Cleansers are one of the most basic steps in a skincare routine as even those without a proper skincare regime would still wash their face with a cleanser.
But it can be tough to find a gentle cleanser, as some can be too harsh and cause you to have that tight, over-exfoliated feeling as it strips your skin of its natural oils.
That’s not even mentioning trying to find one that actually suits your skin type.
Today, we’ve taken the trouble to compile some of the best gentle cleansers out there.
We’ve also gone the extra mile to sort them out by skin type so, you’ll have an easier time searching for the best gentle cleanser for you.
Gentle cleansers for oily skin
Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
Personally, this is one of our go-to gentle cleansers and it is great for all skin types as it doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils.
It has tea tree oil and natural BHA, which means it can help you control oil, tighten your pores, and exfoliate your skin.
It retails for RM49 for 150ml. A discount is available at the time of writing. Tap in to compare prices.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
An oil-free gentle cleanser, it helps to prevent breakouts by eliminating oil and unclogging pores.
It is best suited for oily skin girls as it’ll leave dry skin ladies reaching for that extra hydrating toner and moisturiser.
It retails for RM52.40 for 175ml.
Sephora Collection Smoothing Cleanser
Comprising 98% naturally derived ingredients, this gentle cleanser combines BHA and AHAs to remove impurities and exfoliate your skin, leaving it looking cleaner and more luminous.
Reviewers from Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, and Australia have expressed their love for the product, raving about how gentle it is.
It retails for RM69 for 125ml.
Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser
For oily, combination, or blemished skin, its gentle foaming action removes oil and debris without leaving your skin dry and disrupting your skin’s natural barrier.
Many reviewers love how non-drying it is and that after prolonged use, their skin becomes less oily too.
It retails for RM70.21 for 125ml.
Cetaphil Pro Derma Control Oil Removing Foam Wash
Designed for oily and acne-prone skin, it is gentle enough to use daily and allows you to maintain the healthy pH balance of your skin.
Containing oil-controlling Zinc technology, this gentle cleanser will help your skin look and feel less greasy and shiny throughout the day.
It retails for RM79.80 for 236ml.
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel
An oil-free, non-foaming gel, it thoroughly removes impurities and exfoliates through its papaya and grapefruit extracts.
Many Malaysian and Singaporean reviewers enjoy this gentle cleanser as it isn’t harsh but can still remove heavy makeup.
It retails for RM72 for 236ml.
SOMEBYMI Bye Bye Blackhead 30 Days Miracle Green Tea Bubble Cleanser
Formulated with 16 different kinds of tea, it uses naturally sourced BHA to melt away blackheads, whiteheads, and other impurities.
Some Shopee reviewers claim that you can really see the difference even after a single wash!
It retails for RM89 for 120g. A discount is available at the time of writing. Tap in to compare prices.
Gentle cleanser for dry skin
Eau Thermale Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser
We’ve got a gentle cleanser here that is highly suitable for dry and sensitive skin due to its moisturising actives.
Free from aggressive cleaning agents, it thoroughly removes all traces of makeup while leaving the skin soft and supple.
It retails for RM93 for 200ml. A discount is available at the time of writing. Tap in to compare prices.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
This gentle cleanser is formulated with tons of moisturising ingredients like thermal water, ceramides, niacinamide, and glycerin.
One Shopee reviewer was amazed after only two weeks of using the product as her dry and acne-prone skin looks healthier.
It retails for RM124 for 400ml.
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
With over 10,000 reviews on Sephora and at 4.4 stars out of five, this is no doubt one of their bestselling gentle cleansers.
pH-balanced, it can remove your makeup without drying out your skin. Plus, this product can soothe and tone your skin.
It retails for RM190 for 150ml.
Biore Skin Caring Facial Foam Moisture
This gentle cleanser keeps your skin at its natural pH balance while clearing away impurities.
The moisture version of this cleanser produces a rich and creamy absorptive foam lather that gives you bouncy, soft, and smooth skin.
It retails for RM24.39 for 130g. A discount is available at the time of writing. Tap in to compare prices.
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
We’ve got a gentle cleanser here that transforms into a rich, soothing, and hydrating cream when blended with water. Infused with antioxidants, it also helps prevent free radical damage.
With over 5,000 reviews and at 4.4 star out of five, it’s clear that many enjoy this product including Singaporeans and Malaysians.
It retails for RM120 for 142g.
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
Formulated with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this non-drying gentle cleanser hydrates while restoring the skin’s natural barrier.
One Shopee reviewer with sensitive skin says after using this product, she started to get less ‘maskne’!
It retails for RM89 for 473ml.
Sebamed Facial Cleanser for Dry Skin
Soap-free and alkali-free, this gentle cleanser is made of natural, skin-loving active ingredients; sodium lactate helps to retain the natural moisture balance of the skin while mineral salts help to regulate pore size.
It retails for RM53.80 for 150ml. A discount is available at the time of writing. Tap in to compare prices.
Gentle cleansers for combination skin
Clinique All About Clean Liquid Facial Soap (Mild)
Free of parabens, phthalates, and fragrance, this is a gentle cleanser that is great for combination skin as it can exfoliate your oily areas without drying out your dry areas.
Several Malaysian Sephora reviews have commented on how mild it is and how it doesn’t give you that stripping tight effect from over-cleansing.
It retails for RM112 for 200ml.
Innisfree Green Tea Foam Cleanser
Powered by Jeju green tea, this gentle cleanser is rich in amino acids to keep your skin hydrated after cleansing.
Several Shopee reviewers with combination skin love how clean yet non-drying their skin feels after cleansing with this product.
It retails for RM48 for 150ml. Note: Sephora stocks its new formula and packaging.
Neutrogena Liquid Pure Mild Facial Cleanser
This gentle cleanser contains no harsh detergents and is hypoallergenic. It contains lots of glycerin, so it’s great at keeping your skin hydrated after cleansing.
One Shopee reviewer with combination skin was recommended to use this by her dermatologist, so she’s been sticking with this product since 2015!
It retails for RM27.70 for 150ml.
Clarins Gentle Foaming Purifying Cleanser
Thanks to gentle surfactants, this cleanser preserves the balance of the skin’s natural microbiome while doing its job.
Those with combination skin seem to love this product as it leaves their skin feeling nice and refreshed.
It retails for RM125 for 125ml.
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser
You’ve got super moisturising ingredients like squalane, apricot kernel oil, vitamin e, and avocado oil in this gentle cleanser.
Many reviewers gush over how it can remove impurities from the skin without drying it up.
It retails for RM110 for 150ml.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser
A multi-tasking product, this product melts away dirt, oil, and makeup, while toning and lightly hydrating the skin.
Reviewers love how gentle it is and many of them use it both as a makeup remover and as a gentle cleanser.
It retails for RM106 for 240ml.
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser
Formulated with rice water, this product is rich in vitamin B and minerals, so it can clean, brighten, and replenish moisture.
One Shopee reviewer with combination oily and sensitive skin loves how this gentle cleanser makes her skin soft and bright after three to four months of use.
It retails for RM38 for 150ml. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to see updated price.
SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser
Featuring SK-II’s signature ingredient PITERA, it not only cleanses your skin but conditions the skin’s natural functions too.
Many reviewers from Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia love how gentle it is and how it is great for even sensitive skin.
It retails for RM270 for 120g.
Origins Checks and Balances Forthy Face Wash
Created for combination skin, this gentle cleanser contains broad leaf kelp extract to discourage excess oil production while wheat protein balances and protects the dry zones.
Many Singaporean and Malaysian reviews note how clean and fresh their face feels afterwards, with some of them considering it their holy grail.
It retails for RM120 for 150ml.
Gentle cleansers for acne-prone skin
Eau Thermale Avène Soapless Foaming Gel
Rich in spring water and glycerin, this soap-free gentle cleanser suits hypersensitive skin which have been over-stressed by aggressions.
However, it can only remove light makeup so you might have to check out our other article on top makeup removers.
It retails for RM82 for 125ml. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to compare prices.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
This gentle cleanser is free of soap and fragrance. Formulated to work on sensitive skin, it can be used even on babies.
It is a creamy, non-foaming cleanser that uses micellar technology to gently remove impurities, dirt, oil, and makeup.
If you want to know more about this gentle cleanser, we’ve done a thorough review.
It retails for RM25.12 for 125ml. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to see updated price.
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser
Formulated with minimal ingredients and pro-vitamin B5, this gentle cleanser is designed to leave acne-prone skin clean and hydrated.
It is fragrance-free, soap-free, dye-free, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, and noncomedogenic.
It retails for RM76 for 473ml.
Cosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser
Salicylic acid is a well-known acne-reducer that exfoliates the skin and keeps your pores clear.
This creamy cleansing foam is suitable to be used everyday and removes any makeup residue while calming down troubled skin.
It retails for RM49 for 150ml. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to see updated price.
CeraVe Foaming Cleanser
This gentle cleanser is formulated with ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid to cleanse the skin without disrupting its natural barrier.
Fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, it also has oil controlling properties so it’s perfect for normal to oily skin.
It retails for RM89 for 473ml.
SOMEBYMI 30 Days Miracle Acne Clear Foam
Not only does this contain exfoliating AHA, PHA, and salicylic acid/BHA, it also protects the skin from external stimuli.
One Shopee reviewer shares that she has struggled with acne for six to seven years now and this is the only cleanser that doesn’t break her out.
It retails for RM79 for 100ml. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to compare prices.
Hada Labo AHA+BHA Acne Control Face Wash
This gentle cleanser exfoliates blackheads and dead skin cells while protecting the skin against pollution and controlling acne and oil.
Several reviewers note how great it is for combination skin and oily, acne-prone skin as well as how you can achieve smooth, radiant skin.
It retails for RM38 for 130g. A discount is offered at the time of writing. Tap in to see updated price.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash
Gentle enough to be used everyday to fight excess oil and acne, this product contains 2% exfoliating salicylic acid to clear impurities.
It also contains menthol, which will give you a soothing and cooling effect when you wash your face.
It retails for RM160.
Oxy Acne Wash
While it is formulated to kill acne-causing bacteria, it is still gentle enough to be used everyday.
It also unclogs your pores and removes excess oil without over-drying your skin, leading it to be less prone to acne.
It retails for RM12.90 for 80g.
Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser
If you want clear and even-looking skin, this gentle cleanser improves your skin’s tone and texture while clearing blemishes.
Oil-free and soap-free, it’s got 0.5% salicylic acid to unclog pores and prevent future breakouts.
It retails for RM54 for 177ml.