The Best Drugstore Face Washes And Cleansers You Can Buy In 2021

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Believe it or not, radiant skin doesn't necessarily require an elaborate, 12-step skincare routine. Sure, it's fun to experiment with new trends in skin care like face masks and serums, but are they really the key to keeping your skin healthy? Dermatologists will often tell you that's not the case, and that with skin care, it's best to stick with the basics. The Cleveland Clinic's Shilpi Khetarpal, M.D. says she tells her patients that their "priority should be cleansing, daily sunscreen and daily moisturizing" (via Cleveland Clinic). Celebrity esthetician Nicole Caroline even told the New York Post that she considers face wash "one of the most important parts of your skincare regimen."

Skin care is not one-size-fits-all, and with so many options on the market it can be difficult to choose which face wash is right for you. Fear not, because we've compiled a list based on expert and customer reviews of the best drugstore face washes, for all skin types.

Best drugstore face wash for dry skin

CeraVe is regularly praised as a favorite skincare brand of dermatologists everywhere, from their moisturizers to their facial washes and cleansers. Their Hydrating Facial Cleanser is the perfect option for people who struggle with dry skin, or anyone who's looking for a gentler face wash that won't strip their skin's protective barrier. It's fragrance free, which makes it perfect for sensitive skin, and it contains highly touted ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help lock in moisture.

Purchase CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser on Amazon starting at $9.49.

Best drugstore face wash for sensitive skin

While it differs in severity for everyone, sensitive skin is no joke, and it can make finding a consistent face wash free of scents and soap difficult. Look no further than Aveeno's Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser, which is marketed specifically towards sensitive skin with hypoallergenic ingredients and Calming Feverfew to reduce any redness and discoloration caused by dryness. This cleanser is free of any synthetic fragrances as well, making it the perfect, safe choice for people with sensitive skin.

Purchase Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser at Target for $6.99

Best drugstore face wash for combination skin

With its mixture of oily and dry spots, combination skin can be a tricky thing to nail down. Typically people with combination skin have an oily T-zone— the area that contains the nose, chin, and forehead— and dryness in the cheeks. As its name implies, Neutrogena's Skin Balancing Gel Cleanser aims to bring a healthy balance between the oily and dry parts of combination skin by employing 2% polyhydroxy acid, which is both a liquid exfoliator and a humectant.

Purchase Neutrogena Skin Balancing Gel Cleanser on Amazon for $8.69

Best drugstore face wash for oily skin

Witch Hazel has long been used on its own as an astringent, better known today as toner, to clear pores and rid the face of excess oil and grime. Bioré Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Cooling Cleanser takes the pore-clearing power of witch hazel and combines it with other powerful ingredients to tackle even the most oily skin. Formulated with 2% salicylic acid, it's a perfect choice for those looking to take down excess oil and bring some balance to their complexion.

Purchase Bioré Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Cooling Cleanser on Amazon for $5.99

Best drugstore face wash for preventing acne

While there may not be an end all be all product when it comes to eliminating acne, this one may be a close second. PanOxyl Anti-microbial Acne Foaming Wash takes the guesswork out of skin care by not only utilizing powerful breakout-fighting ingredients, but by actively combatting the dryness that comes with most acne targeting ingredients. PanOxyl Anti-microbial Acne Foaming Wash contains 10% benzoyl peroxide— the highest amount available without a prescription— to not only treat current breakouts, but prevent future ones as well.

Purchase PanOxyl Anti-microbial Acne Foaming Wash at Target for $9.49

Best drugstore face washes for redness

If you struggle with redness or rosacea, chances are you've spent most of your skincare search tip toeing around products that can cause flare-ups for sensitive skin. Aveeno Calm and Restore Nourishing Cleanser removes dirt and oil build up while also being fragrance, paraben, dye, and alcohol free. Its blend of cooling oat and calming feverfew makes it the perfect choice to relieve red and irritated skin. 

Another option is Eucerin Redness Relief Cleansing Gel. It's formulated and enriched with the skin smoothing licorice root extract Licochalcone, leaving skin cooled and relieved from redness and rosacea.

Purchase Aveeno Calm and Restore Nourishing Cleanser on Amazon for $8.75.

Purchase Eucerin Redness Relief Cleansing Gel in a pack of 3 on Amazon for $20.81.

Best drugstore face wash to minimize pores

No matter what the influencers say, there's no way to achieve the poreless, airbrushed look other than heavy photoshop. That doesn't mean that there aren't any products that can get you close though. Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Facial Cleanser utilizes exfoliating microbeads and glycolic acid to clear pores of excess dirt, makeup, and oil that can make them appear larger. This face wash is perfect for anyone looking to scrub blackheads and gaping pores goodbye.

Purchase Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Face Cleanser in a pack of 3 on Amazon for $23.97.

Best drugstore face wash to reduce the appearance of acne scars

It's a piece of advice almost everybody recognizes— don't pop your pimples or it'll cause them to scar. Sometimes the temptation is just too great though, and what then? CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser has got you covered. This fragrance free, non-comedogenic face wash is packed with essential ceramides and other powerful ingredients like niacinamide that help to even the texture of the skin and protect its natural barrier. CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser is a perfect choice for those prone to acne who struggle with scarring.

