The Best Cleanser For Sensitive Skin

Finding the perfect cleanser for sensitive skin can be a real challenge. It’s crucial to select a product that won’t cause irritation or flare-ups. We’ll guide you through choosing gentle, dermatologist-recommended cleansers tailored for delicate complexions. Let’s unveil radiant, happy skin together:

What to Look for in a Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

When choosing a cleanser for sensitive skin, it’s important to look for gentle ingredients, hypoallergenic formulas, fragrance-free options, and non-comedogenic properties. These qualities can help prevent irritation and maintain the skin’s delicate balance.

Gentle ingredients

Sensitive skin needs a tender touch, and that starts with the right cleanser. Gentle ingredients play a vital role in keeping your complexion calm and comfortable. Look for products packed with soothing ingredients, which draw moisture into the skin. This will ensure it stays hydrated and less prone to irritation.

Prebiotics are another key component. They support your skin’s natural defenses by nourishing the good bacteria on its surface.

Select cleansers that are specifically designed with your delicate skin in mind. For instance, SkinMedica Sensitive Skin Cleanser is mild yet effective, cleansing your skin without stripping essential oils.

Labels boasting “hypoallergenic,” or “non-comedogenic,” can help your sensitive complexion.

Aveeno’s range is often recommended as it merges nature-derived components with scientifically proven gentleness. This is ideal for managing sensitivity while maintaining clearness and healthiness of the skin.


Choosing a hypoallergenic cleanser is a smart move for anyone with sensitive skin. These products are specifically formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reactions, making them ideal for skin that’s easily irritated.

Look for labels that mention “hypoallergenic,” as these cleansers avoid irritants and allergens. For example, Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser and SkinMedica Sensitive Skin Cleanser make great choices because they’re crafted with this in mind.

Opting for hypoallergenic products means you’re treating your skin with gentle care without compromising effectiveness. Trusted brands like EltaMD offer options such as the Oil-in-Gel Cleanser. This caters to dry, sensitive complexions while ensuring deep cleansing without any harsh effects.

Make sure the best cleanser for your sensitive skin has been tested and approved by dermatologists so you can cleanse confidently, knowing your face is in good hands.


Fragrance-free cleansers are a cornerstone of skincare for sensitive skin. Many women find that perfumes and fragrances in facial cleansers can trigger irritation or allergic reactions. This makes options like Vanicream Facial Cleanser and EltaMD Foaming Cleanser great choices.

These products respect the delicate balance of sensitive skin without introducing potential irritants often associated with scented products.

Switching to a fragrance-free formula reduces the risk of bad reactions, providing peace of mind while cleansing your face. It’s crucial to maintain skin health by selecting a product that won’t compromise its natural barrier function. This is why experts recommend such formulas among the best cleansers for sensitive skin 2023 picks.

After considering fragrance-free alternatives, it’s also important to look at whether they are non-comedogenic. Let’s take a look at what this means below:


Choosing a non-comedogenic cleanser is essential for women with sensitive skin types. This means the product is specifically designed not to clog pores, reducing the risk of breakouts.

Many dermatologist-recommended options are non-comedogenic. So, they’re suitable for those prone to acne or have rosacea. Look for products like Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser and Aveeno Calm + Restore Nourishing Oat Face Cleanser. They’re crafted to keep your skin clear without irritation.

These gentle formulas help maintain your skin’s health by keeping your pores free from blockages that can lead to blackheads and pimples. Make sure the cleanser you choose supports a balanced complexion without harsh chemicals that can cause more harm than good.

Up next: we’ll dive into some top picks and reviews for cleansers ideal for sensitive skin.

Top Picks for the Best Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

Kind to your complexion

Gentle, effective cleanser for sensitive skin – fragrance-free formula.
Best Overall

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  • Gentle enough for sensitive skin

  • Non-comedogenic formula won’t clog pores

  • Unscented for those with fragrance sensitivities

  • Liquid form for easy application

  • Dermatologist-tested and recommended

  • From the trusted brand Vanicream

Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser shines as a beacon of relief for those with sensitive skin. This dermatologist-tested cleanser is crafted without common chemical irritants. These can trigger reactions, making it an oasis of purity in a sea of harsh skincare products. Its formula is free from fragrances, parabens, and sulfates, so you won’t expose yourself to any nasty chemicals.

