If anyone asks me what my skin type is, I tend to say dehydrated. Because, let's be real, it’s dry. So dry, in fact, that it drinks up moisture in the same way that I do after a 30-minute HIIT class. The fact that it develops a sheen throughout the day that could lead you to believe that I have oily skin, or at least combination? Well, that points to the fact that my skin is actually overproducing sebum because of the lack of moisture.
To add insult to injury, I also get bouts of eczema on my face and neck. So during flare-ups, I have to keep all of my product choices as moisturising as possible to make sure that I don’t aggravate my skin barrier further. Enter the cream cleanser.
The only problem is, when it comes to cleansing, a creamy cleanser just doesn't seem like it will be all that effective, does it? To me, it's a bit like using a conditioner to clean your hair or a hand lotion to wash your hands. It just shouldn't work. Thankfully, though, I have tried a lot of cream cleansers and have found that good ones can act as the perfect skin-refreshing morning cleanse or as a skin-nourishing second cleanse at night, especially after a gel or foaming formulation, which can often leave my complexion feeling parched.
Ahead, keep scrolling for the 10 best cream cleansers for dry skin—tried and tested by me.
This is the cream cleanser I turn to whenever my eczema flares up because it’s just so soothing. The gentle formula is actually great for acne-prone skin too, or if you’ve been using drying spot treatments, thanks to its skin-calming results.
This is a cult skincare product for a reason—it contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help the skin retain moisture and keep it feeling comfortable all day. The texture itself is like a gel-cream, so it's not too thick or too runny, either. It's just right.
The texture of this cleanser is so silky-soft that it’s almost meditative to apply. It contains aloe vera and chamomile to calm skin and rose and avocado to soften.
This cream cleanser contains natural milk proteins, manuka honey, avocado and jojoba oil for gentle cleansing while keeping your skin feeling soft and hydrated.
The whole Evercalm range from Ren is great for sensitive skin that’s very reactive. This cleanser is free from allergens and fragrance so you can trust it to clean skin while keeping things soothed.
This milky cleanser is rich in antioxidants to protect irritable skin and contains glycerin to lock moisture in. I love how it keeps your skin feeling soft and bouncy as it dries.
Admittedly, the ingredients in this sound a bit like a breakfast menu—an oat milk base and a good helping of probiotic coconut yogurt—but they are ace at cleansing the skin. The oat helps to lift dirt and makeup while the yogurt aids in soothing redness.
This is a gel-cream hybrid cleanser that melts straight into dry skin. Once you add water and it emulsifies, you end up with a soothing, milky texture that feels so calming and works for taking off eye makeup too.
Dry complexions that are also prone to breakouts will love this cream cleanser. It contains activated charcoal as a key ingredient to help detoxify and decongest without stripping moisture—an excellent pick for blemish-prone skin.
Over time, this soothing cleanser actually aids in repairing and smoothing the texture of your skin. When I’m left with any rough patches post–eczema flare-up, this cleanser has helped to get my skin feeling good again sharpish.
The vegan milks combined with olive-derived oils in this creamy cleanser help to improve skin’s moisture retention for long-term softness. The texture, which froths when it comes into contact with water, leaves skin feeling super clean, but it's free from sulphates, so your skin never feels tight after use.