Best Face Washes: Top 5 Cleansers Most Recommended By Skincare Experts

The market is flooded with exceptional face wash options, each catering to various skin types and concerns. The best face washes are renowned for their gentle yet effective cleansing properties, helping to remove impurities, excess oil, and makeup without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. With a focus on dermatologist-recommended ingredients and a commitment to delivering a refreshed and radiant complexion, these standout face washes have become essential components of skincare routines worldwide.

Waking up with a pimple is never fun, yet for some reason more than half of Americans admit they often hit the sack without washing their face. A recent survey reports that most of us who do wash up — aren’t even doing it correctly. Of the 1,000 adult men and women surveyed in the United States, 60 percent reported they were uninformed about basic skin cleansing methods, while 54 percent admitted they often skipped washing their face altogether before going to bed. Meanwhile, about half of those surveyed said they turn to hand soap or bath wash to clean their faces, while a third simply use water.

Finding the best face wash for your skin type can help you implement an easy skincare routine without the hassle of using several products or looking up complicated methodology. And investing in your skin can do more than help you look better, it can help you feel better too. A survey of 2,000 American women 35 and older looked at their skin care journeys and shows that nearly three-quarters say their confidence is impacted by the way their skin looks (72%). The top skin care concerns that women struggle with are combination skin (31%), dry skin (29%), and wrinkles (28%). 

But it’s not only women who should be concerned with their skincare routine, everyone can benefit from taking better care of their skin as cleansing can help remove excess oil, dirt, and sweat, ultimately offering your skin the rest it needs. StudyFinds set out to find the overall best face washes. For our findings, we visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which face washes were rated the best. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended products across these sites. Did we miss one? Let us know your go-to product in the comments below!

Black man cleansing and washing his face with soap
Man cleansing and washing his face (© Wayhome Studio –

The List: Best Face Wash, According to Experts

1. CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser

CeraVe’s Cream-to-Foam Cleanser contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid and amino acids, making it a great and an affordable choice for combination skin. “It transforms from a cream to a foam, giving dry areas the creamy, hydrating nourishment they need, while the foam removes excess oil without leaving [the skin] feeling tight or dry,” says New York Magazine. “The cleanser also contains essential ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and amino acids that help maintain the skin’s natural barrier and lock in moisture.”

CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser
CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser

The face wash dispenses as a rich cream and transforms into a foam as you lather into skin while thoroughly cleansing. “Like all CeraVe products, this cleanser is made without sulfates or fragrances, but does include plenty of other skin boosting ingredients. In addition to glycerin, this wash also has amino acids to draw water to the skin, so you won’t be left with that ‘just stripped’ feeling of dryness after cleansing,” writes Health.

2. La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

Known for its rich formula of glycerin, ceramides, and niacinamide, La Roche-Posay’s Hydrating Gentle Cleanser is highly recommended. “If you are both sensitive and dry, it can be hard to find a cleanser that doesn’t aggravate or strip your skin. That’s where this product comes in. It’s incredibly gentle, but still gives a good, deep clean while not removing all those necessary oils from your skin,” writes Elle Magazine.

La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

Experts also love this face wash for its gentle and moisturizing formula, in addition to being cruelty-free. “This all-star face wash is formulated with mineral-rich thermal spring water, niacinamide (vitamin B3), moisturizing glycerin, and essential ceramides. These moisturizing ingredients are essential for skin barrier health, locking in moisture,” adds Byrdie. “The sizable pump bottle contains 13.5 ounces of product, so you won’t have to worry about running out any time soon.”

3. Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser

This gel-to-foam facial cleanser is great for oily skin and packed with nutrient-dense goodness like green tea, spinach, and vitamins C, E, K.

Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser
Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser

“Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser sounds like a cold-pressed juice, smells like apples, and looks like dish detergent, but don’t be fooled, this face wash is something worth talking about — and clearing off some counter space for,” explains Allure.

Many also love this face wash for its efficiency, noting that only one cleanse is necessary to lock in all the benefits. “Much like a foaming face wash, a gel one will work best for those with oily or acne-prone skin because it can cut through excess oil on the skin’s surface (and inside pores). [This one] boosts moisture in the skin, provides anti-inflammatory protection, and won’t leave the skin dry or tight,” mentions New York Magazine.

4. The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

The company The Ordinary shook up the skincare industry by foregoing the overpriced tags on their products and offering some of the highest quality ingredients available at an affordable price-point. 

The Ordinary Daily Set
The Ordinary Daily Set

“Pulling double-duty as a daily cleanser and makeup-removing balm, the creamy formula obliterates all traces of impurities while maintaining skin’s natural moisture barrier,” says Forbes. “It’s packed with squalane, a lipid with a molecular makeup similar to skin’s cell membrane to absorb easily, retains moisture and deeply hydrates—resulting in a glowy, balanced complexion.”

This face wash is also rated highly for hydration and skin barrier protection. “They say you get what you pay for, but this squalane-filled, balmy cleanser actually stands up to the expensive guys in terms of efficacy. It’s brilliant at drawing dirt from pores while keeping skin soft and supple, and works well for all skin types,” adds Vogue.

5. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Getting started with a healthy skincare routine doesn’t need to be expensive, and Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser is one of the most affordable and effective formulas available, as well as being widely accessible.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

“There’s a reason this cleanser is recommended by pretty much every dermatologist and beauty editor out there,” notes Glamour. “Not only is it affordable, but it’s also great for every skin type. It’s gentle enough to use in a.m. and p.m. routines and has long championed now buzzy ingredients in its formulation, from glycerin (a popular humectant) to niacinamide (which can help regulate acne and minimize hyperpigmentation).”

Glycerin, vitamin B5, and niacinamide all make this creamy cleanser great for several skin types. “The super-gentle, lotion-like formula is spiked with fatty alcohols that coat the skin to replace that typical post-cleanse tightness with skin-coddling goodness. If you’re not sure which cleanser to get, try this one,” comments Allure.

Editor’s Choice: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

“I have to agree with number five on our list: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser has been a staple in my home, especially since having kids,” says StudyFinds Editor-in-Chief Steve Fink. “This face and body wash is a great choice for all of the skin types in our house and is as gentle as its name says. It may not be as thick or foamy as typical face washes, but my face always feels refreshed after I use this wash. And perhaps best of all, no complaints from the kids!”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About the Author

Meaghan Babaker

Meaghan Babaker is a journalist and freelance writer previously based out of New York City while working for CBS New York, CBS Local and MSNBC. After moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 2016, she went on to write for Digital Luxury Group, The Travel Corporation and other international publications before joining the editorial team at StudyFinds.

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