Buy This, Not That: 7 best face washes for every skin type — starting at just $8 — according to dermatologists

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Fully 42% of Americans spend between $50 and $99 on skincare products every three months, according to a Statista, while 22% spent between $100 and $199. When it comes to shopping for simple items like face wash — drugstores, beauty supply shops and online retailers have an overwhelming number of products to choose from — and lots of them are pricey. But it turns out you don’t have to spend a ton ($8 will do the trick in many cases) to get great results with your face wash, according to dermatologists and estheticians.

For all skin types: La Roche-Posay Toleranie Hydrating Gentle Cleanser, $14.99 from Ulta  (free gift with purchase, free shipping on all orders over $35)

La Roche-Posay

Miami-based dermatologist Dr. Stacy Chimento of Riverchase Dermatology says: “This cleanser is non-comedogenic and gentle. It hydrates the skin through the active ingredient glycerin, but those with oily skin needn’t worry because glycerin hydrates without causing excessive production of oil.” This sulfate- and fragrance-free cleanser also has key ingredients like ceramide-3 (which may help protect against environmental irritants) and niacinamide (which some believe helps fight fine lines and pigmentation issues). It’s light going on your face, and leaves your skin feeling clean without drying it out.
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– Buy on Amazon
Buy from Ulta
Buy from Skinstore

For sensitive skin: Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser, $8.22 on Amazon


“This is super gentle, meaning it won’t dry you out, yet it’s strong enough to provide a great cleanse,” says top New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil. The oil-free, soap-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic formula is also free of allergens and irritating essential oils. The price is right too, at just around $8 for a large 12-ounce bottle.
Buy from Ulta
Buy at Walmart
Buy at Walgreens

For oily skin: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, $14.99 on Dermstore (new subscribers get 15% off their first order)


Samer Jaber, a dermatologist at Washington Square Dermatology in New York City, says, “If your skin is oily or acne prone, you want to choose cleansers that are foaming.” The CeraVe foaming cleanser comes out as a gel, but foams as you lather, and is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, so it’s gentle for even those with fairly sensitive skin. It’s also made with three ceramides that may help protect against environmental irritants. 
Buy from Ulta
Buy on Amazon
Buy from Dermstore
Buy from iHerb

For acne-prone skin: Neutrogena Oil-Free Oil-Free Acne Wash, $7.99 on Amazon


Cosmetic dermatology expert Dr. Kenneth Mark says people with oily or acne-prone skin should seek out salicylic acid cleansers. “The salicylic acid not only unclogs pores, but it also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the oil glands.” This affordable, oil free, salicylic acid cleanser is a staple at drugstores, and has added perks like the fact that it’s fragrance free, doesn’t leave a residue on your face and is non-comedogenic so it likely won’t clog pores. 
Buy from Ulta
Buy from Walmart
Buy from iHerb

For ultra-sensitive skin: Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser, $7.99 on Amazon


“This is my favorite cleanser for those with contact allergies. It’s also good for those with rosacea, as rosacea-prone skin generally does better with more gentle, less irritating products,” says Jaber. Indeed, this cleanser is free of many things that might irritate skin, including dyes, gluten, fragrance, lanolin, sulfates, parabens, betaine, amines and preservatives. It’s a huge hit on Amazon with more than 11,400 reviews and 4.7 stars. 

For dry skin: SkinCeuticals Soothing Cleanser, $35 on Dermstore (new subscribers get 15% off their first order)


Nicole Simpson, beauty veteran, formulater, medical aesthetician and founder of Amethyst Skincare, says she loves this cleanser because it’s moisturizing. “It’s a soothing foam that truly restores the balance that skin needs in order for other skincare ingredients to work better,” she says. 
Buy from Amazon
Buy from BlueMercury
Buy from SkinCeuticals
Buy from Dermstore

For people who wear makeup: DefenAge 1-Step Multi Cleanse, $45.99 on DefenAge


Nashville-based dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Dr. Natalie M. Curcio, says, “It gently forms micro-bubbles dissolving heavy makeup, surface debris, and air pollutants — even waterproof mascara.” Then, it turns into a creamy solution that makes skin feel soft and hydrated. She also likes the “natural prebiotics balance,” which may help the skin’s natural ecology, she adds.
Buy on Bonanza
Buy from DefenAge skincare

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