Our Top 10 Picks for Face Cleansers in 2021

Start your skincare routine the right way with our top 10 face cleanser picks.

Your cleanser can make or break your skincare routine. Be sure you’re using an appropriate product for your skin type and skincare concerns to get an effective cleanse. Our skincare experts have picked out their personal favourites for face cleansers to help you make the right choice.

Bioderma Sensibio Foaming Gel - woman is smiling as she uses hands to apply foaming cleanser to cheeks - The Best Foaming Cleansers To Keep Your Skin Clean & Refreshed - 600 x 351Bioderma Sensibio Foaming Gel - woman is smiling as she uses hands to apply foaming cleanser to cheeks - The Best Foaming Cleansers To Keep Your Skin Clean & Refreshed - 600 x 351

"I have tried many many skin care products, but Skinstitut is the one I will be sticking too! I have completely switched over to the Skinstitut products since the birth of my son after experiencing breakouts on my chin. This cleanser is gentle yet removes makeup to leave my skin feeling fresh. I dont get that 'tight' feeling on my skin like other products have left me feeling in the past." - Jess ★★★★★

Perfect for cleansing delicate, sensitive, and dry skin types morning and night. While this high-performance vegan cleanser works effectively to remove impurities and makeup, including stubborn eye makeup, it won’t strip the skin of natural moisture and essential nutrients. Instead, Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser contains Cucumber Oil to retain and restore moisture, leaving skin feeling hydrated and balanced. If you have sensitive skin, you want to avoid using abrasive cleansers full of harsh cleansing agents, as these may cause a reaction or flare-up. Instead, we recommend Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser, which has a mild but effective formula for cleansing sensitive skin in the morning and evening. The hydrating formulation is also perfect for nourishing dry and flaky complexions. Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser is enriched with a soothing blend of antioxidants, including Vitamin E, Goji Berry, Green Tea, and Aloe Vera, to leave skin calm, supple, and protected against environmental aggressors. The product is also infused with Vitamin B5, which calms redness, so it’s a perfect choice for managing rosacea.

"I have used this product for the last 3 years and don’t think I would ever stop using it. It cleans all the excess makeup off my face and everything else clogging my pores. Ever since using this product my skin has really cleared up." - Flora ★★★★★

asap daily facial cleanser is the perfect way to turbo-boost your skincare routine. More than a cleanser to remove impurities and makeup, this product is infused with Glycolic Acid to deliver light exfoliation, removing even the most stubborn bacteria from the skin. Gentle enough to be used every day but potent enough to deliver fast results, asap daily facial cleanser is suitable for all skin types.

Ideal for a thorough cleanse that leaves your complexion looking brighter and clearer. Glycolic Acid is a powerful alpha-hydroxy acid that gently resurfaces skin, removing dead skin cells, excess oils, and bacteria. This daily facial cleanser also contains antioxidant White Tea, which helps protect your complexion from environmental aggressors and soothes inflammation. Although using an acid on your face might sound scary, the formulation of this cleanse is incredibly gentle. With regular use, skin will look brighter, clearer, and healthier in no time at all.

"I have acne prone skin, with redness and scarring, so I'm always on the lookout for a cleanser that doesn't just claim it's gentle, but actually is! This is BY FAR my favourite cleanser! You don't need to use a lot as it goes a long way and it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and clean!" - Bianca ★★★★★

A soap-free cleanser designed for all skin types, especially sensitive and dehydrated skin. Soothe your sensitive complexion with gentle cleansing gel from the skincare experts at asap. Developed with a lightweight, soap-free gel formula, this morning and evening cleanser instantly cools the skin without drying skin, irritating it, or disturbing natural moisture levels and pH. Instead, only impurities, product build-up, makeup, and excess oils are removed, minimising hydration loss on dry and dehydrated skin types.

asap gentle cleansing gel is bursting with soothing anti-inflammatory and hydrating ingredients to lock in moisture without causing irritation. Aloe Vera is both a natural anti-inflammatory and a hydrator that can calm reactive skin. White Tea Extract helps to protect the skin against environmental aggressors that could potentially cause flare-ups. And Glycerine helps to hydrate dry complexions. Gentle enough to be used morning and evening, every day, asap gentle cleansing gel leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed without disturbance.

