All products recommended on have been chosen by our editorial and research team. We may receive a commission on qualifying purchases made through our affiliate links.

Check out the results fast – here are our review winners

Are you using the right cleanser for your skin type?

If there’s something the pandemic has taught us it’s the importance of hygiene, and where better to start than your face? Even though it’s a skincare product that we only leave on our skin for a couple of seconds and then wash it off, it’s still important to be using the right one. If you’ve never used a facial cleanser, you might be wondering, what is a facial cleanser?

Depending on your skin type, you might want to go for an oil, a cleansing balm, or a gel or exfoliating cleanser. Some people experience very dry skin from using unsuitable cleansers, whilst others experience clogged pores and breakouts. Either way, the right cleanser can make or break your entire skincare routine, so it’s important to know how to use a facial cleanser correctly.

Here’s the good news.

I have gone over many cleansers on the internet to find the best cleanser that you can use as part of your skincare routine every day. I will be including some budget-friendly drugstore options as well as the high-end favorites for all skin types. If you want, you can even learn how to make facial cleanser.

If you’re looking for a good cleanser to gently clean your face from the day’s dirt and bacteria, to unclog pores and prevent breakouts, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ll take you through the best cleanser out there so you can prep your face and get that fresh face feeling.

Here’s a tip- Don’t be tempted to over-cleanse, even if you struggle with acne or oily skin. This is one of the worst things you can do and can even end up damaging your skin barrier.

Ready to freshen up?

We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
Reviews considered
hours spent finding
shopping bag
Products compared

A Review of the Best Facial Cleanser


La Roche-Posay Toleriane Facial Cleanser

Best facial cleanser for dry skin

Looking for quality drugstore cleanser?

La Roche Posay is ideal if you want calm, oil-free, everyday hydration. I’m talking about moisture with a light, non-greasy feel that won’t strip your skin of hydration. This cleanser has a hydrating milky formula that your skin will love and gently cleans out dirt for plump, glowing skin.

I love that this cleanser has been formulated with prebiotic thermal water which has shown to have many skin health benefits. It also contains ceramides and niacinamide to help repair the skin barrier and heal it. That means you can cleanse your face from the day’s dirt, bacteria and oil without drying out your skin.

But wait let me tell you about this.

A great feature of this is that it has a hydrating cream texture to moisturize your skin while cleansing. It will plump your skin and give you a smooth skin feeling providing lightweight moisture that leaves your skin nourished. It’s perfect if you have dry or sensitive skin and clogged pores. This cleanser will help to tighten your pores after cleansing, to prevent breakouts.

What more can I say? La Roche Posay brand is known to be a leading skincare brand that provides all the right ingredients in their products so you can keep your skin hydrated. It is a calm hydrating cream cleanser that promises to reduce texture to deliver a good even base for makeup and hydrated skin. It’s a winner!

Click on the blue button below to take a look for yourself!

  • Hydrating Cream Formula
  • Niacinamide and Ceramides
  • Prebiotic Thermal Water
  • Oil free and Fragrance free
  • Not cruelty free

Latest deal: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Facial Cleanser


CeraVe SA Cleanser

Best facial cleanser for acne

This is my favorite facial cleanser for acne prone skin.

The CeraVe Salicylic Facial Cleanser is a gentle way of cleansing the oil and bacteria from your skin whilst at the same time treating breakouts. If you have acne prone skin that gets itchy and sore from using stripping cleansers, then this one is worth having a look at.

This cleanser comes with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and salicylic acid to help target acne and breakouts skin without stripping moisture. It provides intense hydration and maintains the skin’s moisture levels for 24 hours. This in turn contributes to the barrier function of the skin, so you get a healthy glow.

But that’s not all.

The best part about Cerave is that it has essential ceramides that are found in the skin and in the lipid barrier. That means you know you can trust what’s in the product, knowing it has exactly what your skin needs to maintain and restore the barrier. This is particularly useful since most dry skin is caused by a lack of ceramides in the skin.

Whether you have sensitive, or oily, acne-prone skin, the Cerave cleanser has a lotion like consistency can help to deep cleanse and treat acne, helping to smooth rough bumps without stripping the skin. It contains everything your skin needs to be healthy and is fragrance-free and paraben-free.

Check out the 5-star reviews!

  • Contains Salicylic acid
  • Gently cleanses
  • Smooths textured skin.
  • Fragrance free
  • Can be stripping

Latest deal: CeraVe SA Cleanser 


Paulas Choice RESIST cleanser

Best facial cleanser for aging skin

This is one of the best products for mature skin.

