These are the best cleansers that get your skin squeaky clean and treat problems but they don’t irritate your complexion.
Having a good face wash in your beauty arsenal is essential. It is the product that you rely on to get your complexion squeaky clean and to remove your makeup and all of the gunk from your pores. However, you don’t want your cleanser to be so strong that it leaves your face angry and red and it makes you load up on the moisturizer. Thankfully there are products that get the gentle but effective balance just right. They leave your face feeling oh-so clean but not in need of a calming lotion ASAP.
Here are the 12 best cleansers that don’t irritate your face, as chosen by you:
1. Extra-Mild Liquid Facial Soap (Clinique)
Clinique is always a popular choice for effective but gentle skincare products, which is why LittleBird, plus a few other commenters, picked it:
“Clinique mild liquid cleanser is probably what’s worked best for me. It’s very gentle and effective and left my skin feeling absolutely clean but not tight. I also liked that it’s fragrance-free!”
Scented soaps may smell nice but they can irritate sensitive skin so it is nice that there are unscented products.
2. Gentle Skin Cleanser (Cetaphil)
Cetaphil has a mild formula and a wallet-friendly price so it isn’t surprising that it was a popular choice. Five people choice it as one of their faves. Anne Marie Hawkins likes how it is gentle but thoroughly cleanses your skin:
“It lifts off all the day’s gunk, but it’s also *actually* gentle instead of just ‘not paint stripper’ gentle. Usually, if something can take off my makeup, I can only use it on days I actually wear makeup. This is the first one I’ve been able to use any time I clean my face.”
If you want to hear more praise, Punishinglyintricate said, “I have not found anything that comes close.” Convinced?
3. Nourishing Daily Cream Facial Cleanser ($7.19, Yes to Carrots)
This cleanser is made up of organic carrots and aloe vera that work together to nourish and hydrate skin. Reader Jen selected it as her top pick.
4. Positively Radiant Cleanser ($5.99, Aveeno)
This cleanser is soap-free and hypoallergenic making it suitable for the vast majority of skin types. Commenter Angel said that it doesn’t irritate her eyes or suck out all the moisture from her skin:
“I have pretty normal skin and have tried other things. This doesn’t irritate my eyes from taking off eye make up nor does it dry out my skin at all. Love and swear by it.”
If you’ve ever gotten soap in your eye and it was really, really painful, you will be pleased to know that won’t happen with this one.
5. RE9 Advanced Smoothing Facial Cleanser ($40, Arbonne)
This cleanser is a bit of splurge, but if you give it a try, you might find yourself hooked on the rich pearlescent crème formula the way reader teresamattingly is:
“My favorite facial Cleanser is my Arbonne RE9 Advanced Smoothing Facial Cleanser. It is all I ever use. Arbonne has over 500 products that are always toxin and chemical-free that actually work too! From head to toe Arbonne!”
Reader Alicia715 agreed and said that her “mom uses the whole RE9 system and swears by it.”
6. Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser ($7.19, Neutrogena)
This was my pick. Neutrogena products don’t irritate my sensitive skin. The price point is good and you can easily get half a year out of one bottle. Reader Mahdi Martin also said that she likes the foaming version of it.
7. Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser ($20, Clinique)
Two different Clinique products made it onto the list. Facebook commenter Debbie choose this foamy creamy-mousse cleanser as her favorite. It leaves skin feeling fresh and clean but still moisturized.
8. Gentle Foaming Cleanser ($24, Clarins)
This cleanser might be a bit more money than some of the ones on the list, but you only need a drop to clean your entire face, according to commenter Samantha:
“Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed Oil is great for my combo skin. Unscented dissolves the makeup and leaves my face soft. The tiniest lentil-sized dab becomes a rich lather, so I make that $20.00 tube last for 8 months at a time.”
It can be tricky to find the right products for combination skin but this face wash is a winner.
9. Foaming Facial Cleanser ($9.59, CeraVe)
Amanda commented on Facebook that it was her #1 pick. It is great for those with normal to oily skin because it provides enough moisture without feeling too rich or greasy. It is also non-comedogenic and non-drying.
10. Face Cleanser ($20, First Aid Beauty)
This cleanser is allergy and dermatologist-tested so it will be suitable for those even with super sensitive skin. Kelly Bee recommends the line for those with easily irritated skin:
“First Aid Beauty facial cleanser is so, so good. It’s super gentle and manages to get my face clean without stripping too much. All FAB products are formulated for sensitive-skinned folks. It’s the only thing keeping the skin on my face from looking like a bearded dragon.”
Use it and say goodbye to your bearded dragon look.
11. Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser ($17, Paula’s Choice)
If you have Rosacea or extremely sensitive skin, this is the cleanser for you. It cleans your pores without breaking out your skin. Reader Veronica is a fan:
“Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser. It’s suitable for Rosacea. It takes off all makeup but doesn’t leave an oily residue at all. Plus, I never feel like I have to dive face-first into a bucket of face cream as soon as I get out of the shower.”
If you haven’t tried Paula’s Choice, click off the Sephora website for just one second and take a look.
12. Antirougeurs Anti-Redness Dermo-Cleansing Fluid ($28, Avène)
If you find that your usual cleanser turns your face red, this gentle one won’t. Our writer Kristyn Filip picked it:
“I really like this redness calming foam cleanser from Avene that I’ve been using.”
It doesn’t matter if you can’t spell the name or forget some words, just memorize the bottle.
What Is The Best Face Wash You Have Ever Used?
