What Is The Best Face Wash For Dry Sensitive Skin
There are a variety of cleansers on this list that are specifically formulated with dry, sensitive skin in mind. This includes the Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser, the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser, the Sebamed Fragrance Free Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, the Paulas Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser, and the Paulas Choice Calm Redness Relief Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin.
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil
Best Overall Facial Cleanser for Dry Skin
Dr. Engelmas says that oil-based cleansers are great for dry skin, as theyre able to cleanse without stripping it of its natural oils. Her pick for the best overall cleanser for dry skin is Elizabeth Ardens Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil. This oil has milky lather when worked into the skin and is packed with the right ingredients to soothe any dryness. It nourishes the skin with nutrient-rich oils such as safflower, olive and apricot to dissolve impurities and leave behind a clean, soft complexion, she says.
How To Choose A Face Wash For Dry Skin
According to Belkin, there are a few things to look for in a face wash for dry skin. He suggests skipping traditional bar soaps. Bar soaps are alkaline and can strip oils from the skin, he explains. He also recommends avoiding foaming, powder, and gel cleanser formulas which are typically more drying than cream or lotion formulas.
If you want a face wash with an exfoliating action, he suggests choosing one that contains an alpha hydroxy acid . These can gently chemically exfoliate while also providing some hydration, which is great for dry skin, he notes. Lastly, if your skin is sensitive, skip glycolic acid and opt for lactic acid which tends to be more gentle.
Ready to shop? Below are some of Belkins top face washes for dry skin along with a few of our favorites. Youre going to want to stock up before winter hits.
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Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser
- Price: $$$
This face wash is fragrance-free, and it foams up when you use it. Its also loaded with emollient ingredients, including apricot kernel oil, glycerin, and squalane. Glycerin acts as a humectant and helps bind water to the skin, which increases hydration and helps the skin retain that moisture.
This cleanser contains vitamin E, which has a number of benefits for healthy skin.
Keep in mind that Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser is advertised as being for all skin types, so its not specially made for dry skin. It also contains alcohol, which may strip or irritate skin.
Best Affordable Budget Buy
Who doesnt love a brilliant budget buy? Sometimes it can take a bit of convincing that budget can be just as great as a mid-high end product. But Im here to tell you it absolutely can. From the very first time I used The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser I was blown away by its versatility. This can be used as a first/makeup removing cleanse, second cleanse or morning cleanse. The ultimate all-rounder.
The texture was completely surprising. Somewhere between a cream or gel when applied it begins to melt while massaging transforming into an oil type texture shocking considering its oil free. It leaves my face always feeling soothed, balanced and perfectly clean but never stripped. Free from harsh alcohols, soaps and silicone and maintains that its pH sits at a skin loving 5.5-6.5. Vegan, Cruelty, Gluten and Nut free this cleanser is basically for EVERYONE.
Ingredients Squalane, Aqua , Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glycerin, Sucrose Stearate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sucrose Dilaurate, Sucrose Trilaurate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tocopherol, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Malic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin
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Can A Cleanser Cause Dry Skin
It all depends on the type of cleanser you choose for your skin. For dry skin, you will need a cleanser that hydrates, moisturises and nourishes your skin without stripping it from its natural oils. If you use an incorrect cleanser like one for oily or acne-prone skin, it is going to dry out your skin even further.
What Causes Dry Skin
Skin type aside, dry skin can be caused by harsh soaps or detergents, long and hot showers or baths, excessive sun exposure, itchy clothing, certain medications, metabolic changes, fluctuating hormones, and extreme temperatures. Research suggests that six in ten Americans are affected by winter skin syndrome, a temporary condition characterized by dry, flaky, itchy, sensitized skin. Along with deliberately changing their skincare routine , they potentially seek professional help from a dermatologist.
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What It Doesnt Contain
This is especially important for those with dry and/or sensitive skin. In this case, it’s worth looking for “sulfate-free” and “fragrance-free” distinctions.
- How often should you use face wash?
Dr. Dele-Michael says, “Wash your face two times a day with a gentle cleanser to remove skin buildup of irritants and pollutants.” However, some people with extra-dry skin may choose to wash their face only once daily. Additionally, some folks double-cleanse at night, first using an oil-based formula to dissolve makeup and sunscreen, then a water-based formula to remove all remaining residues.
- Do face washes expire?
Most face washes will expire roughly a year or two after opening the container, though depending on the formula and packaging, some may only last about six months. Be sure to check the expiration or period-after-opening symbol if you’re unsure whether a cleanser is still effective and safe to use. Also, keeping your skincare products in a cool, dry place will help them last as long as possible.
How To Use A Face Cleanser
If youve ever wondered how to wash your face, youre not alone. Theres no one right way to do it, and it often depends on the kind of skin cleanser you use, but there are a few hard-and-fast rules you should follow.
Rule 1: Wash your face at least once a day, in the evening. Its important to wash away all the pollution, makeup, dirt and oil that has built up throughout the day. If youre wearing makeup, either double cleanse or use a makeup remover before your cleanser. An effective duo that works on most skin types is a Micellar Water followed by milky balm or gel cleanser. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you should cleanse both in the morning and the evening.
Rule 2: Never use hot water when splashing your face before you apply your cleanser. Hot water can strip the skin of the natural oil barrier that helps maintain its integrity. Instead, stick with mild to cool water.
Rule 3: Make sure youre using the best cleanser for your skin type. If your skin feels tight after cleansing, its too harsh for you.
Rule 4: How long do you leave cleanser on your face? Not long. It may be tempting to leave it for a few minutes or rub your face with added ferocity, but that doesnt correlate with how clean it will get. Aim for 30 seconds or until the product lathers on your face and then rinse with mild to cool water.
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Best Face Wash For Sensitive Dry Skin: La Roche
Ideal for flaky or dry skin, the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Cleanser uses gentle ingredients like prebiotic thermal water, ceramide-3, and niacinamide to hydrate skin without clogging pores.
The milky cleanser helps skin retain moisture and softness while removing makeup and soaking off dirt and oil. The no-residue cleanser keeps the skin barrier intact and pH balanced. Although its technically made for the face, it also keeps dry, sensitive hands clean and moisturized.
The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser is best for oily or acne-prone sensitive skin. The formula cleans skin and banishes oil without overdrying or irritating skin.
Active ingredient Zinc Pidolate purifies skin and maintains the pH balance. The formula is gentle enough for frequent use and is free of alcohol, parabens, soap, and oil.
Pai Camellia And Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser 30
Everyone knows Im a bit of a Pai fan, but my favourite product from the range regularly changes as frankly they all deserve a spot in a sensitive persons beauty routine. This cleanser is a permanent fixture in mine its one of the few cleansers Ive tried that really seems to have an effect afterwards – no mean feat given youre essentially washing it away but it somehow imparts an incredible softness that even my moisturiser cannot match. Its free from alcohol and detergents as well as common triggers such as peppermint and menthol, making it suitable for even the rosacea-prone. Simply apply to dry skin, massage in and wash away with a cloth for a notably brighter, healthier complexion.
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Elf Superclarify Cleanser $599
At this point, Ive probably gone through six or seven tubes of this cleanser. Its incredibly affordable and the formula does wonders for acne-prone skin. Its gentle and FULL of niacinamide. The only thing that may bother some sensitive skin is the small amount of lavender oil. I can best describe the texture as a creamy and very fluid gel.
What Types Of Face Cleansers Are There
Healthy skin starts with good skin hygiene. Cleansing your face washes away dirt, dead skin cells, makeup and anything else that might clog your pores or cause general dullness. When it comes to cleansers, there is a myriad of options that can confuse even the most seasoned skincare aficionado. And we do mean cleanser because even the best makeup remover wont suffice. Sure, makeup removers are often used interchangeably with skin cleansers, but theyre not the same. Face cleansers remove dirt and oil while makeup remover takes off the makeup and thats it.
When youre shopping for a new cleanser, dont just grab any product off the shelf consider your skin type and goals and then choose a delivery method and texture accordingly. These are the most common types and how they work.
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Best In Shower Cleanser For Sensitive Skin Dr Sam Bunting Flawless Cleanser
You like a true gel texture? Dr Sam has you. This fragrance free cleanser will do both tasks of removing makeup and skin cleansing. If you are looking for a face wash for dry sensitive skin that will also work for spots and oily acne prone skin Flawless might just be it.
Flawless Cleanser is a gorgeous thick jelly type cleanser and something about it just works better when wet. Before cleansing dampen face and wet fingers or just use it in the shower! Basically the ultimate lazy girls cleanser I mean youre gonna shower anyway right?! For me, Flawless Cleanser lives in the my shower for those moments when I just cant with standing at the basin. Flawless is fragrance free and will work for all skin types dry to oily and acne prone.
Important to note! While I use and recommend this to use in the shower I do NOT recommend using hot water on your face. You can exacerbate flushing, irritation and even broken capillaries. Keep it cool/tepid on the face. K, thanks.
Ingredients Aqua , PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Poloxamer 188, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Polysorbate 20, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Disodium EDTA, BHT
How To Reduce Discomfort After Cleansing For Dry Skin
It’s not just the cleanser that matters, but also how you cleanse. To reduce the drying effects of your daily cleansing ritual, try the following tips for cleansing dry skin:
Don’t cleanse more often than needed. Most people with dry skin can get away with a once-daily cleansing, either immediately before bed or after taking off your makeup.
Try using a gentle micellaire cleanser to help with dry skin in the mornings, such as the Bioderma Hydrabio H2O Solution Micellaire Cleanser
Moisturise your skin immediately after cleansing as well as after showering.
If your skin is very dry, consider pre-moisturising before cleansing, to add an additional protective layer to your skin.
