The Best Cream Cleansers For Every Skin Type

Best Cream Cleansers

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Usually, people with dry skin and/or sensitive skin are the ones that prefer cream cleansers. And it’s understandable. Because creamy cleansers are non-drying and non-stripping, quite the opposite, moisturizing for the skin. However, you don’t know how much you need one until your skin goes through a phase where it’s dry, sensitive, and overall irritated. That’s why cream cleansers are helpful for every skin type including oily skin. Because all skin types deal with seasonal dryness, dehydration from foaming/gel cleansers, and irritation from certain skincare products. And the first thing we do when something is wrong with our skin is to take a look at our routine and the products starting from cleansers. If that’s you, you might want to swap your cleanser with a cream cleanser.

A cream cleanser, otherwise known as a lotion cleanser or a cleansing cream, is a type of facial cleanser with a creamy texture. Traditional cream cleansers are formulated with dry skin in mind. So generally, their ingredients contain moisturizing ingredients like lipids and emollients, which give the cleanser its creamy texture. And they apply like a cream and usually don’t foam.

But over time, more diverse formulations have come up so much so that these days, we have exfoliating cleansers in cream form. We have cream cleansers that foam. So with a makeover like this, cream cleansers are making a comeback. Whether you have dry skin, dehydrated skin, or even oily skin, cream cleansers are for every skin type.

The Best Cream Cleansers

Below is our round-up of the best cream cleansers for every skin type and budget.

Best Cream Cleanser: First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser

First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser - Best Cream Cleanser

This is one of the gentlest cream cleansers out there suitable for all skin types. Because the overall formulation is just like what we want a cream cleanser to be. Its creamy texture lightly foams up with water but not to the extent that it feels like a foaming cleanser.

It’s made with a blend of botanicals for instant calming benefits. And some of them are, as always, allantoin, feverfew, and green tea. Plus, it’s fragrance-free too. It cleanses the skin, removes makeup and dirt, and leaves the skin unbothered. And because it’s so moisturizing, nourishing, and calming for the skin, the cream cleanser is also great for people with sensitive and very dry skin too.

Key Ingredients: Allantoin, green tea, aloe
Skin Type: All
Size: 5 oz/150 ml
Notes: Fragrance-free, cruelty-free

Best Drugstore Cream Cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser - Best Drugstore Cream Cleanser

If you’re on a budget, no worries. Because this tried and true favorite is just as good as expensive options. This is a fragrance-free, non-foaming cream cleanser with a light lotion texture. And it contains ceramides as well as hyaluronic acid to cleanse the skin without stripping it.

If you have normal skin, dry skin, or sensitive skin, you can go for it. But this is also something you want to keep in your cabinet if you frequently exfoliate and use different active ingredients. Trust me, this is going to be your best friend during those times.

Key Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid
Skin Type: All
Size: 8 oz/237 ml
Notes: Fragrance-free

Best Cream Cleanser For Dry Skin: The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser - Best Cream Cleanser for Dry Skin

This affordable cream cleanser is made with botanically derived squalane, which is a very emollient compound, to begin with. And it’s naturally really moisturizing for the skin. The texture feels like a makeup-removing balm and starts to feel like an oil cleanser as you work it into the skin.

That’s why it feels so moisturizing for dry skin. You can use it as your all-in-one cleanser, or as your first cleanser to remove makeup. Either way, it’s super affordable, gentle, and also works great for sensitive, redness-prone skin.

Key Ingredients: Squalane
Skin Type: All
Size: 1.7 oz/50 ml
Notes: Fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, cruelty-free

Related: The Best Drugstore Cleansers For Dry Skin

Best Oil-Free Cream Cleanser: Fenty Skin Total Cleans’r Makeup Removing Cleanser

Fenty Skin Total Cleans'r Makeup Removing Cleanser - Best Cream Cleanser

If you have oily and acne-prone skin and are looking for a cream cleanser, this is for you. Because it’s oil-free. So even though the texture is creamy, and replenishing, its oil-free formula is very unlikely to clog your pores. It removes makeup, thoroughly cleans up your skin, and freshens up the complexion.

It comes out a little thick but thins out with water and spreads really nicely. It does have a scent, which is super pleasant but is something to keep in mind if you don’t like fragrance. Additionally, it’s packed with botanicals like green tea and acerola cherry, which are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. There is absolutely no residual feeling on the skin!

Key Ingredients: Acerola cherry, green tea
Skin Type: All
Size: 4.9 oz/145 ml
Notes: Oil-free, scented, cruelty-free, vegan

Best Cream Cleanser For Combination Skin: La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Cleanser

La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Cleanser

First of all, this is an overall great cream cleanser formulated for dry skin. But what I love about it is that even though it’s moisturizing, and non-drying for the skin, it’s oil-free. So it’s amazing for people with combination skin where you’re dealing with both excess oil and flaky skin. Plus, it’s fragrance-free.

It’s made with glycerin, ceramides as well as niacinamide to keep the skin barrier happy and help restore it. The liquidy texture doesn’t foam. It won’t over-dry your skin or aggravate acne. It’ll purify your skin and balance your complexion. On a side note, this is a good cream cleanser you can consider for winter too.

