12 Best Drugstore Cleansers for Dry Skin

Skin Essentials

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As we enter the winter months, those of us with dry skin dread the potential issues of itchy, irritated, and dehydrated skin as we bundle up against the varying temperatures outside and indoors. There are quite a few causes of dry skin that go more than skin deep. Taking your skincare routine seriously is just as important as hydrating with water and eating a nutritious diet. Going from indoor A/C to outdoor humidity (or lack thereof) can wreak havoc on your skin. If you live in a super cold climate, the drier air literally sucks the moisture right out of your skin. Meanwhile, those of us in more tropical climates have to deal with an imbalance of warm days and colder nights, which can prompt skin issues like acne as your skin tries to regulate the oil underneath the surface. It can be a nightmare, but the right cleanser can make or break your skincare routine. 

Sometimes, finding the best face cleansers for dry skin can be challenging, especially since some face washes have ingredients that make your skin even drier or irritate sensitive areas causing breakouts or rough texture. If you’re looking for an affordable brand, the drugstore can be the best place to find some of the beauty industry’s favorite cleansers today. Here are some of the best drugstore cleansers for dry skin that your skin will thank you for later.

Best Drugstore Cleansers For Dry Skin:

  • CeraVe – Hydrating Facial Cleanser
  • Cetaphil – Hydrating Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • La Roche-Posay – Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser for Dry Skin
  • Aveeno – Calm and Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser
  • Eucerin – Advanced Cleansing Body & Face Cleanser
  • Eucerin – Hydrating Cleansing Gel
  • Neutrogena – Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Facial Cleanser
  • Neutrogena – Ultra Gentle Hydrating Daily Facial Cleanser
  • Neutrogena – Skin Balancing Milky Cleanser with PHA
  • Burt’s Bees – Gentle Cream Cleanser with Aloe for Sensitive Skin
  • Garnier – SkinActive Face Wash with Aloe Juice
  • Vanicream – Gentle Facial Cleanser

Ceramides are a golden ticket to happy skin for those of us with dry skin. CeraVe created an entire Hydrating line with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin – all holy grails for dry skin care. These humectants make a super hydrating formula with a lotion-like consistency, so it’s great for sensitive skin irritated by harsh foamy surfactants. This dry skin cleanser removes dirt, oil, and makeup – almost like a lightweight cleansing balm in one – and was accepted by the National Eczema Association for its gentle skin healing formula.

This Cetaphil cleanser washes away dirt, oil, and other impurities without harsh chemicals, paraben-free, sulfate-free, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic. It also has essential ingredients for dry and sensitive skin, like glycerin and vitamins B5 (panthenol) and B3 (niacinamide). You’re sure to get up to 48 hours of hydration with their soap-free micellar formula for a gentle wash and clinically proven results. Cetaphil is also a great first cleanser for children and young adults due to its balancing properties that won’t disrupt skin if they struggle with acne or eczema.

This drugstore dry skin cleanser will make you feel fancy with clear skin and sound fancy when you say it. La Roche-Posay’s Hydrating face cleanser is oil-free and has a milky-cream texture specifically created to help dry skin feel hydrated, fresh, and comfortable without clogging pores. The mineral-rich Thermal Spring Water in all the brand’s signature lines has soothing antioxidant support for skin healing as ceramide-3 protects your skin’s moisture barrier. Niacinimide, or vitamin B3, helps calm the skin from irritation as glycerin brings moisture back. This sulfate-free formula is dermatologist and allergy tested for sensitive skin and can even remove makeup to ensure you’re getting your cleanest and most moisturized skin yet. 

Aveeno has long been a staple in most households for calming itching skin with their colloidal oatmeal formulas. They’ve created a new line of facial skincare that brings that dry skin relief to your routine. The Calm + Restore Nourishing Oat Facial Cleanser is a milky gel with colloidal oatmeal, calming feverfew, and hydrating glycerin to help moisturize dry skin building up its resilience to other elements. It’s alcohol-free, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free for a hypoallergenic formula that works for your daily skincare routine.

If you prefer a soap-free formula for your dry skin and want to save time in the shower, Eucerin’s 2-in-1 Advanced Cleansing Body & Face Cleanser could be your skin’s new best friend. Though most 2-in-1 formulas could be too harsh for your face, Eucerin created this cleanser to be as gentle as possible. The fragrance and dye-free formula are non-comedogenic and essentially work like a face wash for your body rather than the other way around. The dermatologist-recommended-brand cleanser rinses clean without residue and helps maintain the skin’s pH balance – which can be hard when trying to keep your skin moisturized. 

