Cleansers are the foundation of any skincare routine. As Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist in New York explains, “The goal of a cleanser is to remove dirt and soiling of the skin, while maintaining a healthy skin barrier. The compounds used in cleansers to remove the dirt are known as surfactants. While effective, some surfactants can have damaging effects to the skin barrier. This is especially problematic in people with sensitive skin, which is why it is important to choose the right cleanser for your needs.”
If you have sensitive skin, Dr. Zeichner suggests looking for cleansers that contain gentle surfactants (like Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser Face Wash; $12) along with barrier repairing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, natural oils or ceramides. His pick? RoC Barrier Renew Gentle Cleanser; $17, which checks all of the boxes.
Ahead, we’ve pulled together a list of the 14 best face cleansers for sensitive skin that will hopefully take the sting out of washing your face every day.