The 10 Best Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

Cleansing your complexion is a vital part of any skincare routine. But traditional cleansing agents can be harsh.

If you have reactive skin already, abrasive cleansers can lead to irritation and sensitivity. Therefore, choosing a mild cleanser for sensitive skin is a must.

Whether you have dry, oily, combination, or normal skin, we’ve rounded up the top cleansers for sensitive skin.

Watch the video below as Jo takes us through all the different types of cleansers for each skin type, and answers frequently asked questions about cleansing...

How to Choose a Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

Cleansers that strip your natural moisture barrier can leave your skin vulnerable to flare-ups. So, when choosing a cleanser for sensitive skin, you want to pick mild, nourishing options.

First, avoid any ingredients that you’ve previously reacted to, as it’s likely that they’ll cause reactions again. You’ll then want to choose a cleanser suitable for sensitive skin.

Don’t worry: we’ve made that easy by curating our top 10 best cleansers for you!

If you’re sensitive, always patch-test your new cleanser 48 hours before using it. And always follow with a moisturiser to lock in hydration and keep your skin protected. Find out more about selecting a moisturiser by reading What's the Best Moisturiser for Sensitive Skin?

Discover more about building your skincare collection for sensitive skin in our guides The Best Alcohol-Free Skincare for Every Skin Type and How to Choose Skincare That's Less Irritating to Sensitive Skin. Learn about adapting your beauty routine in Can I Wear Makeup If I Have Sensitive Skin?

Which Ingredients to Avoid in Cleansers for Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin can be prone to dryness, especially during a flare-up. The stronger the cleanser, the harsher the cleansing agent and the more drying the product is. Try and avoid

  • Cleansers formulated to eliminate acne and excess oil

  • Drying ingredients to avoid include Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate, which are commonly found in foaming cleansers.

You’ll also want to avoid cleansers that contain high concentrations of Glycolic Acid or Salicylic Acid, as these exfoliants can irritate reactive skin types.

When choosing skincare for sensitive skin, the shorter the ingredients list, the better. Going natural is always a good option. You can also look into hypoallergenic skincare, which is made without common skin allergens. To find out more, browse through Are Hypoallergenic Skincare Products Safer for Sensitive Skin?

What Is the Best Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin?

If you’re looking for a face cleanser to remove impurities without wreaking havoc on your sensitive complexion, we’ve rounded up our favourite cleansers for different skin types. Remember: sensitive skin isn’t a skin type; it’s a tendency to react that can occur in any complexion.

This Clinique cleanser for sensitive skin can be used in your morning and evening skincare routine. Simply lather between wet palms and massage over your skin after makeup removal. Rinse thoroughly for a fresh finish.

The best cleanser for dry and sensitive skin is intensely nourishing Clinique Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam. This cleanser has been specially formulated for dry and very dry complexions that are prone to sensitivity. A velvet-soft mousse formula, this hydrating cleanser removes impurities without causing irritation, tightness, or dryness.

This non-rinse cleanser for sensitive skin can be used morning and evening to both remove makeup and cleanse the skin. Simply soak a cotton wool pad with the solution and carefully wipe your face and eyelids.

For a quick yet effective way to remove even the most stubborn makeup, reach for Bioderma Hydrabio H2O Solution Micellaire Cleanser. The mild cleansing water is perfect for sensitive skin, as it promotes hydration and works to restore moisture within the skin. This daily cleanser removes makeup, oil, and impurities to leave skin fresh and free from irritation.

Working to remove excess dead skin, oil, makeup, and impurities while boosting skin’s radiance, this nourishing cleanser leaves skin feeling refreshed and healthy. Daily facial cleanser is also bursting with antioxidants to protect the skin against irritation-triggering environmental aggressors. Apply daily facial cleanser directly to wet skin twice a day and massage for 30 seconds. Rinse thoroughly to reveal a rejuvenated complexion.

If you have sensitive skin, you want to be careful with AHAs such as Glycolic Acid. Exfoliating ingredients can cause irritation and make flare-ups worse. However, asap daily facial cleanser contains low concentrations of Glycolic Acid and is gentle enough to be used daily on all skin types, even those prone to irritation.

The Best Foam Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

If you want a satisfying foaming cleanser but find traditional options too harsh, Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser for Dry/Sensitive skin is the perfect solution. You’ll get a thorough cleanse that removes even the most stubborn of makeup, sunscreen, oil, and harmful bacteria. This clever face wash offers a nourishing foaming action without causing irritation and redness.

