Whether your skin is dry, acne-prone, or sensitive, the first step of your skincare routine should always be to cleanse with an effective facial cleanser. Washing your face removes dirt and grime from the skin’s surface and washes away impurities like pollutants that can visibly damage your skin. But it’s not enough to just grab a bar of soap and lather up: The best face wash is one that is formulated specifically to target your skin’s needs. Some face cleansers are hydrating; others absorb oil to minimize breakouts. There are also options that exfoliate the skin’s surface to promote a more even, brighter complexion. Needless to say, it can be difficult to figure out how to choose the best face wash for your complexion. That’s where we come in. Ahead, we’ve compiled a list of the best Kiehl’s face cleansers for every skin type, so you can keep your skin clean and healthy-looking no matter what the day throws at you. Keep reading for our top picks.
|Your Skin Type||Your Ideal Cleanser|
|All Skin Types||Ultra Facial Cleanser|
|Normal to Oily||Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash|
|Oily||Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser|
|Normal to Oily/Visibly Enlarged Pores||Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser|
|Normal to Dry & Sensitive||Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser|
|Sensitive||Dermatologist Solutions™ Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser|
|All Skin Types/Makeup Removal||Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil|
|All Skin Types & Dull||Clearly Corrective™ Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser|
|Blemish-Prone & Oily||Blue Herbal Blemish Cleanser Treatment|
For All Skin TypesUltra Facial Cleanser
The cult-classic Ultra Facial Cleanser is a Kiehl’s essential. This iconic cleanser is pH-balanced to keep skin looking and feeling its best. It’s suitable for all skin types and boasts a blend of soothing, antioxidant-rich botanical ingredients, including avocado oil and olive-derived squalane. The classic cream formula also contains powdered apricot kernels to gently cleanse the skin without over-drying it or stripping it of its natural oils.
For Combination SkinCalendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash
Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash is a top-rated cleanser formulated with calendula extract, a soothing botanical extract derived from the Mediterannean calendula flower. This powerful plant ingredient is best known for its soothing properties and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. We recommend this cleanser for combination skin, as it removes dirt and oil without stripping or drying the skin. You can use it morning and night to cleanse and refresh the skin.
For Dry SkinCucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser
If you have dry skin, the best face cleanser for you will be a hydrating face wash, such as Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser. This mild moisturizing face cleanser features calming cucumber and softening glycerin to cleanse and condition the skin. The gel formula lathers to a soft, light foam to gently melt away dirt and oil and maintain skin’s natural moisture.
For Normal-Oily SkinUltra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser
Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser boasts all of the benefits of the classic Ultra Facial Cleanser without any oil, making it an excellent choice for those prone to midday shine. It contains vitamin C-rich lemon fruit extract, which works similarly to an astringent and visibly reduces excess oil. This gentle face cleanser is effective and lightweight, which is ideal for those with oily skin (because yes, oily skin needs hydration, too).
For Oily SkinRare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser
If your complexion concerns include oiliness, blackheads, and large pores, try Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser. This exfoliating face wash features Amazonian white clay to absorb oil and minimize the appearance of pores. Our best face cleanser for oily skin also contains aloe vera to calm and soothe skin for a fresh, healthy-looking complexion.
For Acne-Prone SkinBlue Herbal Acne Cleanser Treatment
Keep whiteheads and blackheads to a minimum with Blue Herbal Acne Cleanser Treatment, an effective face wash that thoroughly removes dirt and oil to purify pores and help keep new breakouts from forming. The star ingredient of this foaming cleanser is salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid that helps exfoliate the skin’s surface and dissolve pore-clogging oil for a clearer, smoother-looking complexion.
For Irritated SkinCannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Cleanser
Cannabis sativa seed oil is well-known in the beauty industry for its calming properties. Our top-rated Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Cleanser helps to gently cleanse problem skin prone to redness or irritation for a healthier-feeling complexion. This gentle cleanser also features green oregano oil to help purify pores and relieve problem skin. It’s suitable for all skin types, but its calming properties make it a Kiehl’s favorite for those with highly reactive skin.
For Extremely Sensitive SkinCentella Sensitive Facial Cleanser
We recommend Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser for those with extremely sensitive or damaged skin. It’s one of our best face wash formulas, and it doesn’t contain any fragrances, alcohol, soap, or surfactants to ensure it won’t irritate ultra-sensitive complexions. This mild cleanser features glycerin and calming centella extract to help repair the skin barrier for a soothed and comforted complexion.
For Dull SkinClearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser
Refresh and revive tired, dull skin with Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser. This face wash and scrub contains pearlstone to gently exfoliate the skin’s surface for smoother, softer skin. It also is formulated with white birch extract and white peony extract to boost clarity and restore radiance for a youthful, healthy-looking glow.
For Makeup RemovalMidnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil
Oil cleansing involves washing skin with an oil-based cleanser before lathering up with a traditional face wash. The main purpose of oil cleansing (sometimes called “double cleansing”) is to effectively remove makeup before cleansing the skin. Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil features lavender essential oil and evening primrose oil to melt away impurities, dirt, and makeup (even waterproof varieties!) and leave skin clean, soft, and replenished. It might sound a little nerve-wracking to use oil on your face—especially if you have oily or blemish-prone skin—but this indulgent cleanser is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts.
Men and women have different skin, and as such, different skincare needs. Men’s skin is typically thicker and oilier than women’s skin, so we formulate our cleansers to suit these unique qualities.I We have several men’s cleansers designed to address different complexion concerns, including aging and oiliness. See some of our favorite formulas for men below, and read our article, Kiehl’s Guide To The Best Face Washes For Men, for details on all of our best men’s facial cleansers.
For All Skin Types (Men)Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash
The top-rated Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash is formulated specifically for men. It has an invigorating blend of menthol and caffeine in its formula to energize dull, tired skin and effectively remove dirt and oil for a fresher, healthier appearance. It’s gentle enough for all skin types, but we recommend it for guys who feel their routine could use a bit of a boost.
For Men With Oily SkinOil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash
Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash is a favorite for guys with oily and acne-prone complexions. This oil-free daily cleanser effectively washes away dirt, sweat, and oil without leaving the skin feeling dry or tight. It contains crushed apricot kernels to exfoliate the skin’s surface and minimize the appearance of pores for a smoother-looking complexion.
For Men’s Dull SkinAge Defender Exfoliating Face Wash
Age Defender Exfoliating Face Wash is our top pick for men looking to address signs of early aging. This two-in-one cleanser and mask features Moroccan lava clay to remove dirt and oil, plus mild phytic acid to minimize fine lines and improve skin’s texture. Use it daily as an effective cleanser or three times per week as an ultra-restorative face mask.
I.Rahrovan, S et al. “Male versus female skin: What dermatologists and cosmeticians should know.” International journal of women's dermatology vol. 4,3 122-130. 22 Jun. 2018, doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2018.03.002