The 5 Best Face Washes To Use With Retin A


If your persistent acne calls for the use of prescription strength retinoid like Retin-A — a topical medication that comes in both gel and cream form — it can be hard to tweak your skin care routine to address any irritation induced by those derm-approved products. The best face washes to use with Retin-A, for instance, are gentle, non-medicated, and hydrating. They work to balance out the unwanted symptoms associated with Retin-A (like dryness, redness, etc.) so that the medication can clear your acne without causing any unnecessary skin damage.

If you're unsure where to start re: face washes and your prescription acne treatment, take the advice of board-certified dermatologist and CEO and founder of Curology Dr. David Lortscher. When asked about the kinds of face washes Retin-A users should seek out, he gave Bustle the lowdown on what not to do. He said, "Avoid cleansers with any harsh exfoliating or drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, BHA [salicylic acid], AHA [glycolic acid or lactic acid], and physical exfoliators such as rotating brushes until skin has fully adjusted to the treatment."

Instead, Dr. Lortscher obviously recommends using gentle and hydrating formulas since "dry skin may have a weakened barrier and becomes more easily irritated and inflamed by products." You want to nourish your skin and use the right cleanser with Retin-A in order to minimize the chance of bacterial growth (aka more acne).

Need some ideas that fit Dr. Lortscher's recommendations? Below, find five super gentle face washes that won't aggravate your medicated skin — or cause more pimples.


The Best Gentle, Everyday Gel Cleanser For All Skin Types

If you want a reliable, everyday cleanser that works perfectly with your Retin-A treatment, try La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Face Wash Cleanser. It's a non-irritating, oil- and soap-free gel that — thanks to thermal water, ceramides, niacinamide, and glycerin — hydrates the skin and keeps it balanced as it rinses away impurities. No matter what acne treatment symptoms you experience, this cleanser is the best overall choice for all skin types.


The Best Micellar Water Cleanser From A Cult-Favorite French Pharmacy Brand

A micellar water, like the highly-rated Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water, is super gentle on skin — but still manages to remove dirt and makeup with ease. It's safe to use multiple times per day and won't strip the skin of its protective lipid barriers. The highly effective Sensibio formula is made for sensitive skin, meaning it's fragrance- and oil-free. Bonus: This cult-favorite wash can double as a non-irritating eye makeup remover!


The Best Cleansing Oil For A Deep, But Non-Drying Clean

Because Retin-A often causes severe dryness and general skin irritation, there's no better time to swap your soapy cleanser for a soothing oil like DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil. This face washes' main ingredient is olive oil, and when combined with water, it beautifully cleans the skin. Expect the ultra-hydrating formula to remove everything from dirt and oil to waterproof makeup — all without clogging your pores or causing further dryness.


The Best Gentle Cleansing Wipes For On The Go

Wipes are the easiest way to wash your face on the go, but truthfully, they aren't always the most skin-friendly. First Aid Beauty's Gentle Cleansing Wipes are, however. They're free of drying alcohols, fragrances, and other harsh ingredients, so they're perfect for sensitive, treated skin. What's their secret? These wipes are soaked with First Aid Beauty's patented antioxidant boost formula — which contains licorice root, feverfew and white tea extracts — and skin-calming ingredients like chamomile, aloe, and bisabolol. Keep them in your bag, and you'll be ready for a quick-but-soothing wash anytime, anywhere.


The Best Natural Cleansing Milk For All Skin Types, Particularly Sensitive

To keep your skin calm and further reduce any hyper-pigmentation, try Avalon Organics Intense Defense Cleansing Milk. Costing just $12, it's a soap-free, all-natural milk cleanser loaded with skin-boosting antioxidants like vitamin C, lemon bioflavonoids, and white tea. Like others before it, this wash doesn't have any harsh ingredients or fragrances — though it will expertly brighten your complexion by sloughing away dirt, oil, and impurities.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.