We're supportive of splurging on fancy skincare products when it can be justified. On the other hand, finding a solid drugstore buy can be truly magical. After all, who doesn't like saving money?
Keep one step in your routine guilt-free by sticking to drugstore cleansers. Think about it: You'll never feel bad about rinsing your reasonably-priced face wash off and watching your hard-earned cash go down the drain.
The only problem with drugstore cleansers is that there's so many options. That's why we polled top dermatologists to find out which formulas they trust and recommend to their patients, so you can skip the trial and error of finding the right cleanser for your skin's needs.
Keep scrolling for the affordable facial cleansers that dermatologists love to pick up at the drugstore.
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1. Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash
Dermatologist Dr. Robert Anolik says that Purpose's cleanser is a great option because it's so gentle. "Most active ingredients in skincare come in the form of the serums and creams, so you're not missing out when using a gentle cleanser without so-called anti-aging ingredients," he says. "If someone's having some dry skin or irritation, this becomes an amazing option for gentle cleansing in their routine."
Purpose | $5
2. Biore Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleanser
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kavita Mariwalla considers Biore's pore-detoxing cleanser her secret weapon for clear skin. "The cleanser really warms and feels indulgent when using it at the start of my day. The heat opens up pores, and the clay based formulation draws impurities out of the skin," she says.
Biore | $7
3. SkinFix Foaming Oil Cleanser
"This cleanser lathers beautifully, and I love it for my arms and legs in the winter," says Dr. Mariwalla. "It contains sunflower oil, which is a great emollient. In fact, data suggests that using sunflower oil to massage preterm infants' skin reduced their risk of skin infection. I also like that this product is sulfate free and paraben free."
SkinFix | $15
4. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser
If you have oily or acne-free skin, Dr. Anolik recommends Neutrogena's cream cleanser. "This formula cleanses skin beautifully and also washes away build up of oils and dead skin cells that clog pores," he says. "It even mildly exfoliates so skin is glowing."
Neutrogena | $6
5. Dove Beauty Bar Sensitive Skin
"The Dove Beauty Bar for sensitive skin is a tried and true option that can be used across all skin types," says dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital. "Gentle cleansing ingredients effectively remove dirt and oil from the skin without damaging the outer skin layer. It also contains skin hydrating ingredients like stearic acid that actually leaves the skin moisturized after washing."
Dove | $3/2
6. No7 Total Renewal Micro-Dermabrasion Exfoliator
"My favorite facial wash for gentle physical exfoliation is No7 Total Renewal Micro-Dermabrasion Exfoliator," says board-certified New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King. "The aluminum oxide micro-crystals help to sweep away dead skin cells to reveal a fresh glow. Over time, regular exfoliation can reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve the tone and texture of skin."
No7 | $18
7. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser for Senstive Skin
"If you prefer a liquid cleanser, Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Foaming Cleanser is a great option that can be used widely across different skin types," Dr. Zeichner says. "The lathering formula is great for people with oily skin, but the gentle HMP cleansing technology is gentle enough that even people with sensitive skin can use it."
Neutrogena | $8
8. Dove DermaSeries Face Wash
"Dove has always been my body cleanser of choice, but this new product line is hypoallergenic and non-irritating which makes it amazingly gentle for facial skin," says Dr. Elizabeth Hale, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology, NYU Langone Medical Center. "I recommend this for my patients with rosacea or eczema, or those just with dry, sensitive skin."
Dove | $7
9. Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Oil With Coconut & Argan Oil
If using products cruelty-free and natural products is important to you, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm, MD suggests trying Burt's Bees cleansing oil. "My patients with normal to dry skin love facial oils, and this is a lovely one that combines both coconut oil with argan oil," she says. "It is well tolerated by sensitive skin types and removes eye makeup!"
Burt's Bees | $16