Paula’s Choice RESIST cleanser is ideal for mature skin with a transparent formula with no hidden harmful ingredients, and this one is no exception. Their cleanser is directly formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to gently cleanse your skin.

This cleanser is a perfectly balanced foaming cleanser that is good for all skin types, such as oily skin, combination skin, and sensitive or acne prone. It helps to target dullness and redness, as well as keeping oil production under control to keep shine at bay. If you struggle with oily skin, or acne, then you can’t miss out on this cleanser. This foaming cleanser may not be hydrating enough for dry skin, but if you require a delicate cleanser that gets rid of the days grime, then this one is ideal. For mature aging skin, it does the job well without stripping your skin of moisture.

But that’s not all.

The best part about Paula’s choice is that their cleanser contains loads of good ingredients to nourish your skin. If you’re looking to get rid of dirt and get glowing skin, then give this one a try. Packed with Hyaluronic Acid to provide plumping hydration that doesn’t clog pores, and ceramides to repair the moisture barrier, making it the perfect addition to your skincare routine. It also contains aloe to soothe irritated skin, or skin that is more sensitive and red.

Whether you have sensitive, or oily acne skin Paula’s Choice cleanser is paraben free and fragrance free, but more importantly, it is cruelty free too. This is a good opportunity to care for the environment as well as your skin.

Overall, I’d say this is worth checking out.

  • Packed with Hyaluronic Acid
  • Targets dullness and redness
  • Paraben and fragrance free
  • Cruelty free
  • Slightly more expensive

Latest deal: Paulas Choice RESIST cleanser


Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

best cleanser for sensitive skin

If you have sensitive skin, then a natural cleanser is a good place to start.

The Fresh Soy Cleansing Wash is ideal if you want to maintain the moisture whilst getting rid of bacteria from the day. It’s perfect for those who have damaged their skin’s natural barrier, for example in sunburn, or who have very dry, sensitive skin.

I love that the Fresh cleanser is gentle, but effective. It has an all-in-one approach, meaning you can use this to remove makeup, as well as cleanse your face. It gently washes away dirt without overly stripping those dry, sensitive areas such as around the eyes.

But wait.

An extremely important feature of the Fresh range is that it has multi-functions and is fortified with soy proteins and botanicals. These extracts are natural and will nourish the skin without irritating it.

What more can I say? Fresh face cleanser is a gentle cleanser that promises to promote moisture retention from dry, sensitive skin and clean the skin gently. I’d say it does the job pretty well. Enriched with botanical extracts and value for money, it’s a winner!

Click on the blue button below to take a look for yourself!

  • Fortified with botanicals
  • Removes makeup and cleanses
  • Promotes moisture retention
  • Gentle for sensitive skin
  • Don’t wash near eyes

Latest deal: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser


Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

Best facial cleanser for blackheads

If you struggle with blackheads and clogged pores, an exfoliating cleanser is a good choice.

The Murad cleanser is an AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser ideal for dull skin. If you’re looking for fresh, younger-looking skin, then a cleanser with direct acids is a must. In saying that, this may not be suitable for a daily wash, but you can use it a few times a week to brighten your skin and do a deep cleanse.

I love that Murad contains biodegradable exfoliating jojoba beads to manually exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin cells. It also helps to open hydration pathways and prep your skin for when you apply moisturizer. This creamy exfoliating cleanser gives you all the benefits of exfoliation to gently reveal brighter, smoother looking skin.

But wait.

An extremely important feature of Murad is their transparent list of ingredients. It is formulated without harsh sulfates and phthalates, as well as gluten, mineral oil, formaldehyde, oxybenzone and petroleum. If you’re into vegan skincare and environmentally friendly ingredients, then Murad doesn’t disappoint.

What more can I say? Murad exfoliating cleanser also comes in a mini travel sized bottle so you can give it a try without splurging on a full size bottle, and see how good it is for yourself is a gentle cleanser that promises to promote moisture retention from dry, sensitive skin and clean the skin gently. I’d say it does the job pretty well. Enriched with botanical extracts and value for money, it’s a winner!

Click on the blue button below to take a look for yourself!

  • Direct acids
  • Free from common irritants
  • Exfoliates and brightens skin tone
  • Biodegradable jojoba beads
  • May not be suitable as a daily wash

Latest deal: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser


Philosophy purity one-step facial cleanser

best facial cleanser for dry sensitive skin

If you want a no nonsense, simple cleanser, then Purity is a good one.

