Skincare Products » Best Face Washes & Cleansers

Best Face Washes for All Skin Types

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

We all have to wash our faces. It’s just a fact of life. But the right cleanser depends on your skin type. Someone with oily skin needs a cleanser to control sebum production and deep cleanse their pores, while someone with dry skin needs a cleanser that infuses moisture. Thankfully, there’s a wide range of products on the market designed to target whatever skin issues or concerns are plaguing you. 

We’ve rounded up some top face wash picks across various price points to show you exactly what’s out there. Whether you’re removing makeup, looking to brighten your skin, or just need to switch up your cleanser, you’ve got options. Check out our top picks for the best face washes, then keep reading for how to pick the right products for your skin type and concerns.

Best face washes for all skin types overview:

How we chose the best face washes for all skin types

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including skin type, formula, size, key ingredients, and more, to create a short list of the top face washes for all skin types. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best face washes for all skin types for each category.

Our picks for the best face washes for all skin types

1
Best overall
Georgette Klinger Coconut Cleansing Milk
$22

What we love

  • Gentle for all skin types
  • Can also work as a makeup remover
  • Hydrates and softens skin

What we don’t love

  • Contains fragrance

Georgette Klinger is a heritage skincare brand that offers our top selection, the multi-faceted Coconut Cleansing Milk. This gentle yet rich cleanser is vegan and cruelty-free, helping rid your skin of dirt and grime.

This product incorporates coconut oil and extracts to ensure your skin doesn’t dry out. Meanwhile, grape and cucumber extracts are anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe your skin. Along with removing impurities, this product promises to moisturize your skin while smoothing and softening the texture.

Skin type: All | Size: 6.7 oz | Formula: Foaming milk

2
Best budget
E.l.f. Bounce Back Jelly Cleanser
$23.23

What we love

  • Clean beauty ingredients
  • Also doubles as a makeup remover
  • Gentle

What we don’t love

  • Not as apt for acne-prone or oily skin

E.l.f. is one of those long-standing brands that has become a mainstay of many beauty mavens regardless of budget. Once known as the brand where everything was just $1, E.l.f. has since elevated its image so that most items within the portfolio are more than a dollar — but still affordable. 

E.l.f.’s Bounce Back Jelly Cleanse is a gentle non-foaming cleanser that’s designed to hydrate without irritating your skin. This clean beauty pick leverages coconut fruit juice, aloe vera, sugar maple extract, cucumber fruit extract, and vitamin B5 to create a solution for everyday cleansing or to remove makeup without stripping your skin. But keep in mind that reviewers with acne-prone or oily skin noted that the product was fine for removing visible dirt and makeup but didn’t effectively draw dirt out of the pores.

Skin type: All | Size: 3.38 oz | Formula: Jelly cleanser

3
Best pore cleanser
Etude Baking Powder Pore Cleansing Foam
$8.55

What we love

  • Doubles as an exfoliator
  • Deep cleanses pores
  • Safe for daily use

What we don’t love

  • May be too drying for sensitive/dry skin types to use regularly

If you struggle with clogged pores, you know how important it is to clean them thoroughly. The Baking Powder Pore Cleansing Foam from K-beauty brand Etude is a great solution that’s designed to offer a deep clean. Besides removing impurities from your pores, it also draws out dead skin cells. 

This product doubles as an exfoliator since the baking powder provides a mechanical exfoliation process to further lift dead skin. Note that you can use this as part of a double cleanse routine, but it should be the second cleanser rather than the first. It’s intended to remove makeup residue but not break down makeup. 

Additionally, this cleanser can be used daily, even with the exfoliation action. It even contains lactic acid, which further aids in exfoliating your skin.

Skin type: Oily, acne-prone | Size: 5.64 oz | Formula: Foaming

4
Best exfoliator
Amarte Daily ExfoliPowder
$43.20

What we love

  • Daily exfoliator
  • Customizable lather depending on amount of water used
  • Uses antioxidants to brighten and protect skin from environmental stressors

What we don’t love

  • May take a few uses before you find the right consistency for your exfoliation needs
  • Expensive

It’s possible to exfoliate every day, but you have to do it gently. And for some of us, texture buildup is a real issue. The Amarte Daily ExfoliPowder is a daily cleanser that shifts from a powder to a foaming wash once you add water. To use this product, you’ll wet your face and hands and pour a little bit of powder into your hands. Rub your hands together to create a lather and begin massaging it into your face. Rinse with water after you’re finished. 

