5 Best Affordable Facial Cleansers in 2024

These Affordable facial cleansers are gentle on the skin and even gentler on the pocket.

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Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist, just a skincare enthusiast. Seek professional advice if necessary

Because soaps are too alkaline and face washes too acidic, facial cleansers remain the best way to maintain your skin’s prime condition.

Consider our recommendations for the top 5 best affordable facial cleansers in 2024. These are gentle on your skin and even gentler on the pocket.

Why You Should Use a Cleanser

Skin cleansing 101: A few reasons why you should use a cleanser.

  • Cleansers remove dirt and impurities that have accumulated on your skin throughout the day. They prevent your pores from blocking, something that would otherwise cause acne.
  • Your skin naturally produces sebum oils to keep itself moisturized. But an excess of it leads to whiteheads, blackheads and clogged pores. Cleansers help remove this excess oil.
  • They create a clean canvas, preparing the skin for other products to penetrate and be absorbed effectively.
  • They balance the skin’s pH to ensure its natural protective barrier isn’t disrupted.

Best Facial Affordable Cleansers: Top 5 Picks

1. Best Overall: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

Skin: All Skin Types

Main Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, Glycerin and Ceramides

Size: 19 Ounces (560 ml)


  • Recommended by dermatologists.
  • Gentle on the skin, doesn’t irritate.
  • Fragrance-free, paraben-free and non-drying.
  • Doesn’t block pores.


  • So gentle, it doesn’t remove makeup well.

My skin is sensitive, and for some reason, I keep coming back to this cleanser especially during the winter blues. Yes, it’s that good.

Given all the years I have tortured my skin with peelings, scrubbing and questionable products, CeraVe cleanser feels heavenly. 

Its lotion-like consistency is smooth on all skin types, and I love the fact that it is fragrance-free. I mean, I wear cologne so I don’t need the extra scent.

More importantly, its ingredient combination leaves you with a moisturized, non-greasy feeling. It is gentle on the skin and doesn’t irritate, either.

After years of hopping between products, I think I finally found the one.  

PS: It doubles as a hand wash.

2. Best Budget: e.l.f. Skin Holy Hydration Daily Cleanser

e.l.f. Skin Holy Hydration Daily Cleanser

Skin: All Skin Types

Main Ingredients: Avocado Oil, Kaolin Clay, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins A, E & B5

Qty: 3.71 Ounces (110 ml)


  • Very affordable.
  • Efficient for removing makeup.
  • Has a mild, refreshing scent that’s not irritating.


  • You only get 3 ounces of product.

It’s 2024, and we are all tight on budget – at least I am.

If you want something effective that doesn’t dent your pocket, the e.l.f. Skin cleaner is an excellent choice.

Sure, you only get 3.71 ounces of product, enough to last you a month at most. But still, for the price, you can’t beat it.

It’s also crazy how well this product works. It will wipe off your makeup leaving your beautiful face with no mascara or makeup.

The e.l.f Skin Cleanser is gentle on the skin, the wallet, and the Earth.

3. Best For Dry Skin: THE Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foam Cleanser

The Face Shop Rice Water Foaming Cleanser

Skin: All Skin Types

Main Ingredients: Rice Water, Jojoba, Soap Wort

Qty: 10 ounces (300 ml)


  • Suited for all skin types.
  • Cleanses, hydrates and radiates the skin.
  • Has a delightful and refreshing scent.


  • Not very good at removing makeup.

My friends use this cleanser, and they swear by it. And if their faces are to judge from, this Korean cleanser is darn good.

The secret behind its success is the infusion of rice water extract. It cleanses the skin thoroughly and infuses a sense of illumination.

It is gentle on the skin although it’s not the best at removing makeup.

Face Shop Rice Water cleanser is suitable for all skin types but given that it hydrates and radiates the skin, we highly recommend it for those with dry skin.

It may be just what you need to be a K-Pop star.

