The Best Face Wash for Every Skin Type


Washing your face isn’t (or shouldn’t be) one of those things you do at night just to scrub the makeup off your face before you head to bed. In fact, with the right face wash, cleansing your skin is the most important step that can make or break your ~flawless-skin goals~. Consequently, the type of face wash you use really matters, so we’ve curated a list of the best (like, top-rated and most recommended across the vast internet) face washes for each skin type. This way, you can show your face a little love and say buh-bye to sad skin, and hello to that fresh glow.

But first, let’s take it back to basics. How do you even know what your skin type is? The best way to figure this out is with your dermatologist, but for those of us who don’t have one on speed-dial (myself included), there’s an easy DIY test that can help you determine your skin type at home. Wash your face first thing in the morning, then resist every single urge in your body that tells you to apply products or makeup to your face. I know, it’s hard, but just do it. Then, around noon, approach the mirror and begin an inspection. If your face is practically shining it’s so oily, surprise, surprise– you have oily skin. If you have a little shine across your T-zone, but it’s matte (and maybe even dry) across your cheeks, that’s combination skin. “Normal” skin types (even though they’re all normal!), can expect a little oil and shine throughout the T-zone, but your skin will mostly look the same as it did when you started the day. Finally, if you have red, dry patches or a persistent tight feeling across your face, you’ve got dry or sensitive skin.

Now, read on for the best face wash for your self-determined skin type:



COVER IMAGE: Pinterest

Normal Skin: Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser

Just like goldilocks, you want to find the middle-ground, the one that’s “just right”. Not too tough, and not too gentle. Not too heavy on exfoliators, and not too rich in moisturizers. That’s why we recommend Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser. Associates at Birchbox told me that customers who try a single Paula’s Choice product always end up coming back to buy the whole line, it’s just that good. I didn’t believe her, and then it happened to me. True story. This wash will clear away stubborn makeup and oil, and replace any lost moisture with hyaluronic acid and ceramides (big words that just mean your skin will be left feeling creamy and soft).

Combination Skin: Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser

Here at Zenzy, we’re big fans of Tata Harper products because they focus on all-natural ingredients that are good for you and the Earth. Usually, finding a product that is friendly to both those pesky dry patches, but still tough enough to clear up oily spots can be a struggle. But this cleanser (it’s free of soap, alcohol, and pretty much every other gross ingredient), will eliminate oil with exfoliating apricot seed powder and kaolin clay, while restoring moisture with sunflower oil and aloe. Just like Hannah Montana, you CAN have the best of both worlds!

Dry Skin: GlamGlow Thirsty Cleanse Daily Hydrating Cleanser

Putting mud on your face may seem like you’re making it dirty rather than cleaning it, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you mix this cleanser with water and it turns into a rich later. The face wash bring omega-rich coconut water and plumeria flower extract to give your parched skin a healthy drink.

Oily Skin: Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser

If you’ve got oily skin, come over and give me a high-five cause we’re on the same team. I swear by Murad’s Acne Cleanser and I feel so confident about its results that I’m recommending it to all of you as well. It came highly recommended from a Birchbox sales associate and she didn’t steer me wrong. Any face wash with salicylic acid or lactic acid will help clear out the oil that causes acne, but this cleanser is unique in that it’s effects last up to 8 hours (basically an entire school day). Pro Tip: Lather the cleanser on your skin, then let it sit for a few minutes. This is the perfect time to brush your teeth! Rinse it off afterwards like a mini-mask session.

Sensitive Skin: Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser

Sensitive skin is different from dry skin in that it is easily irritated, prone to redness, and frequently becomes inflamed from products that are too harsh. If that’s the case, you want a very gentle cleanser that will keep your skin barrier intact with naturally protective oils. We recommend Glossier’s cleanser because A) we all need a little Glossier to spruce up our shelves and B) it’s a non-soap cleanser that is suitable for all skin types but especially perfect for sensitive complexions. It’s free of sulfates, artificial perfumes, and any other harsh irritants that could bother your skin. Glossier is a Zenzy Gal’s best friend.

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