Keeping your face clean and blemish-free can be a difficult process. It’s all about a good balance of products and routine to match your skin. One wrong move could mean a return to mediocre complexion and pimples! So, how can you keep your face shining without spending your life savings on the latest hyped up cleansing products? By choosing the best drugstore face wash and making it work for you.

Best Seller
CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash | 12 Fluid Ounce | Daily Facial Cleanser for Dry Skin | Fragrance Free
Best For Budget
Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, 4.3-Ounce Box
Highest Quality
Basis Sensitive Skin Bar Soap - Body Wash Bar Cleans and Soothes with Chamomile and Aloe Vera - 4 oz. Bar Soap (Pack of 6)
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser
Basis Sensitive Skin Bar Soap
Volume: 5 Sizes
Volume: 2 Sizes
Volume: 4 oz
Cleanses and removes oil without disrupting the protective skin barrier. Gentle foaming action refreshes and cleanses skin, including removing excess oils. Cleanses, hydrates and helps restore the protective skin
Perfect for all skin types, even the most sensitive.
Natural calming agents chamomile and aloe vera soothe and comfort skin
Best Seller
CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash | 12 Fluid Ounce | Daily Facial Cleanser for Dry Skin | Fragrance Free
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
Volume: 5 Sizes
Cleanses and removes oil without disrupting the protective skin barrier. Gentle foaming action refreshes and cleanses skin, including removing excess oils. Cleanses, hydrates and helps restore the protective skin
Best For Budget
Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, 4.3-Ounce Box
Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser
Volume: 2 Sizes
Perfect for all skin types, even the most sensitive.
Highest Quality
Basis Sensitive Skin Bar Soap - Body Wash Bar Cleans and Soothes with Chamomile and Aloe Vera - 4 oz. Bar Soap (Pack of 6)
Basis Sensitive Skin Bar Soap
Volume: 4 oz
Natural calming agents chamomile and aloe vera soothe and comfort skin

What Are Drugstore Face Washes?

There’s nothing complicated to a drugstore face wash. It’s just a brand of face wash that’s available in your local drugstore. Many expensive brands try to make themselves exclusive by selling in smaller venues or online and charging excessive prices to make you think they’re better. But, drugstore brands are unassuming and available to almost anyone, even if you’re on a smaller budget.

Benefits of Buying Drugstore Face Wash

You won’t have to break the bank to find your new favorite drugstore face wash product. The biggest advantages to drugstore face wash brands is availability and accessibility. These brands are not trying to market to an exclusive section of the population, but have chosen a broader audience that includes basically everybody with access to major drugstore chains.
The pricing on these widely available products is going to be lower than a lot of big brand beauty companies charge. But, that doesn’t mean the quality of the product is worse! Actually, many people find that drugstore brands work just as well, or sometimes better than other large beauty brands. The main difference for some is simply the price, which is far more affordable.

How to Choose the Best Drugstore Face Wash?

What do you need to look at to find a great drugstore face wash that will work for you? Here are the basics of what separates a desirable choice and a bad one:

– Ingredients & Formula

Sorting through ingredients in their full chemical forms is tiring, but it’s also worth noting which ingredients work for your skin and which ones cause adverse reactions. You’re likely to find a wide range of face washing products, some of which may be more harmful than helpful. Some ingredients to avoid include menthol, alcohol, and other drying agents.

– Type of Product

Do you prefer bar soaps, creams, liquids, or lotions? In general, most bar soap products aren’t recommended for the face, because they can be drying or may leave residue from suds. The other types depend mostly on your skin’s oil production and the level of dirt you normally face in your daily life.

– Your Skin Type

If you have normal skin that’s not oily, dry, or a combination of the two, you can use basically any products available. It’s still a good idea not to choose overly drying ingredients, since they may create problems that didn’t exist on your face before.
Dry skin works well with lotion-type or creamy face wash products. These add moisture back into the skin as they cleanse, so they’re not actually removing all of the facial oils or ruining the protective layer on your face.
Oily skin does great with water soluble liquid face washes and some bar soaps (although those are just not as good as liquid washes). Avoid overly moisturizing products, since your skin already produces enough oils to keep your skin soft on its own. Products that add a lot of moisture may just complicate the situation even further!
Combination skin can be trickier to manage, but in general you should be able to use most liquid face washes that don’t include harsh, drying ingredients, or a variety of softer lotion face washes. Avoid full creams, bar soaps, or drying liquids.

