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When you’re looking for a good facial cleanser, you may find yourself getting a bit overwhelmed. The choices are endless, and how do you know what facial cleanser is going to be the right one for you?
You’re going to have to consider your skin type, how your skin reacts to different ingredients, what kind of cleanser you want, and the list goes on. On top of that, it’s easy to get swamped by all the different brand and cleanser choices.
Well, we’ve done the research and collated all the information you’re going to need to choose the best facial cleanser in 2023. From specific cleansers to the different types of cleansers, it’s all here. Let’s dive in!
If you’re looking for the best possible daily face wash that will cleanse your skin, not strip it of the essential oils needed to protect your skin barrier, and support the natural microbial life that helps to protect your skin, then look no further than Blu Atlas’ Volcanic Ash Face Cleanser.
This daily face wash is at the very top of facial cleansers, and it utilizes some of the most cutting-edge advancements in cleansing product research. There is plenty of evidence that charcoal can help to remove impurities and free radicals from your skin, but Blu Atlas does one better by using volcanic ash.
Volcanic ash is better than charcoal as it is pure, without any contaminants, as is the case with some charcoal-based cleansers. By having a pure ash component, you can rest assured that your face is getting the best possible care.
Blu Atlas has also wisely included fermented filtrate from Lactobacillus bacteria. Part of your skin’s natural defense is the population of normal, healthy bacteria living on your skin’s surface. Research shows that Lactobacillus ferment filtrate helps to support your skin’s natural bacteria, while simultaneously helping to soothe upset skin.
The final ingredient that is sure to boost your skin’s health is oil from pomegranate seeds. This oil is regenerative, acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and provides an anti-aging effect. High levels of vitamins A, C, and K help to plump your skin, allowing it to look firmer and younger.
The Volcanic Ash Facial Cleanser from Blu Atlas is the gold standard by which all other cleaners are measured, so why not try it out for yourself? It’s also free of preservatives, colors, dyes, and other nasties you don’t want on your skin.
CeraVe is a well-known brand for skincare, and it’s not hard to see why once you’ve tried a few of their products. One of their best-sellers is their Hydrating Facial Cleanser.
This lightweight and creamy gel facial cleanser is fortified with three essential ceramides to help support natural skin health, as well as with hyaluronic acid to help keep skin cells young.
Hyaluronic acid works by stimulating cellular turnover, the rate at which new skin cells are made and old, dull ones are sloughed off. A faster rate of cellular turnover helps to keep your skin fresh and young-looking.
This facial cleanser creates a nice lather, removes built-up oils and grime that accumulate throughout the day, and won’t leave any residue behind. Approval by the National Eczema Association tells you that this facial cleanser is great for sensitive skin, and that it won’t upset your skin’s natural pH balance.
One thing to be aware of with CeraVe’s hydrating facial cleanser is that it’s not the best for those with oily skin. If you have oily skin, perhaps try Blu Atlas’ Volcanic Ash Facial Cleanser, as it is great for those with any skin type.
Vanicream’s gentle facial cleanser is effective, gentle on sensitive skin, and helps to remove dirt, oil, and greasy build-up that accumulates as you go about your day.
This formula is especially good for those with sensitive skin as it is entirely free of common chemical cleaners that some consumers find abrasive or irritating. It is also void of any botanical extracts, as while there is benefit to said extracts, some find their skin becomes irritated.
Vanicream has wisely excluded other skin-irritating ingredients like sulfates, parabens, lanolin, and formaldehyde. This means you can have a clean and happy face, soothed skin, and not have to worry about any irritation at all.
If you’re at all into skin care, you’ll undoubtedly know the brand Kiehl’s. Their reputation as industry leaders has been hard-earned, and their Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash only strengthens their brand.
This cleanser foams up to help cleanse your face effectively, removing built-up grime and dirt and ridding your skin of excess oils. While doing this, it also preserves your skin’s natural pH balance so as to not disrupt the normal and healthy bacteria living there.
Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash has been formulated to include camphor, an effective treatment for those with oily skin that simultaneously provides a cooling effect that many find soothing.
Menthol has also been included to amplify the cooling effects of this face wash, helping to calm upset skin that may be irritated by the day’s activities. This cleanser is made without any parabens, sulfates, oils, or fragrances, so you can cleanse without worry.
Lancôme Paris is known worldwide, and the brand’s latest product is a Crème Radiance Gentle Cleansing Creamy-Foam. This gentle facial cleanser has been infused with white lotus and Rose de Franc to help soothe and pamper your skin.
