The Best Face Washes in Canada

Between long winters and having to wear face masks, your skin might not be the happiest camper around. Finding a face wash to help combat the day-to-day can be exhausting to even start, with how many brands and products there are. Our team has done all the hard work so that you don’t have to. 

Check below our list of the top face washes in Canada for multiple skin types.

Our top picks

How to choose a face wash

When it comes to purchasing face washes, keep these in mind: 

Skin type – Do you have dry skin? Oily? Normal? Combination? Make sure to grab a cleanser that works and is designed for your particular skin type for best results. 

Sensitivity – If you have sensitive skin, try to avoid any harsh or acidic face washes, as it may irritate and further damage your skin. 

Ingredients – Unless you have moderately/severe dry skin  avoid most face washes that have oils, as they can end up clogging pores or further damaging your skin. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is another ingredient to watch out for as it can be drying and end up creating more oil. 

Cost – Face washes can cost anywhere from $10 to several hundreds of dollars for higher end skincare products. Find one that suits your budget.

Why trust us

It can be overwhelming with so many different skincare products and top-rated face washes in stores and online all touting the same guarantees with vastly different price points. Our team spent over 10 hours reviewing and researching the top face washes available within Canada to help narrow down your search. 

The best overall face wash in Canada

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

The Ordinary is a Canadian made brand, known for their marketing and great price points for using expensive ingredients in their products. The hype is warranted, as their product lines are fantastic for most skin types and with the ability to mix and match products to make your ideal skin care regiment, you can’t go wrong. 

The Squalane Cleanser is a good starting off point and works well for all skin types, even if you have sensitive skin. If you have severely sensitive skin or have already irritated skin though It may be too drying. 

A little goes a very long way, and it can be used daily, though best results are once a day or several times a week. This gentle moisturizing facial cleanser is free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates, mineral oil, and contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrance. Along with being cruelty free, vegan, and gluten free. 

It works amazingly for clearing off makeup, sweat, dirt, and other grime that accumulates during the day, while leaving skin smooth and moisturized. Used as a first step in a Ordinary skincare regime, your face will thank you and for the prices, your wallet will thank you too. 

Pros
  • Good price.
  • Works great on most skin types.
  • Isn’t greasy or drying. 
Cons
  • Can be out of stock at times.
  • Severely sensitive skin may react to it. 

Best face wash for daily use

Neutrogena Daily Foaming Cleanser

A wonderful daily use face wash, Neutrogena’s Daily Foaming Cleanser can be readily found and is incredibly affordable. A little also goes a long way, so you get quite the deal for your dollar. 

Marketed as a gentle, daily cleanser that is great for removing makeup, dirt, and sweat from they day-to-day, it was developed by dermatologists with sensitive skin in mind and is hypoallergenic. 

Soap free, dye free, and non-comedogenic, it won’t clog pores or cause any new breakouts. Ideal for acne prone skin as well, it manages the skins natural barriers and doesn’t dry out or irritate any blemished skin. It works well with their moisturizers afterwards. 

To use, wet your face, pump a small amount of cleanser into your hands, work into a lather. Massage face gently, rinse, and pat dry with a clean towel. Follow up with a moisturizerIt doesn’t foam, but it does lather, so keep that in mind when you’re using it that it isn’t a foaming face wash. 

Pros
  • Great for sensitive skin.
  • Affordable. 
Cons
  • Can dry out certain skin types. 

Best face wash for sensitive skin

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

Nothing beats how easy a foaming cleanser is to apply, and how great they feel. CeraVe’s foaming facial cleanser is gentle enough for daily use and is great for oily or sensitive skin. 

Formulated with three essential ceramides that help to maintain and restore your skins natural moisture barrier, it works great for anyone looking to boost their hydration. Hyaluronic Acid works together with those ceramides to deliver a more powerful punch against grime, oil, and breakouts, while taking care to not overly dry out the skin. 

The gel to foam formula foams up well and fast and doesn’t leave any residue or tight feeling after it has been rinsed away. Fragrance free, non-comedogenic, non-drying, and non-irritating. It also has Niacinamide to calm sensitive or already irritated skin. 

The price is higher than most other face washes, but a little goes a long way and it can be used twice daily, once in the morning and at night before bed. It was developed by dermatologists and is top rated. For ideal results, use this cleanser together with their moisturizers. 

