People with psoriasis know that red, itchy, scaly patches commonly show up on their arms, legs, and elbows. It’s a bit of a hassle trying to eliminate and cover them up, but a nice topical cream and a comfy long-sleeved sweater usually do the trick.
Now, imagine the discomfort and self-consciousness of getting those dry patches on your face. Facial psoriasis is a lot more difficult to hide and even treat than other types of psoriasis, since the skin on your face is sensitive as it is.
But with the best face wash for psoriasis under your belt, you can avoid those unbearably itchy—and sometimes painful—flare-ups and go back to smooth, moisturized skin. All you need is a skin-safe formula, soothing ingredients, and some gentle pampering to help your skin calm down.
Here’s a rundown of some of the best facial cleansers you can use if you suffer from facial psoriasis.
Table of Contents
- Best Face Wash for Psoriasis Reviews
- 1. CeraVe Psoriasis Cleanser
- 2. Honeyskin Face and Body Cleanser
- 3. Cetaphil Pro RestoraDerm Soothing Wash
- 4. Era Organics Natural Face Cleanser
- 5. Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
- 6. Emilia Face Salt Cleanser
- 7. Cetaphil Foaming Face Wash
- 8. Keys Island Rx Facial Cleanser
- 9. Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
- 10. Dr. Witch Essential Facial Cleanser
- What to Look for When Buying Face Wash for Psoriasis
- How Can I Get Rid of Psoriasis on Face
Best Face Wash for Psoriasis Reviews
1. CeraVe Psoriasis Cleanser
CeraVe prides itself on being one of the most-recommended skincare brands by dermatologists, and for a good reason. The brand is known to create formulas specifically designed for sensitive skin conditions, like those with facial psoriasis.
This psoriasis cleanser is medicated with 2% salicylic acid, which helps relieve inflammation and irritation in psoriasis plaques. It is paired with lactic acid, an AHA that gently exfoliates the dry, scaly skin off so that you can renew your skin and make it smooth and clear again.
To moisturize the skin, it has essential ceramides and urea. These nourish the skin deeply to bring hydration back into your dry, scaly patches. The formula also contains niacinamide, a derivative of vitamin B3 that calms the skin.
All in all, this cleanser provides fast relief from bothersome psoriasis symptoms, from mild flaking to distractingly painful peeling. It turns your rough, cracked plaques into smooth and soft skin.
This cleanser is also quite versatile. Because of its gentle formula, it can be used all over the body. It’s a fantastic option for those with psoriasis on other parts of the body too, like the arms.
2. Honeyskin Face and Body Cleanser
If you want to try a more natural option for your face cleanser, one with amazing ingredients tailor-fit for psoriasis is this one by Honeyskin. It has a multitude of organic oils and humectants that not only moisturize the skin but minimize troublesome psoriasis symptoms too.
First, we have manuka honey, which is Honeyskin’s specialty. This honey is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which means it can effectively and quickly soothe any pain or itching from your flare-ups. It can also heal and repair any scratches or wounds you may have on the skin.
It also contains coconut oil, a rich and gorgeously thick oil known to penetrate deep into the skin to nourish it deeply, so you can have soft skin. It’s also known to reduce wrinkles, which is never a bad idea when it comes to skincare.
Lastly, this cleanser also contains aloe vera. This humectant is amazing at drawing hydration into the skin. It also contains vitamins B, C, and E to strengthen the skin and calm irritation.
This cleanser’s formula is very gentle. It doesn’t contain any fragrance, parabens, sulfates, gluten, and other potentially harsh ingredients that can strip the skin of moisture. That makes it perfect for delicate skin with psoriasis.
3. Cetaphil Pro RestoraDerm Soothing Wash
Another brand so many people trust over decades for skin concerns like psoriasis and eczema is Cetaphil. One of their lines curated specifically for people with these illnesses is the Pro RestoraDerm line, where they include this soothing wash.
