What type of facial cleanser you buy may not seem like a big deal until you’ve really seen the difference between using a facial cleanser regularly and switching to a harsh soap.
Dermatologists recommend using a facial cleanser at least twice a day as an important first step to good resultsGetting rid of all traces of makeup, oil, sweat and other grime is key to giving your other skincare products a chance to work well – applying them to improperly cleansed skin is just counterproductive. And if you are prone to acne, facial cleanser is a must to cleanse thoroughly so that excess oil and bacteria are removed from your skin.
According to Dr. Caren Campbell, a certified dermatologist, the facial cleanser you choose depends on several factors, including whether you have dry, combination, or normal skin. When choosing a facial cleanser, specific concerns such as acne or sensitive skin should also be taken into account. If you have drier skin, she recommends not using a foaming cleanser and opting for a conditioner instead. A foaming facial cleanser “can dry out and irritate, it’s best to stick with creamy washes,” Campbell says. If you have sensitive skin, generally stick to soap- and fragrance-free facial cleansing formulas.
Below you will find the best facial cleanser for all different skin problems. The list below highlights the top sellers on sites such as Amazon, Sephora, and Target. Prices range from luxury to more affordable drugstore finds, and some facial cleansing products are classic favorites, while others are newer launches that have recently gained popularity.
Note that these facial cleansing and cleansing products and services are independently chosen by our editors, based on extensive research into the options available in the marketplace. Prices and availability are correct at time of publication but are subject to change. We update this list periodically.
Fresh / Sephora
Fresh Soy Facial Cleanser is a best-selling cleanser on Sephora (with nearly 8,000 reviews) and has cult status in the beauty world. The mild cleanser is formulated to remove all traces of makeup without drying the skin with soy proteins and other moisturizing ingredients that help moisturize and soothe the skin. This facial cleanser works for almost all skin types, including sensitive skin types or dry skin.
Drunk Elephant / Sephora
Sephora’s Best Jelly Cleanser works for just about any skin type and is a great face wash choice for a simple, yet effective cleanser that removes all makeup and dirt from your face. I’ve been using this facial cleanser in the morning and after exercise for months and love it.
I’ve used some cleansers before that just don’t seem to remove all the makeup / dirt from the day, or leave your skin super dry afterward, and this one doesn’t. This skin cleanser also has Sephora’s clean beauty seal and is fragrance free.
Despite what you might think about exfoliating cleansers, you really don’t need to use a harsh facial scrub to get a good exfoliation – many cleansers contain ingredients that help get rid of dead skin cells, even if you don’t feel like ‘scrubbing’ your face . Tatcha’s The Deep Cleanse Exfoliating gel formula cleanser is one of those products. It’s a gel cleanser that foams into a creamy lather and uses fibers from Luffa fruit to gently exfoliate.
Cetaphil / Target
Cetaphil Facial Cleanser is a classic cleanser for many dermatologists, including Dr. Campbell. This gentle facial cleanser is also a top seller at Target and won’t break the bank at $ 9.59. It is a good facial cleansing product for normal to oily skin types as it can help remove oil without drying out your skin. It’s also fragrance-free, a big plus for those with more sensitive skin or who hate fragrance.
Pharmacy / Sephora
The last time I had a facial, the beautician advised me to “double clean”, especially if I wear makeup. The idea is that you use a makeup remover or cleansing balm like this one to gently remove all makeup and then cleanse with a regular cleanser.
It feels like a pain to take two steps, but I promise your skin will feel so much better, especially if you wear makeup every day. This cleansing balm from Farmacy is a top seller at Sephora and the balm works to “melt” your makeup and leave your skin feeling super soft, not stripped or dry.
Dermstore / HoliFrog
This facial cleanser from the new brand HoliFrog is formulated to work as a serum for clear skin. The acids in the cleanser are formulated to penetrate your skin as you wash and tackle acne breakouts. Don’t let the term acid intimidate you – these aren’t harsh acids, but gentle acids like glycolic acid that target blemishes, blemishes and clogged pores without stripping or irritating acne-prone skin.
Keep in mind that this facial cleanser contains chemical exfoliating ingredients, so go easy on other products that also contain acids as you don’t need too much of a good thing.
This moisturizing cleanser from CeraVe is a bestseller on Amazon and perfect for drier skin types. It contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid, two important moisturizing ingredients, making it super hydrating for the skin. This cleanser is also one of Dr. Campbell because it is soap and fragrance free with a creamy texture.
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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.