The 8 Best Shampoos For Acne Prone Skin 2022

There are only two words to describe acne, troubling and ugly. You want to avoid it in every way, but sometimes, it sticks like a shadow. 

Although there are several causes of this unwanted skin problem, you’ll be surprised to discover that your shampoo may not be innocent. 

That means selecting the best shampoo for acne-prone skin is the only way to give your hair a treat without compromising your dermal health.

We’ve taken the liberty of reviewing some of the best shampoos for acne-prone skin to save you much time in making a choice.

Got questions? Not to worry, there’s so much you’ll learn by the time you are through reading this post. Let’s dive in.

Our Top Picks

  1. Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Special Shampoo: Best Overall features tea tree oil, lavender, and peppermint to prevent acne, clean out chemical add-ons, and clear off acne scars through their collective action. Hair is also shiny and healthier.
  2. Yes To Tea Tree Scalp Relief Soothing Shampoo: Best for Budget not only for its giveaway price but for having as many effective ingredients as appearing on this list.
  3. TEENOLOGY Shampoo For Teens: Best for Teens, features mild acting aloe vera and comfrey effectively dealing with dandruff and regulating oil secretion on scalp. The fancy fragrance is one to make the young minds dash for one always.
  4. Tree to Tub Fragrance-Free Shampoo: Best Natural, makes use of only mother nature’s finest ingredients to clean your hair and nourish your skin.
  5. Free & Clear Shampoo: Best for Sensitive Skin is colorless and scentless so it can make its way into your bathroom regardless of hair type and color. Carefully chosen ingredients promote hair wellness and unclog skin.
  6. BIOLAGE Scalpsync No-Dandruff Shampoo: Best for Dandruff Treatment waves the power of the mint leaf among other ingredients to give a soothing experience. Hair promises to be clean and your scalp well-nourished.
  7. pHat 5.5 Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo and Conditioner: Best with conditioner caps the outstanding action of aloe vera, manuka honey, and Austrian Cehami with a conditioner, which has just as much caring effect on your hair and skin.
  8. Puriya Scalp Therapy Shampoo: Best for Hair Repair is rich in vitamin B, and several natural ingredients like Rosemary, Sage, and Anika give the regenerative ability to hair.

3 Considerations Before Buying Shampoo For Acne-prone Skin

With so many shampoos in the stores, picking one suitable for acne-prone skin can be a real challenge. Many will not expressly state what they can do, while others may be overrated.

Not to worry, we’ve got your back. Here are three things you must consider if you would end up with the best shampoo for acne-prone skin.

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This is the most vital factor for choosing a shampoo if you’re prone to having breakouts. As much as possible, avoid oil-based shampoos.

Since acne often results from clogging of the pores by excessive sebum secretion, it would be unwise to use products that enhance oily skin. Avoid merchandise with isopropyl myristate and other oily additives.

Meanwhile, some components can irritate your skin. Among them include lauryl sulfate, sodium Laureth Sulfate and so on.

Again, other ingredients would excessively dry your skin, leading to flaking. Among them is sodium chloride, which causes dryness and itching.

You would want to look out for products with labels such as paraben-free, oil-free, and non-comedogenic. 

Moreover, if you are dealing with serious acne such as pustules or red swollen acne, shampoos containing special ingredients such as salicylic acid-based shampoo will be of great help.

Hair type

The result of shampoo will vary based on the hair type. Knowing your hair type will guide your choice as you look through the ingredients. Examples are:

  • Dry hair: It is prone to breaking, so choose a moisturizing shampoo with conditioner. These products may contain oil to help hold moisture.
  • Oily hair: Scap rapidly secrets sebum. You won’t need a shampoo with much moisturizing effect to avoid adding to the weightiness of your hair. Instead, choose those with oil removers.
  • Neutral hair: This falls between dry and oily. A mild-acting shampoo will do. Avoid shampoos with lopsided actions, favoring only dry or oily hair.
  • Dyed hair: Avoid shampoos with colorings and bleaching properties. These can wash off the dye and cause irregular patterns on your hair. Ask if it is color-protecting in case you don’t find it written on the container.

Natural or chemical

There are several shampoos with 100% natural ingredients. Some are partly natural and inorganic, and others completely inorganic. 

Choosing the latter requires that you are knowledgeable about the components. Products with natural ingredients are preferable due to their mild but effective actions on skin and hair.

Also, shampoos with natural ingredients will limit unwanted reactions more than chemical shampoos. Whether choosing chemicals or natural, you must consider your own allergy to avoid irritation when washing your hair.

