The 25 Best Face Washes For Every Budget And Skin Type

There is an endless list of skincare commandments that we are told to live by. Oil is always the last step. Don't mix your active ingredients. Always use eye cream. But the most important one of them all is to always wash your face. Whether this means always removing your makeup or simply washing your bare face before applying skincare, making sure your skin is cleansed of any makeup or dirt is the best thing you can do for it. Bacteria and residual product sitting on your skin are a cause behind many skin struggles, especially breakouts!

Of course, as with any skincare product, there are countless options to choose from, and the wrong one could do more harm than good. Selecting the perfect face wash for you depends on everything from your skin type to your skin's needs. We have put together a roundup of the 25 best face washes on the market for every budget and every skin struggle you could be going through. You can't go wrong with these — just make you sure you use them. Washing your face is the ultimate rule, after all.

How we selected the face washes

When approaching the skincare category of face washes, it is easy to get overwhelmed by options. There are face washes targeting every need and making every claim you can think of, but as always it's tricky to decipher which ones actually live up to their promises. When selecting these face washes, we made sure to do our research, looking into a variety of popular options underneath each of the categories listed below. By reading shopper reviews written by people with the exact same concerns as you, we were able to decide which face wash was deemed the most effective at tackling that skin need. 

With skincare, a big guiding force is the online skincare community. They are the ones experimenting and testing out these products to give followers the green light on whether they are worth it. The face washes selected below have been deemed holy grails by members of the skincare community, and that added stamp of approval is always a good sign when trying out a new skincare product. 

Best overall face wash

As you've probably discovered, there are endless purposes a face wash can serve, and even more skin issues it can target. However, sometimes you just need a solid overall face wash that does the job and does it well, and that is iS Clinical's Cleansing Complex.

Being a dermatologist-owned brand, iS Clinical's face wash is dermatologist-approved and is a deep cleansing face wash that uses glycolic acid to exfoliate your skin and unclog your pores. It also contains calming and soothing extracts such as chamomile to keep it gentle, and the vitamin E in it works to help prevent signs of aging. This face wash even has a hint of exfoliating salicylic acid to help treat any breakouts. One Lovely Skin reviewer summed it up pretty well by saying, "This is my favorite face wash. So light and doesn't make me break out. I feel like I always get a good clean with it."

Purchase iS Clinical's Cleansing Complex at Lovely Skin for $25.

Best affordable face wash

This roundup of the best face washes has an option for every single budget, but this next one is for those trying to keep costs very low without forgoing quality. In fact, The Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser is a popular pick regardless of the price point.

At under $10, the Squalane Cleanser is a great versatile face wash that works as a cleanser as well as a makeup remover. With the star ingredient being squalane, this face wash is super hydrating and won't leave your skin feeling stripped. With a pH of 5.5-6.5, it promises to keep your skin's moisture barrier balanced. One Ulta reviewer shares how it converted her: "I used to be lazy with skin cleaning and just use makeup wipes, but this cleanser has changed the game. My skin looks and feels amazing and it really gets all the makeup off."

Purchase The Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser at Ulta for $9.

Best luxury face wash

On the flip side, if you have absolutely no budget at all, then there's no reason why you shouldn't treat yourself and invest in a luxury face wash. While Dr. Barbara Sturm's Cleanser may be pricey, it is definitely worth it.

The Cleanser is a gentle foaming face wash that deeply cleanses your skin, removing any dirt and makeup, but leaves your skin feeling hydrated and fresh. It is ideal for all skin types and skincare concerns, and is formulated with a combination of mild tensides, purslane, and aloe vera juice, making it a gentle, soothing face wash that supports your skin's natural moisture barrier. One Sephora reviewer raves, "Although it is very lightweight, it cleans well while also hydrating, never leaving the skin stripped. I can tell how perfectly it cleanses my skin to prepare it for the day and allows my products to apply with ease!"

Purchase Dr. Barbara Sturm's Cleanser at Sephora for $75.

Best exfoliating face wash

Exfoliation is one of the trickiest elements of skincare. Implementing exfoliation into your face wash routine with Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator is a safe way to get your exfoliation in without going overboard. 

The Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator is a unique powder consistency, and once mixed with water in your palms, it emulsifies into a creamy cleanser. The micro-chunks in this won't even feel like they're exfoliating, but using this face wash daily will give your skin the gentle exfoliation it needs. 

