14 Best Gel Cleansers For Every Skin Type – Top Picks Of 2022

Written by Shiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach
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A gel cleanser is the best option if you want a gentle cleanser that revitalizes your skin. That’s why we say that choosing the best gel cleansers for your skin will help you maintain a healthy skincare routine too. The secret is in their gel formula, which melts when it comes into your skin’s contact, cleansing it thoroughly without irritating the dermis. Its mild texture also makes it great for eliminating excess oil and unclogging pores without leaving any dulling residues.

Feel free to navigate through our list of the finest gel cleansers for all types of skin that would leave your skin looking fresh and oil-free.

Benefits Of Using A Gel Cleanser On Your Face

  1. Deep Cleansing: The non-stripping action of gel cleansers ensures the natural moisture balance of the skin is maintained while it thoroughly cleansing your skin of dirt, impurities, and excess oil. The mild and gentle formula does not irritate the skin while unclogging pores and exfoliating the dead skin cells.
  2. Fights Acne: Many gel cleansers have antibacterial and antiseptic properties that combat acne and prevent future breakouts. Since they have mild formulas, they are gentle on sensitive skin and do not cause any irritation.
  3. Moisturizing And Calming: Gel cleansers moisturize the skin, easy to rinse off, and do not cause any irritation. They also minimize redness and inflammation.

Apart from these benefits, gel cleansers help in sebum control and gentle exfoliation to brighten your skin tone while keeping it soft and smooth.

Let us check out the 14 best gel cleansers available right now.

Top 10 ProductsCheck Price
Best Hydrating:Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing GelPrice on Amazon
Best For Acne-Prone Skin:La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser Price on Amazon
Best Lightweight:Dermalogica Special Cleansing GelPrice on Amazon
Best For Skin Brightening:Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing GelPrice on Amazon
Best Non-Dryingr:Honest Beauty Gentle Gel CleanserPrice on Amazon
Best For Sensitive Skin:Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance Cleansing GelPrice on Amazon
Best For Oily Skin:Obagi Nu-Derm Foaming GelPrice on Amazon
Best Vegan:Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly CleanserPrice on Amazon
Best Anti-Aging:Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing GelPrice on Amazon
Best Fragrance-Free:L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Cleansing GelPrice on Amazon

14 Best Gel Cleansers Available Right Now

1. Best Hydrating:Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel

The quick-foaming Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel is formulated with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture while leaving the skin refreshed and clean. This lightweight gel is easy to use and creates a soft lather that cleanses dirt, grime, and acne-causing bacteria without stripping away your skin’s natural oils. In addition, it effectively clears away all makeup residue to keep your pores unclogged. This daily cleanser can be used morning and night to keep the skin supple and hydrated. For more information about the product, click this video.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Soap-free
  • Oil-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Strong fragrance

2. Best For Acne-Prone Skin:La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser 

The micro-exfoliating La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser is formulated with 2% salicylic acid to minimize surface oil that is the cause of acne breakouts, pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. The presence of lipo hydroxy acid in this facial cleanser offers precise cell-by-cell exfoliation of dirt and grime from areas prone to oil accumulation. This AM/PM non-comedogenic cleanser can combat acne breakouts for a smooth and even skin tone. Check this video to learn more about the product.

Key Ingredients: Lipo hydroxy acid and Salicylic acid

Pros

  • Fights acne
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Fragrance-free
  • Allergy-tested
  • Oil-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • May dry out the skin

3. Best Lightweight:Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel

The calming Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel is made of naturally foaming Quillaja saponaria that gently clears away dirt and toxins from your skin to leave it silky smooth. It is also enriched with balm mint and lavender extracts to soothe the irritation and inflammation caused due to acne. This lightweight cleanser has a refreshing lather that does not harm your skin’s natural moisture barrier and has no drying effects. It is gentle enough for everyday use to purify the skin and improve skin health.

Key Ingredients: Quillaja Saponaria, Balm mint, and Lavender

Pros

  • Soothes the skin
  • Soap-free
  • Lightweight
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • May cause redness

4. Best For Skin Brightening:Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel

The non-foaming Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel is packed with papaya and grapefruit extracts. These fruit extracts contain exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acids that prevent the build up of surface impurities. It effectively removes dirt, makeup, and excess oil to rejuvenate and revitalize the complexion. This oil-free formula can be used twice daily to keep your skin smooth and bright while combating acne breakouts and blackheads.

