Looking for solutions to get rid of that acne?
How about some acne-fighting shampoos for that scalp?
We uncovered the best shampoos for acne prone skin.
Keep reading to learn more…
Top 3 Shampoos for Acne Prone Skin at a Glance
15 Top Rated Shampoos for Acne Prone Scalp Skin
Browse the top shampoos for acne prone skin below…
15 Best Shampoo for Acne Prone Skin Reviews
We’ve combed through the web to find some of the best shampoos for acne prone skin that have been made specifically for people with acne. So, let’s get started.
1. Neutrogena T/Sal
Neutrogena is a brand known for its premium quality hair and skin products.
Since this is a medicated shampoo, the “T/Sal” stands for Therapeutic Scalp Acne shampoo.
Its active ingredient is Salicylic acid which is a hydroxy acid that’s commonly used for the treatment of acne, dry skin, psoriasis, and other skin conditions as well.
While the 3% of Salicylic acid in Neutrogena T/Sal is the star of the show, it’s actually the power packed formula of this shampoo which utilizes many different ingredients to create a shampoo that can fight scalp conditions such as acne on the scalp along with other scalp conditions such as dermatitis, dandruff, and psoriasis.
Neutrogena T/Sal has no scent so it’s perfect for those who aren’t big fans of fragrant shampoos.
However, if you do like your shampoo that gives off a nice smell, you’ll find many on this list of best shampoo for acne.
2. Anti b Antibacterial Shampoo
As the name implies, this is an anti-bacterial shampoo that has soothing and healing properties thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial formula.
One of the benefits of using Anti b Antibacterial shampoo is that it gives you a full-bodied, thick and moisturized hair, while still killing pore-laden bacteria.
The special formula is able to do that by penetrating deep into the roots, the scalp, and the follicle pores to help reduce and block the growth of bacteria, infection and also itching in the scalp.
The Anti b Antibacterial shampoo is a revitalizing shampoo that is able to replenish the scalp with essential vitamins and minerals, including fatty acids such as Omega 3, 6 and 9, leaving your hair looking great. Its formula is paraben-free and contains Cutipure CLR, Lemon Essential Oil, Witch Hazel, Calendula and Aloe Vera all of which combine to treat conditions such as sensitive skin, ringworm, acne, seborrhea leaving your scalp cleaned.
3. Non-Comedogenic Hair Shampoo by Clear 2 Perfection
When it comes to the best shampoos for your skin, Clear 2 Perfection has 30 years of experience in the shampoo and skincare industry and seems to have perfected the formula.
The Non-Comedogenic Hair Shampoo is an amazing paraben-free product that delivers results.
This non-comedogenic shampoo is the first of its kind and offers a unique formula that is able to get rid of various scalp conditions such as acne, dandruff, dermatitis, and other breakouts.
This is achieved by using pure enzymatic cells that have been extracted from vegetables and fruits such as carrots, mangoes, kiwi, strawberries, and pumpkin.
Since the root cause of acne is sebum, which is an oily substance that’s produced by the oil glands in our skin, and leads to clogging, the formula in this shampoo is made from natural decongestants which can dissolve the sebum.
With every use the acne will clear away, eliminating irritated skin and will encourage your hair’s natural sheen and buoyancy. Non-Comedogenic Hair Shampoo by Clear 2 Perfection is a formula where technology truly meets nature and the results are astounding.
4. Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
The Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo for Dandruff is an all-natural shampoo that is able to provide deep cleansing for the scalp area, eliminating any buildup of acne, dandruff or other scalp conditions.
The formula in this shampoo is made up of essential oils botanicals and plant extracts, all of which are beneficial for health and hair care. From acne to flaking and irritation, the Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo is able to contain and eliminate all conditions, preventing hair fall and shedding.
Its anti-fungicidal and anti-bacterial formula is able to not only treat acne and other scalp conditions, but the formula also works against excess oil and grease which blocks the pores leading to all kinds of scalp conditions.
The shampoo is ideal for both men and women, and offers a gentle, yet effective treatment for acne prone skin, and can bring back your smooth, shining hair while taking care of your sensitive skin.
5. Whamisa Organic Seeds Scalp Shampoo
Don’t let the simple and straightforward name of this shampoo for acne prone skin fool you.
