There are so many skincare products on the market, it can be overwhelming to try to decipher which one is best for you and your skin type. 

In this article, we will help you decipher your type of skin and the different types of face washes that are designed to work for specific skin types. 

Using the wrong face wash for your skin type can cause your skin to have unpleasant reactions or make you think your skin is a certain type but is only a reaction to what you are using. We will explain it all here!.

How to know what type of skin you have

According to Dr. Rashmi Shetty, a skincare expert at, there is an at-home method to deciphering what type of skin you have. Dr. Shetty recommends doing the following:

  1. Thoroughly washing your face right before bed
  2. Not applying any skincare products after cleansing
  3. Keeping the room at a comfortable temperature, not too cold
  4. Testing your face in the morning for any areas of dryness or oil

There are areas of your face that you should pay particular attention to and these are known as the “T Zone” and the “C Zone”

The T Zone includes your forehead, nose, chin and the area on either side of the nose

The C Zone is the area on the outer side of the cheeks from temple to chin

Dr. Shetty instructs you to touch the areas of each zone to check if it is dry, oily or neither, which is normal skin. If both the T Zone and the C Zone are oily, then it is oily skin. If both zones are dry, sensitive, flaky and/or red, then it is dry skin. 

You may even experience a combination of both for, what’s considered, combination skin.

Renee Rouleau also shares a great guide at Refinery29 about how to determine if the products you are currently using are wreaking havoc with your skin. The products you are using could also make your skin more oily or more dry and sensitive. 

Dry or Sensitive Skin

Those with dry skin are most likely lacking naturally-produced healthy oils, also known as fat lipids. You may also have a hard time retaining natural water or moisture. 

Diet and environmental factors can influence the dryness of the skin. Medical conditions, like eczema, can cause redness, itchy and flaky skin. Those with sensitive skin also experience dryness and often have negative reactions to skincare products.

What’s a good face wash for dry or sensitive skin?

Creamy or milk-based face washes would be ideal. It is highly recommended to avoid exfoliating with a facial scrub as this can further irritate dry and sensitive skin. 

Choosing a moisturizing and hydrating cleanser is recommended. Ingredients to look for include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides, to help restore moisture.

Soothing ingredients for irritated skin would be aloe vera and soy. Avoid added fragrances and products that promote anti-aging, which can be drying to the skin.

So what is the best drugstore face wash that will clean the skin without over-drying? 

Affordable washes that we think you’ll love include:
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser
  • Olay Sensitive Facial Cleanser with Hungarian Water Essence
  • Dove Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin
  • CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash


Other facial cleaners that are a little more expensive but are worth the cost include:
  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
  • La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanse
  • Avène Antirougeurs CLEAN Redness-Relief Refreshing Cleansing Lotion
  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
  • Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel

Oily Skin

The skin naturally produces oil to serve as a protective barrier and to help keep the skin hydrated.  Though, too much oil can block pores and trap dirt creating whiteheads and blackheads. 

It is important to keep in mind that stripping your skin of too much oil will lead to a production of more oil in order to provide that protection.

What’s a good face wash for oily skin?

choose the right face wash

With skin that feels damp and greasy, it can be hard to get that clean feeling. The challenge is getting that perfect facial cleanser that will leave skin feeling clean with a healthy amount of moisture. 

Oil-free foaming cleansers tend to be most effective. Gel cleansers also provide a great balance to even out the skin, plus it offers a cooling element.

Here are some recommended cleansers we think you will love that provide a gentle yet effective wash at an affordable price:

At your local drugstore:
  • CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin
  • Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser
  • Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser


Cleansers above the drugstore price but are worth a mention include:
  • Clarisonic Skin Renewing Peel Treatment Glycolic Acid Cleanser
  • Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser
  • Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser
  • Epicuren Discovery Micro-Derm Ultra-Refining Scrub


Combination Skin

For those with a T Zone and a C Zone that are both oily and dry, yes, there is a wash designed just for you too. These face washes are formulated to not strip the healthy oils while also providing the moisture needed for the dry areas. 

It is essential to use the perfect formula of a gentle cleanser to calm dry skin with the right amount of moisturizer. 

What’s a good face wash for combination skin?

When looking for a face wash, dermatologists put these ingredients on the red flag list to avoid for combination skin: salicylic acid, alcohol, and benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients are often used in facial treatments to combat bacteria which causes acne. 

These are not necessary for those who do not have acne, which can be caused by excess oils, dirt, and makeup. 

That is the key – find a cleanser to remove these impurities while maintaining a soft, supple and healthy result.

Affordable facial cleansers available for this skin type:

At the drug store:
  • Pond’s Cleanser Cold Cream
  • Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser
  • Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water


Cleansers on the more expensive side but are worth the mention include:
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser
  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser
  • OLEHENRIKSEN Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser

Acne-prone Skin

We all know that even one pimple can put a damper on our self-esteem.  Those who struggle with acne are experiencing clogged hair follicles from oil and dead skin cells that cause blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. 

Finding the right face wash for acne is what we want to help you with.

What’s a good face wash to help with acne?

best face wash for skin types

Here is where benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and even sulfur come in to play. These ingredients are found in most acne-treating face washes to help thoroughly cleanse the skin of bacteria that causes inflammation and blocked pores that lead to breakouts. 

We’ve found a good selection of cleansers that will help to treat this problem skin.

The most affordable, drugstore face washes include:
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Wash
  • Clean & Clear Continuous Control Daily Acne Face Wash
  • CeraVe Renewing SA Face Cleanser
  • St. Ives Acne Control Apricot Face Scrub Exfoliating Cleanser


Cleansers on the more expensive side but are worth the mention include:
  • Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash
  • SkinCeuticals LHA Cleanser Gel
  • NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash
  • Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser

For those who have tried home remedies and skincare products from the drugstore or from boutique shops without seeing desired results, it may be best to see our medical aesthetician

This is a professional with a medical background in beauty who can look beneath the surface to provide the best skincare treatments for your needs. We offer facials, peels, and other high-quality products that just may be just what your skin needs to look its best. 

Find out more when you call 928-277-7414 or set up your free consultation here!