- 16 Best Face Washes 2020 – Facial Cleansers for Every Skin Type
- How we test face washes
- Best Facial Cleanser for your Skin Type
- The Best Face Cleansers For Every Skin Type
- The Best Cleansers for Every Type of Skin
- How to Pick the Right Cleanser for Your Skin Type
- Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
- Eau Thermale Avène
- La Roche-Posay
- Peter Thomas Roth
- CLEARstem Skincare
- Ursa Major
- May Lindstrom
- Paula’s Choice
- REN Clean Skincare
- The 3 Major Perks and Benefits of Gel Cleansers for Face!
- What is a Gel Cleanser?
- Foaming Cleanser vs. Gel Cleanser
- How to Use: Maximize the Effectiveness of Gel Cleansers
- If you are looking for…
- [By Wishtrend] Acid-duo 2% Mild Gel Cleanser
16 Best Face Washes 2020 – Facial Cleansers for Every Skin Type
Washing your face may be the most basic of skincare steps, but dermatologists and skincare experts know that using the right cleanser for your skin is key for a clear, glowing complexion.
Face wash helps remove debris, including makeup, dirt, and pollution, and excess oil that can dull skin, clog pores, and cause discoloration and breakouts.
But don’t grab any old soap: “A sulfate- and soap-free cleanser for the face will be pH-balanced and gentle to maintain skin’s barrier without stripping,” says Whitney Bowe, M.D., a New York City dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin.
How we test face washes
The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab has a decades-long history of testing face wash formulas for cleansing efficacy and their effects on skin.
First, the GH beauty team scans the market for face washes across price points from drugstore to high-end brands, which are then vetted by Beauty Lab scientists.
Next, the product labels are masked to eliminate brand bias before they are distributed to hundreds of consumers across the country.
Testers use the products in their regular skincare routine, then evaluate them on criteria including ease of application, texture, scent, how effectively they wash away makeup, impurities, and excess oil, and how skin feels and looks after use (including any irritation). In the most recent GH Beauty Lab face washes test, 4,512 data points were tallied to find the best facial cleanser formulas on the market.
Whether your skin is normal or combination, dry, oily, acne-prone, sensitive, or somewhere in between, and you prefer a foam, cream, gel, lotion, balm, or liquid formula, you can find the best face cleanser for your skin among the GH Beauty Lab top-tested and expert-recommended face washes below.
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Best Overall Face Wash
Soothing Cleanser Foam SkinCeuticals dermstore.com
With the highest level of lather of all the GH Beauty Lab test-winning cleansers, SkinCeuticals’ foam (with no obvious scent) rose to the top for washing away leftover makeup, impurities and excess oil.
It earned a near-perfect score for effectively cleansing, with 96% of users confirming that it deeply cleaned their complexions, and for being easy to apply and rinse off.
Testers loved the “refreshing texture” that “left no residue.”
Best Value Face Wash
Daily Facial Cleanser
The classic low-lather, powder-fresh-smelling Cetaphil liquid was the tester favorite in the GH Beauty Lab’s test, leaving skin clean yet supple thanks to moisturizing glycerin.
It rated highest among testers, with 86% saying they’d continue to use it, and scored well for making skin feel soft and hydrated.
“This didn’t overdry or make my skin feel stripped,” and “My face even appears smoother,” two fans said.
Best Micellar Water Face Wash
SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water Garnier walmart.com
Swipe Garnier’s 2-in-1 micellar water makeup remover and face wash combo, a Good Housekeeping Beauty Award winner and GH Seal holder, all over your face with a cotton pad — no need to rinse. The formula thoroughly cleanses and clears makeup, yet is non-drying, Beauty Lab evaluations found.
Best Face Wash for Sensitive Skin
Soy Face Cleanser Fresh nordstrom.com
Naturally scented with cucumber and blended with nourishing botanicals sunflower oil, Fresh’s nearly foamless wash was mildest on skin and best at boosting radiance in the GH Beauty Lab’s test.
A rare 100% of testers, including those with sensitivity, said it didn’t irritate. “I have extremely sensitive skin and had no reactions to this,” one marveled.
It also left skin “brighter” and with “a glow,” others said.
Best Face Wash for Acne
Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel Vichy dermstore.com
This Vichy gel cleanser is GH Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek’s go-to for her acne-prone complexion.
“It contains exfoliating ingredients salicylic acid, the active ingredient for acne treatment, and glycolic acid, which are great for smoothing texture and brightening,” she says. “I love the way it smells and how well it cleans my skin.
