The Best Face Washes for Dry Skin, According to the Experts

Every morning, more or less, I brush my teeth and then hit the shower. I use regular soap, usually something fragrant from Dove, for my body, and a creamy shampoo for my hair. My face, however, gets special treatment. About every two to three days, or if I’m feeling extra greasy, I reach for a face wash, specifically Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser. I don’t have problematic skin, but I have learned that repeated washing with something generic can strip away essential natural oils. And this is even more damaging for those with dry skin.

“Regular face washes are focused on removing dirt and grease, so they will function as detergents to remove as much oil as possible,” explains Dr. James Y. Wang, a double board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist, and founder of Metropolis Dermatology. “However, this often backfires because it forces the skin to make even more oil to compensate.”

According to Dr. Wang, the best facial wash for dry skin will contain hydrators like oatmeal, humectants, and ceramides in the product. “They will also often lack salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and other ingredients that will cause tears on the surface of the skin,” he adds.

It is also important to consider the type of formula you plan to use. “Foaming cleansers, in general, tend to be better for oily skin, but there are exceptions,” says Dr. Muneeb Shah, dermatology resident at Campbell University in North Carolina. Dr. Joel Lamm, a board-certified dermatologist and Ever/Body’s supervising physician, also recommends creams, because they help “avoid drying out skin.”

So, if you are plagued by dry skin and need a facial wash that is up to snuff, we asked all three of these dermatologists to give their recommendations on the products you need to give your face the smooth, dewy finish that it deserves.

Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser


According to Dr. Wang, “this cleanser is soap-free, gentle on the skin, and does not contain fragrances or oils.”

Gentle Facial Cleanser


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According to Dr. Shah, this cleanser is tops because it is “fragrance-free with gentle surfactants.”

Gentle Skin Cleanser

“Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is formulated to gently cleanse and hydrate the skin,” says Dr. Lamm. “It contains hydrating ingredients such as niacinamide and vitamin B5.”

Hydrating Facial Cleanser

This facial wash get the seal of approval from Dr. Lamm because it is “a gentle hydrating formula that contains hydrating ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid.”

Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser

Paula’s Choice

“This formulation gently cleanses the skin while soothing the skin with green tea and chamomile.” says Dr. Wang.

Lipikar Wash AP+ Moisturizing Body & Face Wash

La Roche-Posay

This foaming formula, recommended by Dr. Shah, sreduces drying effects of water, leaving your skin smooth and soft.

Foaming Facial Cleanser

“This is a very light foam that can gently degrease the skin without removing moisture,” says Dr. Wang. “Its formulation is perfect for those with dry, irritated skin.”

Gentle Cleanser


“Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser is a creamy non-foaming hydrating cleanser designed for dry skin types,” says Dr. Lamm.

Soothing Cleanser


Dr. Lamm recommends Skinceuticals Soothing Cleanser because it “is a soap-free formula that contains hydrating and soothing ingredients ideal for dry and sensitive skin.”

Intensive Moisture Cleanser


“This product uses phytoactives to nourish the skin as it cleans away the grease,” says Dr. Wang.

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Source : Esquire