mechanism
  • Efficiently controls and rescues dark spots or scarring.
  • Washes off easily
  • Doesn’t leave any residue behind.
  • Seen to have caused irritation for some
  • Dries out the skin at times.
  • Takes time or doesn’t lather too well.
  • Uses a bit more of the product
  • Not suitable for people with dry skin.
Key Components – As the name suggests, Cipla Saslic DS Foaming Face Wash contains salicylic acid and a couple more ingredients including sodium hydroxide, methylparaben, sodium benzoate, hexylene glycol, among others.

9. Globus Naturals Pimple Clear Glycolic and Salicylic Acid Face Wash

Globus Naturals Pimple Clear Glycolic & Salicylic Acid Face Wash

Skin type – Best suited for people with normal, combination and oily skin type.

What’s better than finding the goodness of both salicylic and glycolic acid in the same face wash. If you have extremely acne- prone skin then the Globus Naturals Pimple Clear Glycolic and Salicylic Acid Face Wash should be your pick.

Also efficient at treating intense acne scarring and blemishes, this product provides a radiant glow on the outside and hydration from the inside.

  • Gets rid of blackheads and whiteheads
  • Cleans the pores and reduces its size
  • Doubles up as an exfoliator
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Not suitable for people with dry skin.
Key Components – The Globus face wash contains glycerin, aqua, vitamin E, aloe vera extracts, among others.

10. Glycolite Max Foaming Face Wash

Glycolite Max Foaming Facewash

Skin Type – Best suited for people with oily skin.

The last product on our list comes from Glycolite and is another great option for oily skin individuals. Enriched with glycolic and salicylic acid, it removes the dead skin on the face.

It works to prevent the pores from getting clogged and cleans the sebum, therefore decreasing the secretion of oil and thus preventing acne. It’s also great for people with fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation as it effectively reduces it.

All-in-all this product is an excellent alternative and better than many expensive products in the market. It delivers what it promises!

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Lightweight in texture
  • Controls acne breakout efficiently
  • None

Buying Guide

Of course you can find any of these products very easily, but there are certain things that you need to consider before finally picking yourself “The One”:

Skin type:

Before zeroing upon any product, it is important to understand what suits you and your skin type before trying anything new. Salicylic acid face was is good for all skin types, but caution is always advised.

It is best suited to oily skin as it removes and dissolves the comedones, which is the reason behind blackheads. If you have sensitive skin, look for products which have lower concentrations of salicylic acid. 

Even a 2 percent salicylic acid component, which most products have, can prove too high for you. Therefore, try to find the ones which feature 1 percent salicylic acid in their formulas. 


It is not recommended to use salicylic acid-based products if you have any allergies as it might cause rashes, irritable skin and even mild lesions on your skin. Therefore, it is always better to take the advice of your dermatologist before using any such product.

Child usage:

Any kind of wash containing salicylic acid is not suitable for child use. As we know, children have softer skin as compared to adults making them vulnerable to over-proliferation of the element into the pores of their skin. This is very dangerous as it can cause burning like sensation, irritation and skin damage.

Ongoing medications:

Salicylic acid may react, causing some side-effects, especially if you are on medication. Always consult your doctor before proceeding to use it. Avoid if you have any of the following diseases – liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, flu, etc.

Pregnant Women:

According to the FDA, salicylic acid is categorised as a Category C. This essentially implies that it can be risky to pregnant women if used in high concentration. Any type of washers with more than 2% concentration of salicylic acid is not regarded as safe for pregnant women.

It is, thus, advised that the level must be low and the solution should not be applied across large areas of the body. It’s use should be limited and must be done with a heedful approach.

Final Words

Whether your skin is acne-prone or not, skincare routine is still an essential habit which everyone should follow. Not only does it help heal your skin but also prevents any further damage. Having said that, let us quickly go through some final tips and tricks.

What is The Right Way to Use a Salicylic Acid Face Wash?

When it comes to application, it is always better to know the correct way of using a product. Did you know that lukewarm water is perfect for your skin? 

Salicylic acid face wash usage is nothing out of the ordinary, but still, if you are in your teens and don’t have much idea about the same, let us be your guiding angels.

  • Wet your face with some lukewarm or just tap water.
  • Take out the product in your hand.
  • Just a dab will do the trick.
  • Gently massage your face in a circular motion.
  • Rinse off and dab your face dry.
  • We know that you will forget the most crucial step – Moisturization. Well, don’t!!

Just Some Friendly Tips

  • Avoid the usage of salicylic acid face wash on open wounds, lesions and irritated, infected or damaged skin. 
  • If you are using retinol or benzoyl peroxide, it’s better to avoid it. Too many chemicals may prove harmful, you never know!
  • A patch test is a must before you commit to daily usage.
  • In case of extreme acne or dark spots, visit your dermatologist because spot treatment may do the trick you.

When starting, try using whichever face wash you choose, just once a day – preferably at night. When you are comfortable with it, and everything went well for you, twice a day won’t hurt. All the products mentioned above are of very high quality and tremendously effective. 

So what are you waiting for?

Buckle up and start on your skincare journey ASAP. Trust us; you won’t regret it!


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