This simple cleanser promises no fuss, transparent formulas and just what you need. It aims to lightly tonne and hydrates your skin, making it ideal to use as a gentle daily facial cleanser. It is perfect for soothing the skin and calming irritation. This cleanser contains gentle ingredients to refresh and replenish the skin leaving you with more hydration and no redness in sight.

This cleanser has been formulated with conditioning meadowfoam seed oil to nourish the skin gently and hydrate. Itprovides the ultimate hydration, and protects your skin from the day ahead. It contains prebiotic oat and calming feverfew. These natural ingredients are key to soothing your skin, especially if it gets red or irritated frequently.

Check out the best part.

For a gentle formula that is not only recommended by a board-certified dermatologist, it also has none of the unwanted stuff. This cleanser is free from parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and SLS so your skin gets only benefits. It is good if you have dry skin as it replenishes moisture for a soft and smooth finish. I love to use it in the morning and before night, to give you a boost of clean hydration.

The Philosophy cleanser is gentle but effective, and has been designed to be used daily. It is a game-changer for those who want the benefit of moisturized skin, but also that fresh skin feeling. It also comes in a handy bottle pump to make it easy to use so you can get soft skin from the get-go.

Add this one to your basket, it’s worth it.

  • Packed with b-vitamins including biotin
  • Free of all the nasty ingredients like silicones, parabens, and sulfates
  • Ideal for dry curls
  • Helps tame frizz
  • None

Latest deal: Philosophy purity one-step facial cleanser


First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser

best daily facial cleanser

If you’re looking for a cleanser that does it all, stop here.

The First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Cleanser is one of the best cleansers on the market for sensitive skin types. It instantly hydrates, plumping and smoothing the skin without clogging pores. It has been the go to for oily, combination, and even normal or dry skin types. With a quick absorption formula that will make it super easy and nourishing to put on.

This cleanser is ideal if you need to repair your skin barrier, it is fragrance free and gentle even for irritated, sensitive skin. The cleanser is suitable for oily skin, dry skin, combination and normal skin types, so the whole family can benefit from it. Try using it daily, for an instant improvement in your skin tone. It is free from common irritants such as alcohol, mineral oil, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde and oxybenzone among others. This strict policy for ingredients means that your skin is getting the very best products with none of the drawbacks.

But that’s not the best part.

Not only is it super moisturizing, but this cleanser is strong enough to remove dirt and grime from the day, including makeup. It is infused with antioxidants through a botanical blend to protect your skin from inflammation. Ph balanced to maintain the skin’s acidity level and reduce flare ups. That means you don’t have to worry about damaging your skin barrier, as this has all the right stuff to heal your skin when cleansing. It definitely. It’s not the kind of cleanser that strips your skin of moisture making it feel tight.

This works wonders on sensitive skin and is free from fragrance, alcohol, artificial colorants, and even lanolin, mineral oil, and parabens, the list goes on. Did I mention it is also non-comedogenic? As someone with oily or sensitive skin, you need a cleanser like this in your life.

Have you added this one to your basket yet?

  • Free fragrance
  • Perfect for daily use
  • Non comedogenic
  • Not drying on the skin
  • Pricey

Latest deal: First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser


Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

Best face wash

If you want a good drugstore cleanser for dry skin then you should treat yourself to the Vanicream Facial Cleanser.

The Vanicream cleanser has ingredients that are safe and a quick absorption formula that will make it super easy to use daily. It has also been dermatological tested and contains key properties for soft hydrated skin.

This cleanser is ideal if you need to repair your skin barrier, it is oil free and non comedogenic, so it cleanses without clogging pores. This cleanser is ideal to remove dirt and break down oil, as well as makeup from the day. The best part is that it won’t dry out your skin in the process, helping you to keep your skin hydrated.

But there’s more.

Not only is it super moisturizing, but you don’t need to worry about Vanicream irritating your skin. It contains no dyes, fragrances, parabens, lanolin, formaldehyde, and other preservatives. You can use it to calm redness and sensitive skin, leaving it soft and nourished.

This works wonders on sensitive skin and I would say you can use it twice a day without any problems. Did I mention it is also non-comedogenic and ph balancing? As someone with sensitive skin, you need a cleanser like this in your life.

Have you added this one to your basket yet?