"I have fallen in love with this cleanser! In the past I used to only enjoy using gel cleansers as foaming cleansers would irritate my sensitive skin. However, since I have combination skin this cleanser foams up just enough to thoroughly clean my skin whilst also nourishing it at the same time. You can’t go wrong with this cleanser no matter what skin type you have!" - Sophie ★★★★★

A favourite amongst Adore Beauty shoppers, Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel 500ml is the perfect everyday cleanser for those with normal and combination skin. Effortlessly removing impurities, dead skin cells, makeup, and excess oils, this lightweight cleansing gel leaves skin feeling squeaky-clean without disturbing the skin’s natural moisture and pH levels.

A bestselling cleanser that delivers a thorough and effective cleanse to normal and combination skin types. The soap-free gel formulation is both cooling and refreshing on the skin. Special Cleansing Gel won’t cause the dehydration and dryness that can typically occur when using soap-based cleansers. Instead, Dermalogica expertly blends Melissa Extract and Lavender Oil to keep skin feeling calm and nourished, while Balm Mint reduces irritation and inflammation. Best used on normal and combination skin, Special Cleansing Gel can be used in the morning and evening to kickstart your skincare routine with a thoroughly cleansed complexion.

"I have very sensitive skin, and so many cleansers dry out my skin. This is so perfect and so light. People think cleansers need to be heavy and strip away imperfections but they don’t, for me it’s just a light cleanse before serums and moisturiser. This product is perfect for that. I’m on my second bottle" - Tegan ★★★★★

Working as a makeup remover, cleanser, and toner, Alpha-H Triple Action Cleanser is a high-performance face wash developed for normal, oily, and combination skin types. Particularly effective at controlling and preventing breakouts on acne-prone skin, this daytime and night-time cleanser leaves skin looking clearer, brighter, and healthier.

Target problematic and oily complexions with this fast-acting facial gel cleanser. Infused with calming Cucumber, hydrating Aloe Vera, and antibacterial Thyme, this anti-inflammatory, non-foaming face wash is the perfect first step in combating breakouts and controlling sebum levels. The cooling gel formulation removes impurities without stripping skin of its own natural moisture—perfect for minimising dehydration. Triple Action Cleanser will not only remove makeup and cleanse but will also gently tone the complexion. The product’s pH of 6.5 helps rebalance the skin and reduce bacteria. Simply apply over damp skin and remove thoroughly with lukewarm water, morning and evening.

"This cleanser is very gentle and soft on skin and would be great for someone with sensitive skin. It does not cause any irritation and keeps the skin feeling balanced and hydrated. I have normal to combination skin but I like to use this cleanser just to remove my makeup etc. I then use an exfoliating cleanser 2-3 times per week and this works well for me." - Emily ★★★★☆

Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser is a multipurpose cleansing milk, perfect for dry and sensitive skin types. Nourishing skin with moisture and hydration, this gentle cleanser removes makeup, cleanses, and tones skin in one easy step, without stripping skin of essential moisture and nutrients. With its mild formulation, Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser can be used in the morning and evening, every day. Simply lather the product into your skin to emulsify. Then, remove it with lukewarm water to enjoy a silky-soft and pH-balanced complexion.

Although traditional cleansers can be drying, leaves skin feeling hydrated and supple. This product is infused with antioxidant Vitamin A and moisture-boosting Aloe Vera, which work together to calm sensitive and reactive skin while locking hydration in drier complexions. is also effective on oily skin, as it helps to balance sebum levels and rids skin of acne-causing bacteria.

"I saw charcoal cleanser and expected a really thick dark formula. (Like an Instagram ad). However is refreshing leaving my skin clean and tingly (but not dry) will be perfect for travelling as it’s solid, The packaging is very sleek and elegant. Even though I believe it’s meant for men I will definitely be making this a staple." - Eden ★★★★★

Suitable for all skin types, from oily to dry, sensitive to mature, this unique balm is also infused with a cocktail of Almond Oil and Argan Oil to prevent dehydration and nourish skin. To use, simply dampen the Hunter Lab Charcoal Cleansing Stick and massage into the face until it lightly emulsifies. Thoroughly rinse with warm water and follow with moisturiser to lock in hydration.

A unique and natural balm cleanser, perfect for deeply cleansing and purifying all skin types. Try something completely new with this revolutionary balm cleanser containing only natural and vegan ingredients. To deliver a deep and thorough cleanse, this cleansing stick harnesses the detoxifying properties of Charcoal and Green Tea to draw out impurities while protecting skin against free-radical damage. Excess oils, impurities, and pollutants are all effortlessly cleared to reveal a brighter and healthier complexion.