This face wash is formulated with papaya enzymes and salicylic acid which work to clear your pores, while rice bran gently exfoliates your skin and brightens it. Lastly, colloidal oatmeal is essential in soothing your skin and stopping it from getting over-exfoliated. One Sephora reviewer shares, "I love that it does a good job of sloughing off the dead skin cells while at the same time not stripping my skin!"

Purchase Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator at Sephora for $64.

Best face wash for sensitive skin

Sensitive skin types struggle the most with finding the right skincare products that won't do more damage than good. Well, Paula's Choice's Calm Ultra-Gentle Cleanser is just as gentle as the name would suggest. 

This soothing gel cleanser turns creamy when wet, making it super hydrating on your skin. It contains gentle cleansing agents that ensure it gives your skin the deep cleanse it needs and removes any excess makeup or dirt, but the glycerin and triglyceride work overtime to replenish your skin and prevent any moisture loss. The Calm Ultra-Gentle Cleanser is also formulated with prebiotic sugars to keep your skin's natural microbiome in check and offer some extra soothing. One Paula's Choice reviewer explains why her sensitive skin loves it so much: "Such a great product and leaves my face feeling relaxed and cleansed. All the ingredients are great for sensitive skin!"

Purchase Paula's Choice's Calm Ultra-Gentle Cleanser at Paula's Choice for $19.

Best brightening face wash

Considering we start our day with face washes, a skincare need that they often target is brightening. Countless vitamin C and fruit extract face washes exist that promise to brighten your skin, but Indie Lee's unique formulation in their Brightening Cleanser is hands down the best.

Let's start with the least important pro that is the most enjoyable — this face wash smells delicious! That's all down to the unique strawberry seed oil and tomato extract that serve as antioxidants designed to give you firmer skin over time. The Brightening Cleanser uses sunflower oil to help break down any residual makeup on your skin, and lycopene works to gently exfoliate your skin and brighten it.

The best part is it's suitable for all skin types. As one Indie Lee reviewer shares, "I love this cleanser. Despite my dry, sensitive, sometimes acne-prone skin, I can use this worry-free. It's refreshing and deep cleansing — takes off SPF and makeup."

Purchase Indie Lee's Brightening Cleanser at Indie Lee for $36.

Best face wash for skincare beginners

If you're just starting out with skincare and looking to get more into it, then perhaps some of the more complicated formulations can be a bit intimidating. As long as you're dedicated to washing your face, you really can't go wrong, and you can start out with the no-fuss no-muss Centella & Green Tea Hydrating Gel Cleanser by Selfless by Hyram. 

The gentle gel daily cleanser is antioxidant-packed, with soothing and healing Centella and green tea. It also contains glycerin, making it very hydrating — and being a pH-balanced face wash, this won't disrupt your skin's natural moisture barrier. It just does the job and leaves your skin feeling cleansed and hydrated. 

One Selfless by Hyram reviewer proves it even works great if you have underlying skin issues, saying "I have oily/combination skin and [am] prone to breakouts. And this cleanser doesn't strip my skin, calms it nicely."

Purchase Centella & Green Tea Hydrating Gel Cleanser at Selfless by Hyram for $20.

Best face wash for a compromised skin barrier

Playing around and experimenting with skincare can be fun, especially with so many exciting product releases. But it stops being fun when you experiment a little too much and end up compromising your skin's natural moisture barrier. That's when it's time to call in Glow Recipe's Avocado Ceramide Moisture Barrier Cleanser.

As the name would suggest, this gentle hydrating face wash is specially created to help repair your moisture barrier. Filled with moisture-boosting ingredients like avocado oil and colloidal oatmeal, this works to soothe your damaged skin. The star ingredients of course are the ceramides, which help to prevent water loss and deeply repair your moisture barrier. One Sephora reviewer raves, "My skin feels so hydrated after just a few uses. It has a non-sticky feeling and makes my skin feel amazing and with a nice glow to it."

Purchase Glow Recipe's Avocado Ceramide Moisture Barrier Cleanser at Sephora for $28.

Best face wash for makeup removal

Double cleansing is imperative these days, and you need a separate face wash that is oil or balm based to break down your makeup before you properly wash your face. DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil tops that category for good reason, and its entire cult following can back it up. 

DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil is a super simple oil face wash that uses primarily olive oil to deeply break down your makeup and remove every last trace of it — even stubborn waterproof mascara. It is also infused with vitamin E, making it nourishing and hydrating on your skin as it removes any dirt. The gentle cleansing oil is formulated without fragrance and colorants, so it's suitable for all skin types. One Dermstore reviewer shares, "Over the years I've tried several other oil cleansers and keep coming back to this one. It's the best at removing makeup (and most affordable)."

