The Best Drugstore Face Washes And Cleansers You Can Buy In 2022
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Believe it or not, radiant skin doesn’t necessarily require an elaborate, 12-step skincare routine. Sure, it’s fun to experiment with new trends in skin care like face masks and serums, but are they really the key to keeping your skin healthy? Dermatologists will often tell you that’s not the case, and that with skin care, it’s best to stick with the basics. The Cleveland Clinic’s Shilpi Khetarpal, M.D. says she tells her patients that their “priority should be cleansing, daily sunscreen and daily moisturizing” . Celebrity esthetician Nicole Caroline even told the New York Post that she considers face wash “one of the most important parts of your skincare regimen.”
Skin care is not one-size-fits-all, and with so many options on the market it can be difficult to choose which face wash is right for you. Fear not, because we’ve compiled a list based on expert and customer reviews of the best drugstore face washes, for all skin types.
Coppertone Pure And Simple Face Sunscreen Spf 50 $15
As its name suggests, Coppertones Pure and Simple Face Sunscreen is a no-frills, easy-to-apply product that still reins in SPF 50. Its a trusted facial sunscreen with physical blockers and added botanical extracts making a great, effective formulation for all skin types including sensitive and oily skin, Greenfield shares.
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
This classic drugstore fave has been in many a skincare enthusiast arsenal for years. It’s like an ancient family secret passing down through generations. Its probably one of the first skincare products many of us were introduced to when we were younger. And for good reason too it works. Because its unscented, its great for those of us with oily skin AND sensitive skin. In fact, it can be used for all skin types. For us oily skin gals, it works really well to remove excess oil and dirt from the skin without drying or irritating the skin. Its so good that many a dermatologist recommends it. This cleanser is timeless and continues to work really well for my skin so many years later.
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Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser
Neutrogenas Fresh Foaming Cleanser is a cult favorite, its versatility being one of the many reasons people have been obsessed with this affordable option for years. The fragrance-, soap-, and alcohol-free formula makes it great for all skin types without serious skin problems. One reviewer said it best: This is my all-time favorite facial cleanser and ive used a lot of expensive cleansers. It’s great at removing makeup and cleansing skin.”
2 of 11 Image Credits: Lovely Skin
Best Drugstore Face Wash for Normal Skin
No7 Total Renewal Micro
With more than 4.6 stars and over 100 raving reviews on Amazon, the No7 line is clearly a leader among drugstore face washes. Tiny micro-crystals work to sweep away dead skin to smooth out an uneven skin tone. I’ve been using this product for several years and it rocks, says one glowing review. It makes your skin so soft and velvety.
9 of 11 Image Credits: Amazon
Best Drugstore Face Wash for Rough Skin
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What Is The Best Face Wash For Oily Acne
There are a few great drugstore face washes on this list that are specifically formulated for oily and acne-prone skin. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash, the COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser, and the Paulas Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser all contain salicylic acid. This beta hydroxy acid is excellent for oily skin that is prone to breakouts, because it is oil-soluble and works deep in the pores to unclog debris and get rid of excess sebum.
How We Researched & Tested
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key featureslike ingredients, shade range, or designin addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives. We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five to certain products on the list.
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I know we all want gorgeous, glowing skin. Who doesn’t want to look and feel amazing in their own skin knowing that when people see us we look like glowing Goddesses?! We crave it. The only thing is. Skincare often feels like it’s expensive. Whenever we hear about celebrities or influencers skincare routines, you know the ones with absolutely fabulous skin, it usually includes some pretty pricey products that the average budget probably cannot buy once much less use it as a part of our skincare routines indefinitely. It can make you feel like the only way to fabulous skin is to fork over the big bucks. But, gorgeous skin doesn’t have to break the bank.
Over the years, I’ve tried and experimented with many a drug store products. Sometimes out of sheer love for the product, other times because many of the high end brands aren’t available in my country and it’s not until I take a trip abroad or get products shipped to Jamaica that I can get my hands on it. Which obviously isn’t happening now as often during this pandemic.
*NB not all the products may be available in your drugstore.
*This post contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no cost to you.
The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Cleansing Oily Skin
You might think that the best way to get rid of oil on your skin is to wash, wash, wash your face, but according to Dr. Garshick, that can actually do more harm than good. “Those with oily skin often think their problem is not washing their face enough, and while to an extent this may be true if itâs not part of a daily routine, it is important to avoid over-cleansing or washing too frequently as this can dry the skin out and lead to irritation,” says Dr. Garshick.
While gentle exfoliating properties in your face wash can help manage oily skin, you also don’t want to over-exfoliate, says Dr. Palm. “Using harsh washes can strip your skin and compromise a healthy skin barrier, which can lead to additional skin problems,” she says.