” And it has long-term anti-breakout benefits: “It has been an ongoing staple in my cleansing routine for keeping acne at bay and controlling my oily T-zone,” Wnek explains.
Best Face Wash for Glowing Skin
Positively Radiant 60 Second In-Shower Facial
A GH Beauty Award winner, Aveeno’s innovative face cleanser/mask hybrid is applied in the shower to work with the steam, exfoliating and purifying with glycolic acid and kaolin clay. A tester noted that her face “looked clearer and more vibrant” after use.
Best Dermatologist-Approved Face Wash
Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser La Roche-Posay ulta.com
A favorite of dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, this La Roche-Posay face wash is infused with prebiotic thermal water.
“This soothing creamy cleanser is soap-free, sulfate-free, oil-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores,” she says.
“A probiotic or prebiotic cleanser will also help to fortify the skin’s beneficial bacteria, keeping the natural barrier healthy.”
Best Face Wash for Dry Skin
Gentle Foaming Cleanser Cetaphil walmart.com
This Cetaphil foam face wash is a favorite of GH Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann and her entire family.
“It feels so luxurious that I look forward to cleaning my face, and it removes sticky SPF moisturizers and makeup without harsh rubbing,” she says.
“It also leaves skin soothed and softened — a godsend to my rosacea-prone skin because it cleans well without any irritation or dryness afterward.”
Best Face Wash for Oily Skin
Refreshing Face Wash YourGoodSkin ulta.com
Fragrance-free with medium suds, YourGoodSkin’s gel gave the most complexion-clarifying cleanse with repeated use in the GH Beauty Lab’s test.
80% of testers found that their skin was clarified and clear after one week, the top mark of all tested. It also ranked first in ease of application.
“I d the toned feeling it gave my skin,” a user revealed. “It seemed to help clear up congested areas.”
Best Face Wash for Combination Skin
Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser Philosophy ulta.com
This classic skin-balancing Philosophy cleanser infused with botanical oils meadowfoam and rosewood is the best-seller at Ulta, with more than 3,000 five-star reviews. “It removes all makeup, cleanses, moisturizes, and makes your face look and feel fresh,” one reviewer raved. “Best facial cleanser I have ever used.”
Best Anti-Aging Face Wash
TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Foaming Cleanser Mary Kay marykay.com
Made with age-fighting ingredients plant stem cells and peptides, Mary Kay’s cleanser, a GH Beauty Award winner and GH Seal star, does more than purify your complexion. GH Beauty Lab evaluations of consumer studies found that it gently cleanses and tones to make skin look fresher and more youthful, increases radiance, and helps maintain skin’s moisture.
Best 2-in-1 Face Wash + Makeup Remover
Sensibio H2O Soothing Micellar Cleansing Water and Makeup Removing Solution Bioderma walmart.com
Morning or night, Bioderma’s micellar water with the Good Housekeeping Seal cleanses skin and removes makeup (even waterproof mascara!) in one quick step. It’s hydrating and soothing, so it’s suitable for sensitive and easily irritated skin, too.
GH Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann has used it for years: “It wipes away makeup effortlessly, leaves no stickiness behind, and doesn’t sting my skin or eyes,” she says.
GH Beauty Lab evaluations found that it removed 99% of makeup in just three swipes.
Best Face Wash for Travel
Cleansing Stick St. Ives walmart.com
A GH Beauty Award winner, this next-generation face wash is a portable, no-mess solid stick coconut oil that morphs into a soft, creamy lather on damp skin. After use, skin felt “clean yet silky and not dry,” a tester said.
Best Face Wash Wipes
Daily Deeply Clean 4-in-1 Water Activated Cleansing Face Cloths
Wet these soft Olay single-use cloths with water to cleanse, tone, and gently exfoliate in one swipe. These GH Beauty Award-winning and Seal star wipes are proven to effectively wash away even eye makeup without over-drying skin, Beauty Lab evaluation confirmed.
Best Relaxing Face Wash
Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm Elemis nordstrom.com
This rich Elemis cleansing balm, a GH Beauty editor all-time favorite, is packed with nourishing botanical oils, including sweet almond, lavender, coconut, and chamomile. “This cleanser melts in, instantly softening dehydrated skin with no tight feeling afterward,” she says. “And it smells an aromatherapy treatment at the spa.“
Best Face Wash Cleansing Balm
Makeup Remover Cleansing Balm
This unique Good Housekeeping Beauty Award-winning Pond's cleansing balm is a face wash in solid form that morphs into an oil on skin (and doubles as a makeup remover). It left one tester’s complexion feeling “supple, as if I’d applied moisturizer.”