Pros
  • Perfect for sensitive, oily skin. 
Cons
  • Can be pricier. 

Best face wash for morning & night

Clean & Clear 2-Pack

An easy two-for-one pack makes choosing a morning and nighttime face wash a chore no longer. 

Clean & Clear’s Day and Nighttime liquid facial cleaners have you covered for morning refreshes and bedtime cleansing. The Morning face wash removes any dirt, oils, and impurities that build up overnight, while the Nighttime formula works to effectively wash away daily build-up and leftover makeup. 

Both are oil free and non-comedogenic and have small exfoliating Bursting Beads that have vitamins and extra ingredients to further help this face wash scrub away the dry, dead skin and help renew your face back to a glowing and healthy state. 

It is worth mentioning that a few ratings and comments on this face wash have stated that it was too harsh for their skin and was very drying. If you have moderately sensitive skin or any type of already irritated/inflame skin, you might want to try a different product. 

Pros
  • Amazing price.
  • Works great for combination skin. 
Cons
  • Can irritate more sensitive skin types. 

Best face wash for men

Nivea Men Moisturizing Face Wash

Great for dry skin or skin that is easily irritated after shaving, Nivea Men’s line of facial cleansers and other skincare products that will keep your skin looking healthy and smooth. 

This dermatologically tested and recommended gel-based face wash will help anyone suffering from dry skin, and works to wash away any impurities, sweat, and excess oil without destroying the natural moisture barrier. 

For best results, apply the cleanser directly to a wet face with your hands, rinse, and pat dry with a clean towel. It’s specially formulated to help with frequent shaving and works to repair damaged skin from harsh conditions. The formula includes aloe vera gel and Pro-Vitamin B5 complexes, refreshing your skin while protecting the moisture barrier. 

Top reviews have said this face wash was a life saver, and only dries out skin that is prone to being sensitive. It’s gentle enough to be used every day, morning and night. 

Pros
  • Great for dry skin. 
  • Smells nice. 
Cons
  • Can cause break outs on more sensitive skin. 

Best face wash with anti-aging properties

Aveeno Absolutely Ageless

If you’re looking for an anti-aging cleanser that can help with fine lines and moisturizes skin, Aveeno’s Absolutely Ageless face wash ticks all the boxes and is top rated. 

It cleanses and hydrates skin for a healthier, glowing complexion. The Blackberry Complex infused with vitamins and anti-aging ingredients work together with the cleanser to wash away the dead skin cells, dirt, grime, sweat, and makeup to help tighten fine lines and replenish your natural moisture barrier. 

It’s recommended to use the whole anti-aging line together to see more apparent and consistent results, including the Absolutely Ageless night cream that adds even more moisture while you sleep. 

Pros
  • Hydrating. 
  • Gentle.
  • A little goes a long way. 
Cons
  • Some users may not like the scent. 

Best face wash for oily skin

Cetaphil for Oily Skin

A gentle, foaming face wash that can remove 99% excess dirt, oil, dirt, and left-over makeup. 

Dermatologist recommended for 70 years and ongoing, Cetaphil has been top of their line for decades. Ideal for washing your face morning and night, this gentle foaming cleanser gets the job done with no residue left behind that can irritate your skin. 

Formulated especially for acne prone or oily skin, the pH balanced, non-comedogenic facial cleanser whisks away any stubborn dirt, grease, makeup, or sweat without disrupting your skins natural balance, while adding moisture. 

It can dry out some skin types more than others, so be sure to do a test patch. It’s recommended to follow up your face washing with a Cetaphil moisturizer, such as their 48-hour hydrating creams that are also oil free, paraben free, and fragrance free. 

Pros
  • Dermatologist recommended.
  • Gentle on most skin types. 
Cons
  • Drying.

Best face wash for dry skin

Neutrogena Hydro Boost

Oil free, soap free, paraben free, Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Face Wash with hyaluronic acid and AHA’s can help dry skin become vibrant and moisturized again. 

If you have dry skin, it can be frustrating finding a face wash that won’t clog your pores and make it too oily, or further aggravate the already irritated skin. This Hydro Boost exfoliating face wash can help. 

It hydrates while gently exfoliating the skin, getting through those dead, flaky layers to reach the fresh dermis underneath. It’s a gel-cream formula made with alpha hydroxy acid that will cleanse the skin without damaging it. The hyaluronic acid working with the other ingredients ensures that it will increase your skins hydration level, while naturally derived skin smoothers remove dirt, oil, dry surface skin, and leftover makeup residue. 

