10 Best Face Washes For Sensitive Skin (Updated for 2020)

Best Face Washes for Sensitive Skin

Are you that person who has sensitive skin? 

Then it goes without saying that finding the best face wash that suits your skin is always troublesome. 

Sensitive skin is one of the most reactive skins and finding mild products that fit best for such skin types is difficult. 

Although a product is designed specifically for sensitive skin, it sometimes reacts with the skin and makes it more sensitive. 

So, it is unfortunate if you have sensitive skin as you have to try, eliminate and select the best product that is right for you.

This is why we published this post listing the 10 Best face washes for sensitive skin along with its pros and cons.

This will help you select the best one among the top and highly rated facial washes and eliminate those that do not serve the purpose.

If you do not know your skin type, just do this simple test to find your skin type.

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Best Face Washes for Sensitive Skin

1. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is one of the renowned product preferred by many.

The formula of this face wash is soap-free and can be used for everyday cleansing of even the most sensitive skin.

The water-based and non-comedogenic (does not block pores) formulation removes dirt, makeup and other impurities effectively and also helps retain skin’s moisture at the same.

Use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser to cleanse your skin and follow it with Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer to help rehydrate the skin and prevent moisture loss.

  • Very worthy of what you pay for
  • Softens the skin as it cleans
  • Skin feels clean and does not leave the skin greasy
  • The face wash is fragrance-free, so chances of skin irritation are very less
  • This product is more suitable for sensitive skin. So if you possess other skin types, be cautious.
  • Don’t confuse it with Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser which is for Normal to Oily Skin.

2. CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser gently removes dirt, oil and makeup.

The unique formula with three essential ceramides  (1, 3, 6 II) cleanses, hydrates and helps restore the protective skin barrier.

The cleanser formula contains hyaluronic acid and it helps retain skin's natural moisture.

Additionally, the face wash is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, non-drying and non-irritating.

  • Gentle, non-irritating
  • Contains ceramides 1,3 and 6-II
  • Hyaluronic acid helps retain skin moisture
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-drying
  • Takes a little more time to cleanse makeup 
  • There were complaints about using the cleanser during winters
  • Causes break-out
  • Face feels not fully clean as it doesn’t lather up

3. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser for sensitive skin effectively cleanses the skin and leaves it perfectly moisturized and naturally soft.

The creamy formula removes excess oil, dirt and makeup and is an ideal choice even if you have the driest and sensitive skin.

This hydrating facial cleanser falls in this list of the best face washes for sensitive skin as it is oil-free, soap-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free and contains no allergens or irritating essential oils.

Also, it is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic as a result of which it's gentle on the skin and won't clog pores.

The face wash is also available in foaming formula.

  • Oil-free, soap-free, fragrance-free and paraben-free
  • Contains no allergens
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Available in foaming formula as well
  • Does not work the best in removing makeup
  • Some users complained about experiencing a burning sensation

4. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Face Wash Cleanser

La Roche-Posay Toleriane face wash removes excess oil while maintaining the skin's natural protective barrier and pH.

It also helps in getting rid of face and eye makeup, dirt, and impurities.

The daily wash is infused with Prebiotic Thermal Water, Ceramide-3, Niacinamide and Glycerin.

The cleanser is ideal for normal to oily skin including sensitive skin.

This foaming facial wash has a gel texture and can be used as a preferred daily face wash for morning and/or evening.

If you have very sensitive skin, prefer Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser.

  • Soap-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist Tested
  • Tested on Sensitive Skin
  • Allergy tested skin cleanser
  • Not too good for very sensitive skin. If you have such a skin, use the alternative one mentioned above which is for very sensitive skin.
  • Users complained about the need to use a moisturizer immediately after using the cleanser as it dries the skin too much.

5. Free & Clear Liquid Cleanser

Free and Clear liquid cleanser is one of the popular dermatologists recommended face washes for sensitive skin as it is very gentle.

It is also soap-free and oil-free and free from other common chemical irritants.

In addition to that, the face wash is free from dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens and formaldehyde. 

It is also non-comedogenic, sulfate-free, betaine-free and gluten-free.

  • Gentle and at the same time very effective
  • Free from soap, oil, chemical irritants, dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens and formaldehyde
  • Does not clog pores
  • Free from sulfate, betaine and gluten
  • Can be used to wash face, hand and body
  • A little goes a long way

6. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser is a mild face wash formulated with safe-to-use and skin-caring ingredients.

This whipped texture face cleanser is blended with aloe, glycerin, and allantoin that not only cleanses but also hydrates and soothes your skin.

The fragrance-free formula effectively cleanses dirt, oil and other impurities without drying out the skin.

Plus, it also contains antioxidants derived from licorice root, feverfew, white tea extracts which fights against signs of ageing and protects your skin from environmental aggressors.

Your skin becomes soft, supple and radiant with regular use.

  • Cleanses and nourishes the skin
  • Lasts long as the small quantity is enough for each use
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Dermatologist tested for safety, no animal testing
  • Fragrance-free and free of harsh chemicals
  • Not suitable for extremely dry skin
  • Few ingredients might not suit some skin types

7. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

Fresh Soy face cleanser for sensitive skin is a cult classic daily cleanser that is specially designed for young and sensitive skin. 

