The 5 Best Face Washes For Sensitive Skin, According To A Dermatologist

by | Jun 18, 2020 | Skincare

Finding the best face wash can be a huge pain in the you know what when you have sensitive skin. Like, you need a cleanser that will do a thorough job of cleaning your skin without turning it into a dry, red, super-irritated mess. And let’s be real: That carefully balanced formula can be hard to come by.

Wondering what sensitive skin means, exactly? “Sensitive skin refers to burning and stinging of the skin when you use personal care products,” explains Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. “The wrong skincare products easily disrupt the skin barrier in people with sensitive skin, leading to microscopic cracks, loss of hydration, and inflammation.” Noted!

So what’s the best way to avoid irritating your face if you’ve got sensitive skin? In general, Dr. Zeichner recommends sticking to gentle, soap-free cleansers if you can (since true soap can be harsh and drying). He also suggests you steer clear of exfoliating products (i.e. anything that says brightening or has active ingredients like glycolic acid is a no-go for you). These “can cause more harm than good,” says Dr. Zeichner.

On top of that, you should also be wary of cleansers that contain parabens, sulfates, or fragrances says Dr. Miriam Vega Gonzalez, a board-certified dermatologist based in Philadelphia. “Look for products that have the least amount of ingredients on the label.”

Instead, try any one of these 5 best face washes for sensitive skin. That’s right! Keep reading for the most gentle cleansers out there, according to experts

Best for adding moisture

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser

Dr. Vega Gonzalez loves this gel-based formula that’s soap-free, paraben-free, and oil-free. It lathers really easily when you combine with water and yeah, it’s also super gentle on irritated skin.

READ MORE: Skin Feeling Extra Dry And Sensitive Right Now? These Products Might Help

Best under R40

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water

“Micellar water is among the most gentle cleansing technology available,” Zeichner says. “Tiny droplets of oil known as micelles trap dirt and oil to help remove it from the skin.”

Best soap-free cleanser

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

This cleanser doesn’t contain soap, is non-comedogenic, and doesn’t leave behind an irritating residue. “Lipid-free [a type of soap-free formula suitable for sensitive skin] cleansing lotions can be used across all skin types, and are especially useful for patients with sensitive skin,” Zeichner says. “They can be applied and wiped off without even using water.”

Best water-based cleanser

La Roche-Posay Physiological Foaming Water

“Formulated with selenium- and strontium-rich thermal spring water, this cleanser hydrates and helps support a healthy microbiome,” Zeichner says.

READ MORE: Why Is My Skin So Dry In Quarantine? A Dermatologist Explains

Best skin enhancer

demalogica ultracalming cleanser

This best-selling cleanser is extra hydrating and will leave your skin looking sooo supple. It helps calm and cool the redness and heat associated with reactive, sensitized or overprocessed skin.

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