Gentle enough to be used every day, though you may want to start with less to allow your skin to get used to it. The little microbeads that help exfoliation dissolve, so no microplastics going down the drain. It’s important to follow up with a moisturizer after washing your face, even though this adds moisture and helps lock it in, it does still use chemicals and exfoliates, which will always need aftercare. 

Pros
  • Exfoliates and is gentle enough for daily use. 
Cons
  •  May be rough on very sensitive skin. 

Best charcoal face wash

Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

Deep cleaning and purifying pores is top of the list for Bioré’s Deep Clean Charcoal Cleanser. 

With natural charcoal, this black cleanser foams up white and leaves no residue like some other charcoal cleansers and products have been known to do. Drawing out twice the amount of dirt and impurities than a basic cleanser, it deep cleans pores and leaves skin feeling smooth and clean without drying it out either. 

Bioré states that you can see results after one use, which depending on your skin type and issues, this may be true. Top reviews have said that they did notice a difference after using it every day or every other day consistently for a few months, so depending on what you’re looking for this might be a great cleanser to add to your daily routine. 

If your skin is very dry naturally though, you might want to try one of the other face washes on the list, as this one can cause issues if you have extremely sensitive skin, since the charcoal is a deep cleanser. 

Pros
  • Affordable.
  • Deep cleans pores. 
Cons
  •  Can be very drying. 

Best face wash with salicylic acid

Vichy Facial Cleanser

Vichy is a well-known cosmetics brand, and their quality over the years has been affordable while staying with high quality ingredients. 

If you’re looking for a facial cleanser with salicylic acid and you have oily and/or acne-prone blemished skin, this might just be the ticket for you. Unlike most facial cleansers that leave your skin feeling dry and tight after use, Vichy has confirmed that their cleansers don’t strip the skin of its natural barriers. 

An oil free and soap free cleanser, this doesn’t dry out or remove your skins natural oils, while still targeting trouble areas and removing extra grime, dirt, oil, and cleaning out pores. It can reinforce your skins barriers, allowing for cleaner and happier skin. 

It’s hypoallergenic, tested under dermatological control, and is paraben free, fragrance free, and oil and silicone free. Vichy says that it’s good for all skin types and if you have acne prone skin, with repeated use over two months or more, you may see results of clearer and healthier skin. 

Pros
  • Works great on oily or acne-prone skin. 
Cons
  • May not be ideal for daily use. 

Best face wash for combination skin

Rocky Mountain Barber Company

Canadian made and free from harmful chemicals, the Rocky Mountain Barber Company has facial cleansers for everyone. 

Whether your skin type is oily, dry, acne prone, or any combination in between, this face wash you covered. Using only natural ingredients such as Jojoba Oil, Chamomile flower oil, Argan Oil, and Aloe Vera, your skin will be refreshed and moisturized after cleansing without feeling tight or dry and flaky. 

It’s a light foaming cleanser that works for all skin types, and according to reviews seems amazing for combination or acne prone skin. It’s completely free of SLS, DEA, and parabens, with no alcohol or fragrance either, you won’t have to worry about it reacting poorly to your skin. 

For best results, they also have a moisturizer available to user afterwards if you need extra moisture. Wet your face, apply a small dime sized amount into your hands and rub together into a lather. Apply to your face and massage in gently, then rinse and pat dry with a clean towel. It is a bit more expensive than other facial cleansers, but for the amount you need you do get a lot for your buck. 

Pros
  • Made in Canada 🍁.
  • Works for all skin types. 
Cons
  • A little pricier than other facial cleansers. 

Best face wash with micellar water

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water

If you’re looking for a readily available and relatively affordable face wash for sensitive skin, the Micellar Water Facial Cleanser by Garnier has you covered. 

Alcohol free, oil free, and fragrance free, Garnier’s Micellar Water Facial Cleanser makes sure that there are none of the common allergens or ingredients that may irritate skin or disrupt already irritated skin. It cleanses and soothes skin, while removing makeup and impurities. 

It works great for all skin types, including sensitive or combination skin that can sometimes be trickier to handle. Majority of top Amazon reviews seem more than happy with it, including a lot of sensitive skin users and others that have a hard time finding a cleanser that isn’t too drying or causes blemishes. 

