Last updated: June 15, 2020

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The art of cleanliness has advanced as the years have gone by. There are simple washes that exfoliate your skin to complicated exercises that improve your skin health. Soap used to be the only way to wash your face. Now, these products have not only evolved, but there is actually an infinite number of different types of face washes.

In this article, we want to help clear any doubts and answer any questions you may have about the huge selection of face washes. Keep reading! You will find all of the answers to your question, recommendations of products, and advice on how to choose the best face wash for you!

Key Facts

  • A good face wash will hydrate your skin, reduce your acne, and eliminate all of the impurities on your face.
  • Understanding what skin type you have is vital for selecting the perfect face wash for you.
  • There are face washes for both men and for women, due to our different skin compositions. You should never use a skin product that is meant for the opposite gender.

Our Selection of the Best Face Washes on the U.S. Market

Lotion, gel, foam, oil? We perfectly understand your confusion. To help you choose the perfect face wash for you, we have listed some popular options below.

Best Hydrating and Fragrance-Free Face Wash

The first item on our list is the best-seller on Amazon. You are sure to be satisfied. This face wash has hydrating and moisture-retaining ingredients and properties. It will not leave your skin feeling tight or dry. This wash is also very easy on the skin as it is fragrance-free. It is ideal for people with normal to dry skin.

Best Exfoliating Face Wash

The next product on our list is very popular as it is an “Amazon’s Choice.” This wash is great for deep cleaning your face as it is meant for exfoliation. Unlike other exfoliating products, this wash does not include plastic microbeads. It also will not leave your face feeling oily as this product is oil-free! This face wash comes in a 7oz bottle and is perfect for daily use.

Best Face Wash for Acne-Prone Skin

The last item on our list is also an “Amazon’s Choice.” Using salicylic acids, this facewash will clear up and prevent acne breakouts. This wash is clinically proven and also contains gentle exfoliators that will remove impurities from the skin. This product is oil-free and comes in a 4.2 oz bottle.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Face Washes

Face washes are not just used to prevent skin diseases or to eliminate problem areas that you might already have on your face. It is always extremely important to clean and treat your face. Now, we will answer all of the questions that you might have.

Young woman washing face

Understanding what skin type you have is vital for selecting the perfect face wash for you.
(Source: Avesun: 45888968/ 123rf.com)

What is a face wash exactly?

Cleaning your face should be a part of your daily skin routine. To do this, a face wash is what you need to take that grease, makeup, sweat, dirt, and dead skin cells off of your face and down the sink. At the same time, a face wash will refresh your skin and give it a chance to breathe. It also will create a clean base for you to then apply other products like hydrating lotion or makeup.

As we said before, men and women have different types of skin. It is important to know the characteristics of each gender. This way, you can choose a face wash that best fits your needs.

Characteristics Women Men
Collagen Less More
Skin Thinner Thicker
Texture Smoother Rougher
Oil Less More
Pores Smaller More open
Sebaceous glands Small Big and many
Facial hair Not much Abundant

What does a face wash do to my face exactly?

You may think that you know all about face wash products, but these products are so complex like any other chemical cocktail. These face products contain detergents called “surfactants” that remove particles that we do not want on the outer skin layer.

These surfactants vary in strength and efficiency. They attract oil, makeup, dirt, and other residues so that they can easily be rinsed off your face. Sulfates (common ingredients in shampoos, washes, and many different types of soap) are very effective. However, these chemicals can also remove important, natural oils from your face, leaving your skin tense and dry.

Mary SalazarCosmetologist of Pia Day Spa in South Tampa, Florida

“It is crucial to have a routine. Use the face wash when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Gel face washes contain salicylic acid, an active ingredient made to fight impurities like acne, whiteheads, and blackheads.”

Because of this negative aspect, many skincare companies are moving away from using strong surfactants and are beginning to use ingredients that are easier on the skin. Some face washes even remove impurities and moisturize the skin.

How do I choose the correct face wash?

Knowing what skin type you have is vital to choosing a correct face wash. If you have dry skin, you should avoid skincare products with high amounts of alcohol. People with oily skin need a face wash with a lower pH level. If you have sensitive skin, you should buy a basic face was with no fragrances or heavy additives.

Cream-based face washes are great for people with dry skin. Gel and foamy face washes are better for people with oily skin. If you use a lot of makeup, you will want a face wash that acts as a makeup remover as well. If you sweat frequently, look for a product made for blocked pores.

young woman with lotion washing face at bathroom

Washing your face should be part of your daily skincare routine.
(Source: dolgachov: 59260326/ 123rf.com)

Most of the products that are advertised as “soft” are excellent at removing dirt without drying out or irritating the skin. Choosing a face wash with a balanced PH will help keep the natural balance of your skin. If you are prone to skin allergies, look for a natural face wash free of synthetic ingredients.

What benefits come with using a face wash?

Throughout the day, your skin comes in contact with many bacterias, contamination, viruses, and dead skin cells. Washing your face daily will remove these impurities to give you fresh skin. If you do not wash your face, your skin will be covered with a thick layer of all of these unhealthy particles and it is a lot harder for other healthy products to penetrate the skin.

The following are the benefits of using a face wash daily:

  • Hydration: Washing your face regularly (along with using a good hydrating cream) is an important factor to help your skin stay hydrated at all times. Dehydrated skin looks and feels rough, wrinkled, and old. Cleaning your skin helps you to control its pH levels, allowing your skin to absorb enough water and the product you apply to it.
  • Clear skin: The small glands under your skin produce oil to protect itself from the dangers of the outside world. These glands use your hair follicles as doorways into the skin, pushing the oil to the external layer of skin. This forms a barrier that protects the skin from bacterias or other dangerous particles.
  • Acne prevention: The excessive accumulation of filth on the skin can block the follicles, trapping the oil, sweat, and dead skin cells. Since there is no oil to protect the skin, bacteria get into the follicle and cause inflammation, ultimately causing an acne breakout.
  • Anti-aging: Using a face wash helps anti-aging products work correctly.
girl applying cream

People with oily skin need a face wash with a lower pH level.
(Source: Bowie15: 74465489/ 123rf.com)

What type of face washes are there?