What sets this cleanser apart is how meticulously it addresses the needs of reactive skin types. Being made with no betaine, gluten, soap, and botanical extracts means that even the most delicate complexions can use this one. A friend recently said her search for the perfect face wash ended with Vanicream, saying each time she uses it, her skin feels soft and clean. It’s these personal successes that earn Vanicream top marks on our list.

By adding Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser with Pump Dispenser to your daily routine, you’re not just choosing a product; you’re embracing peace of mind, knowing your skincare supports your sensitivity concerns while maintaining effectiveness. With such high praise from users and professionals, it’s clear why we picked this product as number one.


  • Won’t clog pores: Dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic so that it won’t cause breakouts

  • Soothing formula: Free of sulfates, dyes, fragrance, and other harsh ingredients

  • Ideal for sensitive skin: Formulated to avoid common irritants and is gentle yet effective

  • Effective cleansing: Helps remove dirt, oil, and makeup without drying the skin


  • May have a slightly different aroma in each batch

  • Packaging may vary

  • Not suitable for those who prefer fragranced products

This gentle facial cleanser is perfect for those with sensitive skin who want an effective and fragrance-free way to remove dirt, oil, and makeup without drying out their skin. Try Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser today for a soothing and irritation-free cleansing experience.

Cetaphil Hydrating Foaming Cream Cleanser

Foamy lather

Caring and gentle foaming cleanser ideal for sensitive skin types.
Runner Up

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  • Fragrance-free and unscented

  • Specifically formulated for sensitive skin

  • Creamy texture for gentle cleansing

  • Manufactured by Galderma Laboratories in Canada

Cetaphil’s Hydrating Foaming Cream Cleanser stands out as an exceptional choice for those with normal to dry, sensitive skin. Dermatologists recommend this cleanser because it respects the delicate nature of sensitive skin while doing its job. Its unique cream-to-foam formula is a game changer, ensuring a thorough cleanse without stripping the skin of its natural oils. The inclusion of prebiotic aloe and essential vitamins like B5 and B3 bolster the skin’s defenses, offering hydration and soothing relief.

What sets this one apart is not just its ability to clean but also how it maintains the moisture barrier and pH balance. This is a critical aspect for anyone battling sensitivity issues. Users rave about its gentle touch that leaves their skin feeling soft and refreshed rather than tight or irritated. With no fragrance or parabens, it minimizes potential reactions, which is why we’ve picked Cetaphil Cream Cleanser as No. 2 on our list—it’s safe yet effective, giving users peace of mind alongside clear skin.

Furthermore, everyday use transforms into a pampering experience that calms your senses while caring for your complexion—ideal for starting or ending your day on a soothing note. This hydrating foaming cream cleanser has garnered loyalty from women who have searched long for a dependable cleansing partner in their skincare routine—one that promises both comfort and cleanliness without compromise.


  • Dermatologist recommended for sensitive skin

  • Transforms into a foamy texture for gentle cleansing

  • Leaves skin feeling soothed and hydrated

  • Effectively removes dirt, oil, and makeup without drying the skin


  • May not effectively remove heavy or waterproof makeup

  • Some users may find the texture too thick for their preference

  • The 16 oz size may be bulky for travel or limited bathroom storage

Ideal for those with sensitive skin, the Cetaphil Hydrating Foaming Cream Cleanser is a must-have product that effectively cleanses without stripping the skin’s moisture. With its gentle yet powerful formula, this dermatologist-recommended cleanser is perfect for anyone looking to maintain a healthy and hydrated complexion. Try it now and experience the difference!

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

Effective formula

Nourishing daily cleanser to soothe your sensitive skin.
Top Brand

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  • Fragrance-free, gentle cleanser suitable for sensitive skin

  • Creamy texture that hydrates and soothes the skin

  • Made by La Roche-Posay, a trusted skincare brand

  • Imported from France with high-quality ingredients

  • Unscented formula ideal for those with fragrance sensitivities

Caring for sensitive skin calls for a gentle touch, and that’s where La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser shines. This facial cleanser is a true ally for those who struggle with irritation or tightness after washing their face. Its formula balances niacinamide and ceramides, which work together to strengthen the skin barrier while keeping the complexion comfortably hydrated. Women with sensitivity find this product to be particularly soothing because it doesn’t strip away natural oils. Instead, it leaves skin feeling nourished instead of parched.