Key Ingredients: Papaya and Grapefruit extracts

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Non-drying
  • Brightens the skin

Cons

  • Strong fragrance

5. Best Non-Dryingr:Honest Beauty Gentle Gel Cleanser

The gentle Honest Beauty Gentle Gel Cleanser is infused with yuca root to remove impurities from the skin without drying it out. This morning-evening skin care treatment is a blend of soothing botanicals like chamomile and calendula to calm and irritation and inflammation. It refreshes the skin while opening and cleansing the pores to minimize acne breakouts, blackheads, and pimples. Its lightweight gel formula is suitable for all skin types.

Key Ingredient: Yuca root, Chamomile, and Calendula

Pros

  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gentle formula
  • Non-drying
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • SLS-free
  • Dye-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Strong fragrance

6. Best For Sensitive Skin:Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel

The hypoallergenic Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel is enriched with Avène thermal spring water that offers soothing and anti-irritating properties. This multi-tasking cleanser can be used on the face and body to eliminate impurities without stripping away your skin’s natural oils and moisture. It is infused with zinc gluconate and patented monolaurin to deliver anti-inflammatory and sebum-regulatory benefits. Its ingredients combat acne breakouts while delivering a purifying and refreshing cleansing experience.

Key Ingredient: Avène thermal spring water, Zinc gluconate, and Monolaurin

Pros

  • Controls oil production
  • Fights inflammation
  • Does not cause irritation
  • Combats acne
  • Paraben-free
  • Soap-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Alcohol-free

Cons

None

7. Best For Oily Skin:Obagi Nu-Derm Foaming Gel

The Obagi Nu-Derm Foaming Gel deeply cleanses clogged pores while removing dirt, makeup, and excess oil from your skin. It is enriched with aloe vera to offer antioxidant and soothing properties to brighten your complexion, revealing healthy and younger-looking skin. Oat amino acids are naturally derived water-binding agents that retain moisture while softening and conditioning your skin.

Key Ingredients: Oat amino acids and Aloe vera

Pros

  • Brightens the skin
  • Gentle formula
  • Fights the signs of aging

Cons

  • Contains parabens

8. Best Vegan:Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

The non-stripping Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser is enriched with makeup-dissolving emollients and gentle coconut-based surfactants that are rich in fatty acids that create a rich lather to cleanse the skin deeply. It is enriched with glycerin to boost hydration levels that may be depleted during cleansing. Cantaloupe extract and virgin marula oil are high in antioxidants and omega fatty acids to nourish and soothe your skin. This purifying cleanser has a pH of 6.1 to maintain your skin’s natural moisture barrier without leaving any residue.

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Cantaloupe extract, and Virgin marula oil

Pros

  • No residue
  • Balances the skin’s pH
  • SLS-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Essential oil-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan
  • Silicone-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Dye-free

Cons

None

9. Best Anti-Aging:Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel

The unique exfoliating and cleansing action of the Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel helps combat signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. It is formulated with glycolic and salicylic acids to chemically exfoliate your skin, cleanse clogged pores, reduce oil, and dissolve makeup. White oak bark extract is included in this anti-aging formula to brighten and clarify your skin to give it a revitalized and youthful appearance.

Key Ingredients: Glycolic acid, Salicylic acid, and White oak bark extract

Pros

  • Fights the signs of aging
  • Exfoliates the skin
  • Just a little product required per use

Cons

None

10. Best Fragrance-Free:L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Cleansing Gel

The non-drying formula of the L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Cleansing Gel is fortified with 3.5% pure glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and aloe extract to gently dissolve surface impurities or dead skin cells. This daily-use cleansing gel minimizes enlarged pores and gives your skin a smoother and brighter look while preparing it for serum application. It has a gently foaming action and is further enriched with menthol for a refreshed and clean feeling.

Key Ingredient: Glycolic acid, Salicylic acid, Aloe extract, and Menthol

Pros

  • Non-drying
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Allergy-tested
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Dye-free
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • Strong menthol fragrance

11. Best For Even Skin Tone:RoC Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Gel Cleanser

The invigorating RoC Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Gel Cleanser offers instant action that dissolves daily impurities to reveal a brighter complexion with a radiant glow. This clinically tested formula is enriched with glycolic acid and vitamin C to exfoliate skin-dulling impurities and reveal an even skin tone. This citrus-scented cleansing gel smoothens rough patches, reduces discoloration, and maintains the natural skin moisture balance. It combats the signs of aging by tightening your skin and giving it a youthful appearance.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C and Glycolic acid

Pros

  • Fights the signs of aging
  • Clinically tested
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

12. Best Oil-Free:Glytone Mild Gel Cleanser

The rejuvenating Glytone Mild Gel Cleanser is formulated with a 4.7 free acid value of glycolic acid to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and thoroughly cleanse the skin of makeup and impurities. This non-comedogenic cleanser unclogs blocked pores and minimizes blackheads to leave the skin feeling smooth and soft. It is enriched with a blend of moisturizing and conditioning agents that protect your skin from irritation while strengthening its moisture barrier. It visibly reduces signs of premature aging by smoothening away fine lines and wrinkles.