It gently cleanses your skin by removing dirt, excess oil, makeup and other impurities without stripping it of essential moisture.

This cleanser is infused with soy protein to reduce redness, aloe vera, and cucumber for soothing, and glycerine to lock in moisture.

Additionally, it also contains sunflower and borage seed oils to prevent that tight feeling. 

Besides, it also helps in clearing mild acne and prevent future breakouts.

Overall, this face cleanser acts as a great all-rounder that addresses most of your skin woes.

  • Gently removes dirt, oil, and makeup
  • Mild face cleanser for sensitive skin
  • Soap-free and non-irritating
  • A little goes a long way
  • Compatible for almost all skin types
  • Expensive
  • Heavily scented

8. Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel Facial Cleanser

Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel is another well known facial cleanser for sensitive skin.

The cleanser’s formula cleanses and purifies the skin gently without leaving it dry.

Zinc sulphate and copper sulphate in the face wash clears the epidermis effectively without clogging the pores.

Importantly, the ultra-gentle and soap-free formula respect skin’s balance.

It is also stated that the Dermatological Advanced Formulation patented natural complex increases the most sensitive skin’s tolerance threshold.

  • Highly recommended if you have acne and excessive oil secretion issues
  • Does not clog the pores
  • Ultra-gentle and soap-free formula
  • Possibly no cons on this facial cleanser

9. InstaNatural Vitamin C Facial Cleanser

InstaNatural Vitamin C Facial Cleanser is a gentle face wash that helps to clear and unclog pores, breakouts, and blemishes.

The face wash also helps to cleanse away dulling skin cells, fade the appearance of sunspots, discolouration, and damage that comes from prolonged sun exposure.

This facial cleanser uses a combo of soothing oils and moisturizers to seep deep into the skin to keep it thoroughly hydrated. 

This results in leaving a boost of hydration to the face and offers a clean feel upon use.

Using this face wash with exfoliating face wash like Glycolic Cleanser acts as a perfect anti-ageing remedy to ensure that you see youth restored to the skin.

  • Little goes a long way
  • Aids in reducing and preventing the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines and other signs of ageing
  • Rejuvenates the skin for a healthy complexion
  • The Balancing formula keeps the skin feeling hydrated and refreshed
  • Decreases the appearance of blackheads and enlarged pores
  • Excellent customer service
  • Quite expensive

10. Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

Drunk Elephant Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser is a gentle foaming face wash enriched with cantaloupe fruit extract and marula oil. 

While antioxidant-rich cantaloupe fruit extract help in soothing and hydrating, marula oil boosts the cleansing process and strengthens the skin's natural barriers against free radicals.

In addition to that, hydrating agents such as aloe vera and glycerin help replenish hydration levels of your skin leaving it clean, soft and radiant.

This face wash cleanses well without over-drying or irritating and leaves your skin squeaky clean with no residue behind. 

It gives you a relaxing and refreshing feeling after washing the face.

This subtle cleanser is suitable for Oily, Sensitive, and Acne-Prone Skin.

  • Cleanses dirt, makeup and excess oil effectively
  • Great for Oily, acne-prone skin
  • Cleans and soothes skin
  • Travel-friendly and hygienic packaging
  • May not be suitable for people with extremely dry skin
  • Very expensive

My favourite among the Best Face Washes for Sensitive Skin

Without any doubts, I would first go with Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel Facial Cleanser.

The all positive reviews overshine all the other cleansers leaving this facial cleanser standout in my opinion.

Upon use, if I wish to test any other facial wash, I would try the InstaNatural Vitamin C Facial Cleanser.

Although a little pricey, it has all the weapons in the arsenal to counter the issues of sensitive skin and not to forget their awesome customer service.

How to use a Face Wash for Sensitive Skin

  • Wet your skin with lukewarm water
  • Pump out a small quantity of the cleanser on your fingertips
  • Now, apply the cleanser to dampened skin and massage gently to create a lather
  • Concentrate on troubled areas such as the T-zone
  • Rinse with water
  • Follow with appropriate a serum and moisturizer

Tips to take care of your Sensitive Skin

We are in the process of creating a comprehensive post detailing on how to take care of your sensitive skin effectively.

Below mentioned are just the fine points that you must be mindful of, if you have sensitive skin:

  • Prefer ultra-gentle face washes like those mentioned above
  • Always test the cleansers first before putting it to use
  • Take short showers with lukewarm water (Avoid cold and hot showers)
  • Avoid harsh exfoliants
  • Make sure your skin always mildly moisturized
  • Don’t rub your skin with a towel after cleansing. Just pat it dry.
  • As sensitive skin is the most reactive, keep your skin care routine products simple and chemical-free
  • If you are going to spend most of the time outdoors, wear sunscreen every time

The Bottom Line

It is just a myth that sensitive skin is very hard to maintain and take care of.

But that’s not true to its entirety.

In fact, if you are going to keep your routine skin care regimen simple, taking care of your sensitive skin is going to be as easy as that of a normal skin.

To help you more, we will be covering more skin care products that will suit your sensitive skin in the coming days.

Therefore, keep an eye on this section.