Top 8 Best Shampoo For Acne Prone Skin Reviewed

With the above considerations in mind, we’ve selected a list of shampoo products that we believe are best for acne-prone scalps. Let’s take a look at the products below

Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Special Shampoo – Best Overall

Notable Features

  • Scent: Lavender
  • Hair type: All
  • Volume: 10.14 fl oz
  • Rating: 9.8

The Tea tree Special Shampoo is a worthy addition to this list for good reasons. The major ingredient – the tea tree, though an essential oil, is potent in preventing and curing acne.  

There are medical publications revealing that undiluted tea tree oil kills bacteria and fungi which are responsible for acne. Its anti-inflammatory attribute proves priceless in restoring skin back to normal after acne.

Also, the tea tree extract helps to prevent chemical build-up in your hair, especially for dye users. It as well helps with dandruff and hair loss while giving your hair some shine.

Moreover, the peppermint addition helps to improve hair growth while leaving you with a refreshing feeling on your scalp each time you use it. 

The lavender ingredient does more than give it a pleasant fragrance. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and spot cleaner.

Best of all, it is free of parabens, sulfates, and other chemicals which are detrimental to the skin and hair. Vegans will have no complaints about its ingredients.

The product is available in three distinct fragrances of tea tree, peppermint, and lavender. Continuous use will bring a notable improvement in your hair luster and prevent acne. 


  • Soothing after-use effect
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Free of nasty chemicals
  • Antibacterial


  • Relatively pricey

Yes To Tea Tree Scalp Relief Soothing Shampoo – Best for Budget 

Notable Features

  • Scent: Carrot
  • Hair type: Dry
  • Volume: 12 fl oz
  • Rating: 9.5

You don’t need a fat pocket to get the best shampoo for acne-prone skin. All you need is the Yes To Tea Tree Scalp Relief Soothing Shampoo.

Preventing shampoo-caused acne begins with using one safe for the skin. The ingredients of the product are for the skin as they are for the scalp.

The shampoo contains tea tree oil which doesn’t irritate the skin but also cures mild to moderate acne, owing to its ability to reduce inflammation and fight bacteria.

At the same time, it helps increase nutrient distribution to hair follicles, making your hair fuller and firmer.

Moreso, the shampoo ingredient includes sage leaf. This element has antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. 

Consequently, it prevents the growth of microbes which can cause a breakout on your skin and scalp.

Furthermore, the presence of salicylic acid makes the shampoo effective in unclogging blocked pores and gentle skin exfoliation. The component is an indispensable ingredient in all acne treatments and exfoliators.

The non-comedogenic shampoo has a Leaping Bunny certification and is free from nasties. Its carrot scent isn’t one you will readily find, making it unique.

An excited has this to say, “Used for the first time and love this as a leave-in conditioner for my thick curly hair. No more frizz, and hoping it stops the itching I get from other leave-ins. Beautiful smell, clean and fresh. My curls are beautifully formed again. Super happy.”


  • Soothing after-use effect
  • Fully plant-based
  • Balances pH
  • Non-toxic

Cons: N/A

TEENOLOGY Shampoo For Teens – Best for Teens

Notable Features

  • Scent: Blueberry Pomegranate Cucumber
  • Hair type: All and color-treated
  • Volume: 16 fl oz
  • Rating: 9.6

Reports state that teens are the most prone to having acne. That’s what makes the Teenology shampoo for Teens a thoughtful buy for anyone considering a shampoo for youngsters.

The culprits responsible for breakouts such as parabens, sulfates, soy, and other nasties do not make the list of its ingredients. Instead, it makes use of oil-free natural ingredients to prevent and cure acne on the skin.

First among these natural components is the wonder ingredient – aloe vera. This conditioning element repairs dead skin cells and enhances hair growth while keeping dandruff at bay.

Next is the comfrey extract, which contains allantoin, thereby facilitating the growth of new skin and reducing inflammation. Meanwhile, the cucumber ingredient helps to cleanse the skin and tighten skin pores to prevent a breakout.

Furthermore, the vitamin C-rich pomegranate has a brilliant anti-microbial effect, forestalling the harbingers of acne. Hibiscus flower helps to right the wrongs of past blights on your skin by reviving dormant hair follicles to reduce patches and baldness.

Moreover, the Teenology Shampoo For Teens is rich in vitamin B5, and the fragrance of the shampoo is refreshing as the fruity elements provide their natural scents. It comes in three fragrance varieties of Vanilla Almond, Blueberry Pomegranate Cucumber, and Chocolate Mint.

Overall, this product not only prevents acne, but also treats and restores areas with blemishes to their original form.


  • Contains natural extracts
  • Free of nasties
  • Overall hair improvements
  • Leaping Bunny certified


  • Poor lathering
  • Thick shampoo

Tree to Tub Fragrance Free Shampoo – Best Natural

Notable Features

  • Scent: Raw unscented
  • Hair type: All
  • Volume: 8.5 fl oz
  • Rating: 9.5

Do you have delicate skin, and the fear of acne bothers you? Look no further than to the Tree to Tub Fragrance-Free Shampoo.