This cleanser deeply penetrates into your pores, removing impurities without over-drying, effectively purifying your skin. This means it can be happy, healthy, and radiant.
Nelumbo nucifera flower extract has also been included for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. This foaming facial cleanser is best suited to those with oil or combination skin and is especially good at improving the appearance of pores.
KraveBeauty may not be a familiar name to you, but it really should be. They have created a large range of high-quality skin care products, and their Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser is one of their best.
While creating this cleanser with matcha and hemp, KraveBeauty was aiming to develop a cleanser that would clean without leaving your skin feeling dry or tight. Both the matcha and hemp have special roles in keeping your skin happy and healthy.
Nourishing matcha has been included to complement the coconut-based surfactants, meaning everything here is natural. Add to this the hydrating and skin-revitalizing oil of hemp seeds, and you’ve got yourself a winning combination.
KraveBeauty’s Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser also has vitamin B5 in its formulation for the hydrating effects this nutrient is known to provide. If you are looking for a solid facial cleanser, KraveBeauty may have the answer.
Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser is an excellent all-rounder in skincare. This cleansing wash is perfect for any type of skin, be it oily, dry, or combination. The scientists at Cetaphil have really put in the hard yards when developing this soap-free cleanser.
Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser uses a non-foaming formulation capable of removing dirt, impurities, grime, and excess oils from your skin without over-drying it. It can even be used with or without water.
Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, and panthenol have both been included in this cleanser’s recipe, along with hydrating glycerin. The carefully-selected ingredients will work to soothe upset skin, replenish your skin’s natural moisture barrier, and do so without causing irritation.
Dermatologists have had a look at this cleanser as well, giving it their seal of approval for being especially gentle on the skin. Free of parabens, fragrances, oils, and other irritating chemicals, Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser is ideal for anyone with sensitive skin that needs a reliable face wash.
Caudalie’s Instant Foaming Cleanser is pretty special. The unique formulation that includes sage, chamomile, and green grape extract is brilliant at cleansing away impurities, dirt, and grime, while simultaneously working to hydrate your skin.
This cleanser works up into a luxurious foam, helping to penetrate deep into your pores to leave them clean and clear, reducing their appearance. Smaller pores mean your skin will look smoother and more radiant.
Made of 97% natural ingredients, Caudalie’s Instant Foaming Cleanser is soap-free and has been tested under supervision by dermatologists. That means you can feel confident about washing your face without worrying about upsetting your skin’s natural barrier.
If you have particularly sensitive skin, then this may be the foaming cleanser for you.
Paula’s Choice is a skincare brand that is known for its high-quality products and commitment to producing using cruelty-free methods. Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser is a great option for those wanting something they can use daily without worrying about drying out their skin.
This silky smooth facial cleanser helps to replenish your skin’s natural moisture while still managing to leave it fresh and clean. The hydrating formula is packed full of moisture-boosting ingredients to help ensure your skin is as plump as possible.
Your skin’s natural barrier will remain intact after cleansing, ensuring you don’t upset the pH balance or normal and healthy bacteria that live there.
Some of the notable ingredients in Paula’s Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser are extract of green tea leaf, Chamomilla recutita, and Camelia oleifera. They help to promote good skin health, leaving your face glowing.
Breakouts are a pretty rough time, and it’s even worse if you feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. Worry not! With PanOxyl’s Acne Foaming Wash, you don’t have to put up with unnecessary breakouts any longer.
PanOxyl’s Acne Foaming Cleanser has a special ingredient that helps to soothe your skin during a breakout as well as discourage breakouts from occurring in the first place. 10% benzoyl peroxide will work to fight against breakouts, ensuring your skin looks as good as possible.
This cleanser has the highest level of benzoyl peroxide available without the need for a prescription, so you know that it’s going to get the job done. It also includes moisturizers to help keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
Because of the high level of benzoyl peroxide, this facial cleanser may not be the best option for those with very sensitive skin. If you are struggling with acne and need a good face wash, consider consulting with a dermatologist. They can give you personalized advice for your situation.
SkinFix is a company that specializes in taking the best care of your skin and fighting against acne, breakouts, and upset skin. SkinFix’s 2% BHA cleanser is one of the best skincare tools that you can use to keep your skin glowing and healthy.
This cleanser is great for soothing red and upset skin, clearing out your pores to leave them clean and with a minimized appearance, and for fighting against the development of skin blemishes.
