The Best Drugstore Face wash for Dry Skin in 2021 (tips + products)

best drugstore face wash for dry skin

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Best drugstore face wash for dry skin and what causes dry skin!

I’ve talked a lot about how important face wash is for your skincare routine. In fact, it provides the clean canvas that you need for the rest of your skincare routine.

But with dry skin, sometimes finding the right face wash can be challenging, especially since some face washes will make your skin even drier or cause irritation to the skin. 

If you have dry skin, finding the perfect face wash is an essential part of taking care of your face.

There are so many drugstore face washes on the market, but it can be almost impossible to tell which one is the best fit for your face.

Luckily, I have found my top 10 favorite drugstore face washes for dry skin. 

Before I share a few of my favorite products, you might be wondering: why is my face dry in the first place? Check out all you need to know below. 

best drugstore face washes for dry skin

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Are you in a rush? Our #1 top recommendation is this Face cleanser from Paula’s choice! We love that it also has anti-aging properties that contribute to radiant, hydrated, and youth-looking skin.

What Causes Dry Skin?

Usually, dry skin is one of the five basic skin types (the others being: normal, oily, combination, and sensitive).

However, there are a few factors that can contribute to extra dry skin, or make already dry skin worse. These factors include:

  • make sure to wash your face in lukewarm water. 
  • Harsh ingredients: There are a few harsh chemicals in face washes that contribute to dry skin. 
  • Cold Weather: Exposure to colder weather can also aggravate dry skin. Try bundling up with a scarf to keep your face covered up this winter.
  • Not Using Moisturizer: Using face wash alone does not help with dry skin, and can actually make it worse if it isn’t paired with a good moisturizer.

    Make sure to incorporate a moisturizer into your skincare routine after you wash your face. 


Best Drugstore Face Wash for Dry Skin

Now that you know a few easy changes you can make to keep your skin healthier, let’s dive into my favorite drugstore face washes specifically designed with dry skin in mind!

1. CETAPHIL gentle skin cleanser

Best Features: 

Gentle on Skin: As mentioned earlier, one of the causes of dry skin is harsh chemicals. This face wash is specifically designed without harsh chemicals. It is paraben-free, sulfate-free, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic. 

Hydrating Ingredients: It is filled with glycerin, and Vitamins B3 and B5 to gently wash and hydrate your face. 

Leave-On Moisturizer: This face wash can be used with or without water, so it can be gently massaged into the face without being washed off and stripping the face of moisture. Plus it can be paired with any moisturizer to lock in even more hydration.

2. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

Best Features:

Non-foaming: Sometimes foaming cleansers tend to be a little less moisturizing. Luckily, this face wash is non-foaming, which means it locks in extra moisture for your face!

Restores skin barrier: One of the ways that your face protects itself is through what’s known as the skin barrier.

Any face wash that includes ceramides, like this one here, work to restore the skin’s barrier.

Ceramides are found naturally in the skin’s barrier and make up 50% of it, so those additional ceramides in this face wash help to restore your face to its natural glory!

Not Just for the Face: This CeraVe cleanser can be used on your hands and the rest of your body as well, so if you struggle with dry skin somewhere else on your body, this product is a must-have!

3. Neurogena Skin balancing Cleanser

Best Features:

Extreme Cleansing Power: Neutrogena’s cleanser is made with a 2% polyhydroxy acid (PHA) formula.

This ingredient serves as a powerful exfoliant and moisturizing humectant all in one. 

Harsh Chemical Free: Like the Cetaphil cleanser, Neutrogena’s cleanser is also paraben, sulfate, and fragrance-free. Plus it is alcohol-free, dye-free, soap-free, and phthalate-free.

So no harsh chemicals in this cleanser!

Targets Pores: This cleanser is praised for being the most effective at cleaning out 100% of pores’ dirt and impurities without disrupting the skin barrier I mentioned earlier!

Plus it is dermatologist recommended, and perfect for sensitive skin.

4. Bioderma Cleansing Oil

Best Features:

Extra Hydration: While this is technically a face wash, it is more accurately described as a cleansing oil.

It foams once met with water, but the properties of the oil lock in hydration for 24 hours after use. This product comes highly recommended for people with extra dry skin.

Suitable for Sensitive Skin: Bioderma’s oil is also designed with sensitive skin in mind.

It is non-comedogenic, so it does not clog pores, and it is also anti-irritation. It can even be used on children, whose skin is the most sensitive. 

Patented Skin Therapy: Bioderma was so confident in their cleanser that they had the formula patented!

This cleansing oil is made with Vitamin B3, which restores the skin’s barrier. It is also made with coco and sunflower lipids, which both increase hydration in the skin!

5. Paula’s Choice RESIST Cleanser

Best Features:

Quality Ingredients: Paula’s Choice always has some amazing natural ingredients, and this cleanser is no different.

It contains soapberry extract, which is specifically designed to gently exfoliate the skin without irritating it.