“Having battled painful seborrheic dermatitis for several years on my head, only one thing caused it to go into remission: This shampoo.” These are the words of a satisfied consumer, and you are about to know why.

The principal ingredient, soapberry, eliminates the need for several chemical ingredients which can be toxic to your body. It is Mother nature’s natural cleanser, which is as effective as any other detergent you can find but in every way milder.

The ingredient lathers naturally and has a neutral pH level, thereby eliminating the need for foaming agents like SLS, which are potentially toxic. This is good news for people with acne-prone skin because a shift in pH balance can cause acne and other skin blemishes

Also, the shampoo uses additional coconut cleansers to ascertain your scalp is free of dirt. Whether you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin, this product will work for you.

Meanwhile, you’ll be glad to learn of the presence of aloe vera and olive leaves extract in the composition. These two ingredients combine to repair and nourish both scalp and skin while slowing down melanin production, preventing skin breakdown.

Chamomile possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant attributes. Hence, it is effective in acne prevention and treatment and clearing ugly spots on the skin and scalp.

Last but not least, the shampoo has no artificial fragrance, and all you would perceive is the natural scent of its constituent.


  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Moisturizes hair
  • Maintains natural skin pH
  • Vegan friendly
  • Free soapberry gift


  • Greasy residue

Free & Clear Shampoo – Best for Sensitive Skin

Notable Features

  • Scent: None
  • Hair type: All
  • Volume: 12 fl oz
  • Rating: 9.4

Tired of flakes, dandruff, and the associated signs of acne? The Free and Clear Shampoo is a highly effective product that does the job.

Although you won’t find any organic ingredients on its list, the manufacturers have carefully abstained from harmful ones such as parabens, dyes, glutens, among others.

The ingredients are safe for both skin and hair. For example, the glycerin component helps to retain moisture both in hair and skin.

Coco glucoside is a natural cleanser derived from coconut and fruit sugars, unclogging hair pores. Its inability to clog pores makes it perfect for acne-prone skins. 

People with delicate skin can take solace in the presence of disodium cocoyl glutamate, a mild surfactant, and cleanser derived from vegetable oil.

A thorough inspection of the list of ingredients reveals that each is mild on skin and hair but thorough in action. The shampoo leaves your hair feeling clean and moisturized.

The shampoo works for all hair types and colors, being itself colorless. Besides, there is no accompanying fragrance, which is good news to those with sensitive noses. 


  • Quick-acting ingredients
  • Scentless and colorless
  • Easy to rinse off
  • Non-toxic ingredients


  • Quite dry

BIOLAGE Scalpsync No-Dandruff ShampooBest for Dandruff Treatment

Notable Features

  • Scent: Coconut
  • Hair type: All
  • Volume: 33.8 fl oz
  • Rating: 9.4

The BIOLAGE Scalpsync No-Dandruff Shampoo remains one of the most popular choices for people with acne-sensitive skin, and you’re about to learn why.

The product brilliantly features mint leaves as an ingredient. Mint leaf has a characteristic calming effect and inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi on the skin.

Also, the ingredient regulates sebum oil secretion in the skin. All these and many more of its properties make it a formidable component in preventing and curing acne.

Moreover, the inclusion of pyrithione zinc in its formula is a potent deterrent to acne. This component has unmatched antifungal, antimicrobial, and anti-bacterial characteristics.

The product also features Piroctone Olamine, an antifungal agent designed to help prevent mild to moderate Seborrhoeic Dermatitis. 

In addition, the BIOLAGE Scalpsync No-Dandruff Shampoo is true to its mission of ridding you of unpleasant hair and scalp infections like dandruff and flaking. The presence of Salicylic Acid enables it to exfoliate any existing dandruff flakes and is a potent cure for acne.

Commenting on its effectiveness, a user has this to say, “I used to get bumps and pimples on my head, which I’ve heard can happen when oils are trapped and not getting cleaned. Anyway, I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks and have already noticed a huge improvement.”

A note of caution is that this product contains formaldehyde releasers, parabens, ethanol, and artificial fragrance. Buyers with sensitivity to any of these listed ingredients may opt for another on our list.


  • Voluminous content
  • Exfoliates dandruff flakes
  • Treats mild Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
  • Soothing after-use feeling


  • Contains some nasties

pHat 5.5 Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo and Conditioner – Best with conditioner 

Notable Features

  • Scent: Unscented
  • Hair type: All
  • Volume: 8 oz
  • Rating: 9.4

The pHat 5.5 Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo and Conditioner is a product of sheer brilliance and dependence on nature. 