You can also try using a cleansing oil for this. You’ll still need to moisturise after cleansing.
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Best Gentle Cleanser For Makeup Removal Deviant Cleansing Concentrate
Deviant Skincare is the brainchild of instagrammer Natalie Smyth of Road to Glow. She has successfully launched two products this and the oil and is in the process of launching a liquid exfoliator. Her mission is to create beautiful effective products that are not bound by the constraints such as gender, age or trend.
The Deviant Skincare Cleansing Concentrate is a luscious cleansing balm and a cleansing dream. Dip your spatula into the golden balm and warm a little of this balm between your fingers before starting to massage. Instanly it will start to work breaking down makeup, grime, SPF and daily dirt. The best bit yet? It transforms from a balm to a milk and rinses perfectly clean. No need for a washcloth especially if one may further irritate your skin. Ive been there doll when your skin is so sore, inflamed and burning that even the softest towel hurts your face. Rest assured this balm only helps to calm my face never further hurt.
Ingredients Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil*, Cucumis Sativus Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil*, Polyglyceryl-4 Oleate, Plukenetia Volubilis Linneo Seed Oil*, Di-PPG-2 Myreth-10 Adipate, Vaccinium Myrtillus Seed Oil, Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax, Perilla Ocymoides Seed Oil*, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Brassica Oleracea Italica Seed Oil*, Tocopherol *Certified Organic
What To Look For In The Best Face Wash For Dry Skin
When it comes to picking the right face wash for dry skin, Dr. Dendy Engelman, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at the Shafer Clinic, says that youll generally want to look for oil-based cleansers with gentle formulas that cleanse skin without being too harsh. Key ingredients to look for include ceramides, peptides and hyaluronic acid. All of these ingredients, Dr. Engelman explains, are known to hydrate and strengthen the skin barrier.
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What To Check Before Buying A Face Wash For Dry Skin
- Ingredients: Alcohol and salicylic acid tend to dry the skin out. Hence, opt for a face wash that is soap-free, alcohol-free, and free of harmful parabens, sulfates, SLS, salicylic acid, etc. Soothing and moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera and glycerine are best. Also, look for antioxidants, vitamins, botanical extracts, and minerals to rejuvenate your skin and reduce itchiness.
- Cleansing Properties: The face wash must cleanse the skin and remove dirt, pollutants, and bacteria. Most face washes for dry skin are not well-equipped to remove makeup completely. Use an oil-based makeup remover to clean all traces of waterproof makeup.
- Price: Buy a good, dermatologist-recommended face wash for dry skin. Choose a trusted brand and always look at the ingredients. A face wash that is vegan, hypoallergenic, and free of harsh chemicals could be priced a little higher. However, there are drugstore options too work well.
Taking care of your skin starts with cleansing. Dry skin needs all the moisturizing. Get yourself a good face wash that fits your budget. Start pampering your skin today!
The Glow Iridescent Brightening Foam Cleanser By Myglamm
The cleanser from The Ordinary is anything but ordinary. While it removes makeup, dirt and excess sebum, it helps to retain the skins moisture as well. Post-cleansing, your skin will not feel tight or rough, but on the bright side, it will feel soft, supple and fresh. Squalane as an ingredient itself is super hydrating for the skin which makes it ideal for dry skin types. When applied, this cleanser feels like a balm at first, but once it melts into the skin, it instantly dissolves makeup and deep cleanses the pores.
Pros: The cleanser is mild and gentle on the skin.
Cons: Not easily available in India.
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Naturium Fermented Rice Enzyme Cleanser $18
This is brand new from Naturium and people are LOVING it. Rice water is trending on TikTok for its hair health benefits so its fitting were seeing rice in a lot more skincare products as the trend grows. This cleanser is incredibly creamy and slips well even on a dry face. It has fermented rice, fruit enzymes, and biodegradable micro-powders to gentle exfoliate.
Why Trust Byrdie
Theresa Holland is a commerce writer specializing in beauty, fitness, and lifestyle. She has been contributing to Byrdie since 2019, where she covers skincare, makeup, and haircare. For this roundup, she interviewed two board-certified dermatologists and researched various formulations, ingredients, and packaging types for cleansers. She considered dozens of face washes from various brands and combed through user reviews before making her final selections. As a skincare aficionado with a daily routine nearing ten steps, Theresa has tried several products on this list. She is particularly fond of La Roche-Posay, Vanicream, Tracie Martyn, Dr. Dennis Gross, CosRx, Then I Met You, Tatcha, Glossier, and It Cosmetics.
Meet the Expert
- Dr. Adebola Dele-Michael, MD FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in cosmetic dermatology and dermatologic surgery. She is the founder of Radiant Skin Dermatology & Laser in New York.
- Dr. Martha H. Viera, MD FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist based in Miami, Florida. She is a fellow member of several dermatological organizations, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the Women’s Dermatologic Society, and the Florida Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery.
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