The 10 Best Drugstore Face Washes Because Cleansers Shouldn't Be Expensive

As casual as a drugstore beauty run can be, it can also feel a little dangerous. After all, how exactly are you supposed to know if that packaged tube of concealer is the right shade before buying it? That same lingering trepidation can creep into the face wash aisle too since it can seem like those budget-friendly prices can cost us blemish-free faces in the long term. But don't worry—there are ways to make drugstore face washes produce the same results as their more expensive alternatives.

"In general, cleansers shouldn't be expensive," Jennifer Herrmann, MD, FAAD, a Beverly Hills dermatologist, says. "It's better to invest in leave-on products with key ingredients like growth factors, retinoids, and vitamin C than pricey cleansers that minimally contact the skin."

Hermann says that you should peruse the aisles according to your skin type to make the most of your purchases. "Those with oily or& acne-prone skin should look for products with salicylic acid that can help lightly exfoliate and encourage skin turnover," she says. "While those with rosacea or eczema-prone skin should use gentle, moisturizing, and fragrance-free cleansers."

Steer clear of beads or "sand" that can be too harsh on skin and may lead to hyperpigmentation. Jennifer also notes that it's a good idea to skip any alcohol-based items that can cause dryness or fragrances that can spur irritation. And while you're at it, don't pair your picks with cleansing towels, either. "I don't think most do a good job of removing makeup and pollution and many will leave a residue on the skin," she says. "Stick to a cleanser with cool to lukewarm water."

We asked Jennifer to give us recommendations for the best drugstore face washes a few bucks can buy. She not only gave us specifics, but she offered this tip, too. "For younger, acne-prone people, salicylic acid is a good choice. For those in their 50s and 60s, hydrating cleansers or those with hyaluronic acid cleanse without stripping natural oils." Read on to see what else Jennifer would choose and why.