The Organic Sensitive Scalp Shampoo does just what it promises, gets rid of the problems that people with oily or greasy hair usually have to deal with.
With ingredients such as, Hordeum Vulgare Seed Extract, Aloe Maculata Leaf Extract, Glycine Soja, this is one shampoo that you are going to appreciate when it comes to its effectiveness in the treatment of acne on the scalp.
The ingredients that are used in its formulation are guaranteed to bring your pH level back to normal and will effectively remove the excess sebum oil buildup that blocks the pores, and leads to scalp related problems.
The good news is that this shampoo is paraben and sulfate-free and contains no artificial chemicals or fragrances that could cause harm to your skin. With the Whamisa Organic Seeds Shampoo, you can battle acne and dandruff in a more effective way.
6. Tea Tree Peppermint Moisturizing Shampoo
The Tea Tree Peppermint Moisturizing Shampoo with Organic Mint and Jojoba Oil offers a cool and refreshing cleanse, leaving a person with great looking hair, while gently treating acne at the same time.
Enhanced by peppermint essential oil this shampoo is ideal for those who have acne on their scalp and need a more gentle way of treating damaged or malnourished hair.
What sets this shampoo apart from the rest is its specially formulated collection of ingredients that contains sourced organic ingredients for a natural acne treatment.
The Tea Tree formula of peppermint, rosemary and tea tree essential oils allows you to naturally treat breakouts of acne on the scalp, and the pleasant peppermint aroma makes this the best shampoo for acne prone skin.
7. SAL3- Salicylic Acid and Sulfur Soap-4 Pack
This shampoo comes as a soap, so there’s no need to get confused. Some of the ingredients in this specially formulated shampoo are Sulfur and Salicylic Acid, both of which are brilliant at combating acne at root level.
The shampoo is pretty straightforward to use and is very effective in the treatment of acne. All you have to do is rub the bar on your hair and wash it off thoroughly.
While some shampoos can be hard to get off, this one is relatively easy to remove after rinsing. The shampoo has been formulated to combat dandruff, so it can stop the hair follicles from clogging, and the formation of acne in the first place. Since the shampoo comes in bar form it can last longer, making it the ideal option, especially for those who tend to overuse liquid shampoo.
8. Hemp and Omega 3 Botanical Shampoo
Those who are already living with sensitive skin, already know that sulfates are the enemy.
What makes the Hemp and Omega 3 Botanical Shampoo special is its unique formula which contains the power of hemp and omega 3 that’s ideal for sensitive skin because of its ability to cleanse the scalp, while nourishing the hair.
The Hemp and Omega 3 Botanical Shampoo is able to remove all bacteria from the scalp along with the buildup of oil which is responsible for clogging the pores, resulting to acne and other scalp conditions.
The medicated shampoo is able to help get rid of acne, while keeping the moisture of the scalp intact, which is required for healthy hair growth. And if that wasn’t enough, this shampoo is also free from SLS, which is a dangerous chemical that’s used in almost every personal hygiene product available over the counter. The Hemp and Omega 3 Botanical Shampoo offers all of the benefits of Omega 3 and six different plant-based ingredients making it ideal for sensitive skin.
9. Tree to Tub Organic Soapberry Shampoo
This shampoo for acne prone skin is just the thing you need if you want hair as smooth as silk without irritating or causing acne.
Those who suffer from psoriasis on their scalp will know the importance of having a shampoo that doesn’t end up irritating their scalp and causing more harm than good.
The good news is that Tree to Tub Organic Soapberry Shampoo has been specially formulated to hydrate the scalp, while providing your hair with the nourishment it needs. The shampoo is available in three fragrances – lavender, peppermint and natural or unscented.
The shampoo is also free of sulfate or parabens which is always good to hear. This means that your hair is not going to be affected by harsh chemicals, which will only aggravate the acne.
The shampoo is also pH-balanced and recommended by dermatologists for itchy scalp, dermatitis, acne and dandruff.
10. Maple Holistic Degrease
The two main factors that result in acne are oily and greasy hair. This is where the Maple Holistic Degrease shampoo comes in.
The formula contains lemon essential oils that help restore natural sebum and pH levels.