Key Ingredients: Ceramide, niacinamide, vitamin B5
Skin Type: All
Size: 13.5 oz/400 ml
Notes: Oil-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested

Best Cream Cleanser For Acne-Prone Skin: Versed Keep The Peace Acne-Calming Cream Cleanser

Versed Acne-Calming Cream Cleanser - Best Cream Cleanser for Oily and Acne Prone Skin

When you have acne, you usually use foaming/gel cleansers and sometimes exfoliating cleansers to mattify skin and clean up pores. But sometimes, the skin doesn’t respond to that. Even if you want to exfoliate with a cleanser, the base of your cleanser can actually compromise your results. For example, a gel-based salicylic acid cleanser is great for acne.

But the gel formulation may be stripping the skin, causing dehydration, flakiness, and even breakouts. For that reason, this cleanser delivers 1.5% salicylic acid into the skin with a very creamy, emollient base. It allows the exfoliant to work on acne and clogged pores without compromising the skin barrier. So if you’re thinking about switching to a mild cleanser while keeping tabs on acne, this one is great. The very creamy texture foams up and leaves the skin clean, and matte, but never dry.

Key Ingredients: 1.5% salicylic acid, blue tansy oil
Skin Type: All
Size: 4 oz/120 ml
Notes: Cruelty-free, vegan

Best Cream Cleanser To Remove Makeup: SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser Cream

SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser Cream - Best Cream Cleanser To Remove Makeup

Cream cleansers are not the best when it comes to getting rid of a full face of waterproof makeup. But this one sure does come close. First off, it’s an incredibly gentle cream cleanser suitable for all skin types, especially if you have sensitive skin, rosacea, or redness-prone skin.

Because it’s made with soothing allantoin, which is a majorly anti-inflammatory plant extract. It also has orange oil, which is another skin soother. The cream cleanser does not foam and gently cleans up makeup while purifying the skin. It’s beautifully scented and leaves the skin feeling super soft.

SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser Cream
SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser Cream/Ejollify

Key Ingredients: Allantoin, glycerin
Skin Type: All
Size: 6.8 oz/200 ml
Notes: SLS-free, soap-free, alcohol-free

Best Cream Cleanser For Sensitive Skin: Avene Antirougeurs Redness Relief Refreshing Cleansing Lotion

Avene Antirougeurs Redness Relief Refreshing Cleansing Lotion

This one is such a gentle cream cleanser that it literally doesn’t need rinsing off. You can just clean your skin and wipe it off. Because it’s made with sensitive and reactive skin in mind, it doesn’t foam, contain fragrance, or disrupt the skin barrier. It’s also amazing for people with red, irritated, and rosacea skin.

The liquidy lotion texture packs soothing thermal water for immediate calming effects on the skin. Another advantage of this for people with sensitive skin is that as you don’t need to rinse it, you don’t need to deal with rubbing, which might aggravate redness and sensitivity. You can also use it as a gentle morning cleanser too.

Key Ingredients: Pongamia oil, thermal spring water
Skin Type: All, especially sensitive
Size: 13.5 oz/400 ml
Notes: Fragrance-free, soap-free, paraben-free, non-comedogenic

Best Natural Cream Cleanser: Tata Harper Superkind Fragrance-Free Softening Cleanser

Tata Harper Superkind Fragrance-Free Softening Cleanser - Best Natural Cream Cleanser

This is a splurge for sure. But it’s an amazing natural cream cleanser formulated for people with dry and sensitive skin. It squirts out like a liquidy lotion and turns into a very light foam but not the traditional foam. You can feel those ones literally eating away at your skin barrier.

But this one feels like the foam sits on top of the skin and selectively picks up dirt and makeup. It’s that gentle. And it hugs the skin with amazing emollients like grape seed oil, squalane, and jojoba oil. On a side note, even though it’s fragrance-free, this one does have a very faint scent, which is something to keep in mind if you have very, very sensitive skin.

Key Ingredients: Evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, squalane
Skin Type: All
Size: 4.2 oz/125 ml
Notes: Fragrance-free but scented, hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free

Best Cream Cleanser For Mature Skin: Paula’s Choice Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser

Paula's Choice Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser - Best Cream Cleanser for Aging Skin

This is an overall amazing cream cleanser for people with mature or aging skin. Because our skin tends to get dry and sensitive as we age. And further drying your skin with exfoliating cleansers is not the best way to fight wrinkles. This has just the right goodies to keep the skin barrier happy. It thoroughly cleans your skin and removes makeup and dirt.

And it has a very rich, creamy consistency that allows you to massage it into the skin. Plus, it’s made with antioxidants like green tea and chamomile to instantly calm the skin. If you need a non-drying facial cleansing experience while also ensuring your skin is completely clean, this is it. It cares for your skin and replenishes it so you can go by your anti-aging routine without worrying about irritation.

Key Ingredients: Green tea, chamomile
Skin Type: All
Size: 6.4 oz/190 ml
Notes: Fragrance-free, cruelty-free

So these are some of the best cream cleansers on the market. For people with dry and sensitive skin, you can trust FAB’s formula as well as other budget-friendly options like The Ordinary and CeraVe. And if your skin is prone to congestion and you enjoy a sensory experience, Fenty’s Cleanser is amazing for completely clean skin.


Read Next: The Best Anti-Aging Cleansers

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