– Skin Sensitivity

Sensitive skin adds a new level of vigilance to your search for the perfect face wash. Watch out for ingredients that are too strong, like witch hazel or exfoliating ingredients. Choose products that are meant for sensitive skin, because they will use ingredients that work well for your face and won’t cause breakouts, rashes, irritation, or itchiness. Remember that it’s wise to test the product in a small area before using it on your whole face, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Top 10 Best Drugstore Face Wash

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash | 12 Fluid Ounce | Daily Facial...
  • [ ALL OVER CLEANSING ] Suitable for use on the face, body, even hands
  • [ ESSENTIAL CERAMIDES ] Unique formula with three essential ceramides...
  • [ MOISTURE RETAINING INGREDIENTS ] Formulated with hyaluronic acid to...
  • [ CLEANSES WITHOUT TIGHT, DRY FEELING ] Removes dirt, oil and makeup...
  • [ GENTLE ON SKIN ] Paraben-free, Fragrance-free, non-comedogenic,...

Made from non-comedogenic and non-irritating ingredients, this cleanser also works to moisturize your skin and face. It can help you soften your facial skin, while at the same time cleaning out pores and helping you control your acne.
You can use this CeraVe cleanser anywhere on your body, but it works very well as hydrating facial cleanser for those with normal to dry skin. If you have oily skin, it may not be a good option.

  • Non-comedogenic ingredients won’t clog up your pores
  • Great for sensitive skin, eczema, or psoriasis
  • Smell is light and not overpowering
  • Works well to remove makeup
  • May leave your skin feeling oily after use
  • Because of the added hydrating ingredients, it’s not ideal for oily skin types

Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, 4.3-Ounce Box
  • A one-step gentle exfoliating cleanser
  • Strips away dead cells, impurities and make-up
  • Leaves skin unbelievably smooth and radiant.
  • In one quick, easy step, One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser gently...
  • more radiant, healthy-looking complexion

As a gentle exfoliating cleanser, this facial cream helps to improve your complexion and make your skin radiant. It works in one simple step to cleanse, exfoliate, and smoothen your skin. Ingredients like shea butter and orange extract as used for cleaning and moisturizing.
Microbeads for exfoliation are made from an organic cellulose material that won’t harm the environment or your skin, but still does an effective job at removing dead skin and dirt buildup.

  • Gives you a deep down clean feeling on your face
  • Exfoliation won’t leave your skin feeling rough or bumpy
  • Works well for most people with sensitive skin, as long as it’s used appropriately
  • Smells nice without overpowering you
  • Not a daily use product, even for those with oily skin
  • May be pricier than other drugstore facial cleansers

Basis Sensitive Skin Bar

Basis Sensitive Skin Bar Soap - Body Wash Bar Cleans and...
  • Natural calming agents chamomile and aloe vera soothe and comfort skin
  • No fragrances, dyes or other harsh ingredients
  • Rinses completely
  • Leaves skin clean, calm, and comfortable
  • Cleans and soothes

Made from a mix of all natural ingredients and no harsh or unnatural chemicals, the Basis bar is meant for sensitive skin types. It’s formulated not to leave film on your face after you rinse it off, and leaves you feeling comfortably clean.
Basis makes their bar with chamomile and aloe vera, natural ingredients that are both soothing and cleaning. This mix is gentle and nonabrasive, which is why it’s so great for all skin types.

  • Soothes while cleaning
  • No dye, fragrances, or harsh chemical ingredients
  • Won’t dry out your skin, even with daily use
  • Effectively removes makeup
  • May leave some residue on your skin
  • Can dry out your skin, especially during colder months of the year

St. Ives Fresh Skin Face Scrub

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Made from delicious and fragrant apricots, this St. Ives exfoliating scrub is a win-win for fresh, clean skin throughout the day. It will help to clean deep within your pores without clogging them up, and may leave your face glowing and smooth.
This isn’t a daily cleanser, but is an effective exfoliating cleanser for use a few times weekly. It’s hypoallergenic and all-natural. If you have sensitive skin, you can still hope to use this without causing dryness, irritation, or itching.

  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Exfoliants in the scrub are not and non-plastic
  • Sulfate-free formula
  • Helps remove rough, dead skin
  • Exfoliants may not be gentle enough if you have very sensitive skin
  • Scent may be too strong for some people

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Cetaphil Facial Cleanser, Daily Face Wash for Normal to Oily...
  • Gentle enough for everyday use; mild and non irritating formula is...
  • Clinically proven to deep clean skin: cleanses without leaving skin...
  • Skin feels refreshed & moisturized: low lather formula will not strip...
  • Removes oils & dirt: Hypoallergenic facial cleanser is gentle enough...
  • PERFECT FOR SENSITIVE SKIN: Dermatologist recommended and non...

Meant for those with normal to oily skin (including combination skin), this facial cleanser helps to remove all the dirt and grime from your pores without drying your skin out so much. The pump top makes this easy and mess-free when your dispensing and applying it on your face.
With a fragrance-free formula, there’s no strong scent that will linger around your skin after you’re done washing. It’s also effective for sensitive skin types, rosacea, and many types of acne.

