These are the best face wash options for your skin—and your wallet.

By Tanisha Pina
June 07, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Real Simple

When it comes to the most important steps in a skin-care routine, we’d wager to say that right along with the right daily sunscreen, finding the best face wash for your skin type and texture takes the top spot. After all, washing away the day’s sweat, makeup, dirt, and grime is essential for healthy skin to breathe and thrive, and any skin-care products that follow need to be applied to a clean surface.

Face wash’s importance is echoed in just how many options are available on the market at any given moment (hint: a lot). Whether you prefer a thick balm, a cream cleanser, a lightweight gel, or a soothing cleansing oil, there are options out there for all types of skin—from sensitive and acne-prone to combination, dry, or oily—featuring key ingredients like essential oils, hyaluronic acid, and salicylic acid.

Here, we’ve given you a head start by pulling together some of the internet’s best-reviewed facial cleansers and washes guaranteed to give whatever is currently on your top shelf a run for its money.   

RELATED: These Are the Best Anti-Aging Products, According to Thousands of Reviews

sephora.com

1
Murad Clarifying Cleanser

This gel formula uses two types of salicylic acid to clarify the skin—cleaning pores and treating acne—without being excessively drying. “Immediately after I started using it my face felt cleaner, and it doesn't dry me out even though it has a high acid content,” shared one reviewer.

To buy: $30; sephora.com.

walmart.com

2
Differin Daily Deep Cleanser

Developed by dermatologists, this powerful facial cleanser contains 5 percent benzoyl peroxide to tackle breakouts with little-to-no irritation or dryness. Customers with acne-prone skin credit the formula with fewer breakouts, cleared pores, and significantly less oil.

To buy: $11; walmart.com.

sephora.com

3
Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser

This natural jelly-to-foam face wash promises to gently rid the skin of excess oils, makeup, and all other dirt and grime from the day. “I struggle with extreme greasy skin, year round, but not with this product,” shared one customer. “My face has never been so clean feeling right after washing and throughout the entire day!”

To buy: $32; sephora.com.

amazon.com

4
Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel Cleanser

This gel-based formula is made with zinc and copper sulphates, meant to cleanse and purify the skin while preventing the pores from becoming clogged.

To buy: $15; amazon.com.

nordstrom.com

5
Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Specifically formulated for dry and sensitive skin types, this foaming facial wash unclogs pores and removes makeup and other impurities while ingredients like nourishing shea butter and pro-vitamin B5 leaves the skin feeling silky smooth, neutralizing the drying effects of water.

To buy: $23 (was $26); nordstrom.com.

amazon.com

6
Aveeno Ultra Calming Hydrating Gel

This drugstore option is formulated with calming feverfew and nourishing oat to keep skin smooth and soothed. “If you have really sensitive skin you have to try it,” shares one customer. “I have tried a bunch of different face washes and they usually end up being too drying, or burn or irritate my skin, but this face wash works very well.”

To buy: $7; amazon.com.

glossier.com

7
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

This creamy cool cleanser dissolves makeup, hydrates skin like an overnight cream, and smells like soothing rose water—all while being gentle and light. “I use this cleanser every night and it leaves my skin so soft, refreshed and very clear,” one customer shared.

To buy: $18; glossier.com.

amazon.com

8
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

With over 1,500 reviews on Amazon, this creamy, everyday cleanser is gentle enough to work its magic on every skin type. What’s more? It comes dermatologist recommended.

To buy: $12; amazon.com.

amazon.com

9
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

The Japanese beauty brand’s cleanser features olive oil as its hero ingredient, along with vitamin E and rosemary leaf oil. With nearly 2,000 five-star reviews, customers love how the oil formula leaves behind no residue when removing makeup and acts as a deep-clean treatment that doesn’t dry the skin or cause breakouts.

To buy: $27; amazon.com.

amazon.com

10
Biore Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleanser

“I felt like my face was literally going through a divorce with all my blackheads, including the ones I've had for years that my aesthetician couldn’t remove,” said one customer about this under $5 blackhead buster. Thanks to salicylic acid, this cleanser promises a deep clean, controlling blackheads and preventing new breakouts.  

To buy: $5; amazon.com.

nordstrom.com

11
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser

With nearly 600 reviews on Nordstrom, this cult-favorite has proven to be a powerful yet gentle cleanser. Made with emollients like squalane and apricot kernel oil, this formula cleanses skin without stripping it of its natural oils, making it ideal for both dry and oily skin types.

To buy: $20; nordstrom.com.

amazon.com

12
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Foaming Cleanser

Gentle, effective and scent free—what more could you ask for in a $7 cleanser? This foaming micellar formula lifts away dirt, oil, and makeup without any harsh rubbing or over-drying.

To buy: $7; amazon.com.

amazon.com

13
Avalon Organics Intense Defence Cleansing Gel

Powered with Vitamin C, this plant-based vegan gel cleanser fights against wrinkles, dull skin, and the appearance of fine lines. Pairing that with a lathering foam application, the face wash works overtime to reveal brighter, healthier skin.

To buy: $8; amazon.com.

amazon.com

14
TrueSkin Naturals Vitamin C Daily Face Cleanser

Vitamin C is a popular serum ingredient for brightening skin and evening texture—and now you can use it in a face wash, too. Formulated with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, soothing rosehip oil, and aloe vera, reviews say this daily cleanser tightens pores, improves texture, and clears up dark spots and even rosacea. “I've had some dark spots on my cheeks and I noticed it has gotten lighter. My skin feels soft as it did with Shiseido,” says one customer.

To buy: $16; amazon.com.

nordstrom.com

15
Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser

With nearly a perfect five-star rating on Nordstrom, this exfoliating cleanser has customers hooked. Made with ginseng, caffeine, and jojoba, the gel formula works to gently exfoliate and unclog pores, allowing the skin to look smoother and brighter. Plus, it smells amazing thanks to a blend of grapefruit, lemon, and spearmint.

To buy: $18 (was $21); nordstrom.com.

amazon.com

16
Cetaphil Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cleanser

Unlike other harsh cleansers that dry the skin, this daily scrub is gentle enough for all skin types. “I wasn't sure how well this would work since it's super mild compared to other scrubs I was using [but] I must say I am very pleasantly surprised!” said one customer. “This scrub is so mild yet effective, it took away all of the rough, flaky skin and made my skin so smooth and soft!”

To buy: $12; amazon.com.

nordstrom.com

17
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash

Formulated with caffeine, vitamin E, and mentho, this gel formula helps tired skin look refreshed and feel clean. “It is a refreshing way to start the day and smells great,” one customer shared. “I find it to work very well on rough skin after shaving, and even reduces redness from electric shavers.”

To buy: $33; nordstrom.com.

amazon.com

18
Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser

This hydrating face wash features essential ceramides, which helps the skin form a protective barrier and retain moisture. With over 1,700 five-star reviews, customers rave about how gentle the daily cleanser is, even on “extremely sensitive skin.”

To buy: $12; amazon.com.

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