9 of the Best Face Washes, According to Dermatologists

Hallie Gould

Washing your face seems like a simple task—just grab a cleanser and go, right? Well, not exactly. According to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, the cleansing portion of your skincare routine is perhaps the most important. So it's not in our best interest to use any old cleanser. Instead, it's better to find one that works best for your particular skin type, with ingredients that are good for your skin rather than harsh and drying.

Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, explains, "The wrong cleanser can rub your skin barrier, leading to inflammation (or it may not do an effective enough job). Remember, the right cleanser for you may be very different from what your best friend is using." (TL;DR: Our skin is not one size fits all, far from it, in fact). 

Rouleau adds: "Many foaming and gel cleansers made today are formulated with an ingredient called sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, or ammonium laureth sulfate. This ingredient is a surfactant; a cleansing agent that cuts oil from the skin. If you wash with a foaming cleanser or soap that is too drying, it pulls all the water out of the skin and creates dead, dry skin cell buildup. Choose either cleansing lotions or gel cleansers that avoid the harsh ingredient—as it will effectively deep clean the pores but will not rob the skin of much-needed water. The rule: More lather, more drying. Less lather, less drying."

Below, top dermatologists and estheticians reveal their favorite cleansers (to use on themselves and their patients). Keep reading to find the one that best suits you.

FYI: The new Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser was made for people who are perpetually running late.

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