The best OTC face wash is the one that works BEST on you. Everyone is different and sadly it is trial and error.
The most important quality is gentleness for acne prone skin. Scrubs are not indicated here. Any of your basic cleansers(not acne cleansers) will do a fine job at cleansing your skin. It's just a matter of preference. Does you like a foaming one? Not a foaming one? Does one prefer one's fragrance over another? Does this cleanser romove make up well for the ladies out there?? Again, it's really a matter of preference.
I have found Olay for sensitive skin nice along with a host of other basic gentle cleansers.. Good luck in finding your favorite!
I really don't like Cetaphil... I used it for a week and never felt like it was cleaning my skin and I broke out pretty badly from using it, so I went back to my favorite: Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser (or whatever it is)... it's in a blue bottle. I like the foam, and it leaves my skin feeling really clean. Go for the blue!
I think I prefer gentle cleansers to scrubs. But then again, Ive only used a non-scrub cleanser for a few days. I used to use proactiv, st ives, and other random scrubs, and my face didnt seem ti like them much. A few days ago my mom bought be about 5 different cleansers to see which I liked best. Im starting with Clearasil Icewash, and I really like it so far. It makes my face all cold, which is very refreshing. Also, my face also already looks cleaner in general, if not clearer. After all, Ive only used it for about two days. If it doesnt do me any good in a month or so Ill switch. But Like mentioned, its all trial and error.
What has worked awesome for me has been the "Clear Skin Formula" by Eucerin. It has basically kept my skin 99% clear however, I get my one occasional pimple a month. GRRRR...The line has a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. I just use the cleanser and moisturizer. Trust me, I have used everything Clearasil, Noxzema, Clean & Clear, Estee Lauder, Clinique, I mean the list just goes on. This has been my holy grail. However, everyone is different and I hope you find the right one. Best wishes..
I swear by Proactiv cleanser, but my skin gets irritated by it sometimes, so I switch off with a sensitive skin cleanser, like I think I have a cheap one by Suave now - it's pink. It does the job but I think the Proactiv helps most. I just use the cleanser because all the toner and lotion they have rip up my skin to shreads. I like their mask too.
I agree with the other posters who said different cleansers work differently for everybody and it's all trial and error. I just started using Cetaphil because I've read so much about it on this board and I really like it a lot. I didn't think I'd like a cleanser that didn't foam but this one makes my skin feel really clean afterwards and I like that it has no fragerance. I hope you find one that works just as well for you.
St. Ives Apricot scrub is one of my favorite scrubs, even with acne. Many will argue that scrubs are way too harsh for the skin, causing tiny tears. My mother has used apricot scrub throughout her life, and she still has awesome skin, at age 57. So when will these tiny tears show their damage?
I have 3 favorite face washes. The first is the unscented Dove bar for sensitive skin. It's so basic, so gentle, and works awesome. Neutrogena's orange translucent acne bar and their Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask are both awesome as cleansers too. The Cleanser/Mask formula is refreshing, made with benzoyl peroxide. The bar is pretty simple, has a good lather, and made with salicylic acid.
I use that occassionally to help me exfoliate, but I buy the medicated apricot scrub for acne prone skin. I like it, but I don't use it everyday. I always like alternating my face washes in the morning.
I personally like PanOxyl bar with 10 percent Benzoil Peroxide in it. I know this sounds pretty harsh, but I love it for getting rid of pimples (my skin isn't really that sensitive). But that's just me.
What's been working for me is that I've found 3 or 4 different cleansers that I like a lot and alternate my morning cleansers back and forth. One morning I'll wash in the shower with Cuticura, then at night always with pan oxyl. the next morning, I'll wash with Neutragena Rapid Clear, then again w/ pan oxyl at night. I do the same with shampoos. That is just my preference.