It hydrates the hair follicles, minimizing the chances of scalp breakouts.
All of the ingredients in this hypoallergenic formula are natural and does not contain any parabens, sulfates or silicone, providing you with a truly all-natural solution for acne and dandruff. While the shampoo doesn’t moisturize the hair, users will notice softer hair after every wash. For those folks who like to keep things natural, the Maple Holistic Degrease has an earthy fragrance and is perfect as an organic cleansing agent.
11. Sebamed Everyday Shampoo
The Sebamed Everyday Shampoo has a pH of 5.5, which is as close as it gets to the scalp’s natural pH level.
What sets this shampoo apart from the rest is that it contains organic scalp cleansing agents that are gentle enough for all skin types and does not disrupt the scalps natural moisture levels, neither does it imbalance the scalp’s barrier, which can lead to spots on the scalp.
In other words, the Sebamed Everyday Shampoo can cleanse the scalp without stripping it of its natural oils. Using the shampoo results to softer, healthier hair that’s ideal for sensitive skin.
While there are many options when it comes to shampoos for acne skin, Sebamed Everyday Shampoo is certainly up there with the best in the market. On the downside, the shampoo does leave a light scent after you rinse, which some people may find unpleasant, but for those who do not mind a light fragrance in their shampoo, this is not going to be a deal breaker.
12. Naked Bee Orange Blossom Honey Shampoo and Conditioner
The Naked Bee Orange Blossom Honey Shampoo and Conditioner comes in a 6.7 fl. oz. squeeze tube.
This shampoo and conditioner is the ideal choice for those folks who want a great shampoo and conditioner for their hair, especially if they have acne on their scalp.
This product offers special moisturizing and cleansing properties that help nourish the hair and cleanse the scalp. The shampoo-conditioner combo offers a double whammy since it can not only be useful for those who have scalp conditions and require a mild shampoo that doesn’t cause irritation but one that can also moisturize their scalp and lead to thicker, cleaner and shinier hair. This shampoo is also non-comedogenic and is formulated with 70% natural ingredients.
The shampoo is also a hypoallergenic too, which is great news for those suffering from acne, dandruff, or other scalp related diseases. The shampoo contains honey, aloe vera, and spirulina, and leaves a nice fragrance after every wash.
13. Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Hair Shampoo
Those who are suffering from dandruff, eczema, dermatitis, or some other scalp condition will certainly appreciate Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Hair Shampoo.
This is a non-medicated shampoo for acne prone skin, even if the bottle does look clinical.
Its formula effectively removes the buildup of dirt or other residues that clogs the pores and causes acne. Rather than using products with harsh chemicals, Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Hair Shampoo provides a much cheaper and more effective solution that doesn’t damage the hair or leaves your scalp feeling irritating.
This is one of the reasons why this shampoo comes highly recommended by dermatologists.
Pharmaceutical Specialties has garnered quite a name for itself, and has also been mentioned in the Better Business Bureau and the National Eczema Foundation as a trusted product that delivers results. All the ingredients used in this product are hypoallergenic which means they are safe to use regardless of skin or hair type.
14. Radha Beauty Unrefined Shea Butter
For those of you who do not know, Shea butter has been used as a natural healer for thousands of years.
Shea butter is basically a rich, ivory plant butter that is used to soothe and protect the skin, including the scalp, resulting in a decrease of breakouts, dandruff, and acne, which are all the result of dry scalp.
Thanks to its ability to preserve skin, it makes for a good body spread and is also incredibly helpful for scalp conditions. Radha Beauty is an expanding skincare brand that has manufactured many creams, serums, and other beauty products.
Extracted from the Shea nut, Radha Beauty Unrefined Shea Butter also contains the richness of Vitamins A, D, E and F along with essential fatty acids that can smoothen and heal an array of skin conditions. The Radha Beauty Unrefined Shea Butter is ideal for dehydrated skin, scar or blemishes, and acne.
The great thing about this product is that it’s natural, and it doesn’t smell rancid at all, which is a good thing.
15. JASON All Natural Organic Biotin Shampoo and Conditioner
This shampoo contains skin and hair rejuvenating ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Ginseng and Chamomile.
