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    May 20, 2020

    20 Skincare Products That Are Truly Gentle

    Time to treat your skin.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Corsx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser helps to get rid of excess sebum on the skin without leaving it feeling dry or irritated.

    Sarah Han / BuzzFeed, amazon.com

    This is best to use as a second cleanser after removing makeup with a first cleanser (such as a cleansing water or cleansing oil). To use, first wash your hands and then rub a pea-size amount of this gel cleanser between your hands. You'll then gently massage onto wet skin before rinsing your face with water, patting it dry, and continuing with your next skin care steps. This cleanser boasts being suitable for all skin types! Check out our review of the incredible Corsx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser.

    Promising review: "I had been using Origins Checks and Balances Face Wash for about 10 years, and then I read something about pH and how your cleanser can strip your skin, if it has a high pH. I looked up my cleanser and it had a pH of about 8. 8!! Little did I know, my skin had just been okay for ten years. This Cosrx cleanser has made my skin SO healthy. I noticed a huge difference within two weeks. My skin GLOWS, I tell you!! I used to wear a high-coverage foundation to mask any discoloration or blemishes, and now I just wear tinted sunscreen! A month ago, I would not have left my house without foundation on, but now my skintone has evened out, the moisture has been restored, and blemishes are fewer than EVER. My skin is smooth, supple, clear, and bright. PRAISE THIS CLEANSER!" —Kathryn

    Get it from Amazon for $9.74.

    2. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser is comparable in gentleness to brands like Cetaphil and CeraVe, but does a much better job at actually removing makeup, according to reviewers.

    @larocheposayusa / Via instagram.com

    This is infused with prebiotic thermal water, ceramide-3, niacinamide, and glycerin to help your skin feel hydrated. It aims to gently remove eye makeup, dirt, and impurities, while maintaining your skin's natural protective barrier and pH level. It's recommended for normal to dry skin! To use, wet your skin with warm water, work the cleanser into a lather, massage into your skin, rinse, and pat dry. It's safe to use on your eye area!

    Promising review: "This has the same milky, non-foaming texture as Cetaphil and CeraVe, but is visibly better and faster at dissolving makeup and dirt — clean rinsing, no need to 'tissue off,' and no need for 'double cleansing.' Takes literally just a few rubs to breakdown makeup vs. the longer emulsifying time of Cetaphil and CeraVe — neither of which take off mascara very well. But this does the job! Face is left sparkling clean with no reside, but not feeling tight or dry. Innocuous and simple ingredient listing, and reasonably priced. If you like CeraVe/Cetaphil, or 'one-step' moisturizing cleansers, this is up your alley." —nycgirl

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99+ (available in two sizes).

    3. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil does a splendid job of taking off makeup and nourishing and hydrating skin thanks to a vitamin-filled and antioxidant-rich formula.

    @dhcskincare / Via instagram.com

    This aims to nourish and hydrate the skin. It's made of a unique water-soluble formula that rinses thoroughly, and it's rich in vitamins and antioxidants!

    Promising review: "I have been using DHC Cleansing Oil for more than two years now and absolutely LOVE it! One of the reasons I love this cleansing oil is that I no longer need any eye make up remover. I use one pump of this oil and spread it all over my face to include across my eyelids and lashes. Then I rinse with warm water and towel dry. It removes every bit of make-up, without exception, and I don't even need a toner or follow-up. Just to test it out I have used a toner afterwards to see if I have any dirt or make-up residue left and there is NOTHING remaining. I have acne-prone skin, cystic acne to be exact, and this product has helped my skin tremendously. I rarely ever get a cyst and when I do, it is typically hormonal. I'm a product junkie and usually don't stick with a product for long before I start looking for the next best thing. However, once I landed on this product I stayed. I really don't want to try anything else as this is my holy grail of face cleansers. The price point is great and at 47-years-old I feel like I have tried just about everything out there. I just hate that I didn't find this product even sooner. Love it!" —Educ8NC

    Get it from Amazon for $27.98.

    4. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser is a conditioning face wash with a cult following and for good reason — it's nice and gentle on ultra-sensitive skin, but contains the same cleaning agents found in contact lens solution so it's powerful in its abilities.