  • Gel: These face washes have a clear and gel-like consistency. They are usually made to give your face a deep cleanse. These washes are made to open blocked pores, remove oil excess, and kill bacteria that can cause acne. They have antiseptic properties and also can exfoliate your face. This type of wash is perfect for someone with mixed to oily skin.
  • Cream-based: These are usually very thick, creamy, and have hydrating ingredients like botanical oils. They are very smooth and lightly clean your skin without removing natural oils. Cream-based face washes can also look milky or like lotion. They are perfect for dry and sensitive skin.
  • Foam: This type of face wash is very light. These washes start out like a cream-based or gel-based wash and then turn into soft foam when rubbed between your hands. Like gel face washes, these washes will remove the excess of oil on your face. They are perfect for mixed to oily skin.
  • Oil-based: Washing your skin with an oil can sound pretty strange, especially if you already have oily skin, but most experts think otherwise. Using an oil-based wash is a great way to remove the filth that blocks your pores, including water-proof makeup. As this wash does not dry your skin out, it is perfect for most skin types.
  • Clay: Known for their strong absorption, these washes will clean your skin by taking out the oil and toxins from your pores. They are perfect for people with normal to oily skin.
  • Micellar water: Originally from France, Micellar water attracts the oil, filth, and makeup from your face. Micellar water has little molecules of oil in it. You do not have to rinse this wash off of your face. This wash is perfect for skin that is dry and sensitive.
  • Powder: Powder washes are dry when they come out of the bottle and then turn into a creamy mix when mixed with water. They clean your face thoroughly and give it a soft exfoliation as well. Unlike other exfoliating scrubs, like bead scrubs, the powder face wash is very easy on the skin and you can use it every day. This type of face wash is perfect for people with greasy to normal skin.
  • Bar soap: After years of leaving the spotlight of attention, bar soap is slowly beginning to come back as a popular face wash. This new type of bar soap actually has very little soap, sometimes none. They contain ingredients that are rich in nutrients and highly hydrating, like glycerin and essential oils. They have a great pH level for your skin.
young woman face and hands

If you tend to use a lot of makeup, you will probably want to get a face wash made to remove cosmetics.
(Source: Dolgachov: 51847052/ 123rf.com)

How should I use my face wash correctly?

  1. Remove your makeup: Some people prefer a traditional makeup remover with an oil base, while others an oil-based face wash, micellar water, or cleaning wipes. This step is especially important if you use waterproof makeup.
  2. Wash your face: Put a small amount of face wash in your hands and mix it with a little bit of water. Massage it into your skin with circular motions for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Make sure to wash your entire face, including areas that are commonly forgotten, like your hairline, under your ears, the front and the back of the neck, and the neckline.
  4. Rinse and dry: Remember to rinse your face with warm water, not hot water. Once you have done this, pat your face with a dry, clean towel. Do not rub your face to dry it.

Shopping Criteria

Types of Skin

The type of skin you have should be the first thing you should consider when looking for a perfect skin wash. Make sure you know your skin type and research the best product for you and for your skin. You will find skin washes for dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, mixed types of skin, acne, and there are even skin washes that work on all skin types! Play around with these types of face washes and find the best brand for you!

Texture

You need to pick a face wash based on your preferences. It is important to pick a face wash with a texture that you like. If you are not a fan of wearing things on your face like makeup and masks, a cream-based wash might be very overwhelming for you, for example. If this is your case, manufacturers have created gel-based, lotion-based, and foam-based face washes. There are also cream-based face washes and masks to help you wash your face. Choose the texture of your face wash wisely!

Ingredients

After deciding what type of skin type you have and what texture of face wash you want, next you need to consider what ingredients you want in your face wash. It is vital that you make sure the product you purchase does not have any chemicals in it that can be harmful to your skin. You will also find amazing natural ingredients like aloe vera, lemon, Neem oil, apricot, and more.

Shoukei MatsumotoJapanese Author and Buddhist Monk

“There is an old Zen teaching that says that if you haven’t washed your face, everything you do throughout the day will be impolite and hasty.”

Properties

There are so many different skin types and many different needs when it comes to skincare. Read the information on every face wash that you are thinking about buying to find out if the wash is a good fit for your face. Some products are anti-inflammatory, others are antiseptic or astringent, while others are anti-age or anti-wrinkle. Some face washes are for the prevention or treatment of acne.

There is something that you need to know when reading about different face washes. Do not believe in the products that claim that they will have more than two or three results, like tightening and hydration of the skin along with wrinkle prevention. It is not possible for a product to have so many functions.

Summary

After reading all of this information, there are no more excuses for you not to wash your face. Now that you know what type of skin you have, how a good face wash can help you have happy and healthy skin, and the factors you should have in mind when buying one we are confident that you will make the correct purchase. Remember that cleaning your face will help your skin look beautiful. Take care of yourself and your skin!

If you found this article helpful in your search for the correct face wash, share it with your friends and family. This way they can learn about their skin type, have healthy skin and buy a great skin wash. If you have any comments or questions, we would love to hear them below in the comment section. Thank you so much and have a nice day!

(Source of Featured Image: Anna Om: 94282633/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Charlotte Steward Beauty Expert & Cosmetologist
Charlotte became interested in the subject of beauty at an early age. It is her passion to improve the beauty industry. She now has her own small beauty salon and many regular customers who appreciate Charlotte's expertise.