JASON All Natural shampoo and conditioner is also paraben free, sulfate free, and gluten free, which makes it the perfect choice for those people who have to deal with acne on their scalp. The shampoo has been formulated to specifically target damaged hair and lessen the potential for breakage. But, the shampoo goes a step further, by thickening the hair with Biotin to give it a healthier look.
The bundle also includes a hair conditioner that gently restores the strength to weak and damaged hair. Both the shampoo and conditioner in this pack come in 16 fl. Oz. bottles and is the go-to choice for those who have scalp irritation, itchy scalp or red bumps on their scalp.
What Causes Scalp Acne?
Scalp acne is a common and sometimes painful occurrence that affects both men and women. If left untreated, acne can lead to hair loss which is why proper care is needed and the person is required to clean the roots of their hair and the follicles thoroughly to avoid a buildup of bacteria.
Scalp acne forms in pretty much the same way acne forms in other parts of the body.
The oil or sebaceous glands are located deep within the skin, and each oil gland is connected to a follicle, which is a tiny canal that contains the hair. The oil glands produce oil or sebum, which then flows out via the follicle and onto the skin’s surface, which lubricates the hair follicles and the skin. The opening from which the oil is excreted is called a pore. Acne can form by three factors, an excess of oil or sebum, inflammation that’s caused by a buildup of bacteria, and blocked pores.
Acne is the result of an overactive oil gland that ends up producing an excess amount of oil, which then gets trapped in the pores. While the exact cause of the blocked pores is not known, but as a result, the hair follicle can become enlarged and forms a small bump. When it ruptures, the opening allows bacteria to reach deep within the tissues, which leads to inflammation. While acne is not caused by a bacterial infection, it may play a part in the development of acne over time.
This also includes pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, pustules, and in some cases, even boils.
While acne is notoriously a teenage problem, the major factors that contribute to scalp acne are stress, hot and humid weather conditions, the use of certain drugs, an oily scalp, exposure to chemicals or certain environmental factors, hormones, certain hair products.
Acne of the scalp is not easily discovered, since it is mostly covered by hair, but any pain that’s caused by touching the area by accident or brushing one’s hair is a clear indicator of acne.
Be sure to watch the video on causes scalp acne below.
How to Treat Scalp Acne with Medicated Shampoo?
Any one of the aforementioned shampoos are great choices when looking for a shampoo for the treatment of acne.
If you are having acne issues then you may want to change your current shampoo. If you want to treat your scalp acne with a topical medication then make sure that the medication does not contain an ingredient known as benzoyl peroxide, which can be harmful for the skin.
So, what should you look for in a medicated shampoo for treated scalp acne?
As a rule of thumb, you should always check the list of ingredients while choosing a shampoo for treating scalp acne. Those products that remove excess oil without drying the scalp in the process are always going to be your best choice. Shampoo containing zinc and essential oils is also beneficial for its anti-bacterial qualities.
How to Get Rid of Scalp Acne?
Acne can form on the scalp just as it does on the face or any other part of the body.
What all people agree on is that acne can be incredibly annoying to both the young and old, which is why those who notice an acne breakout at once look for a solution. But, apart from using the best shampoo for acne-prone skin, there are certain things that one can do to get rid of their acne, or even prevent a breakout from ever happening.
This is extremely important for someone who already has acne.
By just drinking water and staying properly hydrated throughout the day, you can keep acne and pimples at bay, along with many other health conditions.
That’s because water does not only help hydrate the skin, it also helps flush out all the waste matter that builds up in the body, including harmful toxins, which if left untouched, can lead to acne or other skin conditions. To stay properly hydrated, a person needs to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
Exercising regularly helps reduce stress levels and helps keep the hormones in balance.
This is good news since acne is caused by unbalanced hormones and stress. As you sweat it out during a workout, that encourages the free flow of sebum, which helps unclog any blocked pores that cause acne.
Try to Relax
Studies have found that the severity of an acne breakout can be linked to the level of stress being experienced by a person. To keep stress levels low, focus on the task at hand and stop worrying about what has to come later, or some task you were unable to complete. Also, allocate a few minutes every day to meditating or just staying calm.
Get Proper Sleep
They call it “beauty sleep” for a reason. That’s because nighttime is the best time to sleep in order to rejuvenate your skin. The night shift is when the body’s cellular maintenance team repairs your body so that you wake up feeling refreshed.
This is why getting at least six to eight hours of sleep during the night is critical to your overall health.
Don’t Over-Wash Your Hair
If you’re experiencing on-going scalp acne, then there’s no need to wash your hair every day since over washing can lead to the scalp drying up, which will lead to even more acne and dandruff. Instead, try using a medicated shampoo for acne every alternate day.
You can also use a green tea or mint rinse to give your hair that fresh look, and tackle acne at the same time.
Here is a detailed video on how to get rid of scalp acne for good.
Be sure to also invest in a face wash for blackheads and acne.
How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Acne Prone Skin?
Similar to how a pomade can cause acne, due to its thick texture which blocks pores causing acne, using the wrong shampoo or one that’s laced with harmful chemicals can cause a breakout of acne, which is why you need to choose the best shampoo for acne.
Such a shampoo should be:
- Organic— A product made from organic ingredients means that it won’t be containing any harmful chemicals or preservatives that will end up irritating your hair. Organic products also usually have certain antibacterial properties which makes them desirable to those suffering from acne.
- Sulfate Free — Sulfate is added to shampoos for the sole purpose of increasing its ability to create a foam while being applied. While it does result to a good lather, it doesn’t really do anything else and is a pretty harmful ingredient for any soap or shampoo to have. Sulfate also irritates any existing scalp or skin condition you have so it’s better to stay clear from products containing this ingredient.
- Silicon Free — This can be a tricky one to find. While not all silicone-based ingredients are bad for your scalp, but those that are not water-soluble tend to do more harm than good.
- Comedogenic Oils— The word “Comedo” means acne as an impact of dead skin cells and sebum oil, while non-comedogenic means not tending to clog the pores, so no acne. Oils are a natural way of delivering nutrients and fatty acids to the skin, but not all oils are good for you. Oils high in oleic acid can clog the pores of those susceptible to acne, which is why you need to use only good quality, non-comedogenic oils will help you control the sebum production. This is the reason why you should always choose hair care products that do not contain any comedogenic ingredients.
Benefits of Best Shampoo for Acne Prone Skin
Some of the most notable benefits of using a medicated shampoo that’s been specifically formulated for acne prone scalp is that they often contain antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties along with all-natural products that soothe the acne breakout while cleansing the scalp. Along with cleaning the scalp, these shampoos can also relieve itchy scalp, control oil buildup, and can preserve the scalp’s natural pH levels.
Shampoos for acne-prone skin also tend to have a shorter and more natural sounding ingredients list, which is what sets those products apart from the rest.
If you already have an acne breakout you would want to be using a hair shampoo that’s as close to 100% natural as possible so that you don’t irritate the acne, or cause it to spread. Going with the best shampoo for acne prone skin means that you’re not putting your scalp through the harmful chemical ingredients that may lead to an allergic reaction.
If the acne breakout is severe and you want to treat it, then going for a shampoo that has an active ingredient such as salicylic acid is going to be a good option. One such acne shampoo that comes to mind is Neutrogena T – Sal that’s mentioned above, but there are many other shampoos that have been formulated specifically for those people who want to not only treat their scalp acne but get rid of it for good.
But, the only way you can do that is by using a high-quality acne shampoo that’s free of any harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfate or silicone. While these are just some of the benefits of using a shampoo for acne, the only way to ensure you’re using the right product that suits your skin is by trial and error.
Get the Best Shampoo for Your Acne Prone Skin
This article was geared to help people find the best shampoo for acne prone skin. Just as it is difficult to shave with acne prone facial skin it can also be difficult treating acne on the scalp, but by using the right products and methods, it’s possible to cleanse and disinfect your scalp, even if you cannot see it.
Those who are having to deal with itchy and painful scalp conditions such as acne, dandruff, dermatitis, and other scalp conditions should buy any one of these shampoos right away for their cleansing and soothing properties.
These shampoos are ideal for acne prone skin because unlike many of the mainstream shampoo brands, these come with an all-natural formula, that’s free of harmful parabens, sulfate, or silicone that can damage the skin and further irritate an acne or dandruff breakout. Get any of the shampoos for acne prone skin mentioned above and say goodbye to painful and irritating scalp acne.