The nicest feature of this product is that it’s customizable. So, if you want a lot of exfoliation power, you’ll use less water to create more of a paste. If you want minimal exfoliation, just add more water. The formula contains arbutin, which is derived from berries and serves as an anti-inflammatory antioxidant. 

Other key ingredients include genistein, another antioxidant sourced from soy, to brighten your skin and reduce cellular damage from UV exposure. Purified nano-sulfur offers antimicrobial support that’s ideal for targeting acne, rosacea, and seborrheic dermatitis. But it can also serve as a skin brightener that controls sebum production.

Skin type: All | Size: 2.8 fl oz | Formula: Powder

5
Best for oily skin
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel
$14

What we love

  • Aids in removing excess oil
  • Works to brighten skin
  • Can also be used as a mask

What we don’t love

  • Contains synthetic fragrance

Controlling sebum levels can be a constant battle for those with oily skin. While you don’t want to completely strip your skin of all oils, having too much can leave you shiny and even encourage breakouts. Mario Badescu’s Enzyme Cleansing Gel is a solution that’s specifically designed to control oil production, best for people with oily and combination skin. 

This product leverages natural ingredients like papaya and grapefruit to remove excess oil and brighten your skin, leaving it refreshed. Another nice feature is that this cleanser can be used as an exfoliator or deep-cleansing treatment. Just apply the gel to your face and leave it on for 1-5 minutes before rinsing.

Skin type: Oily, combination | Size: 8 fl oz | Formula: Gel cleanser

6
Best for dry skin
Skinfix Foaming Oil Cleanser
$30

What we love

  • Provides hydration for drier skin types
  • Removes makeup
  • Improves texture and minimizes blotchiness and redness

What we don’t love

  • Oil texture may be hard to fully rinse off

Oily skin doesn’t need help with moisture, but dry skin does. And if you have dry skin, the last thing you want is a cleanser that leaves your skin feeling painfully tight and stripped of critical hydration. Skinfix’s Foaming Oil Cleanser is made for those who need a little extra help staying hydrated. 

It’s made with sulfate-free coconut cleansers and infused with oils to soften and moisturize your skin. This cleanser is durable enough to remove makeup, but it won’t strip your skin of the lipids it needs in the natural skin barrier. It forms a light foaming texture once water is added, which makes it effective for cutting through makeup for thorough removal. However, some reviewers did note that the oily texture could leave some cleanser residue on your skin.

This 98% naturally-derived formula is clinically proven to boost natural hydration and smooth your skin’s texture for a healthier, more radiant appearance. It can also tackle blotchiness and reduce redness.

Skin type: Dry, mature skin | Size: 6 oz | Formula: Oil cleanser

7
Best vegan
Derma’e Hydrating Facial Alkaline Cloud Cleanser
$13.46

What we love

  • Vegan, clean beauty formula
  • Doubles as a makeup remover
  • Gentle formula safe for all skin types

What we don’t love

  • Not as effective at removing heavier creams or sunscreens

Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you should compromise your values to find skincare products that work. Derma’e is a fantastic clean beauty brand that’s also vegan. Its Hydrating Facial Alkaline Cloud Cleanser is a gentle face wash that works to hydrate with the power of hyaluronic acid. 

Along with that powerhouse active ingredient, it also features adaptogen snow mushroom extract, which conditions dry skin. This foaming cleanser is incredibly lightweight, serves as a makeup remover, and works to rid your skin of impurities and excess oil. It’s also sulfate-free and paraben-free to avoid irritation and safe to use both morning and night.

Skin type: All | Size: 5.3 oz | Formula: Foaming cleanser

8
Best for sensitive skin
Gladskin Gel-to-Milk Face Wash
$16

What we love

  • Minimal ingredients to prevent skin irritation
  • Doubles as a makeup remover
  • Safe for all skin types

What we don’t love

  • No active ingredients to target specific skin concerns

Anyone with sensitive skin will tell you that making a choice to shake up your skincare routine may irritate or inflame your skin. Thankfully, Gladskin is a brand devoted to creating quality products specifically designed with troubled skin in mind. And the Gel-to-Milk Face Wash simple ingredient list only contains four ingredients, so those with sensitive skin can use it without worry of redness or irritation.

This no-lather formula is free of fragrances and preservatives to avoid damaging your skin’s natural microbiome. While the Gel-to-Milk Face Wash isn’t the brand’s official makeup remover, it can be used in that capacity, too.

