BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

Best foaming facial cleanser

Choosing the best foaming facial cleanser for you

Whether you have normal, dry, combination, oily or sensitive skin, a good facial cleanser is essential when it comes to your skincare regimen. Foaming facial cleansers remove makeup, dirt, excess oil and harmful contaminants from the surface of the skin.

The best foaming facial cleanser leaves your skin feeling clean, rejuvenated and nourished. Combined with other skincare products and a consistent skincare routine, a facial cleanser can have lasting, positive effects on your skin and mood.

Why get a foaming facial cleanser?

Most foaming facial cleansers are lightweight, non-sticky and leave no residue. They’re also easy to rinse off. Unlike more abrasive products, foaming cleansers don’t require scrubbing to get deep into pores and remove dirt, oils and dead skin cells.

You should consider using a foaming facial cleanser if you:

  • Want something that removes excess oil, makeup and dirt build-up, while helping the skin maintain its natural pH level.
  • Need to unclog pores.
  • Have normal, combination or oily skin.
  • Are prone to acne or uneven skin.

Some foaming facial cleansers are specially formulated with antioxidants, essential nutrients, fruit extracts and ceramides to promote skin health, restore and maintain the skin barrier and lock in moisture. Particular foaming cleansers aid in collagen production for healthier, youthful skin.

Although foaming cleansers for the face are generally considered safe and non-drying, certain synthetic ingredients can irritate those with sensitive skin if not properly rinsed off. If this is a concern for you, check the packaging for harsh chemicals or ingredients like sodium laurel folate, sodium alkyl sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate.

How to use a foaming facial cleanser

Before you use a foaming facial cleanser, rinse and dry your face. Then, dispense a small amount of the cleanser into your palm. Rub your hands together until it starts to foam. Apply the foam to the oiliest parts of your face first, such as above the eyebrows and around the nose, so it has more time to set in. Once you’ve done this, rinse your face well and pat dry with a clean cloth. Repeat this in the morning and at night.

Tips on choosing a foaming facial cleanser

Before choosing a foaming facial cleanser, or any other type of skincare product, here are a few tips.

  • Make sure you know your skin type before using any product. For example, some products are designed specifically for dry or flaky skin, while others are formulated for oily or combination skin types. Others are free from harmful ingredients, fragrances or dyes and are safe and gentle for sensitive skin.
  • Avoid fragrances, synthetic ingredients and facial cleansers with abrasive ingredients if you have highly sensitive skin.
  • When introducing a new skincare product to your routine, do it gradually for the best results.

The best foaming facial cleansers

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser Daily Foaming Face Wash

High-end foaming face wash formulated with natural ingredients like fruit enzymes to gently exfoliate and cleanse the skin without drying it out. This face wash is neither heavy nor rough and leaves skin feeling rejuvenated and softer than ever. It’s perfect for combination or dry skin.

Sold by Amazon and Sephora

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Foaming cleanser from a trusted brand formulated with essential, natural ingredients to protect and strengthen the skin barrier on the face, hands and body. Best for normal, oily and acne-prone skin types, this unscented cleanser is non-drying and non-irritating. It’s dermatologist-recommended for daily use.

Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond and Ulta

Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser (Pack of 2)

It’s a non-drying, non-clogging and fragrance-free facial cleanser designed to remove excess oil, buildup and makeup without making the skin feel tight. Instant foaming action and hydrating formula made for combination, oily and sensitive skin.

Sold by Amazon

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser & Makeup Remover

This is a hypoallergenic, unscented foaming facial cleanser that is gentle enough for most skin types, including sensitive, normal and dry skin. This foam cleans gently, reduces redness and soothes irritated skin while removing oil, dirt, bacteria and makeup.

Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond and Ulta

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Face Wash Cleanser

This dermatologist-tested foaming gel is for normal, oily and sensitive skin types. It has essential ceramides, niacinamide and glycerin to protect and maintain the skin barrier, while hydrating. It is allergy-tested, fragrance-free and oil-free cleanser.

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond

Clean & Clear Essentials Foaming Facial Cleanser

Lightweight facial cleanser at an affordable price that effectively lifts oils and dirt, removes makeup and unclogs pores. This cleanser is non-drying and leaves the skin feeling refreshed and clean. This is a great alternative to a bar of soap, that’s best for oily or normal skin types.

Sold by Amazon

Bioré Rose Quartz + Charcoal Gentle Marshmallow Daily Foaming Face Wash

It’s formulated for combination, oily and acne-prone skin types, this foaming wash clears and cleans the skin, eliminates impurities and unclogs pores without leaving a residue or stripping the skin of moisture. It’s a cruelty-free, oil-free and hypoallergenic facial cleanser with a lovely floral scent.

Sold by Amazon

THE FACE SHOP Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser

This popular Korean face wash uses natural rice water, essential vitamins and ceramide to nourish, brighten and strengthen the skin. Created for normal skin types, the gentle, creamy foam leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed. Used regularly, it can reduce the appearance of fine lines and shrink pores.

Sold by Amazon

Unscented Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Facial Cleanser

This non-clogging, oil-free daily cleanser is ideal for acne-prone or normal skin types. It uses salicylic acid to fight acne and prevent future breakouts. Gentle enough for sensitive skin while still being effective at removing excess oils and dirt.

Sold by Amazon

Paula’s Choice RESIST Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser

This lightly foaming facial cleanser effectively removes grime, oils and dirt build-up while nourishing and brightening the skin. This cleanser uses natural ingredients to reduce irritation and redness, even out the skin and leave it feeling smooth, hydrated and clean. This lightweight cleanser is safe for most skin types. It is paraben-free, fragrance-free and cruelty-free.

Sold by Amazon

Top non-foaming facial cleansers

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water with Rose Water and Glycerin

This is an all-in-one facial cleanser that hydrates, removes makeup and oils and nourishes the skin. It’s designed for normal to dry skin but is gentle enough to be used on highly sensitive skin and around the eyes. It’s formulated with vegan ingredients and free from fragrances, alcohol and oils.

Sold by Amazon and Ulta

Clinique for Men Face Wash

This is a reliable, simple face wash for men with dry or oily skin. It leaves the skin clean and refreshed without drying it out.

Sold by Amazon

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel

This non-foaming face wash lightly exfoliates while brightening and nourishing the skin. It’s vegan and free from sulfates and phthalates. It’s ideal for oily, combination, dull or uneven skin.

Sold by Amazon and Sephora

Fresh Soy Makeup Removing Face Wash

Gentle, hydrating face cleanser formulated to help maintain the skin’s natural pH balance, eliminate impurities and reduce the appearance of dark circles or fine lines. It’s also a great makeup remover and safe for use around the eyes.

Sold by Sephora

Serious Skincare Glycolic Cleanser

This unscented, oil-free cream cleans deep into the pores, removes dead skin cells and rejuvenates tired-looking skin. It also reduces the chance of breakouts.

Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: