Up until I discovered I had rosacea a few years ago, I'd always thought of cleansers as an insignificant step in my skincare routine — there to take off makeup and sweat and not much else. That all changed when I realized that every redness trigger mattered when it came to keeping my skin under control, and it seemed like face wash was one of the biggest triggers of them all. So I gave up my exfoliating scrubs and foaming washes and set out on a quest to find the best gentle cleansers that would keep my flare-ups to a minimum.
It was more difficult than I anticipated. Because while it seems nearly every product claims a "gentle" formula, when it comes to sensitive skin, only a few live up to the test. Thankfully, one of the first I stumbled across is still my favorite to this day — Neutrogena's Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, a $9.99 drugstore product that removes my makeup and leaves me with not an ounce of redness or dryness after I use it, which is an actual miracle considering I usually look like I just ran a marathon post-wash. And that's not an accident: As Dr. Bruce Robinson, dermatologist in New York City and creator of JAS, Just Amazing Skincare, told TODAY in 2019, the formula features hydrating glycerin which is "great for patients with eczema, rosacea and psoriasis."
While I rarely stray from my tried-and-true find, I found a few other options during my years as a beauty editor that deliver equally gentle results. Ahead, 10 formulas that my reactive skin and I love.
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