Key Ingredient: Glycolic acid

Pros

  • Fights the signs of aging
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • Leaves a residue

13. Best Nourishing Formula:Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel

The botanical amino acids in the Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel remove impurities, dirt, and debris while balancing your skin’s moisture barrier without stripping away its natural oils. This gentle sulfate-free cleanser contains nourishing ingredients like a green tree, jojoba, and rosemary that combat free radical damage and soothe the skin irritation caused by acne or inflammation. The inclusion of hydrangea leaf in the cleanser purifies the skin and minimizes the appearance of open pores.

Key Ingredients: Green tree, Jojoba, Rosemary, and Hydrangea leaf

Pros

  • Unclogs pores
  • Non-drying
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Sulfate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Preservative-free
  • Color-free
  • Artificial fragrance-free

Cons

  • Does not lather well

14. Best Non-Comedogenic:Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser

The Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser is made from powerful botanical extracts, including willow bark, date fruit, lavender, and marshmallow root that blend together to effectively cleanse your skin of harmful bacteria, dead skin cells, excess oil, and impurities. This refreshing cleanser is enriched with menthol and orange fruit extract to soothe irritated skin without stripping away its natural oils or drying it out.

Key Ingredients: Willow bark, Date fruit, Lavender, Marshmallow root, Menthol, and Orange fruit

Pros

  • Natural ingredients
  • Removes excess oils
  • Exfoliates the skin
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

None

Now, let us understand how you can choose the best gel cleanser for your skin’s needs.

How To Choose The Best Gel Cleanser

Before you choose your gel cleanser, it is important to keep some factors in mind:

  • Look for gentle and soothing ingredients.
  • Choose cleansers that have natural and organic ingredients and ones that are sulfate-free.
  • Exfoliating cleansers deeply cleanse the skin of dead skin cells and impurities.
  • Steer clear of harmful chemicals and toxins.

Now, let’s talk about how to use a gel cleanser to get the results.

How To Use A Gel Cleanser To Maximize Its Effectiveness

To maximize the effectiveness of gel cleansers, it is essential to follow certain steps in your cleansing routine.

  1. Wash your face with lukewarm water. It is important to have the water at the right temperature to open your pores without harming the skin surface. If the water is too hot, it will damage the skin cells.
  2. Take a pea-sized amount of the gel cleanser onto your finger and gently massage it onto your face using circular motions. Start from the center of your face and then move to the sides. Pay particular attention to the T-zone as this is where oil and dirt accumulate.
  3. Rinse off the cleanser with water. The last rinse should be with room-temperature or cold water to close the pores.
  4. The effectiveness of a gel cleanser can be further increased by following up with micellar water or facial toner. These don’t need to be rinsed off, so they form a protective barrier on the skin.

A gel cleanser offers a refreshing cleansing solution for all your skin care concerns. With this product in your beauty arsenal, you are all set to face the dirt and grime that the world may throw at you. So, step out with the confidence of knowing that you have a product that will get rid of everyday pollutants, makeup, and excess oil in seconds. Go ahead and choose one from our list of the best gel cleansers for all skin types that will clear your skin of all impurities.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Shiboli Chakraborti, the author of this article, is a certified skin care coach. She likes to learn more about the latest trends in the world of skin care. She researched the ingredients used to formulate the best gel cleansers for women and went through hundreds of user reviews on trusted online platforms to prepare this list. These cleansers help clear excess oil and unclog the pores.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gel cleanser vs. foam cleanser – which is better?

Gel cleansers have a gel-like consistency, whereas a foam cleanser has an airy and soapy texture. A foaming face wash may remove dirt, impurities, and makeup effectively but can be harsh on the skin. Gel cleansers maintain cleanse the skin gently.

Are gel cleansers good?

Gel cleansers are definitely good for the skin as they cause relatively no irritation as compared to foaming face washes. They are especially good for unclogging pores and removing acne-causing bacteria from the skin surface. They may even offer exfoliating and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Are gel cleansers good for dry skin?

Gel cleansers offer high levels of hydration, making them good for dry skin. They are formulated to cleanse the skin of impurities without stripping away natural oils.

Can I use a cleansing gel every day?

Yes, you can use a cleansing gel every day. It is essential to wash your face, especially at the end of the day, to get rid of makeup residue and daily impurities. If you have combination or oily skin, it is recommended to wash your face twice daily. Those with dry skin may just need to wash it at night.

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