  • Great for oily skin, without leaving you feeling too dry
  • Most sensitive skin types can use this cleanser
  • Everyday cleanser can be used multiple times daily when needed
  • Creamy and rich feel
  • Not very effective at removing makeup
  • Does not include exfoliates

Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash

Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash - 6 fl oz
  • Cleanses while maintaining skin's moisture level
  • Leaves skin looking and feeling soft, smooth, and fresh
  • Removes impurities and environmental pollutants
  • Rinses clean, leaving no irritating residue; fragrance-free
  • Please read all label information on delivery

As a foaming cleanser, this facial soap is light and non-drying as it washes away dirt and oils from your skin. It easily washes away, taking pollutants with it, and leaving a clean, fresh face. Your skin will feel soft after you use this product.
You can use this cleanser even if you have very dry skin, because it’s soap-free and doesn’t remove natural skin oils. Because of this, it may not work as well for oily skin types.

  • Rinses off the skin completely
  • Great as a twice daily cleanser
  • Not harsh on the skin
  • Lathers considerably, so you don’t need to use much
  • May not be effective for oily skin
  • Won’t leave you feeling fresh and squeaky clean

Liquid Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Formula

Liquid Neutrogena Fragrance-Free Facial Cleanser with...
  • 8-fluid ounce of Liquid Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Formula mild face...
  • Liquid facial cleanser removes excess oil and rinses clean without...
  • Made without any harsh detergents, our daily face wash is specially...
  • This mild face cleanser works to gently cleanse skin and is...
  • Hypoallergenic cleanser is dermatologist proven to be mild and its...

With no harsh detergent, fragrances, or oils, this is a great product to clean your face without causing irritation or drying. It uses glycerin to help soften your skin and reduce build-up of excess skin oils.
No residue is left behind to bother your skin or clog pores. You can easily pump the amount you need into you hand, helping to avoid messes and waste.

  • Can be used to take off your makeup
  • Good for most skin types, having a neutral effect on oils
  • Great for sensitive skin, and doesn’t include any fragrance
  • Easy to use pump for the ideal amount of cleanser
  • If you have normally dry skin, this may leave you feeling drier
  • No fragrance like the original scented products

L’Oreal Pairs Go 360 Deep Facial Cleanser

L'Oreal Paris Go 360 Clean, Deep Facial Cleanser, 6-Fluid...
  • Go 360 Clean Anti-Breakout
  • Go 360 Clean Anti-Breakout
  • Go 360 Clean Anti-Breakout

This soap-free cleansing formula works gently to cleanse dirt from your face without harming or drying your skin. If you have a deep facial cleaning scrubber, you can use this product with that to get an even better clean.
As a high-foam cleanser, you won’t need much of this to get your whole face nicely cleaned every day. It works well for sensitive skin and most skin types.

  • Glycerin and shea butter help to moisturize while cleaning the skin
  • Comes with a scrubbing pad to help you cleanse your pores
  • Soft cleaner for sensitive skin
  • May not leave your face feeling as soft as you’d prefer
  • Dose not work well on very dry skin
  • Cleansing pad may not clean deeply into your pores

Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

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This face wash is meant to help anyone with acne trouble to reduce current blemishes and prevent future ones from coming through the skin. It features charcoal as a major ingredient, which aids in pulling out impurities from deep within the pores to be rinsed away.

  • Helps to minimize pores while cleaning them
  • Cuts down on skin oil
  • Cleans deeply in your pores
  • Helps you feel fresh and clean
  • Not a good product for very sensitive skin
  • May cause some breakouts when you first start using it

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Foam Wash

Cetaphil PRO DermaControl Oil Removing Foam Wash 8 oz -...
  • Clinically proven to effectively remove oil impurities and makeup
  • Contains licorice root extract and zinc technology to soothe irritated...
  • Specifically designed for people with acne-prone skin
  • Reduces oil and shine
  • Paraben free,masking fragrance , and won't clog pores

Light and refreshing, this foaming face wash soothes irritated skin while cleaning out your pores and removing impurities. It’s good for reducing oil build-up and helping you control acne, especially if you are prone to breakouts.

  • Does not clog up your pores
  • Paraben-free
  • Helps you control oil and shine
  • May not eliminate shine if you have very oily skin
  • This is a scented product that may not work for sensitive skin


Finding the best drugstore face wash can be a challenge, but there are a lot of solid options out there. I would like to recommend the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser as a good option to try. It won’t clog up your pores, it works well with a lot of different skin types and sensitive skin, and it can gently remove makeup as well as dirt and excess oils. Because it’s a hydrating face wash, you may not want to try this one if you have very oily skin.

5/5 (3 Reviews)