  • Dermatologist tested
  • Won’t clog pores
  • Ph balanced and non comedogenic
  • Free of common irritants
  • Not moisturizing enough for very dry skin

Latest deal: Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

Best Facial Cleanser- A Buyer’s Guide

A gentle cleanser is a must have in every skincare routine.

Using a face wash daily in your routine is essential for removing dead skin cells, excess wash and to restore natural oils and soothe skin. If your current facial cleansers are leaving your skin feeling tight and dry, then you need to switch it up with a hydrating gentle cleanser or a cleansing oil. A foaming face wash can be great if you have combination skin, but if you have dry skin then you might want to try a cleansing oil.

All skin types will benefit from using a gentle facial cleanser with hydrating ingredients. If you want an exfoliating cleanser to brighten skin tone and remove excess oil, then go for a cleanser with glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids as it will also help remove dead skin cells.

For oily skin types, I would recommend a balance oil control cleanser to remove waterproof makeup and excess oil. For dry skin types, a cleansing balm or a very gentle cleanser is necessary to avoid irritating the skin. Face washes that are soap free are always a good idea, and a creamy cleanser will hydrate the skin to keep your skin soft. A hydrating cleanser will not only hydrate skin, but it also cleanses skin with a creamy texture.

If you wear makeup then going for a gel formula will help you get that clean skin feeling without stripping skin. If you want a hydrating face cleanser includes olive oil and sunflower oils which is ideal for keeping skin soft, to protect skin, and even skin tone. Of course, if you have oily skin and prefer an oil free cleanser without overly drying your skin, then try cream cleansers to leave your skin feeling super soft.

Which is your go to cleanser?

What cleanser should you go for based on your skin type

Every skin type needs a cleanser that is adapted to them to get the best results.

Best Cleanser for Oily or Acne prone

If your skin gets shiny throughout the day, or if you suffer with constant breakouts and acne, then you might want to give this skin routine a try. If you have combination skin, try mixing products for dry skin and oily skin if necessary.

Special ingredients- Salicylic acid. This ingredient actively fights acne and helps to keep shine at bay.

As a face cleanser, I’d recommend CeraVe smoothing cleanser that contains salicylic acid. This will help to target acne daily and unclog pores. You’ll find it helps prevent breakouts and deep clean your face.

Best Cleanser for Dry skin

Does your skin often feel tight or even itchy after cleansing or throughout the day? Chances are you have dry skin. This skin type needs to be extra careful to keep their skin moisturized and avoid stripping ingredients that could damage your skin’s natural barrier.

Special ingredient- Find products that contain Hyaluronic acid as a main ingredient. It is naturally found in the skin to cushion and lubricate joints, hair, skin and eyes. In skincare it seals moisture in the skin, attaching itself to water to plump.

The first step in almost any skincare routine is a skin cleanser. A good option is CeraVe hydrating cleanser that is not stripping and gentle to use on dry skin. They include vital ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help restore moisture to the skin’s barrier.

Best Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

Trust me, you would know if you had sensitive skin. Many products often leave your skin red, itchy, blotchy and even a burning sensation at times. Or you may find these symptoms come up later, making your eyes water. That usually means your skin doesn’t like the products, and so you have sensitive skin my friend.

Special ingredient- An ingredient to look out for, or I should say a lack of ingredient is fragrance. Make sure your products are fragrance free and non comdeogenic, and free from lanolin, dye, parabens, or preservatives. You need to be using gentle products and reading the ingredients list to avoid harsh ingredients that could set off your skin allergies such as tea tree oil.

Find a cleanser that is suited to sensitive skin. What isn’t in it is actually more important than what is. You want to ensure it isn’t too stripping, and is gentle for everyday use. Some good options include the Vanicream cleanser or a CeraVe hydrating cleanser. A face wash for a gentle cleanse to remove makeup and toning with glycolic acid can help.

Final Thoughts

finding the right foaming cleansers for your skin type can be daunting with so many cleansers on the market. Face washes that are soap free, with a creamy texture like a cleansing balm will always be a good idea for dry skin. For oily skin a cleansing foam such as a foaming facial cleanser or cleansing gel.

What cleanser on this list will you be purchasing?

jess rowley

Jess Rowley

Cheif Editor & Nail Technician Expert


Jess Rowley, a veteran nail tech, has been studying beauty over the last 11 years and has completed the nail technology program in California. Watching the latest trends in beauty, Jess searches for the highest quality products that make your nails feel loved.