The Best Water-Based Cleansers For Every Skin Type. When choosing a water-based cleanser you’ll want to know if the first ingredient is water. Cleansers with niacinamide or salicylic acid are great for people with acne and congested pores, while others should look for a cleanser that’s rich in hydrating and moisturizing ingredients.
1. The Doctor’s Pick
Dr. Stephens, Advising Dermatologist for Naturium, has been working on the creation of skin care products at a maximum level of quality and efficacy. One of her most recent recommendations is the Niacinamide Cleansing Gelée, which includes moisturizing glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and brightening vitamin C to naturally help with inflammation while remaining gentle on skin. Although this gel cleanser is free of fragrance, sulfates, and parabens, it’s vegan too!
2. The Best (Cheap) Water-Based Cleanser For Most Skin Types
You can’t go wrong with Neutrogena’s new Hydro Boost Cleansing Gel, a crowd-pleaser with over 10,000 five-star Amazon reviews and devoted following. This oil-free, hyaluronic acid-rich cleanser effectively removes dirt, oil, and makeup from skin and leaves it feeling hydrated and soft. This is part of their very popular Hydro Boost line which includes their best-selling gel cream and more (this product does contain fragrance). It’s versatile enough to suit a wide range of skin types but note that it does contain fragrance if you’re sensitive to fragrances.
3. The Best Water-Based Cleanser For Acne-Prone Skin
For people with acne-prone skin or blackheads and pore buildup, this gel cleanser is an awesome pick. It’s an SA-based acne wash with a deep cleansing effect and by resisting blackheads. It also contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide (which Dr. Stephens mentioned as the one cream he would recommend for pimple prevention) and ceramides to help protect against moisture loss.
4. The Best Water-Based Cleanser For Dry Skin
Anyone with dry skin is sure to love this gentle, soothing cleanser from the Toleriane line by La Roche-Posay. It’s made with the French pharmacy brand’s signature ingredient, La Roche-Posay thermal water. This silky, fragrance-free face wash also doubles as a hydrating toner and makeup remover! Though you technically don’t have to rinse it off, it helps to do so since this formula was created for oily skin.
5. The Best Water-Based Cleanser For Very Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, or are worried about using products that might irritate an allergy or eczema flare-up, Vanicream is a great choice. They have an amazing face wash that’s gentle, non-irritating, and allergen-free.
6. The Best Micellar Water
The truly excellent makeup remover, the one item you can buy’t live without is Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O Micellar Water. This water-based micellar water uses crystals to lift away makeup, oil, and other residue like a magnet. It’s gentle enough to use even on sensitive skin and great for double cleansing (alternatively make a second cleanse with an oil or some other water product). To remove waterproof mascara and liquid lipstick it is pure magic!
7. The Best Water-Based Exfoliator
It’s not a cleanser in the traditional sense, but it can definitely be used to clean your skin. It’s made with activated hydrogen water, glycerin, aloe, and rosemary, and it starts to exfoliate while you rub it onto your skin. The resulting exfoliated skin is unbelievably soft and clear. You can use it anywhere else on your body that could benefit from the gentle treatment — like on your chest or heels. And best of all, this brand makes an amazing moisturizer that hydrates without clogging pores or disturbing the natural function of your skin.