Best Shampoo For Acne Prone Skin

As if acne prone skin wasn’t enough to deal with, acne on your scalp is absolutely a thing for many of us. Fortunately, finding the best shampoo for acne prone skin that fits your needs can help you get rid of this annoying issue.

Scalp acne is formed when there is a buildup of dead skin, clogged oil or bacteria in the scalp’s pores.

Can My Shampoo Be Causing My Acne?

Some shampoos contain harsh ingredients and chemicals that can actually clog your pores leading to a messy situation on your scalp and along your hairline.

If you’re looking for a shampoo for acne prone scalp it should have on its label most of these ingredients: salicylic acid, glycolic acid, ketoconazole, ciclopirox, tea tree oil, jojoba oil and benzoyl peroxide. Also look for a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo which is also effective in clearing away oil, dirt and product buildup from your hair.

Best Shampoo For Acne Prone Skin – Quick Look

Here are a few options of products that with help with your problem. Choose the best shampoo for acne and treat your breakouts at their source instead of struggling to fight it later.

Naked Bee Orange Blossom Honey Shampoo is an organic product, highly recommended by dermatologists. This is a shampoo and conditioner that won’t cause breakouts and which can help you get rid of the dirt and excess oil on your scalp without leaving it dry.

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Scalp Acne Shampoo is a shampoo for acne prone scalp that contains salicylic acid and it is created specifically for people struggling with this problem.

Maple Holistic Degrease does not only clean the scalp and hair, but also minimizes the pores’ size and regulates the natural pH.

Sebamed Everyday Shampoo leaves your hair soft and the scalp moisturized. This acne free shampoo can be used everyday without making your scalp dry.

Anti-B Antibacterial Shampoo relieves the itching sensation and soothes inflammation and redness of the scalp.

Tree To Tub Soapberry For Hair is not just a shampoo that doesn’t cause acne, but one of the best products that treat this problem. It reduces dryness and flakiness that appear on the scalp.

AcneZap Shampoo contains only natural ingredients and it was designed to be mild but still help the hair get a healthy shine and treat acne-prone scalp.


Key Features

  • Main Action: Cleans scalp without drying it
  • Scent: Orange blossom honey scent
  • Packaging: Squeeze tube
  • Main Action: Relieves itchy scalp, controls oil
  • Scent: No scent
  • Packaging: Bottle
  • Main Action: Removes oil and grease build up on the scalp
  • Scent: Earthy
  • Packaging: Bottle
  • Main Action: Preserves scalp’s natural oils and pH
  • Scent: Light scent that quickly goes away
  • Packaging: Bottle
  • Main Action: replenishes vitamins and minerals to sooth itching, redness and flaking.
  • Scent: Lemon
  • Packaging: Bottle
  • Main Action: Balances hair and scalp pH (5.5) with soothing Soapberry
  • Scent:  Peppermint
  • Packaging: Bottle with pump
  • Main Action: Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Scent: Strong scent
  • Packaging: Bottle

Top 7 Best Shampoo For Acne Prone Skin


Naked Bee Orange Blossom Honey Shampoo

This shampoo for acne prone skin is perfect for people who like multi-purpose products. This product also has moisturizing and cleansing properties, besides its anti-inflammatory ones. Unfortunately, this combination might not be enough for those with dry hair.

Naked Bee Orange Blossom Honey Shampoo has 70% of its composition made of organic ingredients. The product is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. This shampoo that doesn’t cause acne has organic aloe vera, spirulina and honey, which are all great in nourishing the scalp, leaving the hair healthy and shiny.

The product lathers well and also has a nice scent.

What We Like

  • Moisturizes
  • Has 70% organic ingredients
  • Leaves hair shiny
  • Nice fragrance

What We Did Not Like

  • The smell can be a bit too strong for some people
  • Not moisturizing enough for dry hair


Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Scalp Acne Shampoo

If you look for the best shampoo for acne prone skin, Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Scalp Acne Shampoo is one of them. This is a medicated shampoo with 3% salicylic acid, created to help treat psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Due to its active ingredient, the shampoo works very well in preventing scalp breakouts and in relieving itchy scalp.

This acne free shampoo has no preservatives and no fragrance, and its consistency is thick and clear. The product is recommended to be used three times a week if you don’t want your hair to become dry. To prevent that, you can also use a non-oily conditioner.

What We Like

  • No fragrance
  • Efficient in treating acne and other scalp conditions
  • Contains salicylic acid as active ingredient

What We Did Not Like

  • Can make the hair dry if used more than 3 times a week

Maple Holistics Degrease

Oily hair is more prone to acne compared to other types of hair. Maple Holistics not only gentle degreases your hair, but the lemon essential oil restores your scalp’s natural sebum and pH, hydrates your hair follicles and alleviates the itch.

This product is also aimed at minimizing large pores, preventing clogging which leads to scalp breakouts. The shampoo for acne prone skin contains only natural ingredients, so silicone, parabens and sulfates are out of the question. It is also hypoallergenic, which means it can be safely used by people with a sensitive scalp.

Since this shampoo was created to cleanse and not moisturize, you might need to use a conditioner, especially if you have thick, frizzy hair.

