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Face Washes for Different Skin Types

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We’ve curated the ultimate cheat list of the best face washes for every skin type, the ingredients to look for, and the factors you must consider before buying.
Top Rated Face Washes For Different Skin Types

In order to build a regimen that brings you closer to the skincare goals of 'that girl' – you must get the basics down to a tee. That’s right! An unerring understanding of your skin type, its underlying concerns, and the best products to help you stand in good stead. To help you in this endeavour, we bring you a list of the best face washes for different skin types.

No matter how intricate or minimalistic your approach to skincare, a good face wash is non-negotiable! And we encourage you to delve deeper into the ingredient glossary when making a choice. Scroll further for the ultimate cheat list of the best face washes on Nykaa for different skin types and a deep dive into the basics, including what a face wash is, the ingredients to look for, and the factors you must consider before buying.

What Is A Face Wash?

Before we fast-forward to the list, a quick refresher on the basic functionality of face washes couldn’t hurt. A face wash or cleanser removes dust, grime, and impurities from the face, leaving it rejuvenated. Additionally, a meticulous face wash targets concerns like oiliness and dehydration (more on that later) while maintaining the skin’s microbiome.

Ingredients To Look For

All Skin Types: Moisturising is non-negotiable for all skin types. Look for a face wash with ingredients like glycerin that hydrates the skin, ceramides that restore and retain moisture, and aloe vera that soothes the skin.
Oily: Look for a face wash with chemical exfoliators like salicylic acid that will deep clean your pores and reduce the production of oil. Tea tree oil and benzoyl peroxide are also beneficial for oily skin as they help fight acne and reduce inflammation with their antibacterial properties.
Dry: Hyaluronic acid is the holy grail ingredient for dry, parched skin as it hydrates the skin for a plump look. You can also try a cream-based face wash with shea butter for that extra boost of moisturisation and squalane that provides moisture by mimicking your skin’s natural oils.
Combination: You need a mix of products that will address all your concerns – begin with glycolic acid that gently exfoliates and helps brighten the skin. Further, kaolin clay is your secret ingredient against those oily areas of the face as it absorbs oils without being over-drying.
Sensitive: As per a research paper, niacinamide is ideal for sensitive skin as it reduces inflammation and improves the skin barrier. Sensitive skin also benefits from the calming properties of chamomile and gentle exfoliation with oatmeal.

Factors To Consider While Buying

Other than the ingredient list (which varies based on the concerns), here are some factors you must consider before making a choice.

  1. Your Face Wash Shouldn't Be Over-Drying: An ideal face wash will cleanse without overtly drying your skin. Also, if you feel an uncomfortable tightness in your skin after using the product, refrain from committing to it.
  2. It Shouldn’t Meddle With Your Skin’s Natural pH: Many cleansers or face washes meddle with the skin’s natural pH (approximately 5.5) while cleaning. This leads to a loss of skin’s natural oils, excessive dryness, and flakiness. To steer clear of this concern, ensure to do a patch test before adding the product to your vanity.
  3. Shouldn’t Be Grainy or Abrasive: If your skin type is sensitive, avoid products with suspended grains, as they might lead to inflammation or irritation. A study also found that mild exfoliants are better suited for dry and sensitive skin.

Face Washes for Your Skin Type

Now it’s time to add a face wash to your regimen based on your skin type. Broadly speaking, there are four different skin types: dry, oily, combination, and sensitive.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is characterised by an overproduction of sebum, open pores, and, in some cases, visible whiteheads, blackheads, or active acne. Here are the best face washes for oily skin:

1. Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser for Acne-prone Skin with Niacinamide Dermatologist Recommended

Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser for Acne-prone Skin with Niacinamide Dermatologist Recommended
Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser for Acne-prone Skin with Niacinamide Dermatologist Recommended
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Rating: 4.4
What We Love: Panthenol for skin soothing

One of the bestsellers from the drugstore brand Cetaphil, this oily skin cleanser removes impurities from the skin – without stripping it of the natural oils. Replete with niacinamide, the face wash for oily skin reduces the appearance of pores, making the dermis look smooth and even. The presence of glycerine in the blend ensures a big boost of hydration to the skin for its supple and lit-from-within appearance.

2. Plum Green Tea Pore Cleansing Gel Face Wash With Glycolic Acid - Fights Acne & Oil For Clear Skin

Plum Green Tea Pore Cleansing Gel Face Wash With Glycolic Acid - Fights Acne & Oil For Clear Skin
Plum Green Tea Pore Cleansing Gel Face Wash With Glycolic Acid - Fights Acne & Oil For Clear Skin
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Rating: 4.4
What We Love: Lathers Exceptionally

One of the best face washes for oily skin on Nykaa, this one from Plum thoroughly cleanses the skin without over-drying it. The formula boasts green tea (possessing anti-inflammatory and antibacterial) that fights different stages of active acne. It also carries the mighty yet gentle exfoliant glycolic acid that cuts excess oil from the skin while removing traces of dead-dried cells.

