The Absolute Best Face Wash for Your Skin Type

Elizabeth Denton
The Absolute Best Face Wash for Your Skin Type
Photo: Michael Buckner.

Not all skin has the same characteristics so not all skin should be using the same cleanser. The best face wash for your skin type is one that balances oil, hydrates, controls excess or whatever else your skin is currently craving. Those with dry, combination, oily, sensitive or acne-prone skin need to look for a cleanser that contains the ingredients your skin needs. Not sure your skin type? Well, there’s a pretty easy way to find out.

Wash your skin and pat it dry. Don’t apply any moisturizers or serums for an hour. How does it feel? If it’s tight, it’s probably dry. Excess oil popping up? You just might be oily. Or, you could be a combination of them both. Unfortunately, if your skin is acne-prone or sensitive, you probably already know. Everything from hormonal and cystic acne to blackheads and whiteheads can benefit from an acne-fighting face wash. And those with sensitive skin should be wary of alcohols, excess fragrances and other harsh ingredients that can leave skin red and irritated.

Below, find a handful of our favorite cleansers for all skin types at every price point—because you don’t need to spend a million dollars to have great skin.

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale

Dry Skin

cerave hydrating cleanser

CeraVe.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

TikTok skinfluencers are right—CeraVe has some of the best face wash around at an affordable price. This one contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and repair a damaged skin barrier. It’s great for normal or dry skin and won’t leave either feeling stripped after cleansing.

fab face cleanser

First Aid Beauty.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser

This gentle, fragrance-free cleanser removes dirt and makeup but leaves skin feeling soft and supple. It contains aloe and allantoin to soothe and calm skin, as well as glycerin to hydrate. It’s one of the best face washes for dry and dehydrated skin.

neutrogena hydro boost

Neutrogena.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel

Though the Hydro Boost moisturizer gets all the buzz, don’t dismiss this hyaluronic acid-infused cleanser from the same collection. The soap-free, oil-free, paraben-free and hypoallergenic formula deeply cleanses and helps repair dry skin at the same time.

dermalogica intensive moisture cleanser The Absolute Best Face Wash for Your Skin Type

Dermalogica.

Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Cleanser

Looking for the best face wash for ultra-dry skin? It’s this creamy cleanser. The lipid-enriched formula ensures that while you’re cleaning away dirt and excess oils, you’re not damaging your already dry skin. Your face will feel smooth after washing—never tight and uncomfortable.

pai skincare

Pai Skincare.

Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser + Cloth

Those with dry skin swear Pai’s gentle cleanser is one of the best face washes for dehydrated skin. The detergent- and alcohol-free formula contains omega 3 and vitamins A, B, C and E to nourish while it removes even stubborn sunscreen.

Oily Skin

renee rouleau detox mask

Renee Rouleau.

Renée Rouleau Purifying Face Wash

One of the most important things to look for when you’re choosing the best face wash for oily skin is a formula that will remove excess oils without leaving skin feeling dry and tight. This one does just that with pore-purifying geranium oil, calming Sea Whip extract and redness-reducing chamomile extract.

dermalogical clay cleanser

Dermalogica.

Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser

Two types of clay, kaolin and green, soak up pore-clogging gunk, while menthol cools and cucumber fruit extract hydrates. Skin is left mattified and free from irritation. That’s all we can really ask for, right?

youth to the people superfood

Youth to the People.

Youth To The People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser

Cold-pressed antioxidants work to both remove makeup and prevent buildup in pores, making them appear smaller. The sulfate- and alcohol-free cleanser removes oil without drying so skin has the perfect pH balance.

tatcha deep cleanse

Tatcha.

Tatcha The Deep Cleanse

This luxe gel cleanser contains natural fruit exfoliant that removes impurities and unclogs pores without irritating oily skin that’s on the more sensitive side. Ground fibers from the fruit provide gentle physical exfoliation to help turn over dead skin cells and help tighten pores.

drunk elephant gel cleanser

Sephora.

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

This mild cleanser contains coconut-based surfactants that are rich in fatty acids. If your idea of the best face wash is one with a good lather, well, this is the one for you. It helps remove excess oils and pollution deep in pores.

Combination Skin

then I met you gel

Soko Glam.

Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel

The best face wash for combination skin is one that hydrates your dry parts and balances your oily ones without causing more issues. This sulfate-free gel cleanser contains fermented rice water to rid skin of dirt and sweat, as well as licorice root extract to brighten and green tea to calm skin.

cetaphil gentle cleanser

Ulta.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

This gentle face wash is a best-seller for a good reason. The non-comedogenic, foaming formula removes excess oils but won’t dry out the areas you’re a bit dehydrated.

cos rx low ph cleanser

CosRx.

CosRx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

This gentle cleanser has mildly acidic pH levels to remove excess sebum without drying out your skin. It also has a BHA to lightly exfoliate to support cell turnover.

farmacy cleanser

Farmacy.

Farmacy Clean Bee Gentle Facial Cleanser

A blend of coconut, sugar and amino acids remove excess oil and hydrate dry spots. Plus, Echinacea GreenEnvy Honey provides antioxidant power to protect the natural skin barrier.

elemis face wash

Elemis.

Elemis Superfood Facial Wash

If you’re not eating enough greens, at least you can apply them on your face. Vitamin-enriched organic pumpkin seed oil and black seed oil protects the skin’s lipid barrier, while protein-rich nettle extract acts as an anti-inflammatory.

Acne-Prone

kate somerville cleanser

Kate Somerville.

Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser

With 3 percent sulfur for powerful acne-fighting, this is one of the best face washes for acne-prone skin. It keeps pores clear and your skin’s oil production in check.

murad cleanser

Murad.

Murad Clarifying Cleanser

This gel face wash helps control breakouts with time-released salicylic acid that works long after you’ve finished cleansing.

derma e cleanser

Ulta.

Derma-E Acne Deep Pore Cleansing Wash

Fans of Derma-E’s blemish-busting cleanser love the way salicylic acid, tea tree oil and chamomile work together to clarify skin without leaving it red and irritated.

cerave acne cleanser

CeraVe.

CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser

Let this cream-to-foam formula banish pimples, whiteheads and blackheads with 4 percent benzoyl peroxide. The addition of hyaluronic acid and niacinamide ensures it won’t dry out your skin.

skinceuticals-LHA

Skinceuticals.

SkinCeuticals LHA Cleanser Gel

A combination of LHA, glycolic and salicylic acid deeply purifies pores and refines skin’s texture. Expect clearer skin with way less breakouts.

Sensitive

 

avene gentle cleanser

Dermstore.

Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser

The best face wash for sensitive skin is one that removes impurities without stripping the skin barrier. This soap-free, hydrating formula does just that.

neutrogena cleanser

Neutrogena.

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser

This soap-free formula removes dirt, oil and even makeup without drying the skin.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

La Roche-Posay.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

Looking for the best face wash for sensitive skin that’s unscented? This formula hydrates and cleanses with prebiotic thermal water, ceramide-3, niacinamide and glycerin.

fresh soy cleanser

Fresh.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

This pH-balanced gel cleanser removes even the most stubborn mascara without stripping skin. It contains amino acid-rich soy proteins to give suppleness to sensitive skin.

honest calm on cleanser

Honest.

Honest Calm On Foaming Cream Cleanser

For a totally fragrance-free face wash for sensitive skin, this thick formula is a must-try. It contains micro hyaluronic acid to draw in moisture and amino acids to support a healthy skin barrier.

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