    Ayseha Mittal / BuzzFeed, Glossier

    This can either be used on dry skin to help dissolve makeup, or on wet skin to start your day. It's made of five skin conditioners to help leave your face feeling soft. It's hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, ophthalmologist-tested, claims to be good for all skin types, non-comedogenic, cruelty-free, vegan, and soap-, paraben-, and sulfate-free. Check out our review of the amazing Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (#2).

    Promising review: "This cleanser has changed my skin texture from dry and tight to normal and soft. It's very gentle, but it gets rid of my makeup with only one to two pumps. I personally don't wear full faces of makeup, but it does well for getting rid of mascara, brow stuff, blush, etc. It smells great, it's hydrating, and it has a wonderful texture. It does run out within about two to three months if you use it daily and nightly — I'm on my second bottle. Overall, this product is amazing and I highly recommend you purchase it." —MeiMei

    Get it from Glossier for $9+ (available in two sizes).

    5. Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads contain glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and blue daisy to help moisturize, smooth, and brighten the skin, all with the simple swipe of a pad.

    @nipandfab / Via instagram.com

    These pads are soaked in an exfoliating glycolic acid which aims to retexture and resurface skin, as well as witch hazel to help tone the skin. To use, simply wipe a pad across cleansed skin (face, neck, décolleté) once or twice daily.

    Promising review: "I’m really impressed with these pads. I’ve suffered from adult cystic acne for about a decade now, and have tried countless products over the years. Adding these things into my skincare routine has made my skin look bright and clear like porcelain. I still get the occasional blemish, but they’re always very small and go away in a day or two. I highly recommend them." —Caroline Powell

    Get a pack of 60 from Amazon for $12.95.

    6. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Cleanser is a vegan, paraben-free facial cleanser that works to exfoliate and deep clean pores in order to help prevent future breakouts.

    Amazon

    This cleanser is formulated with charcoal to help draw out impurities from the skin, tomato extract for a daily dose of antioxidants, jojoba spheres for gentle exfoliation, and salicylic acid to help deep clean pores and prevent future breakouts. To use, apply the cleanser to your face with warm water, massage it into your skin, and rinse!

    Promising review: "I love this stuff! It smells amazing and is relatively gentle on my skin compared to other 'acne' face washes. I'm a huge believer in charcoal soaps too so this is the best of both worlds." —Gabby Winfield, PRIME MEMBER

    Get it from Amazon for $9.40.

    7. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream boasts 24 hours of intensely hydrated skin — its formula is designed to continually absorb moisture from the air and serve as an all-day skin barrier.

    @kiehls / Via instagram.com

    This moisturizer contains glacial glycoprotein, which is found in sea glaciers, to help moisturize the skin (ya know, as a moisturizer should), and is blended with olive-derived squalane to help strengthen the skin's moisture barrier for glowing, hydrated, and healthier-looking skin. It's paraben, carbamide-, and T.E.A.-free, and boasts being suitable for all skin types — even those with sensitive skin! To use, smooth some of this moisturizer onto your face and neck after cleansing. It can be used both morning and night!

    Promising review: "It's lightweight, quick to absorb, and fragrance-free, so it won't irritate your skin." —Bek O'Connell, BuzzFeed Staff

    Get it from Ulta for $22.

    8. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a hydrating, non-irritating formula perfect for those who have to be ultra-careful when it comes to the products they use on their sensitive skin.

    amazon.com

    My friends... there aren't words to describe how dang sensitive my skin is. It's kind of frustrating, TBH, because I write about amazing products all day and I want to try ALL of the skincare products, but I literally can't. This is one of the select few skincare products I know I can always rely on. It's truly so gentle, I don't even realize it's on my skin, yet, it makes it feel clean and fresh. I absolutely swear by it, and highly recommend that if you're also in the "my skin is too sensitive for literally anything" boat, that you get on board with this, because it will change your life for the better.

    Promising review: "After years of trying many other brands, I have found this is the ONLY cleanser that does not burn or irritate my sensitive, acne-prone skin. The consistency of this cleanser is that of a thin conditioner and while it doesn't foam, it definitely leaves my skin feeling clean and soft. I wash with this every morning and every night before bed. I have tried the store-brand versions of this cleanser and my skin just doesn't feel as clean or soft. If you have very sensitive skin, this cleanser is definitely the way to go!" —Tabitha

    Get it from Amazon for $11.90.

