We Tracked Down the Best Face Washes for Every Single Skin Concern

Good skin care starts with a good cleanser and the best face washes don’t just clean skin and remove makeup, they also address any skin care concerns you might have. Whether you’re dealing with breakouts, oily skin or a dry, dull complexion, there’s a face wash designed to help.

The first step in finding the best face wash for you is to identify your skin type and any skin conditions you might have. According to Erin Larson, esthetician and director of brand management and education at HydroPeptide, skin types are genetic and are usually classified as dry, oily, combination and/or sensitive. Skin conditions — such as acne, aging skin and redness — can change depending on lifestyle and environmental factors.

When it comes to determining skin type, Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien, FAAD, suggests thinking about what your face feels like throughout the day. After cleansing, does it feel tight? Or does it become greasy soon after washing? The latter points toward oily skin. At noon, is your face looking shiny or matte? Shiny skin likely indicates combination skin. If skin remains relatively matte throughout the day, you probably have dry skin.

To identify skin care conditions, examine your face in the mirror. Fine lines and wrinkles indicate mature skin. Blackheads, whiteheads and/or cystic acne reveal acnegenic skin. Broken capillaries or general flushing are attributed to redness — or couperose — says Larson.

While the majority of good facial cleansers will indicate which skin care concerns they address, it’s helpful to know what to look for in a formula. Elizabeth Jones, advanced instructor for Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute, says that those with dry skin should look for milky or creamy cleansers formulated with oils that nourish skin. Those with oily or acne-prone skin should try gel-based cleansers. (Cleansers with active ingredients like salicylic acid are especially good for breakouts.) Those with sensitive skin benefit from products with calming formulas that don’t have any fragrances or dyes. Finally, those with aging skin should try milky cleansers with brightening and exfoliating ingredients that target pigmentation.

Now that you’ve identified your skin type and concerns, find the best face wash for you below.

[ Next: Why Double Cleansing Is Totally Worth It ]