What’s the Best Cleanser for Dry Skin?

cleanser for dry skin

One of the biggest questions people ask when taking care of their skin is what’s the best cleanser? For dry skin that answer is easy. You want a gentle, milky cleanser over something frothy and foaming. A lot of people associate foaming with cleaning, but sometimes those ingredients that lather your skin can strip your face of precious sebum.


Now, there are plenty of foaming cleansers that are fabulous, and this isn’t one size fits all. In fact, Dermaware has a great gentle foaming cleanser for dry skin, but in general, if you’re speaking with a skincare specialist, you’ll be advised to look for creamy and milky cleansers.


Affordable Skin Care

Milky cleansers gently melt away make-up, dirt, and debris, while also being extremely calm and soothing to the skin. If you want something in the drugstore brand range, you won’t go wrong with the popular choice of Cetaphil, which comes highly recommended and has won Allure Beauty Choice awards year after year. In fact, it won their Best of Beauty badge in 2006, 2007, and 2013. It also won the
Reader’s Choice in 2017, 2018, and 2019. (source)


Here’s the best part. If you miss your soapy, foaming fix, Cetaphil now also has a gentle foaming face wash, though their traditional version is a milky cleanser.

face wash skin care

Higher-End Skin Care Choices

If you’d prefer a higher-end brand over a drugstore brand, consider Dermalogica. They offer an UltraCalming Cleanser along with a Special Cleansing Gel that can target your concerns.


While most brands offer targeted skin care, you’ll want to look for mild ingredients. One of the things dermatologists like about Cetaphil is the gentle pH which doesn’t cause your skin to react.

Check the ingredients and reviews of products to see how people respond to them. Reviews, whether on Amazon, Ulta, or Sephora can help you narrow your choices.


Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin


One final note. Don’t confuse dry skin with dehydrated skin. They are two separate things. Dry skin is your skin type. This has to do with pore size and sebum production. Dehydrated skin is when your body isn’t properly hydrated.


Dehydrated skin is a “condition,” not a skin type. This is important to differentiate. Using dry skin products on dehydrated skin isn’t the solution. In this case, you’ll use extra-moisturizing properties that are targeted to your skin type, whether it’s normal, combination, or oily.


It is possible to have dry skin that is also dehydrated. If you’re not sure what type of skin you have, or you’ve been guessing, it may be time to see an esthetician or skin care specialist who can help you not only pick out the proper skincare regime, but guide you on what products you should be using for the skin type you have. You’d be surprised how many people misidentify their skin type.