PUBLISHED: 10/10/2017 | LAST UPDATED: 01/17/2020
Organic facial cleansers are great additions to any skin care routine. The skin is the largest organ in the body and it absorbs a large amount of the chemicals that we apply to it on a daily basis. Therefore, it’s generally not a good idea to put anything on your that you wouldn’t put in your mouth. Organic cleansers leverage the power of nature’s most potent fruits, vegetables, herbs, and clays in order to dramatically cleanse, repair, and nourish the skin—without using gnarly chemicals. Additionally, natural cleansers can be just as effective as their traditional counterparts (some even do an amazing job at removing super heavy makeup), so you don’t have to make any tradeoffs for effectiveness. Whether you have dry, sensitive, acne-prone, aging, oily, or normal skin, there is an organic face wash out there that’s sure to work wonders for your skin.
There are many kinds of face washes and cleansers on the market—each crafted for a different skin type. Most organic cleansers can generally be bucketed into two categories: foaming vs non-foaming cleansers. Foaming cleansers contain surfactants and natural foaming agents that work themselves into a lather to break apart dirt, oil, and impurities. Non-foaming cleansers do not create a soapy-lather and come in a variety of forms including oils, creams, and micellar water. Conventional wisdom claims that foaming face cleansers are bad for dry skin types because the suds strip away your skin’s natural oils; however, many modern organic cleansers use soaps made from vegetable oils (like coconut, jojoba, and sunflower) which can actually add moisture to the skin. With all this jargon, choosing the right cleanser for your skin type can be tricky. Check out our short guide on Choosing the Best Organic Face Wash for Your Skin Type at the end of this page for some tips. Still need help choosing the best organic skin care products for your skin? Then, check out The Ox Box! Each quarter, we’ll put together a box filled with premium organic skin care products hand-selected for your specific skin type and skin conditions.
While organic face washes may be better for your skin’s overall health, organic products are not created equal. Many cleansers sold today are filled with cheap preservatives and harsh soaps that can actually irritate your skin and exacerbate existing issues. Some cleansers that are branded as “organic” may actually contain cheap fillers and very little organic material. Others make wild claims about their results—all while overcharging for common and inexpensive organic ingredients. We tirelessly researched hundreds of organic brands, their claims, ingredients and their products to create this list of over 40 (actually) organic face washes. At the very minimum, the organic cleaners on this list will not include any ingredients from the “dirty dozen” like Sulfates, Parabens, Phthalates, Petrochemicals + Mineral Oils, Synthetic Fragrances + Dyes, PEG compounds, and Ethoxylated Ingredients. Additionally, all organic cleansers on this list are made with high-quality organic + natural ingredients, contain no harsh soaps, and have a track record of satisfied customer reviews from across the web. These are truly some of the best of the best organic face washes we could find—Enjoy!
which organic cleanser is best for your skin type?
There are many different kind of organic face washes on the market–each crafted for a specific skin condition. There are gel cleansers, cream cleansers, clay cleansers, foaming cleansers, non-foaming cleansers, oil cleansers, micellar cleansers, and bar cleansers (just to name a few!). With so much to choose from, here’s a quick and handy guide to selecting the best organic face wash for your skin type.
Generally speaking, the best organic cleansers for dry skin are non-foaming cleansers. Non-foaming cleansers do not contain soaps which may strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead, they are packed with moisturizing ingredients and emollients that leave your skin very hydrated. Look for organic cleansers that contain hydrating oils (like coconut, sunflower, argan), honey, hyaluronic acid, exfoliants (to help clear way flakey/dead skin), and aloe vera.
Sensitive skin simply refers to skin that is currently or can be easily irritated. Sensitive skin can include rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, or simply skin that doesn’t react well to most products. The best organic cleansers for sensitive skin are non-foaming and contain gentle ingredients like lavender, aloe vera, chamomile, calendula, jojoba oil, shea butter, borage seed oil, and sunflower oil to name a few. Avoid alcohols, foaming cleansers, and anything with strong chemical exfoliants.
Normal and combination skin types can generally find both non-foaming and foaming cleansers to be effective. Great ingredients for normal/combo skin include vitamin C (sun protection), antioxidants (slow down the visible signs of aging), clays (help keep pores clear), and natural oils for moisture.
The best organic cleansers for oily skin types are foaming cleansers. These cleansers are much stronger at removing oil, makeup, and dirt than their non-foaming counterparts. Additionally, oily skin types should look for cleansers that contain clay, citrus fruits, oils that balance sebum production like jojoba oil.
Both foaming and non-foaming organic cleansers will work for acne-prone skin—depending on whether you suffer from dry skin acne or oily skin acne. Acne-prone skin types should look for organic face washes that contain bacteria fighting ingredients like tea tree oil, honey, willowbark, clays (bentonite and kaolin clays), green tea, probiotics, and rose oil.
Mature and aging skin lacks moisture and elasticity, which causes wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines. Mature skin types will benefit from highly moisturizing non-foaming cleansers that are packed with antioxidants. Deep cleanses and exfoliators are also great for mature skin as they help to speed up our natural cell turnover rate.