Best Face Washes for Dry Skin (According to Dermatologists)

While face washes are made to, well, cleanse, they can sometimes wash away more than what you want them to. They can erase the hydration your skin needs along with the dirt, grime, and excess oils. And when the weather gets cold, it becomes even more crucial for those with dry skin to introduce a cleanser with the right stuff into their skin-care routines.

When picking out a face wash for dry skin, New York City-based dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali suggests seeking out formulas that, of course, contain moisture-retaining ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides, as well as chamomile and glycerin, which work to calm irritated skin. Bhanusali also suggests picking out a cleanser that scales back on the number of ingredients. He says less is more when it comes to this skin type.

Furthermore, those with dry skin should be wary of strong acids (think: alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids). “They can do more harm than good,” Bhanusali says.

With the help of dermatologists, we’ve curated some of the best cleansers for dry skin — the ones that stunned us with how they left even our most parched patches feeling baby-soft yet successfully swept away makeup and grime.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

This Cetaphil cleanser is beloved by both dermatologists and editors — it’s practically an Allure Best of Beauty staple at this point. “It’s inexpensive, available at drugstores, and is soap-free, so it can be wiped off,” Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, says of the classic cleanser. There’s zero fragrance, and it’s very mild, but it gets the job done.

CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash

Tara Rao, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City often recommends this fragrance-free, noncomedogenic face wash to patients who are susceptible to dry, sensitive skin. It packs in three hydrating ceramides (a.k.a., fats that are naturally found in your skin to prevent moisture loss), as well as hyaluronic acid to draw water into the skin and lock in hydration

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