Skin type: All | Size: 2.5 oz | Formula: Gel cleanser

9
Best for makeup removal
Valoie RENSE Gel Balm Honey-Infused Cleanser
$42

What we love

  • Ideal for removing longwear or budge-proof makeup
  • Safe for use with lash extensions
  • Cleanses without stripping

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

To be fair, we’ve featured a lot of face washes in this roundup that can technically pull double-duty as makeup removers. But, if you’re the type who wears a full face, you’ll eventually need a face wash specifically designed to break down budge-proof cosmetics. 

Valoie’s RENSE cleanser is an oil-based cleanser intended to remove makeup first. And we’re not kidding when we say it’s a heavy-duty makeup remover. The texture is that of heavy oil, but it’s also infused with lavender, honey, marigold, and apple. But that richer texture is exactly what you need to cut through full-coverage foundation, sunscreen, and even waterproof eyeliner and mascara. 

Because it’s an oil, you’re still left with very hydrated skin that doesn’t feel like it’s been stripped and exposed to the elements. This product can be used on dry skin, and even though it’s an oil, it begins to foam when water is added. The brand promises that this product is lash-safe for those with extensions.

Skin type: All | Size: 4 fl oz | Formula: Oil cleanser

11
Best micellar
Innisfree Hydrating Micellar Water with Green Tea
$18

What we love

  • Lightweight, no-rinse formula
  • Removes makeup
  • Contains green tea, which is rich in hydrating amino acids

What we don’t love

  • Contains fragrance

You can’t have a roundup of face washes without including micellar water in the mix. Micellar waters are unique because they can serve multiple purposes. Along with general cleansing, you can use them to remove makeup. They’re also ideal when you’re incredibly short on time but don’t want to walk around with a grubby face. 

Innisfree’s Hydrating Micellar Water with Green Tea is a fan favorite, and for good reason. This K-Beauty brand’s micellar water incorporates green tea from the South Korean island of Jeju. The green tea contains more than 16 hydrating amino acids to boost your skin’s moisture. 

The micellar water doesn’t need to be rinsed off and comes in a pump bottle for easy application. So, you can choose to use it as your first step in a double cleanse for makeup removal, as a quick cleanse in a multi-step skincare routine, or even as a rapid wash throughout the day if you need to rejuvenate.

Skin type: All | Size: 10.14 fl oz | Formula: Micellar

12
Best for acne
Dr. Zenovia 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cleanser
$30

What we love

  • Can be used on entire body
  • Micronized benzoyl peroxide to minimize irritation
  • Contains aloe vera to soothe skin

What we don’t love

  • Not ideal for those who don’t have persistent acne

If you have persistent acne, you know that you need a cleanser that’ll regularly target your skin woes. Dr. Zenovia is a dermatologist-backed skincare brand that primarily focuses on troubled skin — with acne being one of the prime targets. The 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cleanser is designed to effectively cleanse your pores to eliminate acne and banish blemishes. 

Better yet, this is a product that’s intended for your entire body. The benzoyl peroxide is micronized to be gentler and minimize irritation. This cleanser is also sulfate-free to ensure that it can fully penetrate your pores. 

Medical-grade aloe vera is also added, along with an antioxidant blend, to soothe and clear your skin for a glowing complexion. Note this product also contains bakuchiol to promote cellular turnover with minimal irritation. Just remember that this portion of the Dr. Zenovia product line is intended for people with severe, persistent acne, such as hormonal acne. It’s best to avoid this face wash if you don’t have acne.

Skin type: Acne-prone | Size: 4 fl oz | Formula: Cream cleanser

13
Best daily
Pili Ani Gentle Facial Cleanser
$32

What we love

  • Simple, plant-based formula
  • pH balanced close to skin’s natural pH
  • Hydrating properties ideal for dry skin

What we don’t love

  • Oil-based formula may not be ideal for oily skin types

Depending on your budget, you might look at our final pick as a bit of a splurge. But if you like the idea of a gentle cleanser that’ll cleanse your skin, add moisture, and act as the perfect first step in a multi-step routine, then Pili Ani’s Gentle Face Cleanser is a solid option. It doesn’t contain harsh ingredients and is 100% cruelty-free. 

This cleanser is designed to balance your skin by leveraging the power of elemi oil. This oil is also naturally antibacterial, aiding in breakout prevention. It’s also anti-inflammatory to target redness and irritation. Elemi oil can firm and tone your skin while improving the appearance of your skin’s elasticity. 