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Best Facial Cleanser for your Skin Type
Which is right for your type?
I know. With all of the options available deciding on a cleanser can seem a bit daunting so I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a cheat sheet! Here is a roundup of my favorite facial cleansers and the skin types that love them:
Acne Facial Cleanser– Skin types prone to congestion and breakouts will love this non-foaming gel-based cleanser. The gentle, yet effective, formula employs Salicylic Acid and Thyme Extract to banish blemishes along with Aloe Vera and Chamomile to keep skin calm.
Good for Combo/Oily skin types
Best for Combo/Oily skin types
Try pairing it with Special Cleansing Lotion C
Enzyme Cleansing Gel– This non-foaming gel cleanser is wildly popular and consistently tops our list of best-sellers. Skin will feel equally clean and refreshed. I’ve even heard that this cleanser—and knowing that there is a carafe of cold brew in the fridge—is enough to get certain MB staffers bed in the morning.
Good for all skin types
Best for combination and oily skin types
Try pairing it with Seaweed Cleansing Lotion or Cucumber Cleansing Lotion
Seaweed Cleansing Soap– Do you feel your skin is hard to please? Do oily skin cleansers make you feel dry, and mild cleansers lead to breakouts and congestion? This non-foaming cleanser is my favorite for what I’ve dubbed “tricky skin”. It thoroughly cleanses, rinses clean, and is somehow still gentle enough to leave skin feeling soft and not taut.
Good for all skin types
Best for Combo/Oily & Combo/dry skin types
Try pairing it with Seaweed Cleansing Lotion
Cucumber Cream Soap– Anyone who has dry and/or sensitive skin understands how using the wrong facial cleanser can seriously throw your skin off balance. This non-foaming cleanser gently cleanses without stripping skin of essential moisture. #MBSkinTip: If you wear makeup, use a remover prior to cleansing with an ultra-mild cleanser.
Good for all skin types
Best for dry skin
Try removing makeup prior to cleansing with Cucumber Makeup Remover Cream and toning with Aloe Vera Toner
Cleansing Milk with Carnation and Rice Oil– Some skin is so dry and sensitive that even cleansing with a gentle rinse-off cleanser is irritating.
For those with ultra-sensitive skin this oil-based milk cleanser is a must. It will completely dissolve makeup and impurities so that they can be wiped away with a soft cotton pad.
This cleanser is also great for those with dry skin types who would to remove makeup and cleanse in one step.
Good for dry, sensitive skin
Best for dry, sensitive skin
Try pairing with Chamomile Cleansing Lotion
Glycolic Foaming Cleanser– You skin will be next-level clean with this supplemental, foaming, gel cleanser.
Glycolic Acid works to gently dissolve dulling, pore-clogging dead skin cells and other impurities from the surface of the skin making this the perfect regimen booster.
Use 1-2 times a week for Dry and Combo/Dry skin and 2-3 times a week for Combo/Oily and Oily skin types.
Good for all skin types
Best for all skin types
Pairs well with any toner that suits your skin type!
Is your current cleanser right for your type?
The Best Face Cleansers For Every Skin Type
Photo Credit: Getty
When it comes to effective skin care, using the right facial cleanser is the first and (probably) the most important step. It's crucial to “properly remove dirt, oil and makeup, without stripping the skin of natural moisture,” says Dr.
Deirdre Hooper, co-founder of New Orleans-based Audobon Dermatology and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Louisiana State University.
“It also helps create a clean canvas to further absorb active ingredients present in other skin care products that you put on after cleansing,” the dermatologist explains.
But with so many options out there (from A-beauty and K-beauty to vegan, organic and medical-grade cleansers), choosing the one that's best for your skin needs can be somewhat confusing and cumbersome if you're a beauty novice. So, in order to save your time (and sanity), here's a roundup of the best facial cleansers available in the market, for every skin type:
For dry to normal skin:
If you have dry or normal skin, look for cream-based cleansers with hydrating ingredients honey, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, glycerin, lipids/oils and ceramides, suggests Dr. Hooper.
La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Soap Free Cleanser ($14.99)
Enriched with moisturizing ingredients glycerine, ceramide-3 and prebiotic thermal water, this creamy facial cleanser gently lifts off dirt, excess oil, makeup and impurities from the skin while restoring essential moisture — leaving your skin clean, soft and supple.
Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream ($26)
This indulgent, foaming cream cleanser from Korres is formulated with skin-nourishing ingredients Greek yogurt concentrate, castor oil, rice protein, honeysuckle and amaranth seed extract. Its ultra-rich formula easily nixes makeup residue, grime and other impurities while providing intense moisturization and soothing tired skin.
For sensitive skin:
If you've sensitive skin, opt for mild cleansers with a fragrance-free, sulfate-free formula. Also, “avoid foaming cleansers as they can remove too much natural moisture,” adds Dr. Hooper.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($16)
There's a reason why celebrities Sofia Vergara and Jasmine Tookes swear by this daily facial cleanser. Its mild, non-irritating formula gently cleanses skin without leaving it stripped or tight. For best results, gently remove all the makeup with a face wipe before washing your face with the cleanser.
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($38)
If you're someone who has super sensitive skin, look no further than Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. Infused with soy protein, glycerin, aloe vera and cucumber, this mild and soothing facial cleanser removes all traces of dirt, excess oil and makeup from your skin without stripping it of essential moisture.
For oily skin:
Foaming or gel cleansers are your best bet if you've oily skin. “Pick a cleanser with non-comedogenic ingredients (such as aloe vera, green tea, citric acid, grapeseed oil and neem oil) so it won’t clog your pores,” says Dr. Hooper. “If you're prone to blackheads, look for the ones that contain salicylic acid,” she adds.
OLEHENRIKSEN Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser ($26)
Formulated with OLEHENRIKSEN's signature blend of green tea, eucalyptus, algae and Irish moss (Green Fusion Complex) along with neem seed oil, this foaming cleanser deep cleanses the pores and reduces oil production. While additional ingredients glycerin and lactic acid boost hydration, leaving your skin fresh, soft and supple.
TULA Purifying Face Cleanser ($28)
If probiotic skin care products pique your interest, you need to try TULA's Purifying Face Cleanser.
Featuring a potent concoction of milk protein, yogurt extract, blueberries, lemon fruit oil and turmeric extract, this refreshing gel cleanser gently cleans and exfoliates the skin, combats redness and controls oiliness — without skewing the skin's natural moisture balance. For best results, use it in conjunction with TULA's Aqua Infusion Oil-Free Gel Cream.
For combination skin:
If you have combination skin, Dr. Hooper recommends using a non-foaming gel cleanser.
Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser ($34)
This K-beauty fan favorite is enriched with skin-nourishing ingredients blueberry and raspberry extract, hyaluronic acid, coconut oil and licorice root extract. The 3-in-1 facial cleanser melts away all traces of makeup, effectively purges sebum and other impurities, tackles blemishes and brightens complexion — all the while replenishing and locking in natural moisture.
Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser ($32)
If you want to make washing your face more fun, try Drunk Elephant's Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser.
Formulated with makeup melting emollients and antioxidant-rich cantaloupe fruit extract and marula oil, this squiggly cleanser blitzes makeup and grime and strengthens the skin's natural barriers against free radicals.
In addition, hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera and glycerin deeply moisturize the skin, leaving it clean, soft and radiant.
For acne-prone skin:
If you're constantly struggling with breakouts, look for face cleansers that include exfoliating agents salicylic acid and glycolic acid as the key ingredients. “And avoid cleansers that contain too many lipids or oils,” adds Dr. Hooper.
SkinCeuticals LHA Cleanser Gel ($41)
Fueled by salicylic acid, glycolic acid, glycerin and sorbitol, this lightweight gel cleanser by SkinCeuticals unclogs pores, fights oiliness, reduces inflammation and brightens the complexion, without leaving the skin overdried. Plus, the multi-tasking cleanser also tackles visible signs of aging, so it's a win-win situation!
Eminence Organic Skin Care Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam ($44)
This award-winning foaming cleanser by Eminence combines the acne-fighting superpowers of salicylic acid and willow bark extract with skin-soothing ingredients aloe vera, cucumber, peppermint and lemon peel extract to calm inflammation, even out skin tone and enhance natural glow.
For all skin types:
Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser ($24)
It's considered the holy grail of face cleansers for a good reason. The mild, refreshing cleanser contains a powerful blend of twelve essential oils including clary, English chamomile, rosewood, sandalwood and sage. Its creamy formula quickly dissolves makeup, decongests pores and evens skin texture in one go, leaving the skin noticeably clean, supple and bright.
So, which one of these beauties are you going to try? LMK in the comments section!