Suitable for oily, combination, and dry skin types, this cleanser includes a number of special ingredients to help give you the best skin of your life. Salicylic acid will decongest your pores, tidying up excess oils and debris on your skin surface.
The included niacinamide will work to visibly reduce the size of your pores and prevent the build-up of sebum. Azelaic acid is also included to fight against bad bacteria that you may encounter during the day while also helping to reduce the appearance of post-acne scarring.
If you struggle with acne, breakouts, acne scarring, and skin blemishes, then SkinFix’s 2% BHA Cleanser is a great product to try. Be sure to apply a great moisturizer afterward to lock in the hydration your skin needs to be healthy.
Created by Hyper Skin, Hyper Even Gentle Brightening Cleansing Gel is an excellent choice when you’re looking for a gentle brightening cleanser to help fight against skin blemishes.
Glowing and radiant skin is just a quick facewash away with this cleansing gel, the carefully chosen ingredients all working together to revitalize and energize your skin.
Mandelic acid has been included to help regulate your skin’s oil production, effectively preventing breakouts, unclogging pores, and brightening your skin.
This cleanser also uses a range of botanicals to support normal skin health. Licorice root, willow bark, and bearberry have been added to help do away with dark spots that form on your skin.
Hyper Even Gentle Brightening Cleansing Gel is also good for calming upset skin, the gentle additives fighting against inflammation and redness.
SkinCeuticals’ Purifying Cleanser is one of the most effective gel cleansers available today, so if you prefer to cleanse with a gel, this may be the one for you.
This purifying cleanser includes both glycolic acid and glycerin to help clean out your pores and minimize their appearance. It also has a gentle foaming action to further improve its cleansing activity.
Pump a dime-sized portion of cleanser onto your hands, work into a lather, and wash. Simple as that!
Gentle cleansing is the name of the game for Dr Loretta’s Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. Apart from being gentle on the skin and tough on grime, this cleanser will help to protect your skin against pollution, UV light, and other irritants.
This cleanser is best suited to nourishing dry or upset skin as well as balancing redness. Even if your skin tends to be pretty happy, Dr Loretta’s Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is worth a try.
Kopari’s Lychee Clean Vitamin C Foaming Face Cleanser is absolutely packed full of vitamin C that has been extracted from lychee fruits. The vitamin C will help to brighten your complexion and do away with dark spots or blemishes.
The cleanser is also formulated to include vitamin B5 and plant-derived allantoin. The allantoin will calm and soothe your skin, while the vitamin B5 helps to protect against free radicals.
If your skin is upset and needs a fresh start, take a look at EltaMD’s Foaming Facial Cleanser. This cleanser has been created to neutralize skin-based impurities, clean out your pores, and give your skin a new lease on life.
EltaMD’s Foaming Facial Cleanser is great for anyone needing a gentle face wash that doesn’t want to fork over the big bucks. This cleanser is also guaranteed to not upset the normal pH of your skin.
La Roche-Posay is a well-known skincare brand, and one of its most well-loved products is Lipikar Wash AP+ Moisturizing Body & Face Wash.
This face and body wash is great as a gentle cleanser, promising to hydrate your skin for up to 24 hours. It is ultra-gentle, free of soaps and fragrances, and is perfect for those with sensitive skin.
If you have eczema or are prone to dry skin, this face and body wash may be just what you need.
iS Clinical’s Cleansing Complex is powerful but gentle, able to effectively cleanse sensitive skin without upsetting it in the slightest. The balance of biological nutrients and antioxidants is part of what makes this cleanser so great.
iS Clinical’s Cleansing Complex is suitable for all types of skin, but is especially good at nurturing and nourishing sensitive skin that often gets upset.
CeraVe isn’t a new name on this list, and it’s for a good reason. CeraVe has a wide range of great products, and their Foaming Facial Cleanser is one such product.
This gel face wash will foam up into a luxurious lather to rid your skin of all built-up impurities, pollutants, and excess sebum.
This facial cleanser is best suited to those with oily skin so if you’ve got dry skin it’s a good idea to choose a different option. You don’t want to dry your skin out even more!
As a premium brand, Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Cleanser may seem like a bit of a bougie option. You’d be right, but that’s not to say it isn’t worth looking into.
This powerful facial cleanser is perfect for washing away grime and sebum without interfering with the natural oils your skin produces to keep itself healthy.
Purslane has been thoughtfully included in this cleanser for its skin-soothing and hydrating benefits. It is also free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates, which many find upsets their skin.
