Best Facial Cleansers for Dry Skin

Best Facial Cleansers for Dry Skin

When our skin is dry, something as simple as giving it a wash can easily send it on a downward spiral of doom, bringing about redness, flakiness, and some other very un-cute ramifications. But we’ve actually got amazing news: you can avoid all of this by simply doing it right. Boom! We said it!

As with any routine step and/or skin type, you have to cater to your complexion’s needs. With dry skin, using something even marginally too harsh can strip your skin of whatever moisture it does have, exacerbating the situation and initiating what is bound to be a rousing and highly competitive game of Moisturize Me Catch-Up. (It’s a real sport, we swear.) Conversely, applying products that are jam-packed with oils can cause new problems if said oils are the wrong kinds (i.e., anything that’s considered comedogenic). So how to choose what to use?

Well, lucky for you, we absolutely love to simplify your life. Let us guide the way to helping you find the best facial cleanser for your dry skin. Read on for our top picks!


Main Takeaways: Cleansing dry skin is a must, even if you are prone to flaking and irritation. But using the right products can actually help prevent issues like these and provide the nourishment and hydration you need to help you better navigate your skin-related woes.

Good to Know: You’ll obviously want to find a cleanser that moisturizes. But you don’t want to replace dry skin with clogged pores. Know your ingredients and how they function so you can choose a cleanser that will work for you rather than against you.

Recommended Products: So Clean! Facial Cleanser.


Want the perfect cleanser for dry skin? We’ve got you.

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1. Best Natural Cleanser for Dry Skin

Fleur & Bee: So Clean! Facial Cleanser

Look, we’ll just come right out and say it: there’s no denying a cleanser this good. Fleur & Bee’s So Clean delivers an incomparably gentle cleanse with 12 nourishing actives that purify and fortify all skin types. It is especially perfect for our friends with dry skin because of the myriad of botanically based ingredients that moisturize the skin from various angles. Glycerin and aloe vera are total humectant powerhouses, attracting water to your skin like the little moisture magnets they are. But that’s not all we have up our sleeves. Our signature cleanser features a blend of organic plant-based oils that work to preserve your skin’s natural barrier while simultaneously adding a protective layer that seals in moisture and helps neutralize the deteriorative effects of irritants and environmental stressors. So Clean! also swiftly removes makeup without the use of harsh astringents and (as always with our products) is free of sulfates and detergents, which, while horrible for all skin types, can pose increasing risks to those with dry skin. Ah! We just love! Give this one a go for literally ALL the reasons.

Fleur & Bee So Clean!

2. Best Oil-Free Cleanser

The Ordinary: Squalane Cleanser

So, this may sound counterintuitive. We get how the idea of using an oil-free cleanser for dry skin might seem strange. But remember what we said earlier. Using the wrong oils can actually make matters worse and bring about new and differing problems. Think things like clogged pores, blemishes, enlarged pores, etc. Better yet, don’t think things like that. Ever. Yuck. Instead, feel free to reach for an oil-free cleanser and worry not about whether the oils in your face wash could further challenge your complexion.

The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser is backed by science, as is all their products, and is clinically proven to provide a gentle cleanse that moisturizes without the use of oils. Squalane, which is effectively an oil alternative, hydrates and protects while dissolving impurities for the ultimate clean. This cleanser also crushes it in the makeup removal department and is even soap-free so you can be sure that it will have enough chill for your dry skin. But use requires a unique technique. First, dispense a dime-sized amount onto fingertips and rub together to warm and emulsify. Then, without having first wet your skin, massage onto to the face and rinse well. Cool!

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

3. Best Dermatologist Recommended Cleanser for Dry Skin

Cetaphil: Gentle Skin Cleanser

This model cleanser is beloved by all – dermatologists, beauty editors, it's crazy huge cult following, you name it. But the truth is classics are what they are for a reason. Another product backed by science and developed through rigorous studies and advanced technology, Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser delivers an incomparable cleanse without stripping the skin. It is clinically proven to provide increased hydration both during and after cleansing and simultaneously protects against the redness and irritation that often comes with dry skin. Further, it is fortified with a blend of B vitamins to actually nourish your skin, encouraging resilience and giving it life. It’s fragrance free, paraben free, and sulfate free.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

4. Best Anti-Wrinkle Cleanser for Dry Skin

Neutrogena: Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel

This cleansing gel’s primary active ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which is precisely what makes it so hydrating. A super-humectant, hyaluronic acid attracts water to the skin for a bouncy, supple, super moisturized glow. But it also promotes skin elasticity, which can masterfully reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while preventing new ones. Most importantly, Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser effortlessly leaves skin refreshingly clean and healthily hydrated. Use this soap-free, hypoallergenic formula for a never dry, always revivified complexion.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel

5. Best Drugstore Cleanser for Dry Skin

Pond’s: Cold Cream

In all of skincare’s repertoire, Pond’s Cold Cream is a greatest hit, and it is a total boss when it comes to cleansing dry skin. It is made up of 50% moisturizer so you can be sure that your complexion is completely drenched in rich hydration. And since it’s a cold cream rather than a traditional cleanser, it removes impurities and makeup in a flash without even needing to be rinsed off. When removing, opt for a gentle swipe with a microfiber cloth instead to ensure that all that hydration stays right where it belongs – on your face!

Pond’s Cold Cream

These are some of our faves, but there are so many great cleansers on the market that can deliver an effective clean while hydrating, fortifying, and protecting your skin from increased moisture loss. When making your choice, remember to read your ingredients, opt for gentle formulas, and don’t fall victim to nefarious oils. Before you know it, your skin will go from dry to fly!

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