Best Beauty Buys

Cleansers

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        Best Bar Soap 2016

        Dove White Beauty Bar

        Best Bar Soap 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015

        Dove White Beauty Bar

        “Dove got it right decades ago, and that’s why this product keeps winning,” says Dr. Graber of the familiar white bar that does away with dirt while moisturizing at the same time. The trick, doctors say, is all in the pH level. “Many soaps tend to have a high pH, which can disrupt the surface and its natural moisture barrier, leading to inflammation and that dry, tight feeling,” says Dr. Zeichner. “This one cleanses without stripping the skin.”

        $4/2
        Best Oily Skin Cleanser 2016

        Garnier SkinActive Clean & Shine Control

        Best Oily Skin Cleanser 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Garnier SkinActive Clean & Shine Control

        If you’re wondering why so many of the products in the skin-care aisle have suddenly turned black, it’s because charcoal is in the mix. The ingredient has the power to pull grime from your pores and sop up grease, elevating this cleanser to blemish-buster status. The gel washes away and leaves a semi-matte finish and a cool, fresh feeling with a dose of menthol.

        $8
        Normal Skin Cleanser 2016

        CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

        Normal Skin Cleanser 2016
        WINNER 2016

        CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

        This gentle giant won’t give you that squeaky-clean feeling—and that’s a good thing, says Hermosa Beach, Calif., dermatologist Annie Chiu. With hyaluronic acid (a molecule that helps your skin hold on to water), “this formula removes makeup and grime without stripping,” she says. In addition to supporting your all-important skin barrier with ceramides (a type of lipid that helps keep skin moisturized), the residue-free wash also contains niacinamide to fight inflammation and irritation.

        $12
        Best Cleanser for Dry Skin 2016

        CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

        Best Cleanser for Dry Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012

        CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

        If your skin demands a gentle touch (and revolts with bouts of redness and irritation if it doesn’t get it), then open your cabinet to this hydrating version of the popular cleanser. The soap-free liquid “is great for compromised skin because it’s very soothing and has ceramides to help repair the skin barrier,” says Dr. Ingleton. The milky, lipid-based formula, says Dr. Bank, also seals cracks without leaving behind a gross, filmy residue.

        $12
        Best Eco-Friendly Cleanser 2016

        Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Cleanser

        Best Eco-Friendly Cleanser 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015

        Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Cleanser

        Talk about flower power. In this gentle cleanser that dermatologists routinely recommend for daily use, jasmine extract whisks away dirt and grime without stripping the skin, while botanical extracts of anogeissus boosts cell turnover to leave skin smooth and soft.

        $30
        Best Cleanser for Normal Skin 2015

        Cetaphil Daily

        Best Cleanser for Normal Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Cetaphil Daily

        About as gentle as water itself, this non-soap, fragrance-free cleanser lifts dirt and makeup without leaving skin stripped, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Rosemarie Ingleton. “It’s mild, but it does the job.” 

        $7 for 8 fl. oz.
        Best Exfoliating Brush 2015

        Clarisonic Smart Profile

        Best Exfoliating Brush 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Clarisonic Smart Profile

        Sometimes a good thing gets even better. The latest version of the OG cleansing brush uses smart technology, shifting

        into targeted modes based on face position (gentle on cheeks, amplified on the forehead and nose). “It removes makeup and grime so much more effectively than manual cleansing ever could,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner.

        $265
        Best Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin 2015

        Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

        Best Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2014

        Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

        Grapefruit extract cuts through grease, clearing the way for acne-blasting salicylic acid to penetrate the surface. "It's a gentle exfoliate, so it also treats hyperpigmentation," says N.Y.C. dermatologist Melanie Grossman. 

        $8
        Best 2014 Cleanser

        Cetaphil Gentle Skin

        Best 2014 Cleanser
        WINNER 2014

        Cetaphil Gentle Skin

        “Most people over- cleanse,” says L.A. dermatologist Karyn Grossman, but this creamy formula hits the right note for normal skin. Humectants wash away dirt and makeup without stripping natural oils. Don’t let its mild manner fool you, though: It’s strong enough that Dr. Grossman says you can clean your entire body with it.