    9. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Cleanser has a subtly fruity smell and truly leaves you feeling refreshed, because your skin deserves to feel like it's sitting in a lounge chair, drinking a frozen tropical drink.

    @albabotanica / Via instagram.com

    This claims to be good for all skin types, including really sensitive skin, too! It aims to gently remove impurities and nourish the skin to leave it feeling nice and smooth!

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this face wash! I suffered with painful acne for a couple years and tried everything from astringents to Proactiv, and even Rodan + Fields. They always made my acne worse and more painful. This stuff, though, has kept my face completely clear for more than a year now. This amazing wash leaves my skin feeling so refreshed. The scent is relaxing and refreshing — it’s not too fragrant, nor does it smell like chemicals. I seriously look forward to using this stuff every day! Also, don’t expect it to smell like pineapples. It’s fruity, but not tropical. This wash also leaves my skin feeling squeaky-clean, so as I wouldn’t call it a drying wash, it is definitely not a moisturizing wash. The wash is a yellowish-clear color, which I think helps my sensitive skin, (no dyes, clogging agents, etc.) I wasn’t paid to write this review. I just hope that someone buys it and loves it as much as I do! Seriously! Skin products are expensive. This is SO worth it (and affordable)." —Gabby

    Get it from Amazon for $10.27.

    10. Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment turns from green to beige during application (cool, right?) and works to correct redness and protect skin from UV damage and environmental aggressors (thanks to SPF 30).

    @drjart / Via instagram.com

    This color-correcting treatment contains centella asiatica complex to protect the skin from environmental stressors that cause sensitized skin, herbs complex to support skin for a vibrant appearance, and minerals solution and panthenol to support skin's moisture barrier. It's free of sulfates, parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates, and it contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances. To use, apply a moderate amount after moisturizing — the cream will change from green to beige to correct redness and even out skin tone.

    Promising review: "My skin gets irritated by most anything, even after washing in the morn. I put this stuff on in between serum/moisturizer and primer/foundation as an extra SPF barrier (don't @ me) and as a soothing color corrector. I don't know what's in it (JK, I can read ingredients labels), but it's so soothing!" —Elizabeth Lilly, BuzzFeed Staff

    Get it from Sephora for $18+ (available in two sizes).

    11. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is excellent for including in your daily skincare regimen because it's gentle on sensitive skin and helps to clean, hydrate, and restore its natural barrier with the help of ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II.

    @cerave / Via instagram.com, amazon.com

    This facial cleanser is designed to help cleanse, hydrate, and restore the skin's protective barrier. It's made with hyaluronic acid to retain natural moisture. It's good for removing dirt, oil, and some makeup, all without leaving your skin feeling tight or dry. This is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, non-drying, and non-irritating. This is best suited for normal to dry skin!

    Promising review: "This CeraVe cleanser has been my favorite for a few years now because it's so gentle, non-irritating, and keeps my skin from drying out. While it may not have any specialized benefits, it works well as a general hydrating facial cleanser. Just to be clear, this cleanser isn't meant to remove a full face of heavy makeup — it's meant to be a daily cleanser after makeup removal. Other cleansers have stripped my skin too much and have dried me out, but this one never does. It's really become the core of my skincare routine." —Emi

    Get it from Amazon for $13.79+ (available in two sizes).

    12. Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich practically melts into your skin for a long-lasting moisture barrier that'll help it feel smooth and calm, without leaving behind a greasy film.

    Glossier

    This moisturizing face cream contains: murumuru butter (a hard, dense butter mixed with shea for a melt-into-your-skin texture that won't feel heavy); ceramides 3 and 6 (oily waxes that naturally occur in skin and fortify your skin's moisture barrier); five key fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids from non-gready kukui oil to lock in moisture); and an anti-redness complex to soothe and breathe life into your skin. To use, massage the cream into your face using upward and outward strokes. It can be used under makeup, as a night cream before bed, or to combat seasonally dry skin. It's hypoallergenic, good for all skin types, and paraben-, and cruelty-free.

    Read our review of the fabulous Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich (#9).

    Promising Review: "WORTH THE DOLLARS Y'ALL. I am very cheap, but I will always spend the $$ for this moisturizer. I have dry skin that is very red, and this has significantly reduced my redness and improved the feeling of my skin. I only use at night (trying to make every drop LAST), but the lavender scent and thick formula are luxurious for my nighttime skin routine. Plus, it lasts!! I've had my most recent bottle for two weeks and I've barely made a dent. Ultimate 'treat YO SELF' purchase." —EricaMarie

    Get it from Glossier for $35.

