How to Find the Right Face Wash for Your Skin (2023)

How to Find the Right Face Wash for Your Skin (1)

The one common denominator we all have in a skincare routine is face wash…or at least I’d hope everyone is washing their face everyday. Cleanser is probably the number one staple item to own, even if you don’t really have a routine at all. But even for the most basic of skincare items, cleansers can be difficult to differentiate. So, if you’ve struggled with how to find a face wash that works for your skin or just one that you enjoy, use this as a guide for the next time you take a trip to the store.


1. The 5 skin types

2. How to find products for dry skin

3. How to find products for oily skin

4. How to find products for combination skin

5. How to find products for sensitive skin

(Video) how to choose the right cleanser for your skin

6. How to find products for moderate skin

Key Points

  • There are 5 main skin types: dry, oily, combo, sensitive and moderate.
  • Typically, you can tell on your own what category you fall into, but if you’re unsure it’s always best to see your dermatologist
  • There are certain facewash guidelines for dry, oily, and sensitive skin, while people with combination and moderate skin need to do more tailoring for individual skin needs.

The 5 skin types

To begin, let’s break down skin types before discussing which cleansers work best for which skin type. There are several different skin types, and it’s very possible that you can have two skin types at once. Dermatologists typically divide it into five categories: dry, oily, combination, sensitive and moderate. You may have heard the term “normal” skin, but moderate is a better definition because there is no such thing as normal!

How to find products for dry skin

Dry skin is pretty self-explanatory, but it can be slightly confusing for some to differentiate between dry and dehydrated skin. Dry skin is a skin type, where the skin lacks sebum or oil. Dehydrated skin is a skin condition where the skin lacks water or has issues holding onto water or moisture. Dehydrated skin is a temporary condition that can be repaired, whereas dry skin is your skin type that you were simply born with. It can be confusing to decide which one you’re struggling with because they have the same symptoms such as: redness, itching, flaking, and a feeling of tightness right after cleansing.

Dry skin typically doesn’t need as much cleansing or as harsh of cleaning ingredients as other skin types. At its core, a cleanser or face wash is a soap, and many soaps’ main ingredient is sulfate, this is the stuff that makes your face washes, body washes, and shampoos foam up and lather. This type of lathering psychologically makes people feel cleaner and as if they are doing a better job of removing dirt from the surface.

But for people with dry skin, an excessive amount of soap can make their dryness worse. Soaps and cleansers work by stripping the skin of any oils, dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria, but in doing so, the skin is then left with less sebum or oil than it began with. Because dry skin already lacks sebum, excessively washing your face or using products containing too much sulfate is just going to make your skin drier.

How to Find the Right Face Wash for Your Skin (2)

Those with dry skin should opt for more milky, creamy-like face washes and stay away from the cleansers that foam up. It may seem like those types of face washers are doing a better job at cleaning, but it really is just a psychological effect. Non-foaming cleansers do just as great of a job at washing without leaving the skin feeling tight. If you’re extremely dry, it can also be beneficial to stick to cleansing once a day at night, and using just lukewarm water to rinse your face in the mornings.

(Video) How To Find Your Skin Type | Skin Care 101

Ceramides and glycerin are two key ingredients to look for when shopping for a new face wash. These will help cleanse the skin of any dirt and bacteria, while simultaneously hydrating and soothing dry skin.

Best face washes for those with dry skin:

How to find products for oily skin

Oily skin is almost the opposite when looking for a cleanser. If you have oily skin, your skin produces an excess amount of sebum, causing you to be shiny throughout the day. There are actually several benefits to having oilier skin, and one of them includes natural lubrication meaning those with oily skin tend to age slower or develop less wrinkles.

So although having to carry a touch-up powder with you nowadays can be annoying, you will be thankful in the long run. For people with oily skin, it’s recommended to cleanse twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Although your body produces more oil than necessary, it’s also important to not overwash and overstrip your skin of its natural oils. Doing this actually causes your skin to overcompensate by producing even more oils.

How to Find the Right Face Wash for Your Skin (3)

Those with oily skin tend to do better with a gel cleanser. It lathers and foams more than milky cleansers, but if you stick to cleansing a maximum of twice a day, it shouldn’t overstrip your skin. It’s also best to look for cleansers that contain gentle acids: salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or benzoyl peroxide. Because those with oily skin tend to be more prone to breakouts, these ingredients will act as a gentle exfoliant to break up those clogged pores that can cause pimples.

Best face washes for those with oily skin:

(Video) Best Face Cleansers For All Skin Types | Dr. Shereene Idriss

How to find products for combination skin

Combination skin can be tricky as well. Usually if you have combination skin, you struggle with dryness and flaking on your cheeks or the outer parts of your face, but your nose, chin, and forehead get rather oily throughout the day. But, the beauty of having combination skin is you can experiment and see which ingredients you like the best, because several of them will be suited for you. Some recommended ingredients include vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and peptides.

