The 15 Best Face Cleansers & Washes You Need in 2022

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Face cleansers are a vital part of any skin-care routine, but the best ones for your skin depend on your skin type. Whether you have oily, combination, dry or sensitive skin, there’s a cleanser out there for you.

Many face cleansers contain ingredients that strip the skin of its natural oils, so if you have very dry or sensitive skin, be sure to avoid these. Others contain exfoliants and acne-fighting ingredients to remove dead skin cells and help clear up breakouts.

When choosing a face cleanser, consider what you want it to do for your specific needs — whether it’s anti-aging benefits or removing makeup. Another factor is your age. Older individuals may need a creamier formula that doesn’t dry out their delicate skin.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Face Cleanser

There are a couple of things you should consider when choosing a cleanser. 

  1. First, you need to make sure it will work for your skin type. There are different cleansers for dry and sensitive skin, as well as combination skin and oily skin.
  2. Second, you need to pick a cleanser that will do what it claims. Some of them are designed to treat acne, and others are made for anti-aging purposes. Of course, there are also more basic cleansers that just remove your makeup and leave your face feeling fresh and clean.
  3. One final thing you should keep in mind is whether you want a bar soap or a liquid face wash. The former is cheaper and easier to travel with, while the latter offers more options and generally works better with other skincare products. 

With all that in mind, here are some of the best facial cleansers available right now. We researched top picks from dermatologists so you can find the right face cleanser for your skin type and skincare goals.

Best Face Cleansers & Washes

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Cetaphil is a well-known drugstore brand that has been recommended by dermatologists for years. This cleanser is soap-free, which means it won’t dry out or irritate your skin. It’s also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores.

Cetaphil is an excellent choice if you have sensitive skin — and a tiny amount will go a long way to remove dirt, oil, and makeup from the day.

Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

This ultra-gentle formula is made for those with sensitive skin who still want a thorough cleanse. It’s free of dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, and lanolin (a waxy substance derived from sheep wool that can clog pores). Plus, it’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t cause breakouts. If you’re looking for something soothing and gentle, this cleanser is a fantastic option.

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Enzyme Foam Cleanser

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Enzyme Foam Cleanser is an unusual foaming facial cleanser with a helpful combination of calming ingredients like calamine and Centella Asiatica extract (also known as tiger grass). This cleanser can help soothe irritated skin, breakouts, acne scars, and redness.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Drugstore favorite CeraVe makes a great foaming cleanser that stands up to even the priciest face washes. 

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is formulated with hyaluronic acid as well as ceramides to make sure your complexion stays hydrated and protected while you wash away dirt and oil.

This one will remove dirt and makeup without stripping your skin of its natural oils thanks to its hydrating ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Neutrogena Skin Balancing Purifying Gel Cleanser with 2% PHA

Let’s start with a classic — a gel cleanser that provides an effective and gentle cleanse, without stripping your skin of its natural oils. The two percent polyhydroxy acid (PHA) in this cleanser gently removes dead skin cells, which helps to keep your pores clean, without irritating your skin. The PHA also helps to renew the surface of your skin, keeping it smooth and radiant.

Designed for combination or oily skin types, this cleanser is balanced to keep your oil levels in check, while ensuring that your skin retains moisture. This product is free of parabens, dyes, and alcohols that can irritate or dry out your skin

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

If you’re looking for a drugstore face wash that doesn’t break the bank, you can’t go wrong with this Neutrogena classic. This oil-free foaming face wash eliminates excess oil without overdrying the skin.

It’s formulated with salicylic acid, which helps to clear acne breakouts by unclogging pores and removing impurities from the surface of the skin. The formula lathers into a rich foam, which provides

SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser

This cleanser is ideal for sensitive, normal, or dry skin types. It removes makeup while toning, soothing, and conditioning the skin. SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser is soap-free, non-comedogenic, paraben-free, and fragrance-free to leave your face feeling clean, smooth, and comfortable.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

This foaming cleanser is gentle enough for daily use as part of your morning or nighttime routine. It washes away bacteria that can lead to breakouts and blackheads, leaving you with softer, smoother-looking skin.

This product from Neutrogena contains salicylic acid that penetrates deep into pores to eliminate acne, pimples, and other blemishes.

Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Foam

Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Foam is a mild cleanser with a tea tree base. It effectively removes impurities and dirt from the skin without stripping it of its natural oils. The cleanser has a light fragrance and leaves the skin feeling soft and refreshed.

St. Botanica Awaken Hydrating Face Wash

The St. Botanica Awaken Hydrating Face Wash is a soap-free face wash that gently cleanses the skin by removing excess oil, dirt, and impurities. It contains aloe vera, which is known for its soothing properties. The face wash doesn’t dry out the skin or leave it feeling tight.

Plum Green Tea Pore Cleansing Face Wash

Plum Green Tea Pore Cleansing Face Wash is specially formulated for acne-prone skin. It unclogs pores, removes excess sebum and dirt, and prevents blemishes.

The face wash contains green tea extracts, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid, which are effective in treating acne breakouts. The cleanser has a refreshing fragrance and leaves the skin looking brighter after every use.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

It’s all in the name: This is a gentle formula that won’t irritate sensitive skin. It’s free of common irritants like fragrance and alcohol, so it’s a good option for those with eczema. It also contains prebiotic thermal water to help nourish skin, as well as glycerin to hydrate.

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

If you’re struggling with breakouts, try this oil-free formula that fights acne and helps prevent future breakouts without drying out your skin. The salicylic acid formula is designed to clean deep down into your pores to remove dirt, oil, and makeup. It’s non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores). 

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

The Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a mild, non-irritating formulation that soothes skin as it cleans. In fact, it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, as well as babies and children. It is effective at removing everyday dirt and grime, but it’s gentle enough to use on your face every day.

The formula also won’t clog pores and can be used by those with acne. While not specifically marketed as an exfoliator, the formula does include micro-fine beads that help scrub away dead skin cells without irritation.

Burt’s Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser

Burt’s Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser is a soap-free cleanser that targets dark spots left behind by acne or sun damage. The product contains Daisy Extract, which helps control melanin production to brighten the skin and reduce discoloration.

It also includes rice extract to help soften the skin and improve its overall tone and radiance. The cleanser uses coconut and grape juice to remove impurities from the skin without stripping away essential moisture.

Final Word

No matter the type of cleanser you choose, the best face cleansers should be gentle on the skin, not leave your skin feeling oily or dry, and should contain ingredients that will benefit your skin.

Leave your options open and experience different things to see what really makes the skin on your face feel clean. There’s no harm in trying out different types of cleansers to see what works best for you.


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