What sets this moisturizing face wash apart from others on our list is its remarkable ability to cleanse without causing any redness or discomfort, making it an excellent choice for normal to dry skin types as well. It’s fragrance-free, too—no sneaky irritants here! Users rave about how their skin feels after using it: clean but still soft and supple, never tight or dry.

Securing the number 3 spot in our lineup wasn’t simply due to its hydrating prowess; this La Roche-Posay cleanser earns points for user-friendliness as well. The generous bottle size will last and last, providing value alongside skincare benefits. Whether you’re starting your morning routine or winding down at night, incorporate this trusted face wash into your ritual and embrace a calm, clear complexion day in and day out.


  • Gently cleanses and hydrates sensitive skin without stripping it of its natural oils

  • Contains niacinamide and ceramides to help restore the skin’s moisture barrier

  • Fragrance-free formula suitable for all skin types, including those with allergies or sensitivities

  • Leaves the skin feeling refreshed and moisturized after each use


  • Contains a high amount of packaging

  • Some users may find the texture too thick

  • May not effectively remove heavy makeup

La Roche-Posay is perfect for those with sensitive skin who are looking for a daily facial cleanser that won’t dry out their skin. With its nourishing ingredients and kind formula, this is ideal for a gentle, effective cleanse. Try it now and see the difference it can make in your skincare routine!

Burt’s Bees Face Cleanser

Skin-safe recipe

Ideal for those with delicate skin – naturally soothing and nourishing.
Best Unscented

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  • Hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested

  • Unscented, suitable for all skin types

  • Liquid formulation

  • Made in the USA by Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees Face Cleanser emerges as a game-changer for ladies grappling with sensitive skin. Its formula taps into the power of nature, using 98.9% natural ingredients to carefully purge your face of everyday impurities without provoking irritation or dryness. Imagine starting each day with a gentle lather that refreshes and respects your skin’s needs. This cream cleanser stands out by striking the perfect balance between thorough cleansing and maintaining the natural moisture barrier essential for a radiant complexion.

One customer shared how switching to this facial wash transformed her morning routine. “My skin always felt like it was on fire after washing, but since I’ve started using Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser, there’s no more redness”. With accolades from Allure and backing from the National Eczema Association, this product doesn’t just claim gentleness; it proves it. And if you’re thoughtful about ethical shopping choices, rest easy knowing it comes Leaping Bunny Certified. Yep, no furry friends were harmed in making your skin look flawless.


  • Leaping Bunny Certified: Burt’s Bees Face Cleanser is never tested on animals, ensuring cruelty-free skincare

  • For Sensitive Skin: Formulated with Aloe and without parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or SLS

  • Improved Moisture Barrier: Helps improve the skin’s moisture barrier by removing dirt, oil, and makeup

  • Gentle Cleansing: Moisturizes while gently removing dirt, oil, and makeup for simplified skincare


  • May not effectively remove heavy makeup

  • Unscented formula may not appeal to those who prefer scented products

  • Packaging may vary, which could be inconvenient for some customers

This gentle yet effective cream cleanser from Burt’s Bees is perfect for those with sensitive skin. Made with natural ingredients and Leaping Bunny certified, it will leave your skin feeling clean, moisturized, and refreshed. Say goodbye to harsh chemicals and hello to a nourished complexion – try Burt’s Bees face cleanser today!

Aveeno Calm + Restore Nourishing Oat Face Cleanser

Soothing oat

Free from nasties, this cleanser includes only the good stuff.
Also Consider

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  • Hypoallergenic and unscented formula

  • Specifically designed for sensitive skin

  • Paraben, sulfate, alcohol, dye, and phthalate-free

Aveeno Oat Face Cleanser is a gem for those with sensitive skin seeking effective nourishment. Its milky consistency glides over the face, dissolving impurities without stripping away moisture. The blend of soothing oat and calming feverfew in this hypoallergenic cleanser protects your skin’s barrier. This ensures you’re squeaky-clean with every wash without irritating your sensitive skin.

