What Are The Best Cleansers For Dry Skin?

by Gio
the best cleansers for dry skin

Why can’t it be summer forever?

The weather has already started to turn here in London. The air is getting chillier, those winds are blowing a little too strongly and the rain is falling down a little too often. *sighs*

It’s the cue to tweak my skincare routine for fall. The first step? A more hydrating cleanser that gets rid of dirt and makeup without drying out my skin (because the weather is already doing a great job at that).

The good news? Cleansers are pretty simple beasts. Active ingredients, like retinol and antioxidants, work best when left on the skin for hours, so I prefer to get my fix from a serum or moisturiser.

With cleansers, it’s all about getting the ratio of detergents (low) and emollients (high) right. A basic, frills-free formula is the way to go. It’ll do the trick without breaking the bank, leaving you with clean skin and enough money to splurge on the stuff that really makes a difference.

Without further ado, here are my the best cleansers for dry skin:

Best MultiTasker: Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser (£14.50)

Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser is one of my fave cleansers ever. It uses a mix of natural butters and emollients to effortlessly remove all traces of dirt, grime and makeup from the skin without drying it out. You can use it alone just for cleansing or with a washcloth for some exfoliating action, too. Either way, it leaves skin clean, soft and bright.

Available at: Feel Unique

Best For Removing Makeup: Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser ($23.00)

Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser contains NO detergents. Instead, it’s packed with emollients and silicones that remove makeup and grime while adding moisture to your skin. The catch? It’s so rich, you may need a washcloth to remove it all from the skin. But if you’re looking for something very gentle or your skin reacts badly to detergents, this was made for you.

Available at: Feel Unique and Sephora

Best For Very Dry, Irritated Skin: Cerave Hydrating Cleanser ($11.90)

If your skin is flaky and irritated, it means only one thing: your skin’s protective barrier is severely compromised. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is loaded with ceramides to patch up the holes. It’s true they work better when left on the skin (and I recommend you find a moisturiser packed with them too), but when your skin is this dry, every little bit helps. Plus, it does a good job at cleansing skin, too.

Available at:DermstoreFeel UniqueUlta and Walmart

Best For The Morning: Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser ($18.00)

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser is one of the gentlest cleansers I’ve ever come across. It uses two mild cleansing agents (Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine) that remove dirt and excess oil without drying out the skin. If you’re wearing makeup, you’ll probably need a washcloth to remove every last trace of foundation, so I prefer to use it only in the mornings. Did I mention it’s suitable for eczema sufferers as well?

Available at: Feel Unique and Paula’s Choice

Best On The Go: Bioderma Sensibio H20 ($10.90)

I’m not a fan of micellar waters as everyday cleansers. They’re just too gentle and delicate to remove everything. But if you’re on the go and can’t wash your face, Bioderma Sensibio H20 will save the day. Apply it with a cotton ball, watch the grime come off and get on with your day.

Available at: Dermstore and Feel Unique


What are your fave cleansers for dry skin? Share your picks in the comments below.

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Hanna September 29, 2017 - 8:24 pm

I have both the clinique cleanser and the bioderma micellar water. I love them since they never irritate my sensitive skin.

Gio October 6, 2017 - 9:36 pm

Hanna, glad to hear they’re working so well for you too.

kate October 28, 2017 - 4:52 pm

i really love the bioderma micellar water. it clean all the very thick cosmetic on my face clearly and not irritate my sensitive skin at all.

Gio November 5, 2017 - 5:33 pm

Kate, it’s a wonderful cleanser, isn’t it? So glad it’s working so well for you. 🙂

Daryl Reed November 16, 2017 - 5:16 am

La Roche-Posay Touleriane Dermo Cleanser. I used CeraVe hydrating cleanser for years and was happy. After hearing so much about Touleriane, I decided to try it. It couldn’t possibly be more gentle or soothing.

Gio December 3, 2017 - 8:00 pm

Daryl, thanks for your recommendation. It’s a great cleanser indeed and I’m glad it works well for you.

Anthi February 15, 2019 - 8:01 am

Hello and congrats for your amazing site !!! what is your opinion about DrBarbaraSturm’s cleanser?? I have dry-very dry skin and sensitive skin ?? here are the ingrendients -> Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Urea, Lactobacillus/Portulaca, Leracea Ferment Extract, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Salicylic Acid, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Tocopherol, Pantolactone, Sodium Benzoate. Thank you so much keep doing this amazing posts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gio February 15, 2019 - 2:02 pm

Anthi, thank you! I think it’s a gentle and hydrating morning cleanser but I doubt it can remove makeup as well.


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