Best Face Wash for Women

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.


Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

We selected the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm as the best facial cleanser. This luxurious, powerful deep-cleansing balm will dissolve makeup and impurities while also cleaning, nourishing, softening, and renewing your skin for a glowing complexion. It is a great choice for any type of skin, but works best on normal or slightly dry skin.

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.


Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is another cleansing balm that primarily excels at removing makeup. Most users reported that it melts away makeup, even the most stubborn eye makeup and some say they were shocked by how much makeup was left on their skin after using other products versus this Clinique cleansing balm. It works well even on sensitive skin or acne-prone skin as a makeup remover, but those users might want an additional product that targets their skin related problems directly.

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.


Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution

We think the best cheap makeup remover is Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution. At $16.90 for a 16.7 oz bottle, or $1.01 per ounce, it is much cheaper than some of the cleansing balms. To use all you have to do is soak a cotton pad or ball with Sensibio H2O and wipe away the makeup.

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.


DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is one product that many users find truly incredible. It is capable of removing stubborn waterproof eye makeup and thoroughly cleaning pores while leaving your skin feeling hydrated and radiant. It is an olive-oil based formula that is easy to rinse off and most people say leaves no residue. Most people find it does not sting their eyes, but it does contain rosemary oil which could be a potential irritant around your eyes.

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.


Cerave Hydrating Cleanser

At a little over $8 for a 12 ounce bottle, or $0.70 per ounce, Cerave Hydrating Cleanser is a cheap facial cleanser that is great for women (and men) with normal to dry skin types, including those dealing with rosacea, who need extra hydration especially during winter months. This thick, creamy product goes on smoothly and spreads easily. It feels really soothing on extremely dry skin since it feels like you are washing your face with lotion. Overall it is gentle and fragrance-free, but it does not use many natural, organic ingredients.

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.


Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel

We feel that Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel is the best facial cleanser for combination skin. This sulfate-free cleanser and makeup remover eliminates surface debris, impurities, and excess oil without drying or stripping the skin’s natural balance. It is on the expensive side, however, at almost $38 for a 5 ounce bottle, or $7.55 per ounce. Although users do say it is concentrated and a little bit goes a long ways.

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

One of the best cleansers no matter your skin type is Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser. At around $33 for a 16 oz container, or $2.06 per ounce, it is pretty affordable. This award-winning product removes makeup and cleanses, tones, and hydrates skin.

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

The best facial cleanser for oily skin is Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser. This clay based formula removes excess oils, refines your skin’s impurities, and reduces breakouts and blackheads. To use just apply a small amount to your dampened face and throat with damp fingertips in light strokes. Rub it in for a while and you may feel your pores release some gritty deposits. Just rinse with warm water to clean up and then repeat as needed.

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.


Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

The cheapest face wash for women or facial cleanser on our list is the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser which sells for about $19 for a pack of two 16 ounce bottles, or $0.60 per ounce. It works well on skin types from normal to dry, sensitive skin.

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

Rounding out our top 10 list is Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser which works best on dull, congested skin. This lathering product uses the exfoliating powers of glycolic acid to break down build-up on the skin’s surface and also reduce skin discoloration including scars. Also formulated with herbal extracts for soothing benefits, it will leave your skin radiant and smooth.

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
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

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