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Cleansing formulas differ in consistency and can be a feature that people can be particular about. Not to mention, they are vital to sweep excess oil, debris and dirt off your face, and deliver good-for-you ingredients to the surface of your skin. In general, cleansing gels are lighter in consistency and helpful to add moisture back to your skin, deliver anti-aging actives while washing away impurities. If gels are your go-to, we’ve rounded up the best options for every skin’s need.

If you have acne-prone skin or struggling with access oil, this daily cleanser is the best. A gel-to-foam consistency, this soap-free cleanser works to gently cleanse without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. With unique cooling effect, it helps soothe acne, and leaves skin tingly clean without feeling tight or dry afterwards.

Best for oily skin

Perfect for oily skin, this option removes impurities to leave your skin feeling clean, clear and refreshed. The famous Avene Thermal Spring Water provides soothing and anti-irritating benefits, while monolaurin regulates hyper production of sebum. Soap-free and paraben-free, this formula is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. An added bonus is that it can be used on the body to treat blemishes as well.

Best hydrating gel cleanser

Packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid, a pump of this lightweight, soap-free face wash is all it takes for it to go a long way. Hyaluronic acid delivers moisture to the skin, while plumping it up and helping it to look healthy and youthful. This gentle gel turns into a smooth, creamy lather and glides over your skin with ease. Effectively removing impurities, it won’t leave your skin feeling tight. 

Best for dry skin

A gentle option, Dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel will never leave your skin feeling irritated, dry and oily. Simply pump a generous amount onto your hand and massage it onto your skin, working it into a soft, creamy lather. Formulated with mint and lavender, they complement each other to soothe the skin, resulting in a refreshed and hydrated complexion.

5. Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser
Best with salicylic acid

Mario Badescu’s gel cleanser contains powerful salicylic acid to clarify your complexion and deep clean pores. This is achieved through its ability to fight acne, heal it, deep cleanse and exfoliate the skin all at once. This cleanser’s formula is also infused with chamomile, aloe, and thyme to soothe skin irritation. 

Best facial cleanser for acne
6. Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Wash
Best drugstore gel cleanser

This gel cleanser exfoliates the face and refines clogged pores, revealing smoother complexion with regular use. Salicylic acid and hydroxy acid helps to fight acne as well as heal it with its antibacterial abilities. This gel can even penetrate hair follicles to reduce the chances of getting blemishes and acne breakouts caused by bacterial infection.

Best for combination skin
7. Alpha-H Triple Action Cleanser
Best for combination skin

Combination skin can be tricky because there is always more than one issue to address. This gel cleanser is comprised of a soothing blend of aloe vera, cucumber and thyme to cleanse skin whilst controlling oil levels and preventing breakouts. An effective acne face cleanser, its non-detergent formulation helps to cool the skin and alleviate any blemishes. 

Best for sensitive skin
8. Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash
Best for sensitive skin

Perfect skin begins with Kate Somerville’s Gentle Daily Wash, a delicate sulphate-free face wash which conditions and cleanses sensitive skin. The soapbark tree extract provides gentle cleansing action, while lavender essence soothes the skin to restore its balance. With no dryness or irritation, your skin is left refreshed and clean. 

Best water activated gel cleanser
9. The Body Shop Seaweed Cleansing Gel Wash
Best water activated gel cleanser

Body Shop’s mild Seaweed Cleansing Gel Wash is formulated with the extracts of bladderwack seaweed. This cleansing gel is soap-free and extremely gentle on the skin. It helps to rebalance moisture and sebum levels while effectively removing excess oil, impurities and makeup.

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