This facial wash is known for cleansing the skin thoroughly to get rid of any excess sweat and oil on the skin while moisturizing it richly. It also soothes very dry and irritated skin, like the plaques you get when you have a psoriasis flare-up.
It contains many rich ingredients, like glycerin, shea butter, and sunflower seed oil. This combination of lightly hydrating humectants and deeply nourishing emollients to seal all the moisture in makes sure your skin is left soft to the touch.
The formula is made with Fillagrin complex, which allows the skin to retain all the moisture from the other ingredients for a longer time. It also doesn’t have any fragrances or parabens that are unnecessary to cleansers and can even be irritating to the skin.
Unlike other very gentle formulations, this face wash lathers up very nicely with just a small amount. It creates bubbly suds that make for a satisfying cleansing experience.
4. Era Organics Natural Face Cleanser
Caring for psoriasis isn’t just about soothing and moisturizing—it’s about restoring the natural skin health too. Era Organics’ cleanser does all three with a gentle formulation.
This cleanser balances the skin’s pH, restoring it to an optimal, healthy state. When the skin is too acidic or alkaline, it’s more prone to inflammation and irritation, so neutralizing the pH is key in keeping psoriasis at bay.
It contains aloe vera and glycerin, which are humectants that hydrate the skin lightly to make sure it’s soft and plump. Manuka honey moisturizes the skin too. Its antioxidant properties also protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental stressors.
A unique ingredient this cleaner boasts of is cehami extract, an exotic Australian flower. Cehami is proven to be up to three times more effective than the common analgesic (Aspirin), so it does wonders for irritation and itching due to psoriasis.
This cleanser is made with a hypoallergenic formula to make sure it’s safe to use by all skin types, especially sensitive ones. It doesn’t contain fragrance, sulfates, and parabens that can cause a negative reaction on the skin.
5. Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
If you have facial psoriasis, chances are you try to stay away from products with any potentially irritating ingredients, like parabens, fragrance, and sulfates. But it can be quite hard to find a formula that is mild and basic but can still thoroughly wash the skin. Luckily, Vanicream has this gentle cleanser.
This face wash is able to remove dirt, oil, and even makeup left over on the skin without drying it out. In fact, it has glycerin, a humectant known to lightly hydrate the skin and soothe inflammation and itching due to psoriasis.
This is an ultra-gentle formula that doesn’t contain any potentially harmful ingredients. It has no sulfates, dyes, fragrance, parabens, lanolin, formaldehyde, and harsh preservatives. It’s also oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t cause acne and blackheads.
This cleanser is so apt for sensitive skin conditions that it’s even recognized and accepted by the National Eczema Association as a great go-to cleanser for skin disorders.
6. Emilia Face Salt Cleanser
One of the most annoying things about psoriasis on the skin is the buildup of flakes and dead skin cells that block the pores. What you need to combat this is a gentle exfoliating scrub, like this salt cleanser by Emilia.
Unlike other scrubs, this cleanser doesn’t contain plastic microbeads that can destroy the environment. Instead, it uses salt from the Dead Sea. This salt scrub exfoliates the skin manually to slough off any dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.
It cleans deeply to remove all impurities and excess oil from the skin, to make sure you don’t break out because of clogged pores. It leaves a magnificently clean and fresh feeling on the skin after rinsing.
Vitamins and minerals work together to detoxify the skin and improve its overall health. These include magnesium, chloride, and bromide, which are known to keep the skin healthy.
It’s also enriched with potassium and calcium, which strengthen and re-energize skin cells to make them healthier and more resilient to damage and conditions like psoriasis.
7. Cetaphil Foaming Face Wash
Redness is a dead giveaway that you’re having a psoriasis flare-up on your face. It’s a tell-tale sign that your skin is inflamed and isn’t healthy. Thankfully, some cleansers help address that redness and bring back your skin to a healthy state, like this one from Cetaphil.