Purchase DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil at Dermstore for $15.

Best face wash for active breakouts

The worst thing you could do is over-treat acne, and one of the best things you can when you have an active breakout is simply make sure to keep your skin fresh and clean. For that step, you're going to want to reach for Proactiv MD's Deep Cleansing Face Wash.

The Deep Cleansing Face Wash is the perfect exfoliating cleanser for those suffering active breakouts. Using gentle exfoliating beads, it removes any excess oil or dirt from your skin to prevent worsening your breakouts, and the green tea and aloe vera extract work to soothe and heal your acne. It also contains ascorbic acid, which helps brighten your skin over time and helps prevent scarring. One Ulta reviewer with acne-prone skin shared her own experience, saying "I have hormonal, stubborn acne and I wear a mask to work but this stuff really makes my skin and look feel and look great." 

Purchase Proactiv MD's Deep Cleansing Face Wash at Ulta for $30.

Best vitamin C face wash

If you're looking for a fun and effective vitamin C face wash, then Clinique's unique Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser is definitely worth trying. For a much more enjoyable face-washing experience, these individually packaged powder pouches are activated when they come in contact with water. A big pro is these are great for travel, as you can just pack a few pouches instead of lugging around a bottle of face wash. 

The ultra-fine powder feels gentle and soothing on your skin, but you will immediately notice your skin feeling and looking brighter and more awake. The pure concentrated dose of vitamin C also works to even out your skin tone over time and fade any hyperpigmentation or scarring. One Ulta reviewer was wowed by the brightening results: "I've been using this now for about three weeks and my complexion has cleared up the pigmentation and all the other issues I had!"

Purchase Clinique's unique Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser at Ulta for $39.

Best enzyme face wash

Kinship has formulated a super unique face wash formula with the Naked Papaya Gentle Enzyme Milky Cleanser. First of all, it smells delicious thanks to the papaya enzymes, but the source of that smell is also the source of benefits like antioxidants and vitamins that work to brighten and smooth your skin.

The unique milky formula that lathers when washing also contains jojoba and sunflower oil, which work to break down your makeup and any residual dirt while also moisturizing and softening your skin. This enzyme face wash is powered by Kinship's trademark Kinbiome probiotic, which heals your skin barrier and keeps it clear and glowing. One Ulta reviewer shares, "I am hooked for life! It removes all my makeup — which is a lot, and it leaves my skin soft and moisturized."

Purchase Kinship's Naked Papaya Gentle Enzyme Milky Cleanser at Ulta for $23.

Best face wash for oily skin types

Oily skin types often rely heavily on face washes. You need something to absorb excess oil, and keep your skin feeling clean without being too stripping. Youth To The People's Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser does it all. 

This fan-favorite, award-winning face wash works to deeply cleanse your skin of dirt and impurities clogging your pores. It is formulated with phytonutrient-rich kale that leaves your skin glowing, while the spinach soothes and cools your skin. It also contains antioxidant-rich green tea, which soothes your skin and fights signs of aging. The gel formula makes it perfect for oily skin, as it will deeply cleanse your skin and leave it soft and shine-free, but still with a bit of a natural glow. One Sephora reviewer shares, "I have redness and oily skin and this feels like it calms my skin and provides many benefits."

Purchase Youth To The People's Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser at Sephora for $36.

Best face wash for dry skin types

If you have dry skin, you may find it especially difficult to find a face wash that won't dry your skin out any further. Well, Cocokind's Oil to Milk Cleanser actually leaves your skin feeling more hydrated. 

The moisturizing oil-to-milk formula allows this face wash to not strip your skin's natural moisture. Formulated with an organic oil blend, it breaks down your makeup and removes any dirt while leaving your skin feeling nourished. A fermented oat and oat lipid is the microbiome-friendly complex used in this face wash to encourage the right bacteria to thrive on your skin and keep it supple and hydrated. One Cocokind reviewer raves, "My skin feels flexible and supple after using this and I feel like it creates the absolute best base for a skincare routine."

Purchase Cocokind's Oil to Milk Cleanser at Cocokind for $18.

Best face wash/scrub hybrid

Our skin can only take so much exfoliation, so sometimes it's best to find multi-use products like a face wash that also works as a scrub. Of course, chunky, harsh face scrubs are canceled, so Versed Skin's Day Maker Microcrystal Exfoliating Cleanser is the best pick.

