Sensitive skin isn’t only dry. It could also have other issues. That means there’s no one-size-fits-all cleanser for every face. But there are lots of face washes that tackle these specific concerns. For example, there are cleansers that hydrate aging skin, and others that reduce breakouts in teenage skin. And some are excellent for managing combination skin, too.
The following are the top cleansers for sensitive skin. We hope you find the perfect solution to keep your complexion looking and feeling at its best.
Best Face Washes for Sensitive Skin (2023 Update)
1. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Face Wash Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
La Roche-Posay has been in business for over 150 years, and they know their stuff. The volcanic spring water in the Toleriane Face Wash is soothing to sensitive skin. It contains prebiotic thermal water to hydrate your face without clogging your pores. And the cleanser contains other moisturizing ingredients, too.
The milky formula has three powerful components that enhance your skin’s natural barrier against environmental damage. One is niacinamide which calms redness. Another is ceramide-3 to fortify cells. And the third is glycerin that attracts and seals in moisture. Plus, there are no parabens.
2. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
The First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser doesn’t just wash away excess oil and dirt; it also dissolves makeup. When you combine a dab of it with water, it develops into a creamy foam. Then, once you’ve massaged away the day, just rinse it off with warm water.
The main ingredients in it that support healthy skin are soothing aloe and allantoin, plus the humectant glycerin, and an antioxidant booster. The antioxidants come from extracts of licorice root, white tea, and feverfew.
There are no parabens, no alcohol, no sulfates, no propylene glycol, no phthalates, no mineral oil, no artificial fragrances or dyes, and nothing that upsets the pH balance of your skin.
3. Eau Thermale Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion
Avène’s Extremely Gentle Cleanser cleans without the use of water, so it’s handy for packing on a trip. It’s safe to use around your eyes and will help dissolve makeup, too.
The label lists Parcerine, which is an ingredient that performs two tasks. First, it reduces redness, and then it also restores the skin’s natural barrier. And the overall formula relies on nourishing thermal spring water as its base.
4. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser For Sensitive Skin
Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser won one of the 2014 CEW Insider’s Choice Beauty Awards, and it also has the National Eczema Association Seal of approval. And it does not contain an artificial fragrance, parabens, dyes, soap, or sodium lauryl sulfate.
This face wash is gentle and non-comedogenic, but it can remove makeup, excess oil, and dirt from your skin. It also has a polyglycerin formulation that makes your face feel softer once you’ve rinsed it.
5. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Face Wash Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin
If you have sensitive oily skin, try the Effaclar Purifying Face Wash. The cool gel lathers up to float away extra oil and dirt, but it won’t dry your skin or disrupt your pH balance.
Although the cleanser has a fragrance, La Roche-Posay avoided other irritants like soap, oils, alcohols, and parabens. This habit of designing products without hazards is second nature to the company, which is why some customers prefer buying from them.
6. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
Aveeno’s skincare products are very popular, but sometimes they contain components that might irritate sensitive skin. For example, the Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser lists parabens, soybean protein, and Phenoxyethanol on the label. But it does not have a fragrance or soap in it.
The secret ingredient is Chrysanthemum Parthenium, or feverfew extract, that calms irritated skin. All you need to do is wet your skin, then massage the lather on your face. Once you rinse and pat dry, your skin should be soft without feeling tight.
7. Burt’s Bees Face Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, Fragrance-free
Burt’s Bees Face Cleanser for Sensitive Skin has 99% natural ingredients like aloe and extracts of cotton and rice. Those three components hydrate, soothe, and protect skin from irritants. And this face wash also won the 2016 Allure Best of Beauty Award.
8. L’Oreal Paris Go 360 Clean & Deep Facial Cleanser
Loreal Go 360 deep facial cleanser is best suited for all skin types. It deep cleanses your pores and gives you a salon look. It removes all kinds of impurities and makes your skin look younger and gives it a glow. The cleansers granules exfoliate your skin and remove grime, oil, dirt, etc.
It seeps right inside the skin pores, unclogs them allowing your skin to breathe and makes you feel refreshed. Its orange and minty aroma makes the cleaning process all the more relaxing and pleasant. After using the deep facial cleaner at least twice a day also do use a moisturizer for best results.
9. Eucerin Sensitive Skin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
Eucerin’s Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is free of artificial fragrances and soaps so it’s kinder to the skin. Many customers have commented that it rinses away clean and leaves their skin soft. If you aren’t sensitive to PEG-7 or sodium laureth sulfate, you might appreciate this face wash.
10. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser anticipates a problem before it happens. The company knows that not everyone is going to apply a moisturizer after washing their face. That’s why this formula contains hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides. While it can’t replace a lotion, it will protect your skin from dryness.
The formula, although reliant on parabens, does not contain a fragrance. And it has the National Eczema Association Seal of approval.
11. Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
As a rule, products from Vanicream usually rate a 1 or 2 for low hazard to health on the EWG Database. And the Gentle Facial Cleanser is no exception. The list of irritants that it does not contain is longer than the list of ingredients in the bottle.