This cleanser is made with licorice extract, allantoin, and caffeine. These three work to soothe your red, irritated skin to stop the inflammation and consequent pain and itching. They keep redness at bay and leave your skin looking and feeling more balanced and calm.
This face wash cleanses impurities left on your skin, from sweat and oil to dirt and bacteria. But it does so without stripping natural oils from the skin, so you don’t have to worry about your skin becoming extremely dry after using this.
It’s made with a non-comedogenic formula, which means it doesn’t have any ingredients that can clog your pores, reducing breakouts. So if you have acne-prone skin, this is a great daily cleanser.
Like all Cetaphil products, this cleanser was tested by dermatologists to be sure its hypoallergenic formula is safe for sensitive skin.
8. Keys Island Rx Facial Cleanser
While all the options on this list are fairly mild and gentle, some are more skin-safe than others. This facial cleanser by Keys is definitely on the extremely gentle side because it’s only made with natural nourishing oils.
This cleanser is a liquid Castile soap, a type of soap made from organic oils. It is a great option for sensitive skin because of how gently it cleanses. So naturally, it’s excellent for those with delicate skin disorders, like psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
This particular Castile soap is made with avocado and jojoba oils, both well-known for their very rich texture and deeply moisturizing properties. This tandem of oils can replenish the moisture in the skin, which can help soften the dry patches of skin brought on by facial psoriasis.
People who have used this soap rave about it a lot in online reviews. Many of them even claim that it heals and completely reverses skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. While this seems unlikely, it must have stemmed from good experiences where this soap alleviated severe symptoms, right?
This mild cleanser contains no parabens and sulfates, and was made without any synthetic ingredients either. Even without these, it foams up very nicely and can be rinsed off quickly without an oily, greasy feeling.
9. Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
Sometimes, all your skin needs is to go back to basics. Switching to a simple and gentle cleanser that hydrates the skin might be all it takes to reduce the frequency of your psoriasis breakouts. For that, this foaming cleanser by Eucerin works nicely.
This face wash cleanses thoroughly to make sure no grime is left on your skin, so you can feel refreshed after a rinse. It’s also rich in moisture, leaving your skin soft after cleansing.
The formula is infused with urea, a humectant that draws moisture from the air and locks it into your skin to keep it lightly hydrated.
This face wash creates a soft and creamy lather, giving you a luxurious, satisfying washing experience. It’s easy to rinse off too, and never leaves a greasy or waxy film on the skin.
The formula doesn’t contain any soap or fragrance, making it a safe option for those with ultra-sensitive skin. It only contains a handful of ingredients that make for a mild yet effective cleanser.
You get a lot of bang for your buck with this pack because in a single set, you get three huge pump bottles of this product. It’s great for stocking up at home.
10. Dr. Witch Essential Facial Cleanser
Not all face washes do an adequate job removing makeup. If you wear makeup daily, try out Dr. Witch’s two-in-one cleanser and makeup remover that dissolves stubborn traces of makeup and soothes facial psoriasis symptoms too.
Forget those harsh, chemical makeup removers—use this soft and tearless cleanser to dissolve your makeup at the end of the day. It dissolves even tough-to-remove makeup, like waterproof mascara or eyeliner.
This face wash contains many organic ingredients that can soothe itchy, patchy skin, like aloe vera, chamomile, Japanese green tea, and cucumber. These ingredients all calm inflammation and get rid of redness after psoriasis flare-ups.
It also includes coconut, corn, and sugar beet to help condition and soften the skin to keep it smooth to the touch. Natural ingredients and botanicals also work to fade dark spots and discoloration left behind by psoriasis lesions or scratches.
The formula is oil-free and non-comedogenic, which means it has little to no chance of clogging your pores and breaking you out. It’s a great option to go for if you have acne-prone skin that needs clearing up.
What to Look for When Buying Face Wash for Psoriasis
Anyone with facial psoriasis knows that the biggest issue you have to face daily is irritation and inflammation from flare-ups. You also have to deal with itching and, during a more severe episode, pain.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your daily face wash includes ingredients with effective soothing properties. Some popular ingredients known to soothe the skin include allantoin, licorice extract, oat, aloe vera, and glycerin.
