One of the most common questions I receive from people is, “which cleanser is best for sensitive skin?” The answer is, “that depends.” Not to frustrate people, but it truly is the answer – not all skin is the same, and there are varying degrees of sensitivity. But, there are a few common qualities that make my favorites standout from the huge variety on the market. Plus, depending on what season you’re in, or the current condition of your skin, the choice for a cleanser may change often to fit your needs.
Here’s the common qualities of cleansers that I find work best:
1) NO fragrance. Fragrance is a known allergen.
2) Mild and easy to rinse/wash off – no waxes or heavy emollients that would leave residue behind.
You’ll notice that I’m not listing much else – well, think of it this way: a cleanser needs to be able to thoroughly remove dirt, debris, oil, dead skin and makeup from your face without causing irritation. Then it goes down the drain. My philosophy is to keep your cleanser simple and effective, and then invest in higher-powered treatments to do the heavy lifting. Plus, what I am recommending are proven to work.
Not all of top picks below are in the photo above, but I’ve listed them per skin type. And yes, sensitive skin can still have other concerns like acne, oiliness, etc. Choose based on your combination of needs:
Use: Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser or CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser – both are amazingly gentle, yet effective. If you want more of an Anti-aging product, go with CeraVe. The ceramides and sodium hyaluronic acid provide powerful benefits to combat fine lines. Tip: apply to dry skin and work into a mild lather, then rinse.
Use: Miracle Skin Transformer Hydroactive Cleanser or Clinique Mild Facial Soap. Both comfort dry patches and control oily areas. If you also want an Anti-aging product, go with Miracle Skin Transformer.
Use: Trader Joe’s Nourish All-In-One Facial Cleanser or CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. Both are amazingly refreshing, yet will not strip the skin. For an Anti-aging benefit, go with CeraVe.
Another interesting aspect of these cleansers listed is that they all will help combat acne. Wash 2x a day (AM and PM) for the maximum results, and give your skin about 4 weeks to adjust to a new product. After cleansing, be sure to sure to treat and moisturize accordingly (more about this soon). These cleansers are all tried and true – I am sure you’ll find a favorite in one of them.