Purchase CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser on Amazon for $13.49.

Best drugstore exfoliating face wash

As if the variety of face washes out there wasn't wide enough, exfoliators make up their own subset of skin care. Some are pure scrubs, some are liquid, some even come in the form of wipes. Burt's Bees Renewal Refining Cleanser makes the choice simple. This cream based facial cleanser provides a deep pore cleanse and removes dirt and oils without being too rough and stripping the skin of its natural moisture like other exfoliators.

Purchase Burt's Bees Renewal Refining Cleanser on Amazon for $6.79.

Best drugstore anti-aging face washes

There are a lot of ways to prevent premature signs of aging in your skin: always wearing sunscreen, staying hydrated, eating well, etc. That doesn't necessarily mean that your skin care can't give you a leg up in your efforts. L`Oreal Paris Skincare Age Perfect Cream Cleanser is filled with replenishing oils for smoother, more supple skin. 

Another great option is Olay Regenerist Regenerating Cream Cleanser Face Wash which contains light exfoliators that keep skin looking bright and fresh AM or PM.

Purchase L`Oreal Paris Skincare Age Perfect Cream Cleanser on Amazon for $5.99.

Purchase Olay Regenerist Regenerating Cream Cleanser Face Wash on Amazon in a pack of 3 for $14.00.

Best drugstore charcoal face washes

To the skincare novice, cleansing your face with charcoal sounds like an oxymoron. Allow us to clear up— pun intended— those misconceptions. Using face wash with activated charcoal as a main ingredient helps to suck up dirt and other impurities that are stuck in your pores. Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser is formulated with activated charcoal to target dirt and excess oil while being gentle enough to maintain the skin's natural moisture. 

Whereas Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Cleanser uses activated charcoal infused with tomato extract for an extra punch of antioxidants while tackling oily skin.

Purchase Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser at CVS for $8.69.

Purchase Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Cleanser on Amazon for $9.68.

Best drugstore face wash for makeup removal

Let's be real, most of us don't have the time— or bathroom counter space— for a multi-step skin care routine. Luckily, Neutrogena Foaming Facial Cleanser Makeup Remover has you covered. This all-in-one makeup remover and facial cleanser is a foaming cleanser that is gentle on sensitive eyes but tough on even the most stubborn water-proof makeup, dirt, oil, and other impurities. This fragrance free facial cleanser is the perfect choice for glam girls on the go.

Purchase Neutrogena Foaming Facial Cleanser Makeup Remover on Amazon for $6.17.

Best drugstore gel-based face wash

If you're looking for a face wash that's gentle on skin but still offers a deep cleanse, then a gel-based wash is the way to go. RoC Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Gel Cleanser breaks down dirt and oils, unclogs pores, and tones skin all in one shot using its glycolic acid formula. It has a citrus scent and is infused with skin brightening vitamin C for a summertime glow that lasts the whole year round.

Purchase RoC Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Gel Cleanser on Amazon for $9.94.

Best drugstore foaming face wash

If you're looking for a light, refreshing cleanse, then a foaming cleanser is right for you. Look no further than Pacifica Beauty Sea Foam Complete Face Wash. This coconut scented foaming face wash brings the power of the ocean itself to its formula with marine phytonutrients that leave skin soft and luminous. Its 100% clean and vegan formula, infused with coconut water and sea algae complex, makes it perfect for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Purchase Pacifica Beauty Sea Foam Complete Face Wash on Amazon for $9.99.

Best drugstore bar soap face wash

Sometimes when it comes to skincare, it's best to stick with the basics. That's why Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar Soap is consistently praised by dermatologists everywhere, and why we're recommending it to you. This soap contains nourishing ingredients that supplement skin's natural moisture and protective oils, rather than drying and stripping the skin. Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar is formulated to soothe sensitive skin and draw out impurities without leaving any kind of film or residue.

Purchase Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar Soap at Target for $8.89

Best drugstore brightening face washes

If you've ever looked back at your beach vacation photos with envy, wondering how you could get your glowing complexion back, these next two products are for you. Bioré Daily Brightening Jelly Cleanser reduces pore build up while its vitamin C and ginseng infused formula energizes your skin for an everyday luminous and dewy look. Neutrogena Bright Boost Resurfacing Facial Exfoliator uses its formula of glycolic and mandelic acids to reduce the appearance of dark spots for a brighter, more even skin tone.

Purchase Bioré Daily Brightening Jelly Cleanser on Amazon for $6.47.

Purchase Neutrogena Bright Boost Resurfacing Facial Exfoliator on Amazon for $8.79.

Best drugstore vegan face washes

As the beauty industry moves to stop animal testing once and for all, options for vegan skincare have become more accessible than ever. If you're someone who cares about the issue and is overwhelmed with all your new options, let us help you out. Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash is made with botanicals, including sea kelp and tea tree oil, that refresh your skin and enhance its natural radiance. Similarly, e.l.f.'s simple formula of purified water and citric acid is gentle on the skin and leaves it feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Purchase Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash on Amazon for $9.52.

Purchase e.l.f Daily face Cleanser on Amazon for $10.00.