Ingredients like coconut oil and chamomile extract have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate redness, swelling, and inflammation of psoriasis while moisturizing your skin deeply.
Manuka honey, another soothing ingredient, is an antioxidant that can strengthen the skin and prevent free radical damage from irritating it further. It’s another great option if you’re looking at repairing your damaged skin as well.
Gentle formulations without harsh ingredients
When it comes to dealing with psoriasis on the face, the fewer harsh ingredients you use, the better. Always go for formulations that have little to no potentially irritating ingredients. Some ingredients to avoid include parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, and lanolin.
You should also know that synthetic ingredients, like dyes and fragrances, can be irritating to ultra-sensitive skin. Also, it’s quite unnecessary in a cleanser—they’re only there for aesthetic and scent. As much as possible, go for cleansers that don’t have either of these.
If you want to avoid chemicals entirely, you can opt for completely natural and organic formulations, like Castile soap cleansers. These are made with gentle oils that nourish the skin and don’t strip it with harsh surfactants.
Doesn’t have soap and sulfates
Sulfates are harsh surfactants that are used in a lot of popular liquid and bar soaps. It’s a cleaning agent that gives products that lovely, bubbly lather under running water. But what many people don’t know is that they can be quite irritating, especially if you have delicate skin.
Sulfates and harsh soaps tend to strip the skin of its natural moisture and oils, which leave the skin soft and act as a protective layer against free radicals and other environmental aggressors.
If your sulfates remove these without replenishing them with the right amount of moisture, you could end up with extremely dry skin.
Psoriasis already typically dries out the skin, so you don’t want to make it even flakier and more parched by adding sulfites into your routine. Instead, look for ingredients that can help nourish the skin.
Can hydrate and moisturize deeply
Speaking of nourishment, let’s talk about moisturization. Psoriasis usually leaves dry and scaly patches of skin on the face that could leave you scratching your rough and itchy skin incessantly. Leaving patches of skin like that can just cause further irritation.
To help restore your skin and make it soft and touchable again, look for face washes with deeply hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. This will help soften the scaly patches, so you can once again be confident in your smooth and clear complexion.
The first thing you need to look out for is humectants. Humectants are amazing hydrators because they draw moisture from the environment and pull them into your skin, so your deeper layers of skin are plump, healthy, and bouncy. Examples of humectants are glycerin, aloe, urea, and hyaluronic acid.
You also want to look out for emollient ingredients, which are usually in the form of rich and ultra-nourishing oils. These lock in all the moisture the humectants brought in, leaving your skin soft and supple. Oils that are great for psoriasis are coconut, castor, and argan oils.
These kinds of ingredients are usually also pretty soothing because of their rich, emollient properties. So if you look for ingredients like honey or sweet almond oil, you can be hitting two birds with one stone—nourishing the skin and calming inflammation and itchiness.
Non-abrasive exfoliation of scaly skin
The scales and raised plaques of excess skin left behind by psoriasis flare-ups more often than not become piles of dead skin, which is why they end up flaking and shedding off after some time. And the faster they shed, the sooner you can see smoother, clearer skin underneath.
One method to gently speed up this process is by exfoliating the skin in a safe and healthy way. Cleansers with AHAs and BHAs like lactic, glycolic, mandelic, and salicylic acids can help chemically exfoliate dead skin and patches over time. They also help lighten dark spots and treat acne.
If you’re a beginner in skincare and are a bit intimidated by chemical exfoliants, you can always go for a physical exfoliator. These exfoliators are scrubs that manually slough off dead skin cells. These include mild salt and sugar scrubs.
Some physical scrubs are formulated for exfoliation that is too abrasive, like ones made with crushed walnut shells and plastic microbeads. Avoid these because they can cause micro-wounds on your face. They’re also known to be bad for the environment because they aren’t biodegradable.
