The 5 Very Best Face Washes for Every Skin Type

Face wash is an important step in maintaining a healthy skin. A cleanser that is too harsh can cause skin to lose its natural oils. However, a cleanser that is too gentle will not effectively remove excess sebum and product residue. This is especially true if you have oily skin. Good cleanser is good for your skin. After washing your face, you should feel your skin refreshed and not dry and tight. Your pores should be clear and ready to receive a moisturizer or serum. It can be difficult to find the right one. I talked to 15 skin-care professionals, from dermatologists and facialists, about which products they recommend, as well as what cleansers to use for each type of skin. If you know what you want, you can skip to the section that best suits your skin type in our table of contents. You can also read on to find nine options that will suit all skin types, from sensitive to oily to dry.

What we’re looking for:

Skin type – First, let’s get to the important stuff: Choose a cleanser that suits your skin type. You may think If you are a self-proclaimed beauty guru you might be thinking I have found that most people don’t know their skin type. If you don’t have any skin problems like dry or acne, then you are most likely blessed with normal skin. For those with more complex issues, such as excessive dryness that causes flaking and tightness, or blemishes due to oily skin, things can be more difficult. When choosing a cleanser for your combination, dry, oily, acne-prone or sensitive skin type, you need to pay attention to the ingredients and texture.

Texture Once you have determined your skin type, consider the texture of the cleanser. For dry skin types, you will need a cream-like, almost moisturizer-like cleanser or hydrating oil cleansers. However, for oily skin and those with acne, foam or gel textures are better as they absorb excess oil. Sometimes, oils can be used on oily skin. Oil attracts oil and leaves your skin balanced. Creamier products are better for sensitive skin because they’re less irritating and harsher on already delicate skin.

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Standout ingredients: Your skin type will determine which ingredients you need. Alexandra Gold, certified dermatologist at SmarterSkin Dermatology, New York City, states that most people will choose something that is either oil-free or not comedogenic. This means it won’t clog their pores. You should look out for ingredients such as ceramides or hyaluronic acids if your skin is dry. These ingredients can be beneficial for people who use drying ingredients to treat their acne. Exfoliating ingredients such as “salicylic, glycolic, or alpha-hydroxy acids” are most beneficial for oily and acne-prone skin, says Gold. These will help remove excess oil, dirt, and debris that can lead to acne. Clara Rae, a makeup artist, says sensitive skin should not be exposed to harsh chemicals and instead focus on “calming ingredients like aloe, cucumber, and clay”.

Best overall face wash

white bottle of cetaphil gentle skin cleanser - strategist best face wash
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser $11

All skin types | Creamy | Glycerin, vitamin B5, and niacinamide

Cetaphil’s face wash is backed by three experts who I spoke with. It contains powerful ingredients such as glycerin to moisturize, vitamin B5 for skin protection, and niacinamide to help retain moisture and smoothen the skin. According to Dr. Sheel desai Solomon of Raleigh, the non-comedogenic face washes “works on all skin types, even sensitive skin.” She has also recommended it to patients suffering from rosacea, eczema and acne. Although it isn’t fancy and won’t make your life easier, this noncomedogenic cleanser removes dirt, oil and makeup without causing irritation or stripping the skin. It’s also very affordable so you can spend your money on products that will have a lasting impact on your skin, such as moisturizers or serums.

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Best face wash for dry skin

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser $15

Dry skin | Creamy | Glycerin, ceramides, and niacinamide

CeraVe Hydrating cleanser was liked by dermatologists Both this La Roche-Posay choice are equally suitable for dry skin. The CeraVe cleanser has hyaluronic acids, while the La Roche-Posay one doesn’t. Our expert opinion is that the La Roche-Posay cleanser might be slightly better. It contains a bit more product, but it costs less. The La Roche-Posay cleanser has more actives, such as ceramides and glycerin. The brand’s famous thermal spring water soothes dry, irritated skin and hydrates them thanks to its antioxidant properties. Ami Dalal Schweiger Dermatology Group certified physician assistant, Dr. Judith Schweiger, calls out the glycerin in the formula because it is “a wonderful ingredient that helps to hydrate your skin sans the overproduction oil.”

Best face wash for acne-prone skin

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne-Fighting Facial Cleanser With Salicylic Acid

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne-Fighting Facial Cleanser With Salicylic Acid $16 for 3

Best face wash for oily skin

Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser
Youth to the People Superfood Anitioxidant Cleanser $36

Oily Skin | Gel to foam | Green tea, vitamins C, E, K

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A gel face wash works much like a foaming one, but it is better for oily skin or those who have acne-prone skin. It can remove excess oil from the skin’s surface and inside pores. Gel face washes can cause more damage than good by being too drying. Dr.Corey L. Hartman Dr. Hope Mitchell, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, Birmingham, Alabama. Mitchell Dermatology founder in Perrysburg, Ohio says this face wash is exceptional. Mitchell claims that the face wash is formulated with organic antioxidants such as kale, spinach and green tea. This will “boost the skin’s moisture, provide anti-inflammatory defense,” and not “leave skin tight or dry.”

Best exfoliating face wash for oily skin

iS Clinical Cleansing Complex
iS Clinical Cleansing Complex $45

Oily Skin | Gel | Salicylic acid, antioxidants

Two of our experts recommend this gentle cleanser by iS Clinical if you don’t like the texture or exfoliating properties of gel cleansers such as the Youth to the People one. Dr. Jessie Cheung says that it is suitable for all skin types. Cheung Aesthetics and Wellness noted that the willow bark (a form salicylic acids) in the formula “helps to break up oils and exfoliate skin and tighten pores.” It is also great for those with acne-prone skin as it will deep clean your pores and reduce inflammation. The formula also contains antioxidants that protect the skin from environmental stresses and brighten the skin.

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