The best face wash for women will depend on your skin type and also how much makeup, if any, you wear. You may want to use multiple products, whether a face wash or facial cleansers, to remove makeup and get a deep cleanse.
So is there a difference between face wash and facial cleansers? Yes and no. They both do essentially the same job of cleaning your face, but many facial cleansers are designed primarily to remove makeup first while providing additional cleaning benefits. Thus, if you wear makeup they should be used first.
In general, face wash is primarily designed to cleanse your pores and remove deep-seated grime. Face wash also tends to refer to a foaming cleaner that substitutes for soap and needs to be washed off. Most cleansers are a lotion, cream, or oil based product that does not foam and usually only needs to be wiped off.
However, don’t get too caught up with those specific terms. Many products designed for women tend to avoid the phrase ‘face wash’ and use ‘cleanser’ or ‘foaming cleanser’ instead. Ultimately you just need to experiment with some products to at first find one that effectively removes makeup if you use makeup, then if needed an additional product that works best with your skin type – whether you have dry, sensitive, oily, combination, or acne-prone skin.
Below we review our top 10 best facial cleansers or face washes for women.
Many users say that they feel like they just went to the spa after using Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. In fact you can use it as a facial mask if you want. Just apply a teaspoon size amount onto your face and neck. For maximum effect use while enjoying a warm bath for 10 minutes then just remove with a warm, damp cotton cloth.
However, it is the most expensive cleanser on our list at $60 for a 3.7 oz container which is $16.22 per ounce. Therefore we recommend that you use a different, cheaper product as a makeup remover first like Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution (which we review below) and use the Elemis Cleansing Balm only occasionally.
At about $30 for a 3.8 oz container, or $8.00 per ounce, it is awfully expensive for just a makeup remover. However, it is probably the best makeup remover out of all the products we looked at.
Perhaps the best aspect of the Bioderma Sensibio H2O is its gentleness. It removes eye makeup without stinging or burning your eyes or damaging fragile, sensitive skin. Some women have called it the holy grail in terms of makeup removal and one bottle will last months. It also is fragrance-free and does not leave a residue.
However, while it does remove makeup it does not really offer deep-cleaning of your pores. So if you have dry skin, oily skin, or acne-prone skin you will still want another product designed to address those issues.
It is primarily a makeup remover, but it does offer a more deep-cleaning that some other makeup removers do. You may want to use an additional cleanser that addresses certain skin types depending on how your skin reacts to the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, but many users do not require using any other product.
At $26 for a 6.7 oz bottle, or $3.88 per ounce, it is about in the middle in terms of pricing of items on this list.
The main drawback of Cerave Hydrating Cleanser is its poor ability to remove makeup, so if you want to use Cerave Hydrating Cleanser and wear makeup then you should pair it with a makeup remover like Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution. We also recommend avoiding this cleanser if you have really oily skin.
Many users love this cleanser and feel it works great on combination and slightly oily skin that is prone to breakouts. Although if you have really acne-prone skin you might need something even stronger that targets acne directly. Also, while Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel can be used as a makeup remover, it does not really excel at that so you might want to pair it with a designated makeup remover.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser falls into a sweet spot in that it is not too oily or drying. Almost everyone who uses it says it leaves your skin feeling clean and soft. Although, if you have really acne-prone skin you might want something else that truly targets that problem.
Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser is reasonably affordable at about $40 for a 16.9 ounce bottle, or $2.38 per ounce. It is not really a makeup remover, so you use a makeup remover first if you wear makeup.
Overall users really like the Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser to combat oily skin. However, a small percentage of people have reported excessive breakouts after using.
Moisturizing as it cleans it is ideal for skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, acne, diaper rash, eczema, and dry skin. It is gentle for everyone and rinses off easily, not stripping your skin of natural oils.
It can remove makeup, but it does not really excel at doing so. Therefore you might want an additional makeup remover if you wear lots of makeup.
Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser sells for $16 for a 6 oz bottle, or $2.67 per ounce. It is recommended that you use this product 2-3 times per week. Also while it does remove dirt, makeup, and oils, you might want to add a daily makeup remover to your skin care routine.
Face Wash and Facial Cleansers for Women Comparison Chart
|Facial Cleanser||Rating||Price||Ounces||Price Per Oz||Ingredients|
|Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm||9.3||$60.00||3.7||$16.22||Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-8 Beeswax, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Silica, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Lecithin, Borago Officinalis (Starflower) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Cera (Wax), Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Acacia Decurrens (Mimosa) Flower Cera (Wax), Rosa Multiflora (Rose) Flower Cera (Wax), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Ho Wood) Wood Oil, Mentha Arvensis (Mint) Leaf Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Menthol, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Citric Acid, Linalool, Geraniol, Eugenol, Citronellol, Limonene.|
|Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm||9.2||$30.40||3.8||$8.00||Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polyethylene, PEG-5 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Water, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol|
|Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution||9.1||$16.90||16.7||$1.01||WATER (AQUA), PEG-6 CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC GLYCERIDES, CUCUMIS SATIVUS (CUCUMBER) FRUIT EXTRACT, MANNITOL, XYLITOL, RHAMNOSE, FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, DISODIUM EDTA, CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE|
|DHC Deep Cleansing Oil||9.0||$26.00||6.7||$3.88||Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil|
|Cerave Hydrating Cleanser||9.0||$8.38||12||$0.70||Purified Water, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Polyoxyl 40 Stearate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum|
|Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel||9.0||$37.75||5||$7.55||Water/Aqua/Eau, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Diglycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Gluceth-10, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Hydrangea Serrata Leaf Extract, Simmindsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Glycerin, Cellulose Gum, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sclerotium Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol|
|Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser||8.9||$32.97||16||$2.06||water (aqua), sodium lauroamphoacetate, sodium trideceth sulfate, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, coco-glucoside, cocos nucifera (coconut) alcohol, peg-120 methyl glucose dioleate, aniba rosaeodora (rosewood) wood oil, geranium maculatum oil, guaiac (guaiacum officinale) extract, cymbopogon martini oil, rosa damascena extract, amyris balsamifera bark oil, santalum album (sandalwood) oil, salvia officinalis (sage) oil, cinnamomum cassia leaf oil, anthemis nobilis flower oil, daucus carota|
|Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser||8.9||$40.24||16.9||$2.38||Water (Aqua), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Kaolin, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Glyceryl Stearated, Titanium Dioxide, Sorbitan Oleate, Montmorillonite (Green Clay), Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Etracts of: Mallow (Malva Sylvestris), Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus), Sambucus Nigra, Arnica Montana, Pellitory (Parietaria Officianlis), Watercress (Nasturitum Officianale), Burdock (Arctium Lappa), Sage (Salvia Officinalis), Lemon (Citrus Medica Limonum), Ivy|
|Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser||8.8||$19.04||32||$0.60||Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben.|
|Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser||8.7||$16||6||$2.67||Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Aqua (Water, Eau), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA, Glycolic Acid, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Hypericum Perforatum Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Althaea Officinalis Leaf/Root Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Sodium Chloride, Parfum (Fragrance), Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea|