The Best Cleansers For Your Skin Type & Budget

Trendy sheet masks and face mists may come and go (depending on our level of skin-care commitment), but cleansers are forever. They're not the sexiest products on the market, but they're some of the most crucial.

That being said, we don't always take enough time to figure out which formula is compatible with our skin type. And, according to dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, we need to be. "The wrong cleanser can actually harm your skin by causing irritation and inflammation," he says. "In other cases, it may not clean you as effectively as you may need, and [can] leave you feeling oily." Irritation, inflammation, oil — all roads lead to breakouts.

To help you find your cleansing soul mate, we've identified the best ones for your skin type and budget. Click through to find the face wash of your dreams, and let us know your favorite in the comments.
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Acne-Prone: Splurge
Benzoyl peroxide might've been the zit-zapping ingredient of choice during your teenage days, but Dr. Zeichner says that it can be too drying for your post-high school skin. Instead, reach for a cleanser with salicylic acid, which gently exfoliates away the dead skin cells that keep sebum stuck in your pores.

Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser, $32, available at Sephora.


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Acne-Prone: Budget-Friendly
Looking for an affordable, natural way to banish breakouts? Alba Botanica's wash includes 2% salicylic acid and deeply cleanses pores without stripping the skin of moisture.

Alba Botanica Acnedote Deep Pore Wash, $6.83, available at Target.
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Dry: Splurge
Cream cleansers are ideal for dry skin types; foaming formulas are not. Creams infuse the skin with extra hydration and typically contain soothing ingredients like chamomile, which you'll find in this one along with brightening peony extract.

Darphin Intral Cleansing Milk, $42, available at Birchbox.
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Dry: Budget-Friendly
Don't let the words "deep cleansing" turn you off. When there's milk involved, rest assured you're in good hands. Not only is this perfect for parched skin, but it's also great for taking off stubborn waterproof eye makeup.

Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk, $12, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Oily: Splurge
Those with oily skin tend to run far, far away from oil-based products, but Dr. Zeichner says it's time to debunk the myth that oil causes breakouts. He notes that healthy, botanical oils — and this cleanser is loaded with 'em — actually help purify and balance the skin.

Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil, $30, available at Sephora.
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Oily: Budget-Friendly
This under-$10 buy won't clog your pores or leave your skin slick. Instead, with the help of rosemary and camellia extracts, your face will feel refreshed and soft.

Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil, $9.49, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Combination: Splurge
For finicky — sometimes oily, sometimes dry — skin types, Dr. Zeichner suggests a foam cleanser, which will get rid of more oil than its cream counterparts. Just remember to look for one that also has moisturizing agents: hyaluronic acid is the magic ingredient.

Shiseido Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam, $35, available at Nordstrom.
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Combination: Budget-Friendly
As the name suggests, this product seems to know exactly where your skin needs some heavy-duty cleansing, and where it needs a gentler touch.

Paula's Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser, $18, available at Nordstrom.
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Sensitive: Splurge
The question of whether sensitive skin is an official category is still up for debate in the dermatology world. But if facialists and derms have confirmed that your skin is indeed sensitive, you want a paraben-free, artificial fragrance-free formula packed with soothing plant extracts and oils, like olive and jojoba.

Bioelements Sensitive Skin Cleanser, $48, available at Bioelements.
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Sensitive: Budget-Friendly
Another ingredient sensitive types should be on the lookout for is glycerin, which will help protect your delicate skin from the damaging elements. The cucumber and green tea in this one take down redness quickly, too.

Yes To Daily Gel Cleanser, $9.99, available at Yes To.
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