Using superfine microcrystalline that is a plant-based alternative to microbeads, this creamy cleanser clears out your pores and refines your skin texture without feeling too harsh. It is formulated with black currant and raspberry leaf extract, which are both antioxidant-rich and will help reduce oil production and soothe inflammation. The gentle face scrub is suitable for all skin types, and one Versed Skincare reviewer shares, "The beads are fine and not too harsh on the skin. My skin felt super supple after using this and it added a shine onto my face post-rinsing."

Purchase Day Maker Microcrystal Exfoliating Cleanser at Versed Skincare for $16.99.

Best milky face wash

The consistency of the face wash you use is very important depending on your skin type and needs. Milky cleansers are known for being the gentlest and most hydrating of formulas, and Laneige's Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser does it best. 

Laneige's Cream Skin range is infamous for how deeply it works at repairing your moisture barrier, and this Milk Oil Cleanser addition is the perfect hydrating face wash to break down your makeup and cleanse your skin. The milk oil works to gently remove your makeup while white leaf tea water heals your skin's natural moisture barrier and keeps your skin hydrated and soothed. One Sephora reviewer shares, "This literally melts away all your makeup, even my waterproof mascara. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and creamy. I just love this!"

Purchase Laneige's Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser at Sephora for $34.

Best foaming face wash

Foaming face washes excel at deeply cleansing your skin with a rich lather, and they're often not ideal for dry skin types. Philosophy's Purity Made Simple Pore Purifying Foam Cleanser is the perfect foam face wash pick if you're looking for something that's going completely remove any trace of dirt or makeup and unclog your pores. 

The foam cleanser promises to visibly minimize your pores within one week of use. Philosophy backs up this bold claim by using papaya enzyme and glycolic acid to gently exfoliate your skin and clear out your pores. Witch hazel is also at play here working to tighten your pores and leave them visibly minimized. One Ulta reviewer confirms the brand's claims, "I was impressed that it unclogged my pores, left my skin feeling clean, and didn't dry my skin. My pores were visibly clean and unclogged after washing. That was truly impressive."

Purchase Philosophy's Purity Made Simple Pore Purifying Foam Cleanser at Ulta for $27.

Best face wash for acne-prone skin

With acne-prone skin, the face wash you use is vital. It can either make or break the breakouts. Kate Somerville's EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser is designed to prevent future breakouts and heal active ones. 

This face wash is medicated and contains a potent 3% sulfur that treats your acne, helping to heal breakouts while also balancing your skin to prevent future ones. The foaming cleanser is gently exfoliating, but it also contains honey and rice bran extracts, calming down any angry breakouts and avoiding further irritating your skin. Meanwhile, the natural oat extract works to soak up any excess sebum that may cause future pimples. One Ulta reviewer raves, "I've always had acne-prone skin, and I had a really bad break out for weeks, and after using this two times a day for a little over two weeks, my face is practically clear! And my face feels so smooth too."

Purchase Kate Somerville's EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser at Ulta for $44.

Most unique face wash formula

Foam, gel, milk, oil, cream — generally face washes fall under one of those categories. However, Ren Skincare's Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser offers up its very own unique formula combination. The cleanser starts as a bouncy gel, but as you rub it onto your wet skin it emulsifies into an oil. This makes it perfect for gently cleansing your face while deeply breaking down your makeup. But it doesn't stop there: It then turns into a milky consistency, making it easier to wash off than oil. 

While the formula trifecta is the star detail, the ingredients do most of the work here. Sunflower seed extract and meadowfoam seed oil are used to nourish your skin and replenish your moisture barrier. Grapeseed oil is also used to cleanse your skin and provide it with antioxidants. One Sephora reviewer shares, "Superb at removing all traces of dirt/ makeup and does not sting eyes at all. Makes it fun to actually clean my face at night — amazing!"

Purchase Ren Skincare's Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser at Sephora for $37.

Best face wash for redness

When dealing with redness, face washes can play a big role in either soothing and reducing the redness or being too harsh and worsening the situation. Dr. Jart+ has nailed the redness treatment with the Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Enzyme Foam Cleanser.

Using Dr. Jart+'s trademark Green Repair Solution, Centella Asiatica and a blend of herbs are combined to form a natural humectant that works to soothe and calm down any redness or irritation. The creamy foaming cleanser also contains glycerin, making it hydrating and repairing. Its unique enzyme technology allows this to lather up and deeply cleanse your skin of any impurities. One Sephora reviewer raves, "I love this cleanser. It helps calm my redness and leaves my skin feeling clean and doesn't dry out my skin."