3. CeraVe Foaming Cleanser Face Wash For Oily Skin

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser Face Wash For Oily Skin With Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides & Niacinamide
CeraVe Foaming Cleanser Face Wash For Oily Skin
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Rating: 4.4
What We Love: Recommended by dermatologists

Foaming cleansers are ideal for oily skin as they deeply cleanse the skin while being non-comedogenic – which means they won’t clog your pores. The CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is fortified with hydrating hyaluronic acid and niacinamide that reduces inflammation. Its key feature is the dermatologist-approved formulation with three essential ceramides that help restore the skin barrier.

4. Forest Essentials Ayurvedic Face Wash For Oily Skin

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser with Saffron & Neem - Ayurvedic Face Wash For Oily Skin
Forest Essentials Ayurvedic Face Wash For Oily Skin
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Rating: 4.5
What We Love: Benefits of ayurveda

Get the natural benefits of ayurvedic ingredients like Kashmiri saffron, neem, and kewda with the Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser for oily skin. It helps purify the skin by clearing clogged pores and adds a natural glow while helping the skin feel soft and supple. It also replenishes the natural moisture of the skin.

Dry Skin

One of the main reasons for dryness is the skin’s inability to bind water molecules to its surface – leading to uncomfortable tautness, itchiness, and random patches of flakiness. If you are grappling with skin dryness, you are no stranger to a beat and dull-looking complexion. Here are the best face washes for dry skin:

1. Minimalist 5% Aquaporin Booster Face Wash With Hyaluronic Acid For Dry Skin

Minimalist 5% Aquaporin Booster Face Wash With Hyaluronic Acid For Dry Skin
Minimalist 5% Aquaporin Booster Face Wash With Hyaluronic Acid For Dry Skin
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Rating: 4.5
What We Love: Sulphate-free surfactant system for optimal cleaning

This product by Minimalist carries aquaporin boosters that deeply nourish the skin while guaranteeing it a thorough cleanse. This MVP of the blend also provides multi-level hydration and transports moisture across the cell membrane. Hyaluronic acid (in the formulation) further helps double down on the water boost, and betanin relieves the skin of inflammation or irritation.

2. Aqualogica Hydrate+ Smoothie Face Wash with Coconut Water & Hyaluronic Acid

Aqualogica Hydrate+ Smoothie Face Wash with Coconut Water & Hyaluronic Acid
Aqualogica Hydrate+ Smoothie Face Wash with Coconut Water & Hyaluronic Acid
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Rating: 4.4
What We Love: The goodness of coconut water that makes the skin incredibly smooth

The soap-free face wash by Aqualogica cleanses the skin without stripping it of the natural oils. The wondrous concoct maintains the skin’s pH and features a blend of hyaluronic acid + glycerine for optimal skin hydration. The dynamic duo of humectants bind water molecules to the dermis, keeping it supple and soft. Additionally, the formula leverages the science of aquaporins, which push the moisture from the basal layers to the skin’s surface for a dewy, plump appearance.

3. Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Extra Mild - Very Dry to Dry Skin

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Extra Mild - Very Dry to Dry Skin With Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides & Niacinamide
Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Extra Mild - Very Dry to Dry Skin
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Rating: 4.2
What We Love: Quick-rinsing formula

This luxury offering from Clinique for very dry to dry skin is a soft, non-drying formula that will help you achieve your smoothest skin yet. The lather loosens flakes (also known as dead cells) on the surface of the skin and effectively removes dirt and debris while maintaining the moisture balance. Its quick-rinsing formula ensures that the skin feels comfortable – never taut – after washing. The formulation also comes in variants for combination and very oily skin.

4. The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser
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Rating: 4.5
What We Love: Brightening rice water

The Face Shop foaming cleanser brings us the benefits of the viral Korean skincare secret – rice water. Its whipped cream-like texture is ideal for dry skin and it also helps melt away makeup. Along with washing away impurities and removing dead cells, it helps hydrate and adds a luminous appearance aka the famous glass-like skin from K dramas.

Combination Skin

Combination skin is characterised by an excessively greasy T-zone and dry patches in no particular fashion. To maintain your combination skin, we recommend striking a balance between ample hydration and sebum control. Here are the best face washes for combination skin:

1. MCaffeine Vitamin C Green Tea Face Wash with Hyaluronic Acid - Dirt Removal Soap Free Face Cleanser

MCaffeine Vitamin C Green Tea Face Wash with Hyaluronic Acid - Dirt Removal Soap Free Face Cleanser
MCaffeine Vitamin C Green Tea Face Wash with Hyaluronic Acid - Dirt Removal Soap Free Face Cleanser
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Rating: 4.4
What We Love: The aroma of coffee that awakens the skin and the soul!

Invest in holistic care for your skin with the MCaffine Vitamin C Green Tea Face Wash. The face wash carries hyaluronic acid, serving as a mammoth water reservoir for the skin. All you need is a dot-sized amount of the product to wash off all the impurities, dust, and pollution from the pores while refreshing the skin (and your mood). At the heart of this formulation is green tea, a powerful antioxidant that fights radicals while inhibiting the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Furthermore, the traces of vitamin C dwindles the appearance of dark spots and administers an even complexion.