Another thing that can lead to irritation? Using too many products. “Using harsh physical exfoliants or overdoing it with chemical exfoliants can cause significant irritation,” says Dr. Farber.”People often tend to use too many drying ingredients together in hopes of controlling oil, but itâll strip the skin if you use a harsher cleanser along with toner or astringent.”
Finally, it’s important to follow up your cleansing step with a proper moisturizer. As you now know, oily skin moisture in order to function properly, so be sure to slather on some hydrating ingredients as the last step in your morning and evening routines.
Want even more beauty intel from our editors? Follow our Fineprint ) for must-know tips and tricks.
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Alba Botanica Good & Clean Gentle Acne Wash
Finding a cleanser that doesnt irritate or break out acne-prone skin is a trial-and-error process, especially when youre working with a budget. But with reviews praising the gentle, frothy formula, deep-cleaning salicylic acid and subtle fruity scent, you can confidently purchase this Alba face wash for your sensitive skin all at a drugstore price. Bonus: you can also use it as a body wash to combat that hard-to-reach bacne.
6 of 11 Image Credits: Walgreens
Best Drugstore Face Wash for Acne
Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser
Paula’s Choice Face Wash for Daily Cleansing
Paulas Choice Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser
This skin-softening cleanser is an excellent choice for those with drier skin, because it effectively cleanses without leaving the skin feeling tight or dry.
Everyone needs to cleanse their skin daily, but it can be difficult for those with dry skin to find a cleanser that doesnt leave the skin feeling drier. This Paulas Choice cleanser contains skin-restoring ingredients that maintain the skins barrier so that it feels soft, hydrated, and clean.
- May not be suitable for acne-prone skin
The hydrating and soothing ingredients in this gentle cleanser include green tea extract, matricaria flower extract, and glycerin.
Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride , Decyl Glucoside , Glycerin , PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate , PPG-20 Methyl Glucose Ether , Methyl Gluceth-20 ,Glyceryl Stearate , Stearyl Alcohol , Polyacrylamide , Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract , Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract , Sapindus Mukurossi Peel Extract , Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate , C13-14 Isoparaffin , Laureth-7 , Xanthan Gum , Disodium EDTA , Citric Acid , Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol , Ethylhexylglycerin.
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Bior Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser
Everyone knows the Bioré Pore Strips are pure gold for removing blackheads, but this charcoal face wash was a hidden gem. After hustling in the summer heat, makeup melting in your pores, you need something a little tougher than your daily face wash. Affordability aside, I like this cleanser specifically because I can actually feel it tingling while it cleanses my pores, says one reviewer. I always keep a bottle in my shower and use it when my face needs a good, deep clean.
11 of 11 Image Credits: Nordstrom Rack
Best Drugstore Face Wash for a Deep Clean
Best With Coconut Oil: First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
Coconut oil facial cleanser to keep your skin barrier nice and healthy? Thats right this face wash from First Aid Beauty contains gentle ingredients that work to cleanse and nourish the skin.
The main ingredient in this face wash is coconut oil an ingredient that is known for its ability to hydrate skin while providing a natural SPF.
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More Toners I Use And Love
Sunday Rileymakes impressive skin care products. The Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatmentshould be used once per week if you have sensitive skin. The price of this treatment does make me cringe a little because its so expensive for the average consumer. However, its a completely revolutionary treatment for oily skin and acne-prone skin types.
The ingredients of this facial treatment are comparable to what you would receive from a esthetician. On days when I need to help my skin out from clogged pores, Ill go through my skin care routine and apply a pump of this treatment onto my skin. Its best to use the Good Genes at night so your skin can soak up the product while you sleep!
Tips: How To Choose The Right Face Wash
- Before you make your purchase, you have to identify your skin type. Is it oily, dry, combination, or normal? Do you have acne? Do you have mature skin? Is your skin sensitive? Once you understand what your skin type is, choosing a cleanser becomes a whole lot easier.
- Avoid anything that is too harsh even if your skin isnt all that sensitive. For instance, sulfates are nothing but added synthetic detergents to form lather when combined with water. It is always better to pick a cleanser thats free of unnecessary chemicals.
- Take your time to do some research read online reviews or ask your friends for recommendations
- Buy smaller tubes first, so you can test out your cleanser. If it suits you, you can always go buy more.
Drugstore face cleansers thoroughly remove dirt and impurities from your skin while improving your skins texture. These cleansers also help in removing makeup and minimizing the appearance of spots and blemishes. These potent yet affordable formulas can remove excess oil from your skin, without drying your skin out. If you have sensitive skin, you should avoid the drugstore face cleansers that are not suitable for acne-prone skin. Moreover, it is better to opt for face cleansers that successfully maintain the pH balance of your skin.
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Best Drugstore Cleansing Oil
Oils work similarly to balmsbut because theyre more of a liquid and typically packaged in a bottle with a pump, they might be more hygienic. Contrary to popular belief, they can work for every skin type: Whether youre dry, sensitive, acne-prone or yep, even oily, an oil cleanser is the go-to for gently cleansing without stripping your skin of its natural oils .