The Best Cleansers for Every Type of Skin
Photo: Courtesy of the Retailers
Cleansing is the first step of any solid skin-care routine, so it’s important to find a cleanser that knows what it’s doing, especially if you want to set the rest of your products up for success.
No one wants to emerge from crouching over the sink with skin that feels tight, stripped, or irritated.
Here are 18 effective face washes and cleansers that have a reputation for leaving skin feeling immaculately clean, nourished, and ready for whatever’s next.
Technically it’s not a face wash, but why do we have to follow every single rule anyway? This is a perfect makeup remover that dissolves even the most waterproof of makeup with a few swipes. (For particularly stubborn mascara, put it in a pad, leave it in place, and give it time to work.) It feels just water, which is ideal when you’re too lazy to splash actual water on your face.
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
This antioxidant-packed, fragrance-free cleanser is loved by both dermatologists and owners of sensitive, finicky skin for its ability to cleanse while calming irritation. The pH-balanced formula is infused with soothing aloe. It whips into a lovely, lightweight cream that helps maintain the skin’s natural acidity, so flare-ups become less frequent and skin stays protected and supple.
Banila Co Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm
This multitasker removes makeup and gently cleanses, all while feeling a dessert for your face. The soft, sherbet balm texture melts into a heavenly oil once it hits the skin, then transforms again into a gentle milky cleanser once water is introduced into the mix. You’re left with soft, makeup-free skin and a facial massage you didn’t know you needed.
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
The refreshing gel formula is soap-free and naturally foams on its own (thanks to an ingredient called quillaja saponaria, otherwise known as soapbark.) It thoroughly rinses away the day’s debris without taking all the moisture in your skin with it.
Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser
This silky gel cleanser is so well rounded, it’ll fit right in with any skin-care routine, whether it’s 3 steps or 15.
It has a low pH, which means it keeps your moisture barrier undisturbed, and it has the perfect mix of cleansing ingredients (natural Coco-Glucoside and Tea-Cocoyl Glutamate), hydrating ingredients (cucumber and hyaluronic acid), and soothing ingredients (chamomile and camellia). It will leave your skin feeling chill and open to the next steps in your skin-care routine.
Kiehl’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Cleanser
This cleanser has a creamy texture and optimistic scent (from green oregano oil) which also helps relieve problem skin (the salicylic acid in the formula helps with that, too). Of course, its hero ingredient would be the cannabis sativa seed oil. True, it might not provide any actually psychologically calming effects, but when you skin feels soothed, you feel soothed.
Renee Rouleau Moisture Protecting Cleanser
Austin–based celebrity facialist Renee Rouleau tends to the skin of Demi Lovato and Busy Philipps. She’s all about maintaining skin’s moisture barrier, and this gel-to-milk formula is part of that plan. Glycerin and apricot extract help keep moisture levels in line, while aloe vera extract soothes and hydrates — so much so that leg-shaving is a popular hack with this one.
Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel
If you have skin that’s prone to breakouts, you don’t want your cleanser to do too much.
You want something that does the job without disrupting the situation, stripping skin to severe dryness or, conversely, leaving an oily residue behind.
Biossance mixes its signature ingredient, the weightless moisture provider squalane (which is in every one of its products), with calming tea tree oil, which also provides the anti-septically soothing scent in this gel formula.
Dr. Rogers Restore Face Wash
Seattle–based dermatologist Heather Rogers created this after seeing patients’ skin react adversely to Aquaphor (yes, people can even develop sensitivity to that). This oil-free cleanser is her solution to standard face wash that might be too stripping. It’s sudsy enough to remove makeup in a formula that relies on eight ingredients, led by aloe barbadensis leaf juice and glycerin.
Biologique Recherche Lait VIP O2
This botanical cleansing milk is beloved by so many facialists, including Joanna Czech, Aida Bicaj, and Karine Kazarian. They appreciate its gentleness, its brightening properties, and its ability to wash away pollutants. And since it has a consistency not un milkier Half & Half, using it does feel a nurturing treat.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
This delightfully rich balm is kind of a quick version of a paraffin treatment, but without the wax or overheated burn potential.
When you massage it into your skin, it feels temporary wrapped in blanket of soothing, hydrating ingredients.
Even the removal (which Elemis recommends doing with a damp cotton cleansing clothing) has a ritualistic quality, which leaves skin feeling hydrated and with a newfound bouncy texture.
Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm
The texture of this cleanser feels the kind of fancy butter served in a dish. Your face isn’t toast, but you’ll still the feeling of gently massaging off all the makeup and grime. (Make sure you start with a dry face). Add water to turn it into a satin-y feeling mixture that rinses off to give you soft, clean skin.
SARAH CHAPMAN Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse
Meghan Markle loves this cleanser. The texture of this balm is so sleek, plush, and luxurious that perhaps it helps her forget, for a moment, about the British tabloids and what mean people are saying about her on the internet. It’s also a very thorough face cleanser — you don’t need to double-cleanse when using this. Just once is enough for fresh, de-grimed skin.
Vogue once called this the “best face cleanser in the world.” It’s the OG balm cleanser, the first to launch during a time when all face cleansers were foaming.
And it continues to be a favorite, even though its practices can seem somewhat old-fashioned and quaint — it doesn’t foam, it smells vaguely medicinal, it comes with an eight-page fold lymphatic drainage massage techniques, and you must use a muslin cloth to rinse it off.
If you want a quick clean, this isn’t it. But if you want a ritualistic clean that feels you’re washing off the stress of the day along with the dirt, try it.
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The Best Cleansers for Every Type of Skin
How to Pick the Right Cleanser for Your Skin Type
Even if you don’t subscribe to a super-involved skin-care routine, we’d wager a guess that you at least use a cleanser. How else would you remove the day’s built-up dirt, oil, makeup, and acne-causing bacteria? Now, does this mean that everyone can simply use a run-of-the-mill soap to wash those away? That’s a resounding no.
Everyone has a unique skin type (and the condition of your skin can change due to a variety of environmental factors), which means that there are corresponding products for those types. So how do we determine what is right for us? We turned to board-certified dermatologist Dr.
Macrene Alexiades and Deborah Kilgore, the director of skin-care knowledge at Paula’s Choice, for advice.
When you’re looking to buy a new cleanser (or really, any beauty product), it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients. Dr. Alexiades says, “Avoid sulfated surfactants such as SLS (sodium laurel/laureth sulfate) or SDS (sodium dodecyl sulfate).
They are toxic to marine life, and they do not maintain the acid mantle of the skin. Another set of ingredients to avoid in cleansers include DEA, MEA, and TEA (amines).
” She explains that these ingredients are hormone disruptors that can bind to the hormone receptors in your skin, causing damage, and can lead to more serious illnesses, cancer.
And in order to err on the side of caution for your skin’s sensitivity, she says that naturally derived masking fragrances such as limonene, citronella, cinnamates, and geraniol “[may] sound healthy, but are not.” When in doubt, avoid using any skin-care product that contains fragrance.
Furthermore, be wary of products that claim to be suitable for every skin type.
As Kilgore explains, “A cleanser that’s going to be suitable for all skin types needs to be water-soluble and have a texture that will be compatible whether you’re dry or oily (something a hydrating gel). It should have gentle surfactants that won’t strip skin.
” This means that even if an oil cleanser is marketed as being suitable for all skin types, it may not be enough for people with oily or acne-prone skin, since it is not water-soluble.
For people with mature skin, Kilgore explains, “Mid-life changes [can occur] that make [the skin] more oily or dry, so there’s not really [a] one-size-fits-all here: You still need to select a cleanser whose texture works best with your particular skin type.” This means that no matter your age, it is important to gravitate towards ingredients that help you to maintain a balanced and clear complexion without compromising the skin’s barrier or its moisture content.
Whether you’re a devout fan or can hardly fathom swapping out your liquid cleanser for one, most of us have used a bar soap to clean our skin before.
Although bar soaps are traditionally known for leaving a residue behind that may be pore-clogging, there are many new formulas on the market today that are gentle enough for a range of skin types.
Says Kilgore, “Look for options that come in skin-friendly pH levels, are free of paraffin and wax (to avoid a pore-clogging film on skin), and contain hydrating ingredients to keep skin smooth and soft (not stripped or dry).”
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
Botanical Cleansing Bar with Tea Tree & Aloe$24
If your skin is dry, sensitive, or prone to redness, a milky hydrating cleanser may be the option for you.
While they don’t foam, they work exceptionally well to extract dirt and grime from the skin while still being gentle.
For those of you who enjoy sporting a full beat, or apply sunscreen your life depends on it, Kilgore mentions, “For more tenacious makeup or sunscreen, using a separate makeup remover first may be ideal.”