The 5.5 name tag connotes the optimum hair and skin pH, which it restores and maintains. For acne-prone skins, this is all too important as a change in pH balance can cause breakouts and other skin challenges.

The product deals with eczema, psoriasis, and other skin complications gracefully, thanks to the inclusion of medical-grade manuka honey in the ingredient. This ingredient is a mild antiseptic, skin protectant, and moisturizing agent.

Besides, the aloe vera constituent reinforces its healing ability and soothes scalp irritations. It also helps to calm the redness of inflamed acne.

The product provides a rich lather and antiseptic service without SLS due to the presence of coconut extracts. Orange peel oil lets you bid farewell to your dandruff and itchy scalp and welcome a sweet fragrance.

Also, your hair would attain natural softness and smoothness, and gratitude goes to Tapioca. 

Australian Cehami, another potent ingredient, kills acne-causing microbes and protects the skin from UV rays. And yes, there is no mention of gluten, sulfates, parabens, and other toxic components because the product is free of them.

The conditioner continues where it stops and gives your hair the needed clean and radiant appearance.


  • All-natural ingredients
  • Non-toxic composition
  • Improves skin and hair


  • Slow action

Puriya Scalp Therapy Shampoo – Best for Hair Repair

Notable Features

  • Scent: Tea tree
  • Hair type: All
  • Volume: 16 fl oz
  • Rating: 9.4

The Puriya Scalp Therapy Shampoo will leave you nothing more to desire from a hair product. The ingredient list reveals a lot about its formulation to be climate-friendly and plant-based.

Much to your delight, the product features several plant extracts which work wonders on hair and skin. 

Among them is the Tea tree oil, which detoxifies the hair of harmful chemicals. It also has anti-inflammatory characteristics, calming redness of acne, and clearing scars.

Another ingredient is aloe vera which prevents the growth of acne-causing bacteria, due to its antibacterial property. In addition, it supports the healthy growth of skin cells and hydrates both hair and scalp without oil. 

The list goes on with Rosemary extract, excellent in enhancing intracellular generation. Studies also reveal that it destroys Propionibacterium acnes, a bacteria responsible for causing acne. 

This same ingredient also helps to stimulate hair growth and prevent dandruff and itchy scalp. There is more!

Sage and Arnica extract both help to increase blood circulation and hair growth. Also, they both prevent bacterial formation, which is good news for those with worries of breakouts.

Rich in vitamin B and many more healthy components, the shampoo will restore your damaged hair and steer you off the path of acne. Fragrance-wise, you’ll enjoy its natural tea tree scent.

The product is vegan-friendly and clear of sulfates, parabens, artificial fragrances, and other chemicals. 


  • Soothing after-use effect
  • Fully plant-based
  • Improves hair growth
  • Non-toxic


  • Medicinal scent


How do I know that my shampoo is responsible for my acne?

You can know what is responsible for your acne by seeing a doctor for a diagnosis. Meanwhile, taking note of changes when you commenced using shampoo is another way to know if it is responsible. 

You can stop using the shampoo and observe if the breakout lessens or ceases altogether If acne begins to disappear, then your shampoo is responsible for it.

Again, the American Academy for Dermatology Association (AADA) suggests that if acne appears around your hairline, neck, and upper back region, your haircare product is a suspect.

Is dandruff acne related?

Yes, dandruff and acne have some things in common. Dandruff can lead to acne on the scalp.

The key is the clogging of the pores, which dandruff is capable of doing if not controlled. When this happens, the sebum that your 

Again, if the skin cells falling off your scalp get on your skin, they might clog your pores and worsen your acne problem. Keeping your hair off your face is the first step to preventing this from happening.

Can dandruff shampoos cure acne?

Yes, several dandruff shampoos can cure acne. That is especially true when talking of acne caused by yeast infection.

Some ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, are found in dandruff shampoos and several acne treatments. These elements help to eliminate the yeast fungi which is responsible for dandruff and acne.

Are hair care products the only cause of acne?

No, hair care products like shampoo are only triggers and not causes of acne. Basically, clogged hair follicles, excess sebum secretion, bacteria, and inflammation are the causes of acne.

The triggers for these causes are broad. Among them are hormonal changes, stress, diet, and some medications.

Meanwhile, teenagers are more prone to acne due to the stimulation of oil glands during puberty. Hereditary also plays a role in what makes a person develop acne.


While a product may be just perfect for others, your body chemistry may be the only hindrance to experiencing the desired result. Be vigilant to see the effect of any you’ve opted for to know if you’ve found a home or the search continues.

While it is true that you may have to do some trial and error before finding the right product for you, our selection of the best shampoo for acne-prone skin should make your search brief.

We will advise that you don’t get carried away with products with seemingly endless ingredients. Safety demands that you are acquainted with what each of these things does, so the less, the better.

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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