The Best Foam Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

This Clarins sensitive skin cleanser is infused with Shea Butter and Pro-Vitamin B5. These ingredients work together to hydrate the skin and soothe sensitivity while locking in moisture from morning to night. Gentle Foaming Cleanser can be applied as part of your morning and evening routine. Simply squeeze a small amount onto moist palms to lather, and apply to your face and neck. Rinse with cool water in the morning for a wake-up call, and relaxing warm water in the evening.

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant should be applied twice a week as a face mask. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly.

Exfoliation is the best way to resurface your skin and slow ageing. But if you have sensitive skin, the word alone may terrify you! Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant is a clever exfoliating masque that clears up troublesome complexions without causing the redness and irritation commonly associated with exfoliation. Instead, this mild exfoliant leaves even sensitive skin purified, hydrated, and plumped. Gentle Cream Exfoliant uses natural Apricot Kernel Oil, Chamomile, and Lavender to prevent irritation, tightness, and dryness.

For best results, use in the morning and evening. Lather a small amount in moist hands and massage into the face, neck and chest. Remove by rinsing with warm water.

If you have acne-prone and sensitive skin, it can be tricky to build a skincare routine that suits your needs. Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash is the perfect starting point. This Salicylic Acid formula removes acne-causing bacteria and decongests pores. Natural Lavender, Tea Tree Oil, and Camellia Sinensis help soothe irritation, leading to a clearer and overall healthier complexion.

To use asap gentle cleansing gel, lather a small amount in moist hands and massage into the face and neck. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

One of our top-rated facial cleansers for sensitive skin is asap gentle cleansing gel. This lightweight, soap-free gel cleanser works to remove excess dead skin cells, oil build-up, bacteria, and makeup while refreshing and calming skin. Anti-inflammatory Aloe Vera hydrates and soothes the skin, while White Tea provides antioxidant protection. This nourishing face wash leaves skin feeling perfectly clean, without dryness or discomfort.

To cleanse your skin with this micellar water, soak a cotton pad with the solution and massage across your face, including the eyelids. For stubborn makeup, hold the cotton pad against the area to break down the product; then, go over the area again with a wiping motion. This cleansing water by the skincare experts at Biodermacan be used twice a day as part of your skincare routine.

Reducing the number of products you use is a good strategy for managing sensitive skin. Sensibio H2O Solution Micellaire Cleanse is a gentle, 3-in-1 makeup remover, toner, and cleanser that’s perfect for sensitive skin. Using water-soluble micelles, this powerful cleanser removes excess oil, impurities, and makeup to reveal a brighter and clearer complexion that’s free from irritation and dryness. Known as one of the best gentle cleansers for sensitive skin, a bottle of Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution is sold every 6 seconds around the world.

For best results, use this foaming cleanser morning and night. Simply apply the foam to your whole face, gently massage into the skin, and then rinse.

Although many sensitive complexions become prone to dryness, some reactive skin can remain oily. However, facial cleansers designed for oily skin can be some of the harshest skincare products out there. Even if you’re a bit oily, it’s still important that you choose a mild solution for sensitive skin. La Roche-Posay Physiological Foaming Water is a soap-free formula that effortlessly removes excess oil, makeup, and impurities without overloading or drying the skin.

We recommend using PCA Skin Facial Wash in the morning and evening. Simply apply a coin-sized amount to damp skin, massaging without pressure into a low foam. Pay special attention to the T-zone area. Then rinse off.

Decongest your complexion without causing irritation by adding PCA Skin Facial Wash to your morning and evening skincare routine. This mild daily cleanser removes unwanted makeup, oil, and impurities. Containing Lactic Acid to boost skin cell renewal and Aloe Vera Leaf Juice to comfort sensitive skin, this is the perfect face wash for skin that’s both acne-prone and sensitive.

How to use Bioderma H2O Micellar Water with Yasemin Trollope

Another great skincare brand for sensitive skin is Pai Organic Skincare. Find out more in our here The Ultimate Guide to Pai Organic Skincare

Looking to discover more amazing ways to cleanse your face and makeup tools? Check out some of our guides:

Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty’s highly trained Customer Service team. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.

So, let's recap the 10 Best Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

  1. Clinique Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam

  2. Bioderma Hydrabio H2O Solution Micellaire Cleanser

  3. asap daily facial cleanser

  4. Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser - Dry/Sensitive

  5. Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant

  6. Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash

  7. asap gentle cleansing gel

  8. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution 250ml

  9. La Roche-Posay Physiological Foaming Water

  10. PCA Skin Facial Wash

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