    13. Hada Labo Tokyo Gentle Hydrating Cleanser helps to wash away dirt, oil, makeup, and skin impurities while locking in moisture, so your skin is left feeling clean, smooth, and hydrated.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    This cleanser is free of fragrance, parabens, alcohol, dyes, and mineral oil. It's suitable for those with sensitive or rosacea-prone skin.

    Promising review: "My skin is dry, sensitive, and acne-prone. This cleanses my skin without stripping it of its moisture barrier (which is difficult to maintain for me), and there are no added scents that could irritate my skin. I wear very little makeup, and this removes what I do wear completely." —Abby

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99.

    14. Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant gently works to clean your pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, smooth and brighten skin, and combat redness and blackheads.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    This contains salicylic acid which helps to shed built-up layers of skin, and visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as green tea, which is a skin-soothing antioxidant to help improve the appearance of sun damage. When you first start using this, it's recommended to apply once every other day and note how your skin responds to it, before moving on to using it up to twice daily. To use, apply with your hands or a cotton pad, and gently pat onto your face and neck. Don't rinse!

    Promising review: "This is a skin GAME-CHANGER!!! I have combination skin, both oily and dehydrated. I was suffering from cystic acne (the little bumps under my skin). NOTHING helped until I used this! My skin seems less dehydrated and overall just looks healthier! I saw results very quickly. I like that the product doesn't feel oily but isn't drying either. It is scentless and colorless. I like the packaging in that the top allows you to control how much, or how little, of the product dispenses unlike some that just pour right out. I would recommend this to anyone!" —Sarah Briggs

    Get it from Amazon for $10+ (available in three sizes).

    15. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads contain lactic and glycolic acids for an easy way to exfoliate, tone, and brighten sensitive, acne-prone skin.

    @firstaidbeauty / Via instagram.com

    These pads contain glycolic and lactic acids, which are alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate the skin and help it appear brighter/with an improved texture, lemon peel, a natural extract that helps to brighten the skin's appearance, and Indian gooseberry, a natural extract that helps tone skin. They're vegan, cruelty-, and gluten-free. To use, start with clean, dry skin, and then wipe a pad across the face, neck, and décolleté once or twice daily.

    Promising review: "I have pale, sensitive, combination, and acne-prone skin. I recently underwent a six-month cycle of Accutane, which cleared up my acne, but left me with hyperpigmentation and scarring. I have been using these pads for over week now, and I cannot believe how well they have reduced the pigmentation and scarring. They don't have a scent, and are gentle, yet effective." —emilyrose88

    Get it from Sephora for $17/28 pads, or $34/60 pads.

    16. Belief The True Cream Aqua Bomb is a lightweight gel-cream that'll feel like a "drink of water" for your skin. It hydrates and absorbs into skin without leaving behind an oily residue. In fact, reviewers rave about the cooling sensation this moisturizer gives their face.

    @belifusa / Via instagram.com, Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed

    This moisturizer contains lady's mantle (alchemilla vulgaris), known for its skin-nurturing properties, ceramide 3 to help skin retain water, and glycerin to help maintain the skin's moisture levels. Also, fun fact — this comes in recyclable packaging. Check out our review of the amazing Belief The True Cream Aqua Bomb (#6).

    Promising review: "Aqua Bomb moisturizer is easily my desert island skincare product. Although I have dry-leaning combination skin, I hate most moisturizers because creamy formulas feel heavy and just yucky to me, especially under makeup. Aqua Bomb's gel-like consistency absorbs like a dream. It's soothing to stressed out skin in the winter and cooling through the heat of summer. I recommend it to friends of all skin types because it gives your skin that bouncy hydration it craves without feeling oily in the slightest. I've put it on every night and most mornings for years and have no plans of stopping anytime soon!" —Rachel Dunkel, BuzzFeed Staff

    Get it from Sephora for $38+ (available in two sizes).

    17. Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Full Facial Masks will give you 15–30 minutes of pure relaxation time while you liven up your tired skin. As someone with super sensitive skin myself, I personally swear by these masks!

