There are two types of people in this world: those who spend years searching for the perfect face wash and those who reach for whatever's lying around. Regardless of how you identify, dermatologists and skincare experts agree that a good face wash is an essential step in any solid skincare routine. That being said, finding the right face wash is anything but easy. The best formulas work to remove everyday debris that clogs pores such as dirt, excess oil, and pollution. They'll also work to cleanse the skin, but they'll do so without stripping away the good oils or leaving your skin feeling dry and tight.
When choosing a face wash, it's important to look for something that jives with your unique skin type. For example, those with sensitive skin should reach for cleansers that contain gentle ingredients and skip the fragrances, while oily and acne-prone skin types should look for ingredients like AHAs and glycolic acid. Or if you’re dealing with dullness and dryness, a skin-brightening cleanser might work best for you. If you feel like this is a lot to remember, you're not alone. To make your search for the perfect face wash a little easier, we've done the hard work for you.
How We Found The Best Face Cleansers
We don’t know about you, but for us, some of the best purchases we’ve made have been based on a recommendation from a friend. Well, consider us your BFF, because with the help of our data-driven ranking algorithm (a tool that processes reviews, social buzz, and more), we provide recommendations in order to help make your shopping experiences more successful. Ready to see which 10 products the internet is deeming are the best facial cleansers money can buy? All you have to do is scroll down.
September 7, 2022
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
It Cosmetics Confidence In A Cleanser Gentle Face Wash
WHO IT’S BEST FOR: While it’s approved for all skin types, this face wash is best for sensitive skin due to its soap-, paraben-, and sulfate-free formula.
FORMULA FACT: There are two key ingredients behind IT Cosmetics’ Confidence in a Cleanser Face Wash: Ceramides (naturally occurring fat molecules), and hyaluronic acid, which is a well-known addition to skincare products that is highly effective at locking in moisture.
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
Best Cleansing Oil
WHO IT’S BEST FOR: DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil is a best-selling facial cleanser that’s perfect for removing a face full of makeup or sunscreen. Because its formula includes heavy emollients like olive and rosemary oil, it’s one of the best face washes around for those with dry skin.
USER REVIEW: Out of the 1,200+ 5-star reviews for this cleanser, we thought this one was worth sharing: “This is a great no-frills oil cleanser, and my favorite oil cleanser I've ever tried. I have very sensitive and acne-prone skin and it's rare to find something that continuously works for my skin. It's never broken me out or irritated my skin and I can't even remember how many I have repurchased.”
Youth To The People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser
Best Clean Formula
WHO IT’S BEST FOR: The Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser is a skin-soothing product that targets concerns such as blemishes, clogged pores, and dullness. Its clean and balanced formula makes this face wash best for combination, dry, normal, or oily skin.
FORMULA FACT: The combination of kale, green tea, and spinach sounds like a recipe for a smoothie, but through cold pressing these ingredients, Youth To The People has unlocked their antioxidant-rich extracts and bottled them up for you. The results: A gel-like cleanser with anti-aging properties that promotes a healthy pH balance.
CeraVe Foaming Face Wash
Best Multi-Use Cleanser
WHO IT’S BEST FOR: It’s right there in the name, but we’ll double down: CeraVe’s Foaming Face Wash is best for normal to oily skin. However, because of its fragrance-free formula that features niacinamide (a skin-calming supplement), it’s also one of the top facial cleansers for sensitive skin.
ADDITIONAL INFO: Most of us are familiar with CeraVe because it’s a brand that’s available at the drugstore. But what you may not know is that CeraVe products are developed with guidance from dermatologists, which is a good reason to trust this face wash’s credibility.
Tatcha The Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser
Best For Dry Skin
WHO IT’S FOR: Hydrating and nourishing, this face wash is best for women with dry skin, but it will benefit anyone who’s seeking a more even, luminous complexion.
ADDITIONAL INFO: The Rice Wash Cleanser is a product built on the centuries-old Japanese practice of repurposing the milky water that’s left behind when you rinse your rice. Believe it or not, that starchy water is rich in vitamins A, B2, B12, and E, which is why this practice is still in use today.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel
WHO IT’S FOR: Due to its status as a hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic product, this dermatologist recommended face wash from Neutrogena is best for sensitive skin. It’s also soap-, oil-, and paraben-free.
USER REVIEW: “This cleanser is everything I've wanted in a facial wash: It works effectively as a cleanser without drying, leaves your face feeling tingly and smooth, and has a terrific scent! You don't need much either—maybe a dab the size of a large pea. It lathers up nicely and leaves your skin feeling so fresh! I won't use anything else now.”
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Face Wash
Best For Oily Skin
WHO IT’S FOR: La Roche-Posay is a dermatologist-recommended brand that caters to sensitive skin and clinically tests every product they develop. With that in mind, if you’re looking for a lightweight cleanser that will wash away the day’s makeup and buildup with a gentle lather, this face wash is a top option for you no matter your skin type.
FORMULA FACT: In addition to ceramides and niacinamide, the Toleriane Purifying Foaming Face Wash contains La Roche-Posay’s proprietary Prebiotic Thermal Water, a unique form of mineral water with hydrating and soothing properties.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser
Best For Makeup Removal
WHO IT’S FOR: Have you ever wanted a facial cleanser that doubles as a toner? If so, the Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser is right up your alley. On a more specific note, though, this face wash is best for normal-to-dry skin and is even gentle enough to apply to the area around your eyes.
ADDITIONAL INFO: Philosophy refers to this best-selling facial cleanser as a three-in-one product, so let’s break down why. First, it deeply cleans your skin. Second, it helps rinse away makeup and buildup from exposure to pollutants. And third, it provides superior hydration and toning powers.
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
Best For Sensitive Skin
WHO IT’S FOR: We’d be surprised to find someone out there who hasn’t tried Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Cleanser, as it’s one of the most accessible face washes around. It’s designed to deeply clean your skin without stripping it of its natural oils, which is why it’s often touted as the best face wash for combination skin.
USER REVIEW: We scrolled through the 25,000+ 5-star reviews for this product and learned that many users with issues such as acne and eczema see good results with this one. In fact, most of the reviews can be summed up with this one: “Other face products always feel like they leave something behind, this one actually makes me feel clean.”
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
WHO IT’S FOR: Fresh’s best-selling Soy Face Cleanser works for all skin types, but it is specifically formulated to target dryness, dullness, and uneven texture. It contains a combination of soy proteins, cucumber extract, and aloe vera for a product that cleanses, softens, and hydrates.
ADDITIONAL INFO: The majority (70%) of reviews for this face wash are four stars or higher, with many shoppers mentioning they feel clean without experiencing any dryness or irritation. Here’s what one shopper has to say, “I’ve been using this face wash for almost two years now, and my skin has never looked so clear and felt so clean.”
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