Eau Thermale Avène
Gentle Milk Cleanser$20
most things invented necessity, micellar water is one of the best cleansing products on the market. Now, this isn’t just a fancy water that French women use to remove their makeup; micellar water was created as an alternative to the hard water in France that was stripping people’s skin barriers. As Dr.
Alexiades explains, “Micellar water consists of lipid bubbles that minimize the disruption of the skin barrier. Micellar cleansers include surfactants in the micelles so you are cleansing while delivering lipids to the skin barrier.
” Micellar water is a great substitute for your morning cleanser, which should always be gentle enough not to strip your skin barrier.
Sensibio H2O Micellar Cleansing Water$15
Micellar Water Ultra for Sensitive Skin$16
SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water$7
If you have combination, oily, or acne-prone skin, gel cleansers are worth considering. They thoroughly clean the skin of daily stressors without stripping it of its barrier. The results? Skin that is clean and soft, never tight or dry.
Peter Thomas Roth
Anti-aging Cleansing Gel$39
We can’t help but feel mad scientists as we measure out the perfect water-to-powder ratio for our routine when using this type of cleanser. Turns out, however, that powder cleansers are not that different from other types of cleansers.
Says Kilgore, “[Powder cleansers are] less about skin type than it is about lifestyle choice. Powder cleansers can be handy for the world traveler who wants a formula they can mix with water in the palm of their hands on the go.
” Additionally, it can be great for people who prefer a more sustainable product.
The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder$65
Since we were little kids splashing around in the bubble bath, we have been conditioned to believe that the presence of suds is necessary for truly cleansed skin. However, the mark of an effective cleanser doesn’t mean you need foam.
Kilgore states, “[Cleansers] don’t need to have a foaming action to work well; some [people] just prefer the feeling of lather when cleansing.” If you’re in that boat, you’re in luck, because there are more options than ever that leave out sulfates (an old-school ingredient that creates a delightful foam but is potentially harmful).
Because of the one-two punch of deep cleansing and hydration, this type of cleanser is ideal for combination and oily skin types.
Gentleclean Vitamin Infused Calming Wash$39
Fantastic Face Wash$28
Did you know that athletes in ancient Greece would oil-cleanse their bodies and scrape away the residue after a long day of working out? Oil cleansing has been around for thousands of years but has grown in its popularity over the past few.
Oil cleansers have an ability, as Kilgore states, “to effortlessly remove heavy makeup and impurities while still leaving skin smooth and soft,” making them great for most skin types, and especially for people with dry skin. Dr.
Alexiades warns, however, “for acne-prone individuals, oil-based cleansers are sure to wreak havoc. Avoid cleansers with petrolatum or oils, as these will plug pores and cause breakouts.
” If you are acne-prone, however, and must use a cleansing oil, be sure to follow it with a milk or gel cleanser as a part of a double-cleansing experience at the end of a day.
The Pendulum Potion$80
Oil cleansers are quite similar to cleansing balms, but they are certainly not the same. Says Kilgore, “The supple, rich texture of cleansing balms makes them a great option for dry and sensitive skin types.
On application, they warm up and transition into a silky texture that, after rinsing, leaves skin feeling soft, calm, and hydrated.” Dr. Alexiades adds that these sorts of cleansers can be great for maturing skin, as “the goal for all skin types, but especially mature skin, is to maintain hydration, instead of drying out the skin.
” For people with acne-prone skin, make sure to double-cleanse, as cleansing balms used alone can clog pores and exacerbate breakouts.
Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm$34
Luminous Melting Cleanser$90
Here is your guide for exfoliating correctly. Just remember to look for non-abrasive scrubs that gently buff the skin, or a BHA or AHA option for chemical exfoliation.
If you must use exfoliating tools such as cleansing brushes, make sure to use one that is made of silicone or has softer bristles, as rougher bristles can also stretch your pores and make them appear wider. Says Kilgore, “Go with a chemical exfoliant such as AHA (alpha hydroxy acids glycolic acid and lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid).
These non-abrasive options are more effective than physical exfoliants and offer additional benefits. Not only do they exfoliate more gently and evenly, they can also help minimize the appearance of wrinkles, clarify dull/uneven skin tone, smooth rough texture, unclog pores, and increase hydration.
Things that manual exfoliating or cleansing brushes just can’t do!” However, don’t go too intense; over-exfoliation can lead to the breakdown of the skin’s barrier. Dr. Alexiades recommends to exfoliate intermittently—three times a week to start.
Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant$30
REN Clean Skincare
Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Toner$38
There’s also a debate about whether or not toner is a part of the cleansing experience.