4. Best For Oily Skin: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

IMG 20191105 171447 099

Skin: Normal, Oily skins

Main Ingredients: Salicylic acid, 

Qty: 19 Oz (562 ml)


  • Foams up nice and easily and is light on the skin.
  • Suitable for different skin types, not just oily.
  • Sufficient product to last a long time.


  • Not ideal for dry skin.

Another product from CeraVe. This time, for long-haul acne sufferers with insanely oily skin.

The cleanser is advertised for normal to oily skin. But its dominating salicylic acid makes it ideal for those with oily skin.

Salicylic acid is known to dive deep into the pores and clear excess oil from the skin. But it does so gently and un-irritatingly. Plus, the cleanser has a light and foamy texture that adds a refreshing touch to it.

You don’t need to use a lot of product, so a bottle should last you a very long time. It has no noticeable smell and gets the job done. Honestly, that’s all you need.

Best For Sensitive Skin: COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

cosrx low ph morning gel cleanser 1

Skin: Sensitive skin

Main Ingredients: BHA (Betaine Salicylate, Tea-tree oil

Qty: 13.52 oz (400 ml)


  • Calms and soothes the skin.
  • Cleanses, hydrates and radiates the skin.
  • Ideal for sensitive skin.


  • Not the best makeup remover.

You can never go wrong with Cosrx. They have something for all skin types.

Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is what you go for when you want clean, hydrated and radiant skin. 

It’s what you buy when you want a super light cleanser with a clean smell to it.

And it is what you apply when you want a hydrating and refreshing feel on your face.

Tea tree oil soothes and calms the skin, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin. It won’t strip your skin and won’t cause any breakouts either.

Cosrx advertises this cleanser as scent-free, but you may notice a mild tea-tree oil scent. The scent is clean and fresh, so no complaints from us.

What to Look For in a Facial Cleanser

Buying a facial cleanser isn’t picking the closest product on the shelf. It’s about considering crucial factors that determine its efficiency.

These are some factors to consider when purchasing your cleanser.

Skin Type & Ingredient

What’s your skin type? Is it oily like mine that shines even when I don’t apply anything?

Knowing your skin type helps identify the product to settle for. Different ingredients are suited for different skin. 

How so?

For Normal Skin

  • Aloe Vera: Helps the skin maintain its moisture.
  • Jojoba Oil: Moisturizes the skin while balancing oil production.
  • Vitamin E: Protects the skin from premature aging.

For Oily Skin

  • Salicylic Acid: Exfoliates and unclogs pores, reducing excess oil.
  • Glycolic Acid: Exfoliates and helps control oil production.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

For Dry Skin

  • Glycerin: Attracts and retains moisture, keeping the skin hydrated.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Hydrates and retains moisture in the skin.
  • Aloe Vera: Soothes and moisturizes the skin.
  • Ceramides: Help to restore and strengthen the skin barrier.

For Sensitive Skin

  • Chamomile: Has anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant qualities.
  • Cucumber Extract: Known for its calming and soothing properties.
  • Hypoallergenic Ingredients: Avoidance of potential irritants like fragrances and dyes.


Most fragrances in cleansers lead to irritation, redness and at times hives. That is why it’s always recommended to go for fragrance-free facial cleansers.

But not all fragrances have a negative impact. For instance, I love the smooth and pleasant smell of the Face Shop Rice Water Cleanser. Plus, from my experience, it’s not reactive.

The best way to ascertain whether a product’s fragrance reacts to your skin is to test it out. Apply small portions on your arm daily for a week and check for any reactions.


Facial cleansers come in various textures which affect the overall experience of the product.

There are gel cleansers, cream cleansers, foaming cleansers, oil cleansers and micellar water among others.

The choice to settle for will depend on your skin type and preference.


Cleansers aren’t the most expensive products out there. Even premium products are still manageable.

But cost still remains a determining factor when making your purchase. Most high-end products will be in the range of $50 while the affordable ones are under $10. 

Of course, the difference is in the quality and quantity.

There you have it – the best affordable facial cleansers for different skin types. The decision is now yours. What are you getting?


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