Purchase Dr. Jart+'s Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Enzyme Foam Cleanser at Sephora for $26.

Best AHA face wash

Any true skincare lover understands the importance of having an active acid in rotation. You could opt for an intense treatment product or an AHA toner — or of course, you could slip it into your face wash with Elemis' Superfood AHA Glow Cleansing Butter. 

This unique cleansing butter can either be applied with a cotton pad or massaged onto your wet skin. Either way, the buttery formula works to break down your makeup and cleanse your skin. It uses a special blend of Fermented Pumpkin Enzymes and Acerola Cherry, both natural AHAs that gently exfoliate your skin and reveal a glow. Omega fatty acid-rich Mango Butter and Chia Seed Oil also work to nourish and hydrate your skin. One Ulta reviewer shares, "Absolutely love this cleansing butter and this one is really good!! My skin is noticeably glowing after using this product!"

Purchase Elemis' Superfood AHA Glow Cleansing Butter at Ulta for $39.

Best face wash bar

Sometimes with skincare, it's nice to strip things back to basics. You don't often hear about people using soap bars to wash their faces anymore, but when it's one that's as well-formulated and effective as Carbon Theory's Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Bar, it's worth trying. 

The star ingredients of this completely vegan soap bar are charcoal and tea tree oil. The organic activated charcoal works to deeply draw out impurities and dirt from your pores as well as balance your skin's oil production. Meanwhile, the organic tea tree oil serves as an antiseptic, helping soothe any inflammation or redness. The soap bar also contains shea butter that hydrates and nourishes your skin. One Ulta reviewer raves about the 4.8 star-rated face wash, "I've tried so many different products and I can say this is one of the best face washes I've ever used — as far as results/management. This really does help 'control' the breakout, and it has reduced my overall breakouts by 80%."

Purchase Carbon Theory's Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Bar at Ulta for $9.99.

Best K-Beauty face wash

Within any skincare category, it's always worth peaking into what the K-Beauty world has to offer. Providing affordable and incredibly effective skincare products, COSRX has come through as always with its fan-favorite snail formula.

The COSRX Advanced Snail Mucin Gel Cleanser is a sulfate-free face wash that lathers into a foam, working to deeply cleanse your skin and absorb excess oil. But the star ingredient of course is COSRX's trademark snail mucin, which is a miracle worker when it comes to hydrating and repairing your skin. The snail secretion filtrate works to deeply moisturize, while the amino acid arginine protects your skin. One Ulta reviewer shares, "After a month and a half of use, my skin is left feeling hydrated; I have noticed a significant reduction in texture. I am also suffering less frequent and severe breakouts. This is the only cleanser that works for me!"

Purchase COSRX Advanced Snail Mucin Gel Cleanser at Ulta for $18.

Best trending face wash

Viral skincare product hype is a never-ending wheel that keeps turning and churning out new products. But when it comes to face washes, none have held the holy grail title in the skincare community like CeraVe's Hydrating Facial Cleanser. 

This simple drugstore face wash has had the skincare community in a chokehold for quite some time now, and it's all down to just how simple it is. Developed with dermatologists, this gentle face wash packs a punch when it comes to deep cleansing your skin of all dirt and residual makeup, but it does it without stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Containing ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin, this face wash is deeply moisturizing. One Target reviewer shares, "Highly recommend this for anyone with dry skin. Especially if you're breaking out from trying new products. It's a great reset and the ceramides help restore your skin barrier."

Purchase CeraVe's Hydrating Facial Cleanser at Target for $12.99.

Best simple face wash for every skin type

Now that we've covered just about every different skin type and skin concern you could need your face wash to target, it's only right to end it with one that works for everyone. An OG classic like First Aid Beauty's Pure Skin Face Cleanser deserves its moment in the spotlight. 

First Aid Beauty is all about simple, gentle, and effective skincare. The Pure Skin Face Cleanser is vegan and cruelty-free, and it is formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrance. It's about as gentle and non-harmful as it comes, and that doesn't stop it from effectively deep cleaning your skin and removing makeup and impurities. What it is formulated with is aloe, allantoin, and glycerin, which all work to nourish and hydrate your skin while maintaining its natural moisture barrier. One Ulta reviewer raves, "I have been using this for as long as I can remember. I love it. My skin looks great and feels great. I can't imagine using anything else." 

Purchase First Aid Beauty's Pure Skin Face Cleanser at Ulta for $24.