Science says this is the most popular type of cleanser in America

August 13, 2019 at 01:14PM by CWC

Peek inside the medicine cabinet of nearly half of all women, and you’ll find one product in common: a foaming cleanser.


According to a new Superdrug study of 1,140 people, a whopping 46 percent of women (and 34 percent of men) opted for a foam as their face wash of choice. And it seems it’s for good reason: “Foaming cleansers are easy to use to quickly and effectively remove dirt, oil, and even sunscreen from the skin thoroughly,” says Howard Sobel, MD, cosmetic dermatologic surgeon and founder of Sobel Skin. “Foaming cleansers used to have the reputation of over-stripping the skin of oils, but nowadays foaming cleansers are formulated to be hydrating and gentle enough for sensitive skin. It also gives a soft, cushion-y lather and it rinses cleanly.” In case you were wondering, the study found that facial cleansing wipes (43 percent), plain ol’ water (38 percent), and gel cleansers (35 percent) were the top picks after everyone’s favorite foam.

Because of their grease-lifting abilities, foaming cleansers are a great choice for anyone with acne-prone or oily skin, though Dr. Sobel notes that people with dry or sensitive skin might find them to be too drying.  And the average price that people are spending on their cleansers? Eleven bucks, which makes sense considering derms say there is no reason to spend big bucks on a pricier option. Here, Dr. Sobel shares his top picks for the best foaming cleansers on the market—two of which you can pick up at your local drugstore.

best foaming cleanser
Photo: Cerave
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CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser ($16)

If you’re dealing with oily skin, CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser really can’t be beat—especially because it’s only $16. But that’s not all: “It’s a very gentle and simple foaming cleanser that’s fragrance-free, and it does a good job cleansing the skin without irritating it,” says Dr. Sobel. Add one to cart, immediately.

best foaming cleanser
Photo: La Roche Posay

La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash ($10)

Not only is La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash made with prebiotic-packed thermal spring water that, according to Dr. Sobel, helps to maintain the skin’s microbiome, but it’s also formulated with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, niacinamide, and ceramide to maintain the skin’s protective barrier.


best foaming face wash
Photo: Savor Beauty

Savor Beauty Purify Champagne Cleanser ($52)

Dr. Sobel calls Savor Beauty’s champagne cleanser “a clean alternative” to some of the others on the market, that uses grapeseed extracts and rosemary extracts to cleanse, soothe, and hydrate skin. If you do want to use a foam cleanser on dry or sensitive skin,  this one’s a good bet.

Another product people seem to be loving right now? This vitamin C serum, which sells a bottle every four minutes on Amazon. And here’s the one mistake 37% of people are still making when they wash their face. 

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Author Zoe Weiner | Well and Good
Selected by CWC