We talk a lot about eyebrows and our favorite makeup products, but we cannot forget about skincare products. They may not have the glitzy packaging that eyeshadows and lipsticks have but they are an important part of your beauty regimen. Finding the right face wash is essential. You need something that removes dirt and oil but not all of the moisture from your skin. Your cleanser should also be gentle but powerful enough to help combat any problems such as breakouts or excessive greasiness.
I have been using Neutrogena cleansers for as long as I can remember. I’ve recently experimented with a few cleansing balms that I really liked, but I will always have a Neutrogena cleanser in my bathroom. I’m currently using Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, $7.19. I have sensitive skin that is on the oily side, but in the winter it can get pretty dry. This cleanser doesn’t irritate my face. All you need is a drop to thoroughly clean your face, and it doesn’t leave any greasy residue. I also like the easy pump bottle.
In this open thread, we want to know: What is the best face wash you have ever used? Tell us what your favorite product(s) is and what your skin type is in the comments!
The 9 Best Face Cleansers That Get Your Face Squeaky Clean
There are lots of great face washes that do a brilliant job of cleansing without stripping all of the moisture from your skin and leaving it red and inflamed. If you want something different than your typical cleanser, there are plenty of options including scrubs, gels, oils, bars, and cleansing balms. The formula may be different from the foamy or creamy soaps you are familiar with but the end result is still a complexion free of dirt and makeup.
Check out the 9 best face cleansers according to our readers:
1. Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel ($42, Peter Thomas Roth)
It can be difficult to find the right product for combination skin. If you get a product that moisturizes your dry patches it can be too greasy for the oily parts and vice versa. JennyWren found a splurge-worthy one that is perfect for summer:
“Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel. Kills me to admit it, because it’s so damn expensive, but for my oily/combination skin it’s the best summertime cleanser for cleaning and refining my skin without completely drying it out.”
Reader cara also picked it as her favorite and said that the glycolic acid “did wonders” for the dry patches on her skin.
2. BFF Daily Exfoliating Face Wash ($20, Perfectly Posh)
Some exfoliators are way too strong to use every day, but Perfectly Posh‘s is formulated for daily use. Balley Posh selected it as one of her picks:
“I used to have extremely oily skin and then would use products that were so strong they would make my skin so dry it would peel! I started using Perfectly Posh’s BFF daily exfoliating face wash in the mornings and Gender Bender charcoal bar at night (now trying out their new Pore-fect facial cleansing bar), both followed with Mositurize911. My skin is SO much clearer, less oily, my blackheads are virtually gone… I definitely recommend looking into their products! :)”
It also has a blend of grapefruit and peppermint oils so just imagine how nice it must smell.
3. Gender Bender Chunk Cleansing Bar ($9, Perfectly Posh)
This was Balley Posh‘s second pick. It may look like a weird-colored chocolate bar but the bar gets your skin thoroughly clean while it enriches it with nourishing shea butter. You’ll want to use it over your entire body.
4. Fortified Exfoliation Scrub ($33.60, Replenix)
If you prefer a scrub to a foamy face wash, commenter assia gave Replenix‘s her seal of approval:
“THE BEST of the best is the Replenix Exfoliation Scrub for me. It’s really expensive but it helps so much with my acne and my skin always looks and feels fresh. I don’t really like foaming cleansers because they don’t give me that ‘ahh I feel like I have atoned for my sins’ feel after I wash my face.”
It contains minerals to trap impurities and gets rid of dry patches and excess oil. What more could you ask for?
5. Enzyme Cleansing Gel ($14, Mario Badescu)
If you have acne-prone skin, this is the product for you. The non-foaming gel removes makeup without drying out the skin. Two readers picked it as their fave. Kitty gave it a glowing review:
“Total life-changer for me, Mario Badescu’s Enzyme Cleansing Gel. I went from angry, crazy breakout look-like-a-spotty-teen skin (at 30) to a hormonal spot every once in a long while. Cheaper than all the crazy, heavy-duty stuff I was trying and saved me from begging for Accutane.”
With praise like that, you can see why it is one of their best-selling products.
6. Transparent Facial Bar ($2.39, Neutrogena)
Neutrogena‘s face bar is a classic product. It’s a budget-friendly oldie but a goodie, and that is why Mahdi Martin said that she still liked to use it:
“I like to use the bar in the shower (to save $), and the pump formula otherwise. The bar doesn’t dry my skin either, and I have ridiculously dry skin otherwise.”
It comes in the original version as well as a fragrance-free one if scented soaps sometimes irritate your skin.
7. Morning Burst Facial Cleanser ($5.19, Clean & Clear)
Everyone needs all the help they can get to wake up in the morning. This cleanser helps you look fresh-faced. Ariana commented on Facebook that it was her favorite face product:
“Clean and clear morning burst, everything else makes my face worse and I have tough skin on my face.”
It also rinses away without leaving a greasy residue so all that you’re left with is refreshed, bright skin.
8. Cleansing Bar ($3.19, Vanicream)
If your skin gets very dry and inflamed in winter, commenter JennyWren found the perfect cleansing bar for sensitive skin:
“For winter, when my skin gets really dry and reactive, I love the Vanicream cleansing bar. It just leaves your face as a blank canvas and doesn’t make my skin feel tight at all.”
If you’re looking for a new moisturizer, she also recommends the Vanicream Lite Moisturizer.
9. The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash ($28, Philosophy)
There is no such thing as a mild exfoliating wash. Facebook commenter Lisa chose this as her top product. It is a 30-second mini peel that is gentle enough to use every day without your face looking like Samantha‘s in Sexy And The City after got that chemical peel.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.