If you prefer a face wash-only approach, Eucerin made that too! The Hydrating Cleansing Gel is bursting with hyaluronic acid to moisturize and protect dry skin. It’s formulated with their proprietary APG Cleansing Complex to wash away impurities from your skin – including makeup residue – and is free of drying alcohols, pore-clogging oils, harsh soaps, and damaging parabens. The brand is dermatologist recommended, with over 100 years of pioneering skincare products that you can trust with your dry skin.

If one skincare line’s name could exemplify what dry skin needs, it’s Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost line. If you’ve seen all the rave reviews, it’s clear the Hydro Boost Gel Facial Cleanser is effective as both face wash and makeup remover while infusing a boost of their star ingredient – hyaluronic acid – into every wash. Your dry skin will feel soft and supple as the lightweight gel forms a silky lather that is reminiscent of a spa facial. You’ll get a clean canvas with no dirt, grime, or makeup left behind. It is non-comedogenic, soap-free, and hypoallergenic for the most sensitive of dry skin. If you really want to bump it up a notch, try Neutrogena’s entire Hydro Boost Collection for a super-hydrating skincare routine.

We’re back with another Neutrogena favorite – the Ultra Gentle Hydrating Daily Facial Cleanser. This one goes way back to a tried-and-true dry skin cleanser that launched ten years ago. The oil-free formula supports dry skin’s moisture barrier with glycerin and the soap-free ingredients are non-stripping. If you struggle with acne-prone skin, eczema, rosacea, or atopic dermatitis, many reviewers say this face wash helps cleanse skin without causing added irritation. 

We’re onto one more (and newer) Neutrogena favorite! The Skin Balancing Milky Cleanser with PHA is making its rounds online due to its cute pink packaging and its formulation of dermatologist-grade 2% polyhydroxy acid (or PHA), a powerful chemical exfoliant and moisturizing humectant – all in one! It’s one of the most gentle chemical exfoliants on the market today that helps decongest deep into your pores and conditions dry skin by helping other moisturizing products work better. This soothing formula becomes a silky smooth lather to wash off dirt, grime, excess oil, and makeup residue – all while protecting your skin’s natural microbiome without harsh parabens, soap, sulfates, alcohol, or phthalates. The bottle is even made with 30% post-consumer recycled plastic to help balance the environment, too. 

Burt’s Bees always comes through with ultra-moisturizing formulas, and this gentle cream cleanser is no different! With aloe vera as its hydrating star ingredient, your skin is sure to feel hydrated and comforted by the 98.9% natural origin and fragrance-free formula. Rice extract creates a skin-repairing rice milk wash that provides fortifying properties to heal dry skin. The beetroot extract provides antioxidants to support skin health, while their signature beeswax is formulated to help your skin protect itself from harsh environmental stressors. As Winner of the 2016 Allure Best of Beauty Award and Awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance, this dermatologist and allergy-tested face wash has clinically proven to be a great drugstore buy for dry skin.

Known more for their micellar water makeup removers, Garnier’s SkinActives Face Wash is definitely one that should be on your list. Aloe vera juice is one of the best ways to calm and hydrate your skin while providing vitamins and minerals to fortify your moisture barrier. Garnier has created a vegan face wash that gives you that and removes excess sebum, cleans dirt and other impurities, and protects against pollution residue. Your skin will feel clean without feeling stripped or clogging your pores. If you want consistency across your dry skincare routine, check out their Garnier SkinActive Naturals line. With ultra-hydrating properties and skin-fortifying ingredients, you’re sure to find more of what your skin needs to feel moisturized and protected.

Vanicream is known as the go-to brand when you have extra sensitive and super reactive skin. The Gentle Facial Cleanser is formulated specifically for skin that needs help without anything remotely irritating. It’s soap-free, betaine-free, gluten-free, botanical extract-free, and free of harsh surfactants, fragrances, and parabens. The dermatologist-tested cleanser was awarded the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association for this non-comedogenic cleanser, and is ideal for daily use. It’s also been known to help remove makeup and clean any dirt or impurities left behind. No matter the dry skin issues or sensitive skin struggles, there’s a cleanser for everyone. 

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