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Everyone isn't naturally born with good skin. We all have to work on it, some more than others., However, as top dermatologists and aestheticians in the industry know, you don't need pricey products or a skin expert on speed dial to look flawless.
We asked 15 experts to share their favorite drugstore face washes under $25. Read on to discover their picks and why they love them.
Best face wash for dry skin
"It's fragrance-free and won't irritate sensitive skin types or strip moisture, which makes it a great value all around," said Dr. Donna Bilu Martin, a board-certified dermatologist based in Aventura, Florida.
"I recommend Neutrogena frequently because [the formula] is gentle, won't strip the skin of its natural oils and also removes makeup. It's best for people with dry, sensitive or combination skin," said Maryland-based dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth L. Tanzi.
"This cleanser is well-suited for dry to sensitive skin but can be beneficial for all skin types — even oily and acne-prone skin. The product is surfactant-free and paraben-free to reduce dryness or irritation, leaving skin feeling smooth after cleansing," said New York City-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Jessica Weiser. "The milky consistency contains glycerin to prevent skin from drying, yet it is effective enough to remove debris and makeup from the skin's surface."
"This cleanser is my all-around favorite! It's gentle, hydrating, noncomedogenic and good for all skin types," said Dr. Diane Walder, whose clients include George Hamilton.
"I love this scrub-and-mask combo. It contains oatmeal, which can help nourish dry skin," said board-certified dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe. "It’s also gentle enough to act as an exfoliator for those with sensitive skin."
Best face wash for oily skin
"This product contains ceramides, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid which makes it a great barrier to repair and soften the skin. It moisturizes while removing dirt, oil and eye makeup," said Dr. Patricia Wexler, whose clients include Rita Ora. "It’s noncomedogenic and non-irritating — plus, it's great for normal to oily skin."
"I love this wash because it balances the skin and leaves a silky and matte finish," said Dr. Fran E. Cook-Bolden of New York City. "Although it's made specifically for oil control and oily skin, it's great for most skin types because of the balancing effect. I use it and my skin is normal and mildly sensitive!"
Best face wash for acne-prone skin
"I've been using this since I was a teenager with acne and sensitive skin. I have tried numerous other face washes and bars, but I always come back to this one. It cleanses my face without stripping natural oils and without making my skin dry or sensitive," said New York City-based physician Dr. Amy Wechsler.
"This cleanser isn't drying and helps even out my patients' skin tones. Obviously, it is oil-free and hypoallergenic. Many of my patients with acne or sensitive skin really love this product," said Dr. Jeanine B. Downie, dermatologic surgeon based in New Jersey.
"I love a cleansing oil to take off makeup and this one is great for anyone with sensitive skin," said celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas, whose clients include supermodel Karlie Kloss. "It's soothing, hydrating and doesn't have harmful chemicals in it."
"This is a great cleanser for all skin types, but especially for anyone with sensitive skin," said Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologist at New York City's Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. "After a long flight, I like to cleanse with a gentle formula and apply a moisturizer or sleeping mask if I’m turning in for the night."
"This hypoallergenic facial cleanser is gentle enough to remove dirt and makeup in one step while also deep cleaning the skin. It's great for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone," said Dr. Eric Schweiger, whose clients include "Real Housewives" star Kenya Moore.
"The first step to beautiful skin is thorough, effective cleansing," said celebrity skin care specialist Kate Somerville, whose clients include Vanessa Hudgens, Anna Kendrick and Drew Barrymore. "I really enjoy using the Simple Micellar Water to cleanse my skin at the end of the day. It’s made with purified water and vitamins, which is hydrating, while thoroughly removing makeup, dirt and clogged pores."
"It’s one of my favorite drugstore cleansers because it contains hyaluronic acid and it's super hydrating. It's best for sensitive or dry skin," said Dr. Debra Jaliman of New York City.
"I am a fan of this classic cleanser because it's not too harsh and will not dry out the skin. It doesn't have reactive ingredients in it so even the most sensitive skin types can use it," said aesthetician Melanie Simon, whose clients include Vanessa Williams. "Aggressive cleansers with acidic ingredients, like salicylic acid, strip the epidermis which makes the skin look dull. Cetaphil doesn't strip the top layer of the skin which reflects light and makes us appear more youthful."
For more stories like this, check out:
- 8 award-winning anti-aging essentials, from a lip mask to a staple sunscreen
- Clean beauty doesn’t have to break the bank – these 25 are all under $20
- The 12 best face washes for sensitive skin, recommended by dermatologists
- Dr. Pimple Popper loves this affordable face wash
- 15 dermatologist-approved face washes for acne-prone skin
This article was originally published on Sept. 15, 2016.