Best face washes for those with combination skin:

How to find products for sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is skin that is easily irritated by introducing new products, harsh ingredients, makeup, or even physical surfaces. Because of this, it’s best to opt for very simple cleansers with preferably less than 10 ingredients. It’s also important to get to know your own skin and experiment with which specific ingredients cause your skin to react poorly and which ingredients your skin can tolerate.

How to Find the Right Face Wash for Your Skin (4)

Ingredients such as lactic acid, azelaic acid, and niacinamide are all very gentle and hydrating ingredients that tend to work well for those with skin on the sensitive side. Oat is also an extremely soothing and calming ingredient which helps for those struggling with redness.

It’s very possible to have dry, oily or combination skin while simultaneously having sensitive skin, which is why I mentioned the possibility of having more than one skin type. This is why it’s so crucial to get to know your own skin and do patch tests when trying out new products to see how your skin reacts before applying it to your entire face.

Best face washes for those with sensitive skin:

(Video) 💦 How to Find the Best Gentle Facial Cleansers for Your Skin Type 💦

*Side note- all of these cleaners can be used on the body as well because they are so gentle

How to find products for moderate skin

Last but not least, we have moderate skin. This is also commonly referred to as “normal” but nobody knows what normal is, so we’ve upgraded to the term moderate. Those with moderate skin are almost right down the middle in every category: not too dry, not too oily, and not overly sensitive. Because of this, people with moderate skin types have endless choices for which ingredients and what brands to use for their cleansers.

How to Find the Right Face Wash for Your Skin (5)

So, it’s really about picking which cleanser you like the best and works best for you and your lifestyle. If you are someone who prefers a creamier cleanser, opt for one that is water and glycerin based. If you are someone who prefers a gel-like foaming cleanser, go for a face wash that contains sulfates and ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid.

Because those with moderate skin don’t necessarily have specific ingredients they should lean towards, you could choose a cleanser from any of the ones listed above. But an extremely popular choice for those with moderate skin is the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($38).

Whatever your skin type is, it’s important to get to know your skin and which ingredients or brands work best for you, your lifestyle and your budget. And remember, contrary to popular belief, skin types can change over time. Oftentimes people struggle with oily or combination skin in their teens and early 20’s and then their skin tends to fizzle out and become drier or more moderate in their 30’s or 40’s. So, listen to your dermatologist and your body and make sure to always cleanse your skin before bed!

How to Find the Right Face Wash for Your Skin (6)

(Video) Make The Most Of Your Cleanser | Guide To Find The Best Cleanser for Your Skin | Be Beautiful

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How do I know what face wash to use? ›

Look for a cleanser that is hypoallergenic, free of fragrance, chemicals, or alcohol and has a non-foaming formula. It's also important to avoid antibacterial soaps and cleansers with exfoliators such as salicylic or glycolic acid, which can all dry out your skin.

How do I find the right skin care for me? ›

Know your skin type
  1. For oily skin: Look for products containing alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid or salicylic acid), benzoyl peroxide, and hyaluronic acid. ...
  2. For dry skin: Look for products containing shea butter and lactic acid. ...
  3. For sensitive skin: Look for products containing aloe vera, oatmeal, and shea butter.
15 Sept 2022

Which face wash is No 1? ›

List of the top ten face washes in the world of Face wash in the world
1.Himalaya Herbals Purifying Neem Face Wash
2.Aroma Magic Face Wash with Neem and Tea Tree
3.Jovees Papaya Face Wash
4.Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
6 more rows

What are the 3 steps to clean your face? ›

Cleansing should always be a part of your morning and evening routine, no matter your skin type or lifestyle.
  1. Step 1: Remove your make-up. Thoroughly wash your hands and ensure they're clean before touching your face. ...
  2. Step 2: Cleanse your face. ...
  3. Step 3: Exfoliate your skin.

How do I choose a face wash for acne? ›

Choose cleanser formulated especially for acne prone skin (Salicylic acid face wash or benzoyl peroxide face wash clears and purify pores & clear sore and is best suited for oily skin. Clean face gently with soft hand do not use any cloth or scrubber because it worsens the acne condition.

What are the 3 most important skin care products? ›

Three Essential Elements in a Basic Skincare Routine
  1. Step 1: Cleanser. Choosing a cleanser that's specifically formulated for the face (rather than the body) is the first essential step in a basic skincare routine. ...
  2. Step 2: Moisturizer. ...
  3. Step 3: Sunscreen. ...
  4. 3 (or 5) simple steps to beautiful skin.