Since this is an oil-based cleanser, it’s incredibly hydrating, making it ideal for drier skin types. It’s also plant-based and has a low pH in the range of 5.0 to 6.0, making it nearly the same as your skin’s pH (which is usually around 5.0 pH). However, while this cleanser is billed as ideal for all skin types, the oil-focused formula leads us to believe that those with oily skin should proceed with caution.

Skin type: All | Size: 5.1 fl oz | Formula: Oil cleanser

The first step in a solid skincare routine

An effective face wash is the foundation of any skincare routine. While serums and moisturizers might get all the attention, you can’t expect them to work properly if your face isn’t truly clean. If you’re looking for a good general cleanser, our top recommendation, Georgette Kingler’s Coconut Cleansing Milk, is the ideal starting point. It’s safe for all skin types and effectively works to cleanse and break through dirt, makeup, and oils. 

How to pick the right face wash for all skin types for you

Your face wash is the first step in your skincare routine. So, it needs to not only be effective for your skin type but also tackle any concerns you have, such as fully removing makeup, controlling oil, minimizing blemishes, or simply boosting hydration. 

Formula

Face washes come in a variety of forms, but some of the most common ones you’ll find include liquids, foaming solutions, creams, gels, oils, and hybrids. While you would think that liquid and foaming formulas are the same, that’s not entirely accurate. The reality is that no-lather formulas are becoming increasingly popular these days. And that means you can have liquids marketed as milks that won’t foam. Meanwhile, foaming simply means that once you introduce water to the formula, it creates a sudsy lather. 

Creams, gels, and oils are all thicker in consistency but can still serve different purposes. Creams and gels often work as multipurpose cleansers and are often marketed for all skin types, depending on the ingredients. Oils are best for people removing makeup or those with dry skin. By contrast, anyone with oily, acne-prone, or combination skin should avoid oils as they’ll add to your sebum issues rather than control them. 

Hybrids include products that change texture once water is introduced. For example, our top exfoliator pick from Amarte is a powder that becomes a foaming lather when water is added. Likewise, our choice for sensitive skin Gladskin’s gel-to-milk formula. With hybrids, you always need to read the product description as they may not be a fit for all skin types.

Ingredients

Unless you’re looking for a face wash that contains active ingredients, you’ll find that most of the options we included in our guide primarily aim to cleanse your skin rather than target specific issues like anti-aging, brightening, or fighting acne. And that’s intentional. We wanted to give you a more comprehensive range of neutral face washes that’ll work well when you begin incorporating serums, masks, and even moisturizers that might contain strong active ingredients. 

However, you may notice that many of our recommendations share a few common ingredients. For example, coconut oil as a cleanser is incredibly popular. The natural ingredient works well to hydrate, but it also breaks down makeup since it’s an oil. Meanwhile, fruit extracts and enzymes are natural ways to remove excess oil and pull impurities out of your pores. This makes fruit-based cleansers ideal options for those with oily skin. 

Environment

Climate and skincare go hand in hand. If you have dry skin and live in an arid part of the country, you may find that you’re constantly battling flakiness. Meanwhile, that same person with dry skin might thrive in a humid area. This is because your skin, much like your hair, can retain or lose moisture depending on the climate. But conversely, someone with oily skin may thrive in cold, dry weather but struggle in warmer, humid weather.

While having a go-to face wash is great, don’t be surprised if you need to switch it up when the weather changes. Much like you need a summer and a winter foundation shade, adjusting your skincare routine when the weather changes — or if you move to a new climate — will allow you to put your best face forward no matter what. 

FAQs

What’s the most dermatologist-recommended face wash? 

This is going to depend on your skin type as well as any specific skin concerns you have. Skincare is not a one-size-fits-all situation. But in our guide, we did highlight Georgette Klinger’s Coconut Cleansing Milk as our top recommendation because it features a mild formula that effectively pulls dirt, grim, and oil out of your pores and is hydrating but not oily. This makes it a safe starting option for all skin types. 

Is face wash or cleanser better?

It might seem like semantics, but the two aren’t the same. Face washes are usually recommended for people with oily skin since they help pull excess oil out of your pores. Meanwhile, a cleanser tends to be a universal solution that’s generally safe and effective for most or all skin types. 

What’s the No. 1 face wash?

No single face wash will work for all skin types — and skincare is personal. Your skin type, specific concerns, and preferences on the formula, scent, or texture dictate your ultimate choice. We recommend reviewing our guide for the top face washes for all skin types and selecting a face wash based on the solution that closely aligns with your skincare needs.