Pros
  • Alcohol free.
  • Good for sensitive skin. 
Cons
  • May not remove all makeup. 

Best oil-free face wash

Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash

Available almost everywhere and with affordable price points, Neutrogena is known for their skincare and cosmetic products. This oil-free face wash is no exception to their quality. 

This face wash in particular I’m sure many users have seen on the shelves in grocery stores and drug stores alike, as it’s so easy to find compared to other facial cleansers. It’s top-rated for a reason though and holds up to that standard. 

Suited for nearly all skin types, this oil-free (and alcohol-free) face wash gets deep into pores without drying out the skin and includes soothing and conditioning ingredients that allow you to use it daily without dryness or flaking. 

Pros
  • Affordable.
  • Works well on most skin types. 
Cons
  • Can dry out some skin types. 

Best face wash with tea tree oil

Body Shop Tea Tree Cleanser

Suited for blemished, prone to blemishes or oily skin the Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash is perfect if you’re prone to any of those skin types. 

Made with Community Trade tea tree oil, this gel-based face wash is gentle enough for daily use, while tackling drying out stubborn blemishes, acne, and toning down overly oily skin, leaving clean and smooth fresh face after rinsing. 

Since it is a thicker gel-base, a little goes a long way, and it doesn’t take much to ensure a full-face lather, so a smaller sized bottle will last if you decide to try it out and like it. Instructions suggest using morning and night, and again, is perfectly safe to use every day. 

Wet your face, massage gel cleanser onto your face and neck, avoiding the eye area, rinse, and pat dry with a clean towel. It’s Parabenfree, 100% vegan, Gluten-free, and silicone-free, and the tea tree oil that is used in this facial cleanser are high quality, hand-harvested pure essential oils. The Community Trade tea tree oil comes from The Kenya Organic Oil Farmers Association. 

Pros
  • Great for blemished skin.
  • Can be used daily. 
Cons
  • Pricier. 
  • May be too drying for already dry skin. 

How we picked the best face washes

For this particular buying guide, we chose these face washes based on top Amazon reviews and took into account what users could need and look for when it comes to skincare products, including different budgets and price points. 

Frequently asked questions about face washes

How does a face wash work?  

Most cleansing products such as face wash have a surfactant, natural, or chemical compound that works to break down the skins surface and absorbs all the dirt and oils that wash away during rinsing, leaving your skin clean. 

Is a face wash worth it?  

Face washes can be worth it, especially if you have problematic skin. Finding the right one is incredibly important and can take some trial and error. 

What are the best ingredients in a face wash?  

The best ingredients in face washes are generally retinol, salicylic acid, ceramides, vitamin C, glycerin, and physical exfoliants*. Dry or sensitive skin users tend to get better results with glycerin or ceramides, while acne-prone or oily skin works best with retinol or salicylic acid. 

*Physical exfoliants can cause micro-tears in the skin and may not be suitable for those with sensitive skin.

How often should you wash your face?  

Twice a day is often the best amount to wash your face, generally speaking. Once in the morning when you wake up, and before bed. 

What are the face wash benefits? 

Benefits to washing your face and using a good facial cleanser are to get all of the grime, sweat, makeup, etc. off your skin and out of your pores. 

Is it bad to wash your face in the shower?  

No. Contrary to the myth that washing your face in the shower is bad, it can help save water and time. Just be sure that your water isn’t too hot and leave it for the last thing you do. 

DYI face wash: Can I use a homemade face wash?  

As long as you make sure that the ingredients don’t irritate your skin or are anything you’re allergic to, DIY facial cleaners are perfectly fine to use. 

Facial cleanser vs. face wash: What’s the difference?  

Facial cleansers are mild and packed full of moisturizers and other ingredients that are gentler on skin. Face washes are made to deep clean your skin more and generally comes in foam versions. 

Are face washers better than soap? 

Yes. Soap can and will clog pores or dry out skin, while face washes are meant for your sensitive skin. 

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About the author

Nikki Lyka

Nikki Lyka is a reviewer and writer at Rank-It.ca that’s written about a variety of subjects from the best fantasy novels to travel guides and blogs. When she isn’t researching and typing up a storm, she’s generally found winding down with tea, video games, practicing aerial hoop, photography, and reading good horror novels.
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