    Samantha Wieder / BuzzFeed

    These masks contain vitamin E and collagen to help keep your skin looking lively and healthy. These are made to fit most face shapes/sizes, with the option to cover eye lids or not. Recommended to use for 15–30 minutes so the minerals can soak into your face. Once you're done, peel back, throw the mask away, and rub in the serum for full absorption. This 16-pack includes the following: aloe, herb, aqua, charcoal, pearl, syn-ake, platinum, snail, hyaluronate, cucumber, green tea, gold, Q10, white, vitamin, and royal jelly. I love these face masks so much, I wrote them! Check out my review of the wonderful Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Full Facial Masks.

    Promising review: "I’ve been eyeballing these, but was skeptical because for the price they seemed too good to be true, but they had so many good reviews I went for it and I’m glad I did. The winter is not good to my skin, and even with daily moisturizing, I was getting a lot of dry flaky patches. They are hard to see in the pictures, but after one mask for 15 minutes, the dryness was 100% gone and my skin felt really soft! I also think it got rid of some of the redness in my cheeks. It didn’t seem to do much for the acne blemishes I have right now, but they are advertised as being more moisturizing and restorative and because I have sensitive skin, the fact that the mask didn’t make the breakouts worse is still a huge win in my book. Also, I don’t know if it’s the serum that’s on these or the material they are made of, but this mask definitely stayed on my face better than some other sheets I tried. I sat down but didn’t have to hold my head back to feel like it was secure, whereas with other products I usually feel like I have to be lying down to keep it on." —Michelle P

    Get a pack of 16 from Amazon for $11.99.

    18. Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer has a whipped, silky texture that'll hydrate your skin with its oil-free, antioxidant-rich formula. It'll also help to improve the appearance of dark spots and discoloration, and leave skin feeling nice and smooth.

    @olehenriksen / Via instagram.com

    This moisturizer helps to deliver weightless hydration and radiance to the skin, while improving the appearance of dark spots and discoloration. It's formulated with multi-fruit acids, licorice and pea extracts to help gently refine uneven skin tone and texture. Plus, it makes for a great prep step during makeup application as it smoothes and brightens the skin for even better foundation application. To use, apply evenly to your face and neck both in the morning at night, gently massage in an upward, circular motion, and layer over your preferred serum.

    Promising review: "This is my second jar and I am loving the skin I'm in! My hyper-pigmentation is virtually gone, my glow is back, and I don't have any dry patches. My sensitive skin flare-ups are a thing of the past; now I can touch my face during the day without worrying about a rash or hives. My skin looks better than it has in a long time." —glamaddictnyc

    Get it from Sephora for $12+ (available in two sizes).

    19. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Gel-Cream works to bring relief to intensely dry skin. As its name implies, it's made with hyaluronic acid, which is a hydrator naturally found in the skin that attracts and locks in moisture to quench thirsty skin.

    Amazon

    This moisturizing gel-cream is formulated with hyaluronic acid, a hydrator found naturally in the skin to help attract moisture and lock it in. It's free of oil, dye, and fragrance, and it's non-comedogenic. You can choose to wear it alone or under makeup. Check out our review of the awesome Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Gel-Cream.

    Promising review: "I got a sample of this moisturizer from my dermatologist and I love it. I looked for the best price to buy a bottle and Amazon beat out CVS and the other drug stores. I have bought two so far. It makes my skin feel soft all day and gives it a nicer look." —bonnie murray

    Get it from Amazon for $16.43.

    20. Fresh Soy Makeup Removing Face Wash melts away makeup and mascara (without stinging), helps remove impurities, and tones your skin.

    Sephora

    This cleanser contains amino acid-rich soy proteins to help maintain skin elasticity and suppleness, cucumber extract to aid in soothing the skin, and rosewater, best known for its calming and balancing properties. It's free of SLS, SLES, parabens, and phthalates. It's recommended to use daily, both morning and night!

    Promising review: "This cleanser is so gentle! I have been using it for two years and my skin does not get dry and flaky anymore. It’s a great makeup remover/cleanser combo, which is how I use it. I love it especially for removing my eye makeup. It’s totally worth the money for better skin." —chelseec

    Get it from Sephora for $15+ (available in four sizes).

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    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Need more for your skin? Check out Korean skincare products you need to know, cheap skincare products that are even better than luxury brands, products for an even skin tone or to deal with acne scars, or check out all of our beauty content for even more great stuff for your hair, skin, and more.

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