What are the 5 basic of skin care? ›

The Basic Skincare Rules Everyone Should Know
  • Cleanse Once and Then Cleanse Again. Double cleansing requires washing your face not once but twice. ...
  • Always Layer Products in the Right Order. ...
  • Know Your Skin Type. ...
  • Take the Time to Exfoliate. ...
  • Always Wear Sunscreen.
15 Jan 2020

Which brand face wash is good? ›

Best Overall: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

There's a reason this cleanser is recommended by pretty much every dermatologist and beauty editor out there. Not only is it affordable, but it's also great for every skin type.

Is it OK to use Facewash everyday? ›

Cleansing twice a day can prove too much for some — especially if it's too aggressive or using products that aren't quite right. Generally though, a gentle wash morning and night is fine. Remember that you know your skin best and should alter your routine to suit.

Which is the best skincare brand? ›

23 Of The Best Skincare Brands To Know In 2022
  • SkinCeuticals. SkinCeuticals has been a leader in skin care for over two decades thanks to its science-backed approach. ...
  • Emma Lewisham. ...
  • The Secret. ...
  • CeraVe. ...
  • esmi Skin Minerals. ...
  • La Roche Posay. ...
  • Kiehl's. ...
  • The Ordinary.

Why does my skin look better when I don't wash it? ›

You may be using unnecessary products. "Some people may just not be genetically predisposed to breakouts or may produce less [oil],” says Batra. If that sounds like you, you may actually find your skin looks better when you ditch your cleanser.

What should I put on my face after washing it? ›

While you do want to give your face a good cleaning, you don't want to overly strip the skin of essential oils or cause dryness, notes Zeichner. After washing, he recommends locking in hydration with a light moisturizer.

Why do I get pimples even though I wash my face? ›

If you're keeping up a regular cleansing regimen and you're still having breakouts, the problem could be under your skin — hormones. How does acne start? At the root of it all, acne starts when pores are clogged from the buildup of dead skin cells, dirt and excess sebum (oil).

What is the simplest skin care routine? ›

Think of your skin-care routine as consisting of three main steps: Cleansing — Washing your face. Toning — Balancing the skin. Moisturizing — Hydrating and softening the skin.

How should I plan my skin care routine? ›

Here are the steps for a good skincare regimen:
  1. Wash your face. Morning and night, rinse your face water and rub a small amount of gentle cleanser between clean palms. ...
  2. Apply toner. ...
  3. Apply serum. ...
  4. Apply eye cream. ...
  5. Use spot treatment. ...
  6. Moisturize. ...
  7. Apply retinoid. ...
  8. Apply face oil.
7 Jun 2021

How do Koreans have such a nice skin? ›

Skincare is More Important than Makeup

Since ancient times, Koreans have only used natural, harsh-free ingredients for their skincare routines: green tea, “snail slime”, bamboo extracts, propolis, and honey are just some examples of the elements they used and have passed through generations.

What do I apply first on my face? ›

Be sure to always start with a clean face.
  1. Step 1: Cleanser. After removing all your makeup, cleanse your face with an oil-based or water-based cleanser—or both if you're doing a double cleanse! ...
  2. Step 2: Toner. ...
  3. Step 3: Serum. ...
  4. Step 4: Spot Treatment. ...
  5. Step 5: Eye Cream. ...
  6. Step 6: Moisturizer. ...
  7. Step 7: Face Oil.
10 Jul 2020

How do Koreans get glowing skin? ›

Beauty Guru Shahnaz Husain suggests some natural ingredients that can give you Korean glass skin.
  1. Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera's excellent natural characteristics have been utilised for skin improvement for a long time. ...
  2. Rosehip Oil. ...
  3. Sugar Scrub. ...
  4. Honey. ...
  5. Fermented Rice Water.
14 Jun 2022

What is the best face wash according to dermatologist? ›

10 Best Medicated Face Wash Recommended By Dermatologists
  • Cipla Saslic Foaming Face Wash.
  • AHA Glow Face Wash.
  • CeraVe Renewing Salicylic Acid Cleanser.
  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser. ...
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.
  • Bioderma Sensibio Gel Moussant.
  • Cleanse Me Cleanser.
  • Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser.
23 Aug 2022

Should you wash your face with hot or cold water? ›

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing your face in lukewarm water. It's the perfect middle ground for all skin types, as Beal explains that hot water strips your skin of the protective oils that help hold in moisture.

Should I wash my face immediately after waking up? ›

Believe it or not, your skin can accumulate environmental debris in your sleep, so it's necessary to wash them off in the morning. “Dead skin cells and allergens may collect on your pillowcase and be transferred to the facial skin throughout the night,” Palm says.

Should I wash my face with cold water? ›

Lukewarm water is advisable to wash your face with, but cold water has its benefits, too. Cold water tightens the appearance of your skin, so it may make you look renewed and refreshed. It also helps boost your circulation, which can help give your skin a healthier appearance, albeit temporarily.