Recommended by skin experts
Lastly, always make sure that your dermatologist approves the face wash you use to address your psoriasis. Remember that psoriasis is first and foremost a medical condition, so it’s recommended you get a green light from your doctor to use any face wash you wish to buy.
You can also look for products tested and highly recommended by skin experts and dermatologists right off the bat, as soon as you start shopping.
Some brands doctors highly recommend include CeraVe and Cetaphil. So if you’re a beginner who only wants to trust world-renowned brands, you could go for those.
How Can I Get Rid of Psoriasis on Face
It’s easy to mistake facial psoriasis for allergies and even mild yet stubborn acne. And nothing will happen if you attempt to treat your psoriasis with allergy medication or pimple spot treatments. So the first step to treating and dealing with psoriasis is making sure your diagnosis is correct.
If you haven’t already seen a dermatologist to check on the patches on your face, you definitely should. Your doctor can even help you track down what your triggers might be, and prescribe medicines, creams, and other products to help with the discomfort and itchiness.
Many cases of psoriasis are due to genetics and history of the condition within the family. However, other environmental and lifestyle aggressors may be the culprit. Learning what your specific triggers are can help you avoid or prepare for any impending psoriasis breakouts.
One of these is stress. If you’ve been having issues with anxiety and depression, it may trigger more psoriasis flare-ups on the face. If you have it rough nowadays, it would be wise to relax your mind and take breaks. It will benefit both your facial psoriasis and mental health.
Weather is another trigger for psoriasis. When it’s too cold, your skin dries up, and patches can start to appear. Meanwhile, hot and sunny weather can give you sunburn, another psoriasis trigger. Avoid places with extreme temperatures to reduce the chances of flare-ups.
Others also believe that excessive smoking and alcohol consumption can aggravate psoriasis flare-ups on the face and body. If you have quite the relationship with either of these two, try lessening them to see if it will help with your psoriasis.
Now, let’s move on to shower and skin care products for psoriasis. Unfortunately, there’s no one-and-done treatment to get rid of psoriasis permanently, so it’s something you will have to learn to manage. Luckily, there are things you can incorporate into your personal care regimen to make it more bearable.
One common cause of facial psoriasis is psoriasis of the scalp that extends down to the face. If your dry patches appear near the hairline, this may be the case for you. It would be a good idea to switch to an anti-dandruff shampoo to help alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis on face and scalp.
For your skincare routine, it’s highly recommended to start with a gentle, psoriasis-friendly cleanser, like the ones listed in this review. This cleanses your face of any sweat, oil, or bacteria that can end up irritating your skin even more. It also helps reduce inflammation and swelling.
After that, you can use a moisturizer for psoriasis on face that will help hydrate and soften your skin, so you can combat the dryness and flakiness. Just make sure you continue to consult with your doctors about this. More than anyone, they would know what psoriasis face cream would be best for you.
Other psoriasis face treatment options include steroid creams, retinoids (more commonly known as vitamin A), coal tar, and salicylic acid for gentle exfoliation. Keep these options in mind, but wait for your dermatologist’s go signal before trying any of these out.
Again, there presently aren’t a permanent cure for psoriasis on the face or body. But the ones above are ways you can help make your situation a bit easier to manage, especially since you have to deal with psoriasis every day.
The choice is up to you, but take solace in knowing that you’ll always find a way—whether through a skincare product or small lifestyle changes—to alleviate bothersome symptoms as they manifest.
Facial psoriasis can take a toll not only on your time and energy, but also your self-esteem.
But if you commit to caring for your skin properly with the best face wash for psoriasis you can find, you’re guaranteed to bounce back from flare-ups and live a life free from the distraction of those dry, scaly patches.
Face wash is only the first step of a psoriasis skincare routine you should build for yourself. You can add more steps, like moisturizer and SPF, but investing in an effective and calming cleanser is a great foundation for facial psoriasis care. Happy shopping!