2. Nykaa Naturals Saffron & Honey Face Wash for Glowing Skin

Nykaa Naturals Saffron & Honey Face Wash for Glowing Skin
Nykaa Naturals Saffron & Honey Face Wash for Glowing Skin
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Rating: 4.4
What We Love: Clean, all-natural formula

The Saffron & Honey Face Wash by Nykaa Naturals is a stellar offering for combination skin. This paraben-devoid and cruelty-free formula cleanses the skin while granting it a warm radiance (thanks to the presence of saffron). Saffron or kesar also possess incomparable anti-inflammatory properties that keep episodes of redness or skin swelling at bay. Honey, for the unversed, is a natural humectant with antibacterial properties and ensures a hydrated, healthy microbiome.

3. Dot & Key Watermelon & Vitamin C SuperGlow Gel Face Wash

Dot & Key Watermelon & Vitamin C SuperGlow Gel Face Wash For Glowing Skin & Spots Reduction
Dot & Key Watermelon & Vitamin C SuperGlow Gel Face Wash
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Rating: 4.4
What We Love: Non-drying cooling effect

The perfect choice for hot weather, the Dot & Key Watermelon & Vitamin C Gel Face Wash provides a cooling effect. It will give you the experience of oil-free skin as it controls the production of excess oil while being non-drying. The sulfate-free formula also helps with skin luminosity as Vitamin C helps reduce dark spots.

4. Foxtale The Daily Duet Gentle Cleanser Hydrating Face Wash

Foxtale The Daily Duet Gentle Cleanser Hydrating Face Wash
Foxtale The Daily Duet Gentle Cleanser Hydrating Face Wash
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Rating: 4.4
What We Love: 2-in-1 makeup remover and face wash

With non-stripping natural ingredients, this hydration boosting face wash from the viral brand Foxtale doubles as a makeup remover and helps remove impurities and dirt from the skin. It hydrates the skin instantly with moisture-locking technology and provides a long-lasting flow.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is prone to inflammation, redness or irritation at the slightest of inconvenience. We recommend using natural brews, free of SLS, with alleviating agents like oatmeal, honey, and aloe. Here are the best face washes for sensitive skin:

1. Simple Kind To Skin Refreshing Facial Wash

Simple Kind To Skin Refreshing Facial Wash
Simple Kind To Skin Refreshing Facial Wash
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Rating: 4.5
What We Love: No frills formula!

The Simple Kind To Skin Refreshing Facial Wash is devoid of soap, dyes, and chemicals – the perfect fit for folks with sensitive skin. The formulation contains pro-vitamin B which ensures a big boost for hydration to the skin, making it look luminous. One of the most sought-after faces washes on Nykaa, this meticulous cleanser removes impurities from the skin while soothing it.

2. Himalaya Moisturizing Aloe Vera Face Wash

Himalaya Moisturizing Aloe Vera Face Wash
Himalaya Moisturizing Aloe Vera Face Wash
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Rating: 4.4
What We Love: The exquisite texture of the formula, chef kisses!

The creamy formulation by Himalaya replenishes the skin’s water content with every wash. A soap-free brew, it casts away dirt from the skin while parting a cooling effect, thanks to the presence of cucumber. The star ingredient of the mix is aloe, which deeply moisturises the skin, keeping it soft and limber throughout the day.

3. Mamaearth Multani Mitti Face Wash

Mamaearth Multani Mitti Face Wash
Mamaearth Multani Mitti Face Wash
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Rating: 4.3
What We Love: Age-old skincare remedy made convenient

As clay masks can be irritating and dry for sensitive skin, the Mamaearth Multani Mitti Face Wash helps you gain all the benefits of the traditional Indian skincare remedy. The Multani Mitti-infused face wash gently removes excess oil to prevent acne, while the Bulgarian Rose extracts deeply hydrate the skin.

4. The Derma Co 2% Niacinamide Oily Skin Cleanser

The Derma Co 2% Niacinamide Oily Skin Cleanser
The Derma Co 2% Niacinamide Oily Skin Cleanser
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Rating: 4.2
What We Love: 100% soap-free non-irritating formula

No irritation, 100% free of soap, non-drying, and gel-based – what more could you ask for? This sensitive skin saviour from The Derma Co. has 2% niacinamide to protect the skin’s barrier and Cica extracts that soothe the skin with its anti-inflammatory properties. The gentle cleanser hydrates your skin without stripping it of its natural oils and provides hydration 24 hours after each wash.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right face wash for your needs is easy and requires attention to three key factors – skin type, ingredients, and formulation. Oily and acne-prone skin needs deep cleansing ingredients that remove impurities, and unclog pores effectively with gentle exfoliation with gel-based or foaming formulas. Dry skin benefits from hydration and moisturisation from cream-based face washes as well as soothing ingredients to reduce inflammation. Combination skin needs products that are not over-drying but still effectively absorb oil in the areas where it's needed. All skin types require moisturisation and it is a non-negotiable while picking a face wash for your daily routine.

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