It also contains green tea and chamomile, which work together to calm redness and irritation.

Perfect for Mature Skin: This cleanser in particular is designed with mature skin in mind. With its focus on the skin’s barrier, it targets wrinkles and restores those fine lines.

It can also repair facial scarring. 

Gentle on Skin: Instead of leaving your skin feeling tight or dry, this cleanser leaves your skin feeling moisturized and light after use!

It also cleans dirt, makeup, and other impurities without stripping your skin of much-needed oils. 

6. NEUTROGENA Facial cleansing gel

Best Features:

Dermatologist Recommended: Not only is this cleansing gel recommended by dermatologists, but it is also free of oil, soap, and parabens.

Plus, it is hypoallergenic, so it is perfect for sensitive skin!

Hyaluronic Acid Formula: Hyaluronic acid is proven to reduce acne, and restore skin’s natural moisture, which is why it is a key ingredient in this cleansing gel.

As you can see from the name, this gel is focused on boosting the hydration of your skin, and this formula ensures just that!

Lightweight: Neutrogena’s cleansing gel feels light when you apply it to your face, but it also leaves your face feeling lightweight and supple after use!

7. Aveeno Ultra-calming foaming cleanser and makeup remover

Best Features:

Calming Ingredients: As seen in the name, this cleanser’s focus is to calm your skin and reduce redness and inflammation.

The key ingredient in this cleanser is feverfew extract. Similar to chamomile, feverfew acts as a calming agent on the skin.

Airy Formula: Many customers describe this cleanser as light and airy.

Its foaming formula makes for a gentle cleansing that leaves the skin feeling supple. 

Made for Sensitive Skin: Like many of the cleansers on this list, Aveeno’s calming cleanser is made with sensitive skin in mind.

It is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. It is also free of parabens, soap, and fragrance. 

8. Neutrogena Makeup remover Melting balm

Best Features:

Gentle Formula: While this is not a face wash, I included this makeup remover on the list because having a good makeup remover is another important part of caring for dry skin.

Harsh makeup removers can overly dry the skin and irritate it, but this one is made with dry and sensitive skin in mind. 

Hydrating Ingredients: This melting balm includes Vitamin E, which nourishes the skin.

The balm itself also transforms into a makeup removing oil as it is rubbed into the skin. 

Removes the Toughest of Makeup: Many of the “gentle” makeup removers out there don’t actually remove waterproof makeup.

Luckily, this makeup remover melts away even the toughest of eye makeup or lipstick!

9. La Roche-posay Hydrating gentle face cleanser

la roche posay hydrating cleanser for dry skin

Hydrating Ingredients: Like several cleansers on this list, the La Roche-Posay cleanser has a few key ingredients that make it especially effective.

It is formulated with thermal spring water, which is packed full of minerals and antioxidants. It also contains Vitamin B3, which has soothing properties, and ceramides!

Oil-Free: This cleanser is also oil-free, so it does not leave your skin feeling heavy. It is also free of parabens, sulfates, and soap. 

No Pore Clogging: Finally, this cleanser is non-comedogenic, so it will not clog your pores after use!

10. Garnier SkinActive Face wash with aloe juice for dry skin

Vegan Formula: Garnier’s cleanser is a 100% certified vegan formula and it is cruelty-free.

It is also made of 96% naturally derived ingredients and contains aloe juice, which is extremely hydrating. 

No Breakouts: Sometimes cleansers designed for dry skin can actually cause acne breakouts due to too many oils, but many customers love that this cleanser does not cause acne breakouts on even the most sensitive of skin.

Foaming Power: This cleanser also feels lightweight on the skin. It foams, and several customers raved about how clean their faces felt after using this cleanser!

BONUS 11. Aveeno Calm and Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser

Best Features:

Nourishing Ingredients: Oats are actually a great solution for dry or irritated skin.

It can act as a gentle exfoliant while restoring moisture and creating a protective layer on the skin against bacteria and UV rays. This oat cleanser prioritizes oats to do just this!

Ideal for Sensitive Skin: This cleanser is also hypoallergenic, dye-free, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and alcohol-free.

All of this together means that it is perfect for even the most sensitive of skin.

Rebalances Skin: Finally, this cleanser helps to restore the skin’s natural pH balance through Aveeno’s groundbreaking skincare technology. 

Conclusion on the best drugstore face cleanser for dry skin

Our #1 top recommendation is this Face cleanser from Paula’s choice! We love that it also has anti-aging properties that contribute to radiant, hydrated, and youth-looking skin.

While many of us struggle with dry skin, we don’t always know what the best solution is.

There are a few factors, like the ones listed above, that we can solve to reduce even more dryness, but the best solution is to get skincare products that are specifically tailored to restore moisture to the skin and repair the skin’s natural barrier.

All 10 of these products are perfectly tailored for dry skin, so I hope you found one that you can’t wait to try out!

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7 Essential Skincare Steps to do before applying your Makeup for Flawless, radiant Face!
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