5 budget-friendly cleansers perfect for dry, sensitive skin

Having combination and sensitive skin can be a nightmare. Made all the worse because we're staying indoors for at least 21 hours a day as we flatten the curve and fight the pandemic. Our skin is dryer, certainly more prone to sensitivity than it might have been, especially now that a combination of changing weather and COVID-19. 

Happily, you don't have to spend a fortune on a really effective cleanser. Five of my favourites are below – remember to give your skin some extra TLC while not overly washing your face more than you would normally – stick to your routine. Twice a day is still more than enough, just add in a mask every few days for an extra boost of hydration.

I have both combination and dry skin and I'm trying to battle acne and scarring as well so I have to be doubly careful what I use as a daily cleanser. Anything harsh causes a red rash on both cheeks and then causes my pores to block so I go for a 'no fuss' cleanser.

I'm not looking for bells and whistles; just one that leaves my sensitive skin squeaky clean, soft and rash free - as I rule, I also never use a foaming option, these only contain foaming agents which will invariably always cause a reaction - and here are five favourite, each tried-and-tested:


Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, €39

I'm a newbie to the Pai range which so many have sworn by. And their cleanser is the only thing that has managed to get my redness down. It's gentle enough to use on all skin types, twice a day, even if you're hypersensitive, and is free from frequent sensitivity triggers such as alcohol, witch hazel and menthol. Skin is left supple and super soft after use.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, €30

You can't go wrong with a good balm. This is one of Clinique's hero products for a very good reason. For those that aren't fond of cleansing cream, this balm is perfect, but don't worry, you won't be left with an oily face; though it looks like a thick, heavy wax in the jar, it's actually so lightweight, you'll barely feel it when applied. It's also non-greasy and after use, every speck of makeup will be no more. Fragrance-free, mineral-free and suitable for all skin types, this is a gem of a product for those with even hypersensitive skin.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, €10.99 (approx)



This was recommended to me by a dermatologist due to its Hyaluronic acid content – it's this that helps the skin retain moisture. It's incredibly gentle and non-foaming which I love, and cleanses the skin while removing all traces of dirt and makeup. Simple, effective, fuss-free and a bargain buy.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser, €7.20


The gentle cleanser starts off as a balm but quickly melts into an oil-like consistency once warmed between the hands, melting away makeup and impurities with. Deeply hydrating, luxurious and non-irritating. The oil-like consistency is especially great for skin on the dry side.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, €18


I love a milk-based cleanser and Glossier skincare's Milky Jelly Cleanser is among the best I've used. It leaves no trace of makeup (eye included – every trace is gone which is a rarity) and skin is hydrated and silky smooth the next day. Gentle and suitable for all skin types.

Main photo via Jason Lloyd-Evans

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