Whether you’re washing your face in the morning to start the day fresh or at night to remove your makeup and any accumulated grime, a good face cleanser is a universal must. And it doesn’t matter if you have acne-prone skin, dry skin or combination skin — face cleanser is an essential beginning for everyone’s beauty regimen.
Some people like a face wash foam while others prefer bar soaps, and we all want skin that’s devoid of dirt and oil and doesn’t feel tight or stripped when we’re patting our face dry. Luckily, tons of options abound.
The face cleansers below offer something for every skin type, fit a range of budgets and get the job done exceedingly well. And not one of them will leave you with buyer’s remorse.
Ahead, shop ET Style’s picks of the best face cleansers on the market.
Kate Somerville’s Eradikate Daily Foaming Cleanser keeps breakouts at bay and is clinically formulated cleanser for blemish-prone skin. Use this product daily to unclog pores, clear pimples, balance oily skin and help prevent future breakouts.
Made for all skin types, this gentle cleanser should be a contender for a role in your daily skincare regimen.
Eve Lom Cleanser was described by Vogue as “probably the best cleanser in the world.” This cleanser can be used on all skin types and deep cleans without drying while exfoliating, toning and improving circulation. One of the first balm cleansers, this essential oil–based classic melts away even stubborn waterproof mascara without the need for tugging or pulling on delicate skin, especially around the eye area.
Lancer Skincare’s The Method: Polish is a gentle face cleanser to improve your skin’s tone and texture. Pure minerals and crystals exfoliate your skin’s surface removing the build-up of debris and combating dullness for a more youthful-looking complexion.
Vanicream’s Gentle Facial Cleanser is perfect for folks who have sensitive skin or allergies because it is free of dyes, fragrance, parabens, formaldehyde and other preservatives. Dr. Shereene Idriss, aka the Pillow Talk Derm, is an NYC-based cosmetic dermatologist who gives free skincare advice from bed in her #pillowtalkderm Instagram story sessions. She has recorded her own daytime and nightly skincare routine at home shares it with us along with the products she’s currently using. She names Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser as her face wash of choice.
Chrissy Teigen says a product she uses consistently is a cleanser from iS Clinical. iS Clinical Cleansing Complex removes makeup, fights acne and removes dead skin cells to gently resurface your skin.
The Cleansing Foam by the iconic skincare brand La Mer is a favorite of A-list celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Blake Lively, Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen.
This Clinique mild mousse uses salicylic acid to get rid of pore-clogging dead cells and helps tamp down acne-induced redness, irritation and inflammation with caffeine and sea whip and kola nut extracts. These natural ingredients will set you on the path for healthier-looking skin.
Be sure to thoroughly cleanse your face after a full day of wearing a mask. This two-in-one cleanser from Fenty Skin lathers up to removes dirt, oil and makeup.
Kiehl’s Jumbo Ultra Facial Cleanser is a gentle face cleanser which lifts dirt and grime without excessively over drying your skin.
Huda Beauty released its latest skincare savior, Clean Genie Cleansing Butter six months ago. Since then, it has been dubbed a ‘mean, green cleansing machine’ and the formula draws upon green tea extract. Known for its antioxidant properties it helps to draw out impurities from the skin while also calming and soothing and your skin.
TULA’s Acne Foam Cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid which provides serious acne-clearing. Its other ingredients including superfood licorice helps brighten the look of previous acne marks. This foam cleanser is alcohol and fragrance-free and treats both regular or occasional breakouts.
Tea tree oil, a natural zit-zapper, is the star ingredient in this sensitive skin gel cleanser formula that also contains hydrating squalene (derived from plants) and purifying magnesium. Not only will it get rid of surface oil on your skin cells, it will also detox pores.
First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser is fragrance-free and sulphate-free yep powerful enough to remove the makeup, dirt, oil and grime from everyday life. This cleanser is highly rated and gentle enough for everyone’s skin.
The Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam is part of the L’Occitane anti-aging line. This foaming cleanser perfect for people with sensitive skin who are looking for gentle face cleansing combined with firming and smoothing skin.
Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser is a vegan, creamy gel face wash, ph-balanced with five conditioners.
Use this acid-based foaming cleanser as a supplement to your favorite face wash up to three times a week while washing your face, whenever your acne prone skin needs an exfoliating boost. The glycolic acid will eliminate pesky dead cells while chamomile, yarrow and sage will help soothe.
The Honest Beauty Calm On Foaming Cream Cleanser soothes and calms sensitive skin. This formula is vegan, hypoallergenic, dermatologist approved and cruelty-free.
BareMinerals Blemish Remedy Acne Treatment Gelee Cleanser combats current and future breakouts with its formulation of acne-fighting salicylic acid, sea salts, ginger extract, and peppermint extract.
This lathering powder cleanser offers the benefits of both a cleansing foam and enzyme peel.
Tata Harper’s pricey but popular clarifying cleanser is the perfect option for the holistic-loving, green-living crowd. This gel cleanser targets impurities to give you a deep-clean feel and comfortably matte finish without zapping moisture. It’s formulated for oily skin types, targets blemish-causing impurities and works to balance oil with natural salicylic acid and AHAs.
This liquid cleanser is formulated to help remove dirt, debris and other gunk from deep within clogged pores. It uses tiny exfoliating beads to (gently) resurface dull skin cells and leave you with a complexion that’s blissfully soft and smooth. FYI: Proactiv offers three multi-step skin care treatment systems for those with acne-prone skin.
Charcoal has the ability to draw out impurities from the skin like a magnet. This foaming face wash is loaded with that amazing ingredient but won’t dry out the skin the way some other charcoal beauty products do. Also, the price is right.
Gentle enough that even sensitive complexions can handle it, this scrubbing cleanser quickly and easily whisks away the dead surface cells that can dull skin’s glow. It also contains soy extract for an extra boost of brightness.
The No7 Radiant Results Purifying Foaming Cleanser is a steal at $6.38 (use promo code SS20 for the 20% off).
SkinStore offers premium beauty brands like Vichy and Perricone MD. The latter’s High Potency Classics Nutritive Cleanser is a deep-cleaning, anti-aging facial wash that many reviewers report is well worth the price.
Perfect for sensitive skin, this cleansing gel is a soap-free facial cleanser that’s gentle enough for even the most delicate skin. It’s enriched with a skin healing blend of soothing chamomile, green tea, refreshing cucumber and avocado oil to perfectly purify and cleanse the skin. Formulated for aging, oily skin that’s prone to breakouts, this deep cleansing gel gently refines the appearance of congested pores and helps to reduce blemishes without drying the skin. LHA Cleanser Gel features a blend of salicylic acids to address breakouts and visible signs of aging.
The Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser is made specifically for oily and combination skin. This cleanser helps purify pores and helps fight oiliness, acne and blemishes.
Ole Henriksen’s The Clean Truth Foaming Cleanser is best use for dry, uneven or dull skin. This cult-favorite face cleanser is an antioxidant-rich foam formula with vitamin C and African red tea extract.
For those who prefer their cleanser in bar form, try this non-toxic black soap. It moisturizes, removes impurities and doubles as a body bar.
If you’ve ever thought that your face-washing routine could be more fun, this is the cleanser for you. Made with antioxidant green tea and vitamin E, it uses soap-free bubbles to lift off dirt, oil and makeup.
Perfect for skin that’s easily inflamed, this soothing gel reduces redness and swelling with a mix of lavender and cucumber. It’s also free of potential irritants, such as sulfates, parabens and phthalates.
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