How to use the Hunter Lab Charcoal Cleansing Stick

Calm Cleanser for Sensitive, Dry or Irritated Skin

"This is the best cleanser I have ever used. It is so soft and glides onto my skin with ease. It removes ALL traces of make-up leaving my skin so fresh after washing. My skin feels a lot smoother, firmer and looks brighter!" - Courtney (Adore Beauty Staff) ★★★★★

Calm Cleanser for Sensitive, Dry or Irritated Skin

Throughout the year, skin reacts to changing temperatures and weather conditions. So, it’s important that you adapt your beauty skincare routine to match your environment. Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Gentle Cleanser has been developed to help maintain balanced skin during seasonal changes and travels through different climates.

Manage the effects of temperature and seasonal changes on your skin with this plant-based cleanser. Instead of using harsh cleansing agents, Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Gentle Cleanser contains plant-based ingredients to nourish and cleanse skin without damaging the skin’s natural barrier. With its calming gel formulation, this morning and evening cleanser is best for sensitive, dry, and dehydrated skin. The product will effortlessly remove impurities without depriving skin of moisture or causing sensitivity. Skin is left feeling softer, smoother, and perfectly adjusted to the climate. Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Gentle Cleanser also works as a pre-cleanser to remove makeup in a double-cleanse routine.

"I have oily but dehydrated skin, so tend to buy things made for combination skin. This cleanser is really nice, smells good and hasn't caused any breakouts which is great. It lathers and foams a bit when you add water but the more you massage it into your face, the more it feels almost like an oil or cream which I like because foaming products can be quite drying but I haven't found this with this cleanser. Would buy again" - Rose ★★★★★

Balancing combination skin can be a struggle. Cleansers designed for dry skin may feel too rich, and cleansers for oily complexions may feel dehydrating. Aesop In Two Minds Facial Cleanser is an expertly formulated dual-purpose cleanser that tackles the complex needs of combination skin. Firstly, this cleanser removes excess oils, impurities, and product build-up. The product then prepares skin for surface hydration, allowing serums and moisturisers to effectively absorb into the skin for an enhanced beauty routine. This leaves skin feeling fresh, supple, and ready for your next step.

The dual-purpose facial cleanser, ideal for regulating combination skin. A lightly foaming, gel-based texture, which helps to decongest pores and gently exfoliate the skin without stripping moisture or disturbing the pH. Salicylic Acid, Sage Leaf, Witch Hazel, and essential oils are all carefully blended to soothe, protect, hydrate, and clarify the skin. Use morning and evening for the best results.

"My skin has recently become quite sensitive, and this cleanser is one of the few that doesn't irritate it. I've found that since using this product, my skin is smoother and I have less breakouts. It's a big bottle and you only have to use a small amount, so it lasts ages. It lathers really nicely and is easy to apply, always leaves my skin feeling soft and clean without feeling dried out. Would highly recommend this product." - Caitlin ★★★★★

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser is a bestselling cleanser with cult status in the beauty industry, known and loved for being a great all-rounder. Suitable for all skin types, but particularly beneficial for normal-to-dry skin, this daily cleanser thoroughly removes makeup and impurities to reveal a brighter and healthier complexion. The pH-balanced formula keeps skin hydrated and nourished without disturbing the skin’s own moisture levels. For best results, use Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser twice daily. Follow with Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner and Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream 50ml.

The cult daily cleanser that’s suitable for all skin types, especially normal and dry. A sugar-derived Glycoside offers a light foaming texture to this face wash. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser is also infused with hydrators such as Squalane, Apricot Kernel Oil, and Avocado Oil to lock in moisture. Finally, Vitamin E soothes and protects skin from environmental aggressors.

So, let's recap our Top 10 Picks for Face Cleansers Are:

  1. Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser

  2. asap daily facial cleanser

  3. asap gentle cleansing gel

  4. Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel 500ml

  5. Alpha-H Triple Action Cleanser

  6. Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser

  7. Hunter Lab Charcoal Cleansing Stick

  8. Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Gentle Cleanser

  9. Aesop In Two Minds Facial Cleanser

  10. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser

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.

This article has been updated on 15/02 to replace discontinued products with our recent product recommendations. Brooklyn from our Customer Service team has helped to bring you our most recommended products and up-to-date information.

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4.7 of 803 reviews

Skinstitut L-Lactic Cleanser  by SkinstitutSkinstitut L-Lactic Cleanser  by Skinstitut

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Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser 12% by SkinstitutSkinstitut Glycolic Cleanser 12% by Skinstitut

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asap daily facial cleanser 200ml by asapasap daily facial cleanser 200ml by asap

$41.25 $55.00


4.6 of 641 reviews

asap gentle cleansing gel 200ml by asapasap gentle cleansing gel 200ml by asap

$41.25 $55.00


4.7 of 542 reviews

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