We’ve covered a wide range of different products on our list of the best facial cleansers so far, but this is a new one. Blueland’s Facial Cleanser Start Kit is a non-foaming gel cleanser, but it comes to you as a powder!
Simply add the powder to the bottle provided and you’ll have top-tier gel cleanser available in seconds. Blueland has created this cleanser to include plant-based and planet-friendly ingredients, like kaolin clay and oats.
Good for you, your skin, and the environment, so you can’t go wrong!
One of the best ways to improve your skin’s texture is to use a gentle exfoliating cleanser. Exfoliants work to scrub away the dead skin cells on your skin surface, exposing the lively and healthy ones below.
Hero Cosmetics has created an exceptional Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser that you really do need to try. This cleanser will unclog your pores, smooth your skin texture, and promote bright and vibrant skin. Be sure to use a moisturizer after exfoliating so that you lock in all the moisture that your skin needs.
Aveeno is a pretty common name when it comes to skincare, and their Foaming Facial Cleanser has helped them get there. This cleanser foams up into a great lather, includes 0.5% salicylic acid to discourage acne, and has soy extracts that help to visibly improve skin texture.
If you struggle with acne, this cleanser is especially good for you. It is very lightweight and is guaranteed to not clog your pores.
Harnessing the power of nature isn’t new for Garnier, and that’s exactly what they’ve done when creating their Micellar Gel Wash. This cleanser includes natural grape extracts to promote healthy skin function and remove excess sebum.
Soft and radiant skin is just a single facewash away as the micelles work to remove dead skin cells, wash away grime, and leave your skin glowing. This cleanser is suitable for all skin types too, so you can use it no matter who you are.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I look for when choosing a facial cleanser?
If you’re looking for a good facial cleanser, there are a number of different things to watch for. The most important thing is to figure out what type of skin you have.
Some cleansers are best for oily skin, while others are better for dry skin. If you choose the wrong cleanser, you may find your skin becomes overly oily or overly dried out, neither of which are desirable outcomes.
It’s also important to recognize if you have issues with acne, fragrances, dyes, chemicals, or alcohols. Everyone’s skin reacts differently, even to the same products, so it’s a good idea to choose mindfully.
If you have sensitive skin, avoid facial cleansers that use foaming agents or harsh exfoliators, as both of these can upset your skin. You should also watch for synthetic dyes, as many people with sensitive skin struggle with these additives.
When you’ve settled on a cleanser, test it out on a bit of skin before going for the full face wash. This will give you a chance to see how your skin reacts without risking a full-on facial meltdown. If your skin becomes red, itchy, or bumpy, the hunt is back on.
What facial cleanser do dermatologists recommend the most?
When looking for a good facial cleanser, it is always a good idea to get as much information as possible. One good way to be certain the cleanser you’re looking at is suitable for those with sensitive skin is to look for a dermatologist’s recommendation.
Many of the top skin care brands will consult with dermatologists while developing a new product, so it’s pretty common that a dermatologist will have had some input on whatever facial cleanser you’re looking at.
If you’re wanting a good dermatologist-approved cleanser that uses salicylic acid, then perhaps look at CeraVe’s Renewing Salicylic Acid Cleanser. This cleanser has been approved by dermatologists as good for your skin.
If you have fairly sensitive skin and want a facial cleanser that is sure to be gentle, consider getting a bottle of Vanicream’s Gentle Facial Cleanser. This cleanser has been evaluated by dermatologists before it hit the market and is touted as being very gentle on skin while still getting the job done.
What is the best facial cleanser for aging skin?
If you’re on the hunt for a good facial wash to take care of aging skin, don’t stress too much. There is a huge range of facial cleansers that are designed specifically to support good health in aging skin.
First off, don’t scrub too hard when you’re washing your face. Gentle pressure and small circles will do the trick. Pushing too hard translates to pulling on your skin, which isn’t good for keeping skin plump and youthful.
A facial cleanser with additives like hydroxy acids can be great for aging skin. Hydroxy acids provide a gentle exfoliating effect that can help promote proper blood circulation in the outer layers of your skin.
It is also a good idea to choose a facial cleanser that has moisturizers added in. Moisturizers will help to hydrate your skin, encouraging it to be plump and radiant like that of the younger crowd.
Sulfates are less common in facial cleansers these days, but they do still sometimes appear. If you have aging skin then it’s a very good idea to avoid sulfates as much as you can. Sulfates can promote drying of your skin, and that’s absolutely not what you want.