Drugstore Face Washes That Rival More Expensive Brands
As POPSUGAR editors, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you’ll like too. If you buy a product we have recommended, we may receive affiliate commission, which in turn supports our work.
Finding a great face wash at the drugstore can be a challenge when there seems to be an endless stream of formulas in gel, cream, and foam varieties filling the skincare aisle. Thankfully, some of our favorite brands, like Neutrogena, Simple, and Cetaphil, make effective cleansers, all under $15, that will remove your makeup, prevent breakouts, and keep your skin looking good.
We’ve rounded up the best drugstore face washes so you can create a solid foundation to your skincare routine without spending a fortune. Check them out, ahead.
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What Were Looking For
Skin type: Before you choose a cleanser, figure out your skin type. Aside from being acne-prone, your skin can also be extra oily, dry, or sensitive, which impacts which cleanser you should use. Those with sensitive skin should opt for a low dose of acne-fighting actives, whereas those with extra-oily skin may want something relatively strong, and people with dry skin need to look for hydrating actives like hyaluronic acid. If youre not sure which skin type you are, theres an easy way to figure it out. After washing with a gentle cleanser, wait 30 minutes. If your skin is slick, you likely have oily skin. If its tight and flaky, its probably dry. If your T-zone is oily and the rest of your skin is normal or dry, you most likely have combination skin. Normal skin feels comfortable neither oily nor dry. Weve noted below which cleansers work best for which type of skin.
Cleanser texture: Personal preference plays a big part in which texture to choose for your cleanser, but your skin type matters too. Foaming cleansers can be very drying, as can some gel cleansers, whereas creamy formulas are more hydrating. Cleansing oils are another option that remove excess oil on the skin but dont strip it in the process.
Below, youll find 11 acne cleansers recommended by our panel of experts and our own staff that should aid all skin types, even the finickiest.
Best Overall: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
Cetaphil is a well-known and trusted brand when it comes to skin care products and for good reason! Theyre known to produce effective yet gentle facial cleansers that will keep your skin fresh and clean WITHOUT excessively drying it out.
This daily facial cleanser is gentle and non-irritating, making it a great choice for those with sensitive skin.
Its also effective at removing makeup, dirt, and oil without stripping away the natural moisture in your skin.
Plus, its fragrance-free, non-comedogenic , and hypoallergenic.
What more could you ask for in a face wash?
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Best For Removing Dead Skin Cells: Eltamd Foaming Facial Cleanser
If you dont exfoliate away dead skin cells, then youre just asking for trouble. You need to constantly remove them, otherwise youll be afflicted with dull skin that is more likely to show signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines.
This face wash From EltaMD is specifically designed to remove dead skin cells. Their gentle foaming cleanser uses glycolic acid to help exfoliate the skin and improve its overall appearance. Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that is known for its ability to help improve the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging.
Not only that, but this face wash is also non-comedogenic, oil-free, and fragrance-free making it a great choice for those with sensitive skin.
Bliss Makeup Melt Jelly Cleanser
This is a great, slightly more cost-effective alternative to the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, said one user. The smooth consistency easily removes makeup and is gentle for face washing. This two-in-one cleanser-slash-makeup remover can literally melt away a full face of foundation without drying the skin, for less than $15. Not to mention it has an aesthetically pleasing bottle that would look great on your countertop.
5 of 11 Image Credits: Amazon
Best Drugstore Face Wash for Combination Skin
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Best Drugstore Cleanser For Sensitive Skin: Aveeno Calm + Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser
Is your skin so sensitive, it throws a tantrum whenever you try a new cleanser? Aveeno Calm + Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser is just what the doctor ordered for you. Its loaded with oats, one of the most soothing ingredients in skincare. Oats have anti-inflammatory properties that calm down redness and irritation and keep skin from flaring up. This cleanser gently removes all traces of dirt and grime and even removes a little makeup without drying out skin.
Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
La Roche-Posay Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer is excellent for all skin types. It effectively hydrates without clogging pores, making it a particularly great choice for those prone to acne.
This product is one of the overall best La Roche-Posay moisturizers. It contains niacinamide, which helps soothe and reduce redness, as well as ceramides, which strengthen and hydrate the skin. Additionally, this moisturizer is non-comedogenic, meaning it contains ingredients that are not likely to clog pores. This makes this moisturizer excellent for acne-prone skin.
- May not be moisturizing enough for super dry skin
In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this moisturizer contains prebiotics, which the brand says help restore the skin, and glycerin, which moisturizes.
Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Niacinamide, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurine, Myristyl Myristate, Stearic Acid, Ceramide 3, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Isobutane, Glyceryl Stearate Se, Sodium Hydroxide, Myristic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Capryloyl Glycine, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, T-Butyl Alcohol, Acrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate / Vinylidene Chloride Copolymer, Tocopheryl
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