The best cleansers for dry skin

Ayesha Muttucumaru 27 October 2020
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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The best cleansers for dry skin

If you're looking for the best cleansers for dry skin, you've come to the right place. Sidestep drying cleansers that leave you with that squeaky clean feeling in favour of nourishing washes that remove makeup and grime but also protect against dehydration and irritation. If you're used to your skin feeling dry after cleansing, here's our edit of the best face washes for dry skin that will leave you feeling soft, not stripped.

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Cerave Hydrating Cleanser, £7.10 for 236ml

The clue is in the name of this cult favourite cleanser. It's raved about by beauty editors, proving you don't have to go high end for high-performing products. This uses ceramides to reinforce the skin barrier and hyaluronic acid to attract moisture to the surface. It's a creamy no-fuss, fragrance free cleanser for dry skin which lasts and lasts.

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Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Meltaway Cleanser, £30 for 150ml

This silky cleanser is designed especially for dry, dehydrated skin and feels ultra-hydrating as you massage it into dry skin. It has marine algae in the ingredients line up to enhance the skin’s elasticity and moisture content, while hyaluronic acid improves the skin's moisture retention. Aloe vera is in there to calm, while kiwi gives a hit of vitamin C. It feels ultra-luxe when you rub it into the skin and if you're on the go with no access to water, it doesn't need to be rinsed off. Not ideal if you're using it to remove makeup, but interesting to know none the less! For supple skin you can't go wrong with this.

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Kate Somerville Delikate Soothing Cleanser, £33 for 120ml

Not just a fun name, this cleanser works wonders for dry skin that feels like it's been in the wars. Non-stripping it helps to boost hydration, support a healthy skin barrier and leaves skin soft and smooth with ingredients including ginger root extract to reduce redness and cucumber seed oil to calm and soothe the skin. Kate herself uses this on clients post-peel, so you just know it's going to take redness and irritation down.

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Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, £26 for 125ml

Effective on the toughest of makeup, this non-greasy and non-drying cleansing balm is a hugely popular choice with many GTG members. Delivering on its namesake, the lightweight texture seamlessly transforms from solid to liquid to dissolve daily dirt and grime effectively. Plus, it’s surprisingly long-lasting to ensure that its benefits are felt long after the lid is first opened.

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Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser, £7.66 for 200ml

A cleanser that makes for a gentler alternative for skin that’s so dry that it’s borderline sore, expect your complexion to feel noticeably cooler, calmer and more collected after use. With a moisturising feel to its silky texture that ensures skin doesn’t feel stripped, it swaps post-cleanse tightness and dryness for softness and suppleness instead.

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Votary Rose and Geranium Cleansing Oil, £45 for 100ml

Cleansing oils  are a great option for dry skin, making makeup glide off while hydrating your face. This oil is thinner in consistency than its counterparts yet just as effective at removing makeup and daily pollutants, the flannel included ensures maximum cleansing for your cash. A pricier pick yes, but one that delivers on its promises. Plus, its beautiful scent makes it as much a treat as it does a treatment.

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Trilogy Cream Cleanser, £23.50 for 200ml

Containing a trio of oils to replenish, repair and rehydrate (rosehip, sweet almond and evening primrose), this cleanser is counted as a personal favourite of mine - you won’t find my bathroom shelf without it. Non-drying with a creamy texture that leaves skin soft and clean (without feeling stripped), it’s regarded as a skincare staple in my house (I’ve even got my sister onto it…).

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Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, £32.90 for 100ml

With a texture that melts like butter and a conditioning formula designed to nourish, this enveloping balm creates the ideal base for the rest of your skincare products. Containing essential fatty acids to plump, essential oils to reinvigorate skin and relax senses, plus a range of other skin goodies to rehydrate and remove heavier makeup, it can also be used as a moisturising mask for a more intense treatment.

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Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, £30 for 100ml

With a moreish scent and moisturising gel formula, amino acid-rich soy proteins, rosewater, cucumber and borage seed oil work collectively to create a revitalising morning treat. Leaving dryness significantly diminished and complexions refreshed (aptly), its recipe of delicious-sounding ingredients proves the perfect pre-moisturiser solution for skin lacking in hydration.

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MOA The Green Balm, £7 for 15ml

A multipurpose pot of possibilities, this skin-boosting balm is one of those rare finds that delivers on both quantity and quality. Whether to soothe dry patches or calm pesky insect bites, its use as a cleanser particularly stands out thanks to anti-inflammatory, yarrow. Whether teamed with a hot cloth for a delicious daily cleansing ritual or popped into a handbag to tackle dry lips and isolated soreness when on-the-go, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

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