The last thing that dry skin needs is a foaming cleanser that leaves skin feeling squeaky clean but stripped of natural moisture, exacerbating that tight post-shower feeling. We’ve been testing the best rich, creamy cleansers that remove the day’s dirt from pores while strengthening and moisturising skin. 

These are all designed to be used as the second stage in a two-part cleanse. Apply after using an oil cleanser to remove your make-up.

1. Ultra facial cleanser: £16.50 for 75ml, Kiehl’s 

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser is a perennial favourite for the fuss-free way it dissolves excess oil and dirt without stripping moisture. It has a light lather, and squalene, apricot oil, vitamin E and avocado oil keep dry skin comfortable and protected.

Buy now

2. Lipid-replenishing cream wash: £8.50 for 200ml, La Roche-Posay 

The glycerin and shea butter in La Roche-Posay’s cream wash nourish while niacinamide strengthens the skin’s barrier. It is also extremely gentle, being soap-, fragrance- and paraben-free. Our tester found it relieved tight, uncomfortable skin and didn’t irritate her usually sensitive and redness-prone cheeks.

Buy now

3. Indie Lee rosehip cleanser: £30 for 120ml, A Beautiful World

The rosehip oil in this cleanser from the eco-chic brand is a powerhouse of vitamins A, C and E, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that hydrate dry skin and correct redness, all with no chemical nasties, making it perfect for sensitive skin or those with rosacea.

Buy now

4. This Works light time cleanse & glow: £27 for 75ml, Look Fantastic

Vitamic C, E and jojoba enliven and plump dull, tired skin, while the nourishing, creamy formula dissolves grime. Far from just cleaning skin, our tester found that it left skin noticeably softer and more elastic with continued use.

Buy now

5. Aromatherapy Associates hydrating renewing rose cleanser: £25.75, Feel Unique 

For those who favour the scented luxury of a spa brand, this light, easily spreadable cleanser has a lovely rose scent and boasts jojoba and geranium oils to moisturise while dissolving dirt. Our tester found she got several compliments for her healthy, radiant complexion.

Buy now

6. Zelens Z pure cleansing liquid balm: £50 for 125ml, Look Fantastic

Zelens’ milky cleanser has the same tea-like scent and leaves skin moisturised, plumped and radiant immediately after use. Our tester found her usually temperamental skin calm and clear after two weeks’ use.

Buy now

7. Josh Rosebrook complete moisture cleanse: £59.95 for 120ml, A Beautiful World

Handmade in small batches with the highest quality natural ingredients, all of LA-based hair and skincare guru Josh Rosebrook’s products are free from parabens, sulfates, synthetic ingredients, preservatives and fragrances. This slightly sticky, gel-like formula washes away grime, with healing and calming honey and aloe vera, and moisturising and softening argan and jojoba oils, plus detoxifying liquorice that leaves a slight scent of aniseed.

Buy now

8. Tata Harper refreshing cleanser: £70 for 125ml, Cult Beauty 

For sensitive skins, Tata Harper’s grapefruit-scented cleanser uses pink clay to draw out impurities, willow bark (a natural source of salicylic acid) to sweep away dead skin cells and aloe vera to soothe and repair. Yes, it’s an insane amount of money, but if you can afford it then more power to you.

Buy now

The Verdict 

For its mid-range price and fuss-free results, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser does the job without stripping the skin’s natural moisture, leaving it soft, plump and comfortable.

Follow IndyBest on Twitter and Pinterest

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.