A below-par cleanser combined with that scalding hot shower you love can do a serious number on dry winter skin. The solution? Cutting down on the marathon bathing, for one thing, and using a cleanser for dry skin that won’t further strip and leave your complexion flakier than a bowl of cereal.

But what’s the best face wash for dry skin? We know firsthand how difficult the search for a non-drying cleanser can be. As Dr. Elaine F. Kung, MD, of Future Bright Dermatology, previously told SheFinds, “If you have dry, sensitive, and rash prone skin, look for cleansers with skin barrier restoring ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. Avoid potentially irritating ingredients like fragrances, dyes, and sodium lauryl sulfate.”

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Applying Body Cream Adobe

But if your skin is not super prone to irritation or breakouts, the number of options widens slightly. “If [your skin is] extremely dry and sensitive without problems of acne, you may even consider micellar water and cleansing oils,” the expert shared. “A clinical study showed that four weeks of using a cleansing oil significantly decreased skin dryness, scaling, irritation, redness, and itchiness because of a significant decrease in transepidermal water loss.”

Not sure where to begin your search? We rounded up the best cleaners for dry skin that have been proven to do magical things for even the flakiest complexions—according to shoppers who’ve already given them a go.

Bioderma - Sensibio H2O

This micellar water is no longer France’s best kept secret; the makeup removing solution has long been a beauty favorite amongst editors and customers alike. While most people used to stock up on their trips abroad, it’s now readily available in the USA at places like Amazon.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
Courtesy of Target.

CeraVe is one of the most popular drugstore skincare brands out there for folks looking for simple yet effective formulas that won’t damage the skin barrier. This cleanser in particular was made to hydrate the skin above all, bringing ceramides and hyaluronic acid to the complexion with every wash.

Versed Skin

This cleanser from a TikTok-viral brand leaves the skin “baby soft” thanks to its mighty band of ingredients, such as anti-inflammatory oat milk and antioxidant-rich marula oil, which were selected for their ability to nourish dry, irritated, and sensitive skin.

EltaMD Oil-In-Gel Face Cleanser
Elta MD

Pumpkin enzyme, meadowfoam seed oil and vitamin E all work to maintain the skin barrier’s natural moisture levels (which protects it from issues like redness, dry flakes and irritation) in this gel-to-oil cleanser. Not only does it work fast to break down makeup (I can attest) but it also leaves the skin feeling soft and soothed.

fab face cleanser
First Aid Beauty.

You’ve likely heard of First Aid Beauty before; the affordable brand circulated all across TikTok for it’s KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub. The Pure Skin Face Cleanser for sensitive skin is just as worthy of the spotlight, since it contains soothing ingredients like aloe and allantoin that calm flare-ups.

Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser
Courtesy of Korres.

 This super creamy cleanser not only removes your makeup but it includes a concentrate of Greek yogurt (yep, like the breakfast food) and other oils to cater to your skin.

jose maran
Photo: Josie Maran

When we tried this cleansing argan oil formula on our dry winter skin, we found that it left us feeling clean, hydrated, smooth, and not one bit taunt. It even helped get rid of remnants of eye makeup that just wouldn’t budge.

SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser

Some dry skin isn’t caused by the cold but other prescription products you’re using, like retinoids. One Daily Makeover editor (ok, it’s Alle) swore by this cream-based face wash for removing all her makeup and cleansing her skin of any build-up without drying it out further.

carrot butter
Photo: The Organic Pharmacy

Full disclosure: This stuff can get a little messy, but it’s worth it. Spread this thick, butter-like cleanser on your skin and let it sit for a second. Then, take a hot cloth and gently wipe it off. It’s made with all-natural ingredients, including shea butter, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil, and made our skin feel dewy and soft.

And now, an important caveat: while these products get rave reviews from us, if you’re dealing with continuous dryness, you should consider talking to a dermatologist about the best option for your skin health. Dryness can sometimes be a symptom of ongoing skin concerns, so it’s always best to get a medical opinion before you start trying to fix it yourself.