10 Best Face Washes and Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

Updated: November 3, 2019
best face wash for sensitive skin
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“Sensitive skin refers to burning and stinging of the skin when you use any personal care products,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. So, to choose the right product for sensitive skin is more important as the wrong products can irritate it.

And face wash comes first while taking care of the sensitive skin. But, to choose the right cleanser for sensitive skin is time-consuming. Here I have made a list of the 10 best face washes that can soothe, hydrate and cleanse your sensitive skin.

Our research

What is sensitive skin

If you feel burning, redness, itchiness, tightness or stinging with the contact of environmental or emotional factors like dust, stress, pets, weather change or your products, you have sensitive skin. Many people also say they do not find any visible effects after using any product or contacting anything but they feel uncomfortable skin. It is also sensitive skin.

Still, if you are not sure, see the signs below. If you have any of these characteristics, you should be more careful to use your products. Take the products that will give you more protection, more soothing, and more comfort.

  • Intolerable to fragrance
  • Reacts easily to any new products
  • Tight, dry or uncomfortable skin
  • Flushes easily after taking alcohol or spicy foods
  • Sensitive or sore by touching anything
  • Stinging or burning with products
  • Extra dryness in winter
  • Rashes, bumps or itchiness with a little irritant
  • Redness or hives
  • Feeling uneasy with synthetic or coarse fabrics
  • Easily burnt with the sun or wind
  • Having dry patches
  • May have oily patches
  • Seeing broken capillaries easily on cheeks and nose
  • Reacts badly with the weather change
  • Uneven tones with flakiness

How to choose a cleanser for sensitive skin

Creamy Formula: Often sensitive skin is tight and dry. So, it needs a moisturizer after cleansing. The creamy face wash does not strip away the natural oils of the skin rather it also gives the essential moisturizer to the skin. Choose the cleanser that says creamy or lotion based.

Fragrance-Free: Fragrance may trigger your skin, so go for unscented face wash. Read it on the label to be sure.

Soothing Formula: The sensitive skin is always irritable and uncomfortable. It needs to be cooled down. Look for the ingredients that can calm the skin like aloe vera, chamomile, rose water, etc.

Hydrating Formula: Hyaluronic acid is a super moisturizer that can retain over 1,000 times its weight in water within the cells of the skin [S]. Ceramides, glycerin, etc. are also good moisturizers.

Anti-Aging Ingredients: Keep your eyes on also anti-agers. They will keep blackheads, acne, dark spots and wrinkles at bay. But, sometimes they may strip out the natural oils of the skin. So, use a moisturizer after cleansing your skin.

Soap-Free: The cleansers that have no soapy residues or other harsh chemicals are always recommended for sensitive skin. Keep your eyes on the label.

No Triggers: The face wash should be free from alcohol, dyes, paraben, sulfate, SLS, mineral oils, essential oils, no animal substances, etc.

The best face wash for sensitive skin

We invested about 29 hours to research and find out these products. And finally, we selected these 10 cleansers based on the rating, user’s reviews, and ingredients. I hope, now you can pick your favorite cleanser to tackle your sensitive skin.

Ranked from best as rating

  1. Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser – 4.5
  2. Hada Labo Gentle Hydrating Cleanser – 4.3
  3. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser – 4.3
  4. Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Foaming Cleanser – 4.2
  5. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser – 4.2
  6. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Face Wash for Sensitive Skin – 4.2
  7. DERMA E Sensitive Skin Cleanser – 4.2
  8. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser – 4.2
  9. Dove Unscented Hypo-Allergenic Beauty Bar Sensitive Skin – 4.1
  10. Avene XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil – 4.0

1. Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Foaming CleanserEucerin Gentle Hydrating Foaming Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

  • Size: 8 fl. oz.
  • Price: $12.57, 3 packs (*at the time of updating)
  • Rating:2/5 (*at the time of updating)

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Suitable for dry sensitive skin. Cleanses the skin gently without drying out or irritating the skin. Fragrance-free, no soapy residue and leaves the skin clean and smooth with a moisture-rich lather. Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Foaming Cleanser enhances, protects and repairs the skin. One user said, “This cleanser is so nice for my extremely sensitive skin. This cleans my skin, doesn’t dry it out, isn’t fragranced and works exactly as described.”

2. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming CleanserAveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

  • Size: 6 fl. oz
  • Price: $6.05 (*at the time of updating)
  • Rating:2/5 (*at the time of updating)

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It is a gentle foaming face wash and makeup remover for sensitive skin. It lifts away oils, dirt, makeup, and impurities without over-drying the skin. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser contains chamomile and feverfew extracts to calm and soothe the redness, itchiness and sensitive skin. Gentle enough for daily use without fragrance, soap and hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. Dermatologist recommended and leaves the skin healthy.

3. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Facial CleanserNeutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

  • Size: 12 fl. oz
  • Price: $8.22 (*at the time of updating)
  • Rating:3/5 (*at the time of updating)

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Soap-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic face wash exactly for sensitive skin. It gently and effectively cleanses the skin while also protecting its natural moisture. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser thoroughly removes makeup, excess oils, dirt and pollutants and leaves the skin soft and clean. It is a dermatologist-recommended cleanser for various skin issues and no irritating essential oils. It leaves no residue, completely clean skin.

4. Dove Unscented Hypo-Allergenic Beauty Bar Sensitive SkinDove Unscented Hypo-Allergenic Beauty Bar Sensitive Skin

  • Size: 4 oz
  • Price: $17.58, 6 bars (*at the time of updating)
  • Rating:1/5 (*at the time of updating)

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It is recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists. It contains mild cleansers and 1/4 moisturizing cream that helps to retain the natural moisture of the skin. After cleansing, leaves the skin more radiant, cooler, and softer. Dove Unscented Hypo-Allergenic Beauty Bar cleanses all dirt, impurities, dead cells, makeup, and pollutants without drying out the skin as no soapy residue. Its 100% natural moisturizers soak into the skin easily leaving your face super soft.

5. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Face Wash for Sensitive SkinCetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Face Wash for Sensitive Skin

  • Size: 16 Fl Oz
  • Price: $15.18, 2 packs (*at the time of updating)
  • Rating:2/5 (*at the time of updating)

Buy From Amazon

It cleans while softens the skin with its non-irritating, mild and creamy moisturizer. Ideal for face, hand, and body. It is an award-winning cleanser for daily use. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Face Wash is clinically proven to calm and hydrate the skin. It eliminates dirt, impurities, and makeup leaving the skin soothed. It is soap-free, not strip the natural oils, not leave the skin tight and maintain its natural pH. Opens up pores and cleanses the skin deeply.

6. DERMA E Sensitive Skin CleanserDERMA E Sensitive Skin Cleanser

  • Size: 6 oz
  • Price: $12.40 (*at the time of updating)
  • Rating:2/5 (*at the time of updating)

Buy From Amazon

It lifts away dirt, makeup, and impurities gently. It calms the skin and reduces irritation, rashes, and redness. This fragrance-free and pH balanced face wash is blended with lemongrass, green tea, aloe, chamomile and pycnogenol that make the most sensitive skin refreshed, clean and cool. These antioxidants also hydrate and protect the skin from wrinkles, dryness, and spots. DERMA E Sensitive Skin Cleanser is daily usable both for men, women, and adults. 100% cruelty-free, vegan and no mineral oil.

7. Avene XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing OilAvene XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin

  • Size:52 oz.
  • Price: $32.00 (*at the time of updating)
  • Rating:0/5 (*at the time of updating)

Buy From Amazon

Approved by the National Eczema Association. It is another good quality face wash for sensitive skin, eczema, atopic dermatitis, and very dry skin. It is hypo-allergenic, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and physiological pH balanced. It is enough gentle for infants and children. It treats itchiness, redness, inflammation, and rashes. Avene XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil targets the root causes of itching. Ideal to use for face and body during bath or shower. This oil-based cleanser cleans makeup and dirt completely.

8. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle CleanserLa Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

  • Size:52 fl oz
  • Price: $14.99 (*at the time of updating)
  • Rating:2/5 (*at the time of updating)

Buy From Amazon

It is a gentle creamy face wash, oil-free, for normal to dry sensitive skin, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and infused with niacinamide, glycerin, ceramide-3 and prebiotic thermal water. It cleanses dirt, pollutants, impurities, and makeup. Its hydrating and creamy texture calms, soothes and nourishes the skin. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser retains the skin’s natural oils and gives the essential moisturizers if needs. It also gets rid of eye makeup and maintains the skin’s natural pH and protective barrier.