        $12
        Best 2014 Eco-Friendly Skin-Care Line

        Origins Checks and Balances Face Wash

        Best 2014 Eco-Friendly Skin-Care Line
        WINNER 2014

        Origins Checks and Balances Face Wash

        This 24-year-old botanical brand has even more going for it than no animal testing, 100 percent natural essential oils, and certified organic ingredients. Discoveries (like using rice as an alternative to microdermabrasion and mushrooms for redness relief) are tested “both in the lab and on people,” says N.Y.C. dermatologist Sejal Shah. “Its claims are backed by results and science.”

        $21
        Best 2014 Makeup-Remover Wipes

        Comodynes

        Best 2014 Makeup-Remover Wipes
        WINNER 2014

        Comodynes

        For anyone guilty of sleeping in makeup, these residue-free cleansing towelettes (in regular, acne-fighting, and gentle) leave no room for excuses, says bicoastal pro Jeannia Robinette.

        $26 for 100 towelettes
        Best 2013 Eco-Friendly Facial Cleanser

        Burt’s Bees Orange Essence

        Best 2013 Eco-Friendly Facial Cleanser
        WINNER 2013

        Burt’s Bees Orange Essence

        This citrusy formula bears plenty of fruit: clean, smooth, hydrated skin. “It’s loaded with glycerin, an effective moisturizer, so it will not be overly drying,” says N.Y.C. dermatologist Neal Schultz.

        $8
        Best 2012 Cleanser for Normal Skin

        Cetaphil Daily Facial

        Best 2012 Cleanser for Normal Skin
        WINNER 2012

        Cetaphil Daily Facial

        What it lacks in bells and whistles it more than makes up for with sheer efficacy. This extra-gentle cleanser lifts dirt and makeup, all without messing with skin’s natural oils, says Debra Luftman, a Calabasas, Calif., dermatologist. It’s so mild that cosmetic surgeon Glenn Vallecillos in Beverly Hills recommends his patients use it post-laser.

        $12
        Best 2012 Eco-Friendly Facial Cleanser

        Neutrogena Naturals

        Best 2012 Eco-Friendly Facial Cleanser
        WINNER 2012

        Neutrogena Naturals

        It does everything a cleanser should do, washing away dirt, oil, and makeup without any of the unfortunate side effects, such as stripping, stinging, or drying. New Orleans dermatologist Mary Lupo likes that the mildly foaming gel, spiked with coconut, willow bark, and other skin-cushioning ingredients, rinses clean and requires no toner. "It also immediately makes pores look smaller," she says.

        $8
        Editor’s Pick
        Best 2012 Cleanser for Oily Skin

        Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Cleanser

        Editor’s Pick
        WINNER 2012

        Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Cleanser

        This winner has an unblemished record of clearing acne without stripping skin. The clean-rinsing gel, with 2 percent salicylic acid, "exfoliates, lifts sebum out of pores, and smells good," says Wellesley, Mass., dermatologist Ruth Tedaldi.

        $7
        Best 2011 Body Wash

        Dove Sensitive Skin

        Best 2011 Body Wash
        WINNER 2011

        Dove Sensitive Skin

        Loaded with lipids, glycerin, and soybean oil and gentle enough even for eczema-prone skin, this thick and creamy wash leaves you feeling hydrated long after your bath, says Washington, D.C., dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi.

        $5
        Best 2011 Eco-Friendly Facial Cleanser for Dry Skin

        Aveda Green Science Perfecting Cleanser

        Best 2011 Eco-Friendly Facial Cleanser for Dry Skin
        WINNER 2011

        Aveda Green Science Perfecting Cleanser

        This creamy wash offers a range of complexion-correcting ingredients in one tidy package made from 90 percent post-consumer recycled material. Glucosamine gently moisturizes and exfoliates, ceramides restore skin's natural barrier, and cactus extracts help boost collagen production. All this without stripping skin, says New Jersey dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie.

        $35
        Best 2011 Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin

        Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Wash

        Best 2011 Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin
        WINNER 2011

        Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Wash

        Yes, it's beloved by teenagers, but this trusty acne wash is surprisingly sophisticated. It sloughs off debris, unclogs pores, and tackles pimples with 2 percent salicylic acid,the strongest dose available over the counter, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Doris Day. Plus, it keeps redness at bay with chamomile and aloe.

        $7
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