Is toner truly the last step in cleansing skin, or should it rather be the first step in restoring pH balance in the skin? Kilgore explains, “No matter how gentle your face wash is, some beneficial substances still get whisked away from skin during the cleansing process.
” Toners are not meant to clean excess debris from the skin, but rather replenish the protective aspects of the skin barrier that were lost during the cleansing process.
She adds, “Toners with replenishing hydrators, antioxidants, and soothing agents (as opposed to old-school toners that strip skin dry with alcohol or irritants witch hazel and menthol) can give your skin a healthy dose of what it needs to look and feel younger, fresher, healthier, and smoother.”
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The 3 Major Perks and Benefits of Gel Cleansers for Face!
If you are not 100% confident that you have the perfect facial cleanser for you and stick to the one that you are simply used to, it is probably time for you to find the face wash that is best for your skin type which can address your personal skin issues. Today, we dive into the lesser-known terrain of gel cleansers and look into 3 benefits of gel cleansers.
What is a Gel Cleanser?
There are many benefits of gel cleansers but many people tend to stick to the more traditional foaming facial wash. Gel cleanser, just how the name implies, is a facial cleanser with a gel- texture. If you are more used to the foaming cleansers that tend to be airy and soapy, it may take some time for you to get used to the seemingly slippery feeling of gel cleansers.
You might even wonder if your skin is properly cleansed because gel cleansers are transparent and normally produce little soap bubbles. Just because you don’t have visible traits of soap bubbles or foam on your face and are left without the “squeaky clean” feeling after a nice foaming wash, that does not mean gel cleansers are any less effective than foaming cleansers.
Foaming Cleanser vs. Gel Cleanser
Due to its rich and foamy texture, foaming cleansers give you the satisfaction that you know and expect from a nice soapy face wash.
Although the foaming face wash is most effective in getting rid of excess oil and sebum, it could leave your skin feeling tight and stretchy if you have dry and sensitive skin.
Also, notoriously known for its representative ingredient called “sodium lauryl sulfate” that causes skin irritation, foaming cleansers could easily irritate your skin and disturb the balance of your skin’s PH level.
Gel cleansers, on the other hand, are water-based cleansers that consist of mild ingredients such as extracts from flowers, tea tree oil and essential oils. It is well used regardless of different skin types however, it is mostly sought after among those with sensitive skin and acne-prone oily skin.
So, why is that?
Gel cleanser is the face wash for you if you are in need of deep cleansing.
By unclogging your pores with a mild formula that causes little irritation to the skin, it allows for a thorough cleansing of your pores and removes dirt and excess oil off the surface of your skin at the same time.
In order to maintain a perfect water and oil balance of your skin, it is important that you don’t strip your skin of its natural oil completely.
Gel cleansers can be an effective solution for those with oily and acne-prone skin. Along with the benefits of gel cleansers mentioned before, gel cleansers can be used to treat bacterial acne with its antiseptic qualities.
While those with oily skin would be inclined to use the foaming cleansers for its post cleansing “squeaky clean” feeling, you should refrain from using the stronger formula and try to stick to a milder cleanser that can directly treat your acne, but at the same time, do not irritate your sensitive skin.
Gel cleansers also have soothing qualities, alleviating redness and irritation, which makes it perfect not only for fighting acne but preventing acne as well. Some gel cleansers contain moisturizing capsules or exfoliating grains to help with specific skin problems that you may have.
How to Use: Maximize the Effectiveness of Gel Cleansers
First, wash your face with warm water. Finding the right tepid and lukewarm temperature is important for opening your pores not while damaging the surface of your skin.
Squeeze a small ounce of gel onto your fingertips and gently massage your face in a circular motion. It is recommended that you start from the center of your face and move up to the sides.
After having spent enough time cleansing your T-zone and around your nose, rinse off your face with water.
Although gel cleansers provide many benefits alone, it works best in a collaboration with different types of cleansers. For example, you can add micellar waters to your cleansing routine after using the gel cleansers. Micellar waters do not need to be washed off.
So instead of rinsing your face with water after gel cleansing, you can finish off with micellar water to make sure a good cleanse.
If you don’t own any micellar water, you can always replace it with a facial toner! Try to go with an essential oil – free facial toner or a toner that comes with a very light and watery texture as replacement!
If you are looking for…
• gentle exfoliation
• anti-inflammatory care
• antibacterial care
• sebum control
Find Yours on Wishtrend
[By Wishtrend] Acid-duo 2% Mild Gel Cleanser