What We Like

  • It is hypoallergenic
  • Has natural ingredients
  • Perfect for oily hair
  • Restores scalp’s pH

What We Did Not Like

  • Does not condition the hair
  • The smell can be too strong for some people

Sebamed Everyday Shampoo

Sebamed Everyday Shampoo is a shampoo for acne prone scalp which contains mild organic cleansing agents. It is so gentle that it can be used on sensitive skin too. The product is free from alkaline, an ingredient which disrupts the scalp’s natural barrier.

This shampoo cleanses your scalp, but it does not strip its natural oil. It will keep your scalp moisture and even add volume to your hair. With a pH of 5.5, it matches the hair’s and scalp’s pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Once massaged on wet hair the product lathers well and leaves a squeaky-clean feel once rinsed.

On the downside, this shampoo has a scent that some users associated with the fragrance of hair colorants.

What We Like

  • Matches the pH of the scalp
  • Can be used by people with sensitive skin
  • Does not dry the hair and scalp

What We Did Not Like

  • On the high price end
  • The fragrance

ANTI-b Antibacterial Shampoo Antimicrobial/Antifungal Formula

Anti-B Antibacterial Shampoo is a shampoo for acne prone scalp, contains lemon essential oil, aloe vera and witch hazel, making this product highly effective in toning down inflammation and inhibiting bacterial growth.

The shampoo also soothes any redness and itching and also replenishes vitamins. Because it has no sulfates, it is perfect for those with sensitive skin.

Although its subtle lemon scent is not overpowering, it’s something to consider if you have a really sensitive sense of smell.

What We Like

  • Tones down irritation and redness
  • Stops the itching
  • Fights bacteria

What We Did Not Like

  • Can make the hair dry
  • The lemon scent


Tree To Tub Soapberry For Hair

This shampoo was specifically designed to fight acne problems on the scalp. Many times, the products that are designed to address acne, end up making the hair and skin dryer than they should leading to many other problems.

Tree To Tub Soapberry For Hair is an acne free shampoo is not one of those products. It reduces acne but also hydrates the hair at the same time. Your hair will become softer, shinier and smoother. The product promises to be incredibly gentle to the skin.

The shampoo does contain minimal chemicals, but nothing to endanger the health of your hair.

What We Like

  • Has essential oils
  • Makes the hair silky and smooth
  • Hydrates the hair

What We Did Not Like

  • Does not work for severe acne


AcneZap Shampoo

This shampoo has been receiving a lot of praise because of what it has to offer. It is an all-natural product, mild on the scalp, but still strong enough to deal with acne. It will give your hair a healthy and luscious shine.

Thanks to its antibacterial formula, the acne will stand no chance. AcneZap Shampoo reduces the impact that the acne has on your scalp and also prevents acne recurrence.

What We Like

  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Keeps acne away
  • Very effective

What We Did Not Like

  • Strong fragrance

What Makes The Best Shampoo For Acne Prone Skin

Acne is triggered by excess oil, dirt and even hair products that clog the pores. But we also already told you that using the wrong shampoo can cause scalp acne. When you choose a shampoo it’s not enough to like its color, smell or consistency. You have to look at the ingredients too. The scalp, just like the skin on the face or the body, can react negatively when exposed to chemicals.

Here are some of the factors that make a shampoo the best for acne prone scalp.


You should look for a shampoo that is made from organic ingredients, so there should be no chemicals and preservatives in it, which are the ones that irritate the skin. Organic ingredients, such as tea tree, green tea and aloe vera, are antibacterial, so they protect your scalp and also address the acne issue.


Sulfates are added to cosmetic products, such as soaps, shampoos and body cleansers to increase their foaming properties. They do help the products to lather up well, but they also cause irritation and dryness to the skin and stinging when they come in contact with your eyes. Sulfates also aggravate any existing scalp condition you may have.

Silicone Free

Silicone can be a little tricky to find among the ingredients on the shampoo. You should look for those that end in ‘cone,’ such as cyclomethicone. The fact is that not all silicone ingredients are bad for your skin. Those that are not water soluble will leave residues on your scalp, contributing to scalp acne.

So if your shampoo contains water-soluble silicones, they will rinse off so there will be none left on your skin and hair to clog the pores and irritate the scalp. Look for silicone ingredients that start with PEG, but also for Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane and Lauryl Methicone Copolyol.

Can I Prevent Scalp Acne?

Besides choosing a shampoo for acne prone scalp to treat and prevent acne, there are some other things that you can do to keep this problem away.

  • Wash your hair every two days to preserve its natural oils
  • Do not wear tight hair accessories
  • Wash your hair every day only if you use hair products or if you have an oily scalp
  • Stay away from stress and anxiety
  • Avoid scratching your scalp
  • Use products that contain glycolic acid or salicylic acid to mildly exfoliate your scalp
  • Do not cleanse your hair with very hot water


To get rid of the scalp acne you have to find a shampoo that doesn’t cause acne and that also treats this problem. Read the label and look for ingredients such as tea tree oil, jojoba oil, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide and ketoconazole, ciclopirox, or simply choose one from the list above.

With a good shampoo for acne scalp you can get rid of this problem for good. Try using one of the shampoos presented in this article and you will definitely see some improvement in your acne condition.