Imagine washing your face after a long day, only to have it feel refreshed and revitalized rather than tight and uncomfortable. That’s the promise Aveeno delivers with its fragrance-free formula. This cleanser is essential for removing makeup while keeping harmony with your skin. Use it morning or night; you’ll notice how it leaves your complexion hydrated, soft, and smooth. With the bottle made partially from recycled plastic, Aveeno asserts its commitment to our planet’s health.

This hydrating facial cleanser lets you bid farewell to harsh chemicals commonly found in other products that can trigger sensitivity reactions. Free from parabens, sulfates, alcohol, dyes, phthalates, this one also minimized clogged pores. It’s just pure cleansing bliss followed by soothed skin. This is all thanks to Aveeno’s dermatologist-recommended expertise spanning over 70 years.


  • Gently cleanses and purifies sensitive skin

  • Helps preserve skin’s moisture barrier

  • Calms irritated and dry skin

  • Leaves skin looking healthy, hydrated, soft, and smooth


  • May not effectively remove heavy or waterproof makeup

  • Some users may find the consistency too thin or runny

  • The size of the bottle is larger, which may not be convenient for travel

This gentle and nourishing facial cleanser from Aveeno is perfect for those with sensitive, dry, or irritated skin. Its blend of oat and feverfew helps to calm the skin while preserving its moisture barrier, leaving it looking healthy and hydrated. Try Aveeno Calm + Restore Nourishing Oat Face Cleanser today and give your sensitive skin the care it deserves!


Q: What is the best type of face cleanser for sensitive skin?

A: The best type of face cleanser for sensitive skin is one that is gentle, fragrance-free, and specifically formulated for sensitive skin.

Q: What should I look for when choosing a face cleanser for sensitive skin?

A: When choosing a face cleanser for sensitive skin, look for products labeled as suitable for sensitive skin, free from harsh ingredients such as fragrances, alcohol, and sulfates, and preferably with hydrating or soothing properties.

Q: What is the most suitable face wash for those with dry skin and sensitivity?

A: Those with dry skin and sensitivity should opt for a creamy or milky cleanser that is hydrating and gentle on the skin, as it can help to prevent further drying or irritation.

Q: Is it important to consult a dermatologist when choosing a face cleanser for sensitive skin?

A: It can be beneficial to consult a dermatologist when choosing a face cleanser for sensitive skin, especially if you have specific skin conditions or concerns. A dermatologist can provide personalized recommendations based on your skin type and concerns.

Q: What are the best ingredients to look for in a face cleanser for sensitive skin?

A: Look for ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, as these are known for their hydrating and soothing properties and are generally well-tolerated by sensitive skin.

Q: Can a face cleanser for sensitive skin help with redness and irritation?

A: Yes, a face cleanser for sensitive skin with soothing ingredients can help to reduce redness and irritation, providing a calming effect on the skin.

Q: What is the best way to wash your face if you have sensitive skin?

A: When washing your face with sensitive skin, use lukewarm water, be gentle and avoid harsh rubbing or scrubbing, which can further irritate the skin. Pat the skin dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing vigorously.

Q: Is Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser a good option for sensitive skin?

A: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a widely recommended option for those with sensitive skin as it is soap-free, fragrance-free, and gentle, suitable for daily use without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

Q: Can a gel cleanser be suitable for sensitive skin?

A: Yes, a gel cleanser can be suitable for sensitive skin, particularly if it is formulated to be gentle and hydrating, with ingredients that support a healthy skin barrier.

Q: What is the best way to deal with acne while using a face cleanser for sensitive skin?

A: When dealing with acne while using a face cleanser for sensitive skin, look for products that are non-comedogenic and specifically formulated for acne-prone or sensitive skin. It is also advisable to consult with a dermatologist for personalized acne treatment options.


In conclusion, finding the best cleanser for sensitive skin can be a daunting task, but with the right products, it’s achievable. Also, Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser and Cetaphil Hydrating Foaming Cream Cleanser are top choices for clean and healthy skin.

So go ahead and treat your sensitive skin to the care it deserves with these trusted recommendations.

About the Author

Tanja is an advocate of all things clean-beauty. She's forever on the lookout for new and exciting products, whether they come from faraway Korea or the beauty labs of Paris.

Her favorite brand is Shiseido, a Japanese company who craft luxurious, high-end makeup in gorgeous packaging.

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