What is the safest skincare brand? ›

  • Dr. ...
  • Plant Apothecary: A variety of body wash scents.
  • Schmidts: My favorite deodorant brand. ...
  • All Good: Body Lotion and sunscreen.
  • OSEA: Body oil (a great alternative to lotion)
  • True Botanicals: Body oil (a great alternative to lotion)
  • Suntegrity: Sunscreen for the face and body.
11 Sept 2020

What is the #1 beauty brand? ›

Top Beauty Brands on Social: Instagram
RankCompanyTotal Engagement
1Huda Beauty10,410,787
3Kylie Cosmetics64,328,031
7 more rows
10 May 2022

What is the 10 Step skin care routine? ›

While there are some variations, the 10-step routine follows this order:
  • oil-based cleanser.
  • foaming or water-based cleanser.
  • exfoliator (only 1 or 2 times a week)
  • toner.
  • essence.
  • serum or ampoule.
  • sheet mask.
  • eye cream.
4 Nov 2020

How do I choose a face product? ›

5 Tips for Choosing Skin Care Products
  1. Know Your Skin Type. Before you put anything on your skin, know and understand your skin type. ...
  2. Carefully Select Ingredients. Once you know your skin type, select skin care ingredients that won't worsen existing conditions. ...
  3. Look for Fewer Ingredients. ...
  4. Do a Patch Test. ...
  5. Ask an Expert.
2 Mar 2017

Why you shouldn't wash your face in the morning? ›

By washing your skin well at night and removing all impurities and makeup, you eliminate the need to wash your face in the morning. Your skin repairs itself at night, producing an acid mantle that can serve as a protective barrier during the day.

What should I wash my face with in the morning? ›

In the morning, on the other hand, you should not wash your face with water. For those who feel uncomfortable, we recommend wiping the skin using a cotton pad and carbonated water before applying a moisturising cream and, of course, sunscreen as usual.

Will my skin get better if I stop washing it? ›

"New research says that cutting your products and not even using water on your skin is actually the best thing you can do," she insists. "Leaving your skin 'dirty' is really good because cleansers throw off the correct proportion of bacteria on your skin that let it regulate itself."

How do you know if you're over cleansing? ›

How Can You Tell If You're Overwashing?
  1. Your Skin Feels Tight. If your skin has a “tight and dry feeling,” this is a strong indication you've gone overboard. ...
  2. Your Skin Becomes Oilier. ...
  3. You Develop Acne. ...
  4. Rashes May Appear. ...
  5. You Experience Atopic Dermatitis.

What should be applied on face before sleeping? ›

  • Milk. Milk is a great ingredient for your skin. ...
  • Coconut oil. Most people use coconut oil for hair but you can also apply coconut oil on your face to get glowing skin! ...
  • Almond oil. Almond oil is great for your skin. ...
  • Rose Water. Rosewater is undoubtedly a magic potion for beauty. ...
  • Honey. ...
  • Aloe vera gel. ...
  • Scrub.
10 Oct 2020

Should I air dry after shower? ›

Air-drying is not bad for your skin! There's no reason you would need to towel off after getting wet, other than the water may get on your clothes or make you a little colder. And as we've covered, air-drying can actually have benefits, so the answer is really quite the opposite!

What are 3 important things to consider when choosing a skin care line? ›

We've put together a list of five things you should look for in any skincare line you're seriously considering.
  • Active Ingredients. ...
  • Safe for Your Skin and Health. ...
  • Proof of Effectiveness. ...
  • Doctor Recommendations. ...
  • Cruelty-Free.
25 Mar 2019

How do I plan my skin care routine? ›

Here are the steps for a good skincare regimen:
  1. Wash your face. Morning and night, rinse your face water and rub a small amount of gentle cleanser between clean palms. ...
  2. Apply toner. ...
  3. Apply serum. ...
  4. Apply eye cream. ...
  5. Use spot treatment. ...
  6. Moisturize. ...
  7. Apply retinoid. ...
  8. Apply face oil.
7 Jun 2021

What is the most important step in skincare? ›

Dermatologists agree: Sunscreen is the most important step in any skincare routine, for every skin type and age. “If you don't wear sunscreen, you might as well not do any of the other steps,” Dr. Magovern says.

How do you know if skin care is working? ›

How to Know Skin Care Is Working
  1. You Have Even-Toned Skin. The most apparent sign that your skincare routine is working is a uniform skin tone. ...
  2. You Have Less Acne. ...
  3. Your Skin Feels Smooth to the Touch. ...
  4. Your Skin Is Hydrated. ...
  5. Your Skin Itches Less Frequently. ...
  6. Your Skin Heals Faster.

What skin routine goes first? ›

Step 1: Cleanser

This is an obvious first step to any good evening skincare routine, but not everyone thinks to cleanse their skin right after they wake up—in fact, some people actively avoid it.


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