Just to show you, here are the hazards that Vanicream’s wash doesn’t include: fragrances, dyes, parabens, lanolin, formaldehyde and releasers, oils, gluten, sulfates, Betaine, amides, and amines. As a result, the formula is safe for skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and winter itch.
12. Paula’s Choice SKIN RECOVERY Cleanser for Extra Sensitive Skin
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Cleanser is fragrance-free and clinically proven to protect sensitive skin. But it was not tested on animals.
Whether you have aging sensitive skin, combination skin, or very dry skin, you can enjoy washing with this creamy face wash. It removes makeup as well as excess shine but leaves skin feeling smooth, not tight.
13. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser Wash
Users with skin issues report success in clearing up pimples when they use the Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser from La Roche-Posay. It contains 2% salicylic acid that destroys pimple-causing bacteria. And it controls oil, too.
There are no oils, no fragrance, and no parabens in the formula. You can wash with it both morning and night to maintain a clean and healthy complexion.
14. Vichy Normaderm Daily Deep Cleansing Gel Face Wash
Vichy’s Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel Wash contains both salicylic and glycolic acid to stop pimples at the source. The salicylic kills bacteria while glycolic acid and LHA exfoliate dead cells to purify your skin. As a result, this cleanser is effective at clearing up skin and keeping oil under control.
Vichy does not include drying alcohols, parabens, or soaps in the formula. But the gel does work up a pleasant lather that rinses away clean. Then follow up with your preferred moisturizer.
15. La Roche-Posay Micellar Cleansing Water and Makeup Remover for Sensitive Skin
If you’ve had bad luck with gels and foams and other cleansers, try Micellar Water. Although it works slowly on waterproof makeup, it gently removes skin oil and the dirt of the day. And you won’t need to rinse after you use it.
This version of Micellar water from La Roche-Posay won an award from Refinery29 in 2015. It’s free of alcohols, oils, and fragrances. And it contains both thermal spring water and glycerin to moisturize your face.
16. Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Face Wash Cleanser and Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Skin
Vichy’s Pureté Thermale Cleanser and Makeup Remover is a shortcut to help you wind down the day faster. It dissolves eye makeup, cleanses away dirt, and moisturizes your face all at once. And key ingredients like Captelae and polyphenols give it the power to detoxify your skin, too.
There are no parabens and no alcohols, and the cleanser is pH-balanced. You can use it with or without water according to your preference. But pay attention to the fact that one of the primary ingredients is mineral oil, and there is a fragrance, too.
17. Julep Love Your Bare Face Cleansing Oil
When beauty sites recommend cleansing with oil, they should recommend the Julep Love Your Bare Face Cleanser. It’s based on four natural oils that rejuvenate dry skin and clear away makeup and dirt. And there are no sulfates, parabens, or any of the Big 5 hazards.
First, there is Rosehip Seed oil, which protects against free radicals and environmental damage. Then there is Grape Seed oil, which heals irritated and dry skin with antioxidants. Third, you’ll find Pink Grapefruit Peel oil that deep cleans, evens out skin tone, and adds a refreshing scent. Finally, the formula also has olive oil, which softens skin in an instant.
Once you’ve massaged the Cleansing Oil into your face and neck, rinse it away with warm water and pat dry. Although the cleanser is moisturizing, you can still apply your regular face cream afterward.
18. Brickell Men’s Clarifying Gel Face Wash for Men
Guys and gals both love Brickell’s Clarifying Gel Face Wash. But guys may find it especially useful since it contains geranium, a natural antiseptic that soothes skin after shaving. It also relies on coconut-based components to lather away dirt and oil.
This vegan face wash contains organic ingredients but does not have parabens, petrochemicals, PEGs, phthalates, sulfates, or artificial fragrances.
19. CETAPHIL Gentle Skin Cleanser
For better results you can use Cetaphil skin cleanser with a scrublet. The little tool exists to help you massage away dirt and deep-clean your skin. The combination of the cleanser and Scrublet unclogs pores and removes makeup, too.
The face wash relies on glycerin and other hydrating ingredients to moisturize your face. And there is no fragrance to irritate your skin. Also its formula is non-irritating, hypo-allergenic and ideal for sensitive skin.
The best method for keeping sensitive skin happy
You’ve found the ideal cleanser for your sensitive skin, and you plan to use it both morning and night. We applaud your dedication to achieving a healthy complexion. And now here are two essential things to remember:
- If you wash with water, use it at a lukewarm temperature. This avoids drying or irritating your skin.
- Regardless of how hydrating your face wash feels, plan on using a moisturizer, too.
Skin is the largest organ of our bodies, and it thrives when pampered. Take good care of it, and it will protect you, too.
Related buyers guides:
We hope you discovered the best cleanser for sensitive skin today. There are lots of good choices available for whatever type of skin you have. Check back soon to see new reviews of the top products to keep you healthy and comfortable.
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Categories: Face Wash & Cleanser, Makeup, Sensitive Skin