9. Hada Labo Gentle Hydrating CleanserHada Labo Gentle Hydrating Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

  • Size: 5 Oz
  • Price: $11.00 (*at the time of updating)
  • Rating:3/5 (*at the time of updating)

Buy From Amazon

Japan’s #1 cleanser for sensitive skin. Fragrance-free, with hyaluronic acid, and good for itchy skin. No mineral oil, dyes, alcohol, paraben, and non-drying creamy formula. Hada Labo Gentle Hydrating Cleanser lifts away all dirt, makeup, oils, and impurities and locks the skin in essential moisturizers. Deeply purifies the skin leaving it glowing and dewy. Hyaluronic acid retains moisture in the skin for long hours of time. Also, good for rosacea and all skin types. It also reduces wrinkles, fine lines, and dry lines.

10. Vanicream Gentle Facial CleanserVanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

  • Size: 8 Fl Oz
  • Price: $8.99 (*at the time of updating)
  • Rating:5/5 (*at the time of updating)

Buy From Amazon

Soap-free, dermatologist tested, sulfate-free, gluten-free, and other harsh ingredients that may trigger the skin. Non-comedogenic, oil-free, and cleanses makeup, dirt, and oils without over-drying the skin. It does not cause acne, blackheads, and blemishes. No detergents and chemical irritants, so safe to the most sensitive and dry skin. Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser is ideal for winter itch, ichthyosis, psoriasis, eczema, and dry skin.

How and when to use a cleanser for sensitive skin

If you feel extra dry sensitive skin, use the face wash just once a day (before bedtime). Soon after washing your face, apply a moisturizer made for sensitive skin. You can use a hydrating toner or micellar water in the morning.

You can also cleanse your face twice a day if you have less dry skin. Every time, immediately after cleansing your face, apply some moisturizer to rehydrate your skin.

What else you can do for your sensitive skin

Avoid Irritants: If you have sensitive prone skin, anything like foods, clothes, products, dust, smoke, hot temperature, cold weather, pets, bugs, mites, stress, lack of sleep, and other pollutants can cause your skin itchy. Whenever you are confirmed these things are stinging your skin, keep away from them.

Skin Test: Take a skin test before using any new product. Use the product on the skin except for the face and observe it for 48 hours to see the reactions.

Healthy Eating: Check out what you are eating. Some foods can cause allergic reactions, irritation or rashes. Drink lots of water. It will flush out toxins and keep the skin well hydrated, plump and free from breakouts.

Use SPF: Ultraviolet rays of the sun cause rashes, tan, redness and burn on the skin. Wear sunglasses or SPF moisturizer before going in the sun.

Under Eye Care: The skin around the eyes is more sensitive, thinner and more damaged prone. Use especial cream for under eye areas. Cleanse the skin under the eyes carefully. Remove dark circles to get a complete glowing look.

Use Wipes: Using facial wipes than towels can also ensure the better look of your sensitive skin as the wipes are finely made.

Apply Toner: Using toner will calm and clean your skin. But, nothing but rose water works more effectively for sensitive skin. It soothes the skin, reduces aging spots, and hydrates it.

Apply Mask: Use some gentle and calming face masks like a mixture of oatmeal and yogurt. This pack will politely get rid of dead skin cells and nourish the skin too. Yogurt and milk give the skin the potent nutrients.

Use Lukewarm Bath: In the cold weather, take a bath with lukewarm water because hot water may make your sensitive skin angrier. You can put a few teaspoons of honey in the bathtub. Then it will be more nourishing.

My final thoughts

Before using any new product, must take a patch test. If any product cause irritation or stinging, avoid using it. If your skin is severely dry and sensitive, talk to a dermatologist to get the best advice. And always read the label before buying any product to be sure whether it is specially formulated for the sensitive skin.

Sources

How We Pick The Product

We recommend products by researching Amazon best-selling items, user’s reviews, YouTube reviews, talk show interviews, higher rated products, most reviewed items, celebrity gossip, daily publications, and magazine interviews with celebrity, dermatologist or doctor.

We research the product’s literature from the trusted sources. We frequently refer many leading publications – Elle, Allure, Cosmopolitan, She Knows, Good Housekeeping, Reader’s Digest, Best Reviews, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Vouge, Buzzfeed, etc.

We also often analysis the product’s information from the reliable sources (who make the deep testing) like Cook’s Illustrated, America’s Test Kitchen, Consumer Reports, Consumer Testing Laboratories, etc.

It’s better to note that every product does not work for everyone. And the result may be different because of different skin tones, types, and conditions. So, often your dermatologist may give you the better recommendations which product you should use for your skin.

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