Review: Oxy Daily Defense Facial Cleanser

OXY Face Wash
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Oxy Daily Defense Facial Cleanser is an over-the-counter acne face wash for people with blackheads and mild acne.  This medicated cleanser can be used alone, or you can add in other acne products to create your own OTC acne treatment regimen.

If you're using prescription medications, though, make sure you ask your dermatologist before trying this facial cleanser.

Active Ingredient:

Salicylic acid 2%

Inactive Ingredients:

Aloe barbadensis leaf extract, ascorbyl methylsilanol pectinate, benzophenone-4, croton lechleri resin extract, D&C violet no.

2, DMDM hydantoin, edetate disodium, FD&C blue no. 1, fragrance, glycerin, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, lauramidopropyl betaine, lauryl glucoside, menthol, phytic acid, polysorbate 20, purified water, sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, sodium chloride.


About $6 for a 6 fluid ounce bottle. 

Where to Buy:

Oxy products are easy to find -- try your local drug store, grocery store, or big box store (like Walmart or Target).


  • It's super easy to find.  Most drug stores carry it.
  • It leaves your skin feeling smooth, clean, and refreshed.
  • The blue and black packaging is appealing to teens, especially boys.
  • Compared to most acne treatment cleansers, this one is surprisingly gentle.


  • The mentholated action may be too much for sensitive skin.
  • Unless you have oily skin, this cleanser can be slightly drying.

Oxy Daily Defense Facial Cleanser Review:

I confess, I haven't been a huge fan of Oxy products.

  I guess it goes back to my teenage years when Oxy products were so incredibly drying.  It seriously made my face feel like it would crack off whenever I smiled.

So, I didn't really have high hopes for the Oxy Daily Defense Facial Cleanser.  In fact, it sat in my bathroom cabinet for a while before I finally decided to pull it out and try it.

I take back any disparaging remarks I've made about Oxy products.  Because, apparently, they've improved loads since I've used them.

It's been a while since I've been this satisfied with an acne facial cleanser.

Oxy Daily Defense Facial Cleanser foams up nicely, with soft, fluffy lather.  It smells nice, too, very clean and fresh and light.

I personally love the cooling tingle it leaves on the skin (although if your skin is sensitive, beware, you may find the "tingle" feels more like a "burn.")  I also love how my skin feels afterward -- super clean, refreshed, and not at all stripped.

Granted, with regular twice-daily use, this cleanser can dry out the skin slightly.  But compared to most medicated acne treatment cleansers, this one is surprisingly non-drying and gentle.  My oily skinned product reviewers didn't have the problems with dry skin that I did, but my adult skin tends to be on the dry side anyway. 

Teens, on the other hand, really loved this cleanser.  The boys especially were happy with the packaging (and with a glut of "girlie" skin care products on the market, who can blame them?)  This one was well-liked by both teen girls and guys alike.

I do want to note that this review is for the Oxy Daily Defense Facial Cleanser and not the Oxy Daily Defense Face Wash. 

(Confused?  Yeah, I was too.  The names are so darned similar but they are actually two different products.) 

To make it even more befuddling, both have the same active ingredient, but the other ingredients are completely different.  Just look for this product, the Daily Defense Facial Cleanser, in the pump bottle.  The Daily Defense Face Wash comes in a squeeze tube.  It's the easiest way to differentiate between the two.

I'll forgive them the lack of imagination when it comes to naming because I was so pleasantly surprised with this cleanser.  For oily teenage skin, this cleanser gets two thumbs up.


Next Steps:

How To Choose the Right Cleanser

How To Choose an OTC Acne Treatment

More Acne Treatment Product Reviews