The 10 Best Natural Face Washes of 2022

Our top pick is the versatile True Botanicals Nourishing Cleanser.

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woman leans over white sink to wash face with water and natural cleanser

Treehugger / Vanina Howan

The secret to glowing skin lies in a great AM and PM skincare routine, and a simple cleansing ritual lays a strong foundation to this. You might wonder what the fuss is about cleansers, given that they barely have a few seconds to work their magic on your skin. But the rewards are plenty when you find the right one for your skin type. A good cleanser dislodges dirt without drying or irritating your skin, leaving it refreshed and clean.

But not all cleansers score equally. In our selection, we’ve looked for natural formulations that avoid harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances and instead work their wonder with the potency of their ingredients. Our shortlist includes cleansers and face washes made from responsibly sourced natural and organic ingredients and have been certified by approved third parties.

If you're looking for a new cleanser, here are the best natural faces washes.

Best Overall: True Botanicals Renew Nourishing Cleanser

5
True Botanicals Renew Nourishing Cleanser

Courtesy of Amazon

True Botanicals creates potent skin potions, which are safe for humans and the environment and use wild-harvested and organic ingredients. Rich in antioxidants from green and white tea, it also contains moisture-locking aloe vera, and exfoliating green tree seed oil, to deep cleanse and plump up your skin without peeling away its moisture.

We love the dreamy scent that’s a heady blend of lavender, grapefruit, jasmine, and vetiver. Free from icky GMOs, parabens, phthalates, SLS, or SLES, the cleanser is MADE SAFE, Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free, and is PETA-approved vegan and free from animal testing. Though formulated for sensitive, dry, and mature skins, it’s well-balanced for all age groups to slather on. It’s a truly decadent skincare solution in a bottle.

Best Budget: Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash

Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash

Courtesy of Amazon

This cleanser from the all vegan brand Pacifica is particularly budget-friendly. It uses a blend of coconut water, coconut oil, sea alge, and white tea. It's formulated for all skin types, and has a coconut scent. It foams to help remove makeup, but is free of SLS and mineral oil.

It's worth noting that the Environmental Working Group, which evaluates the safety of personal care and makeup products, gives this product a scoring of 4 (a score of 1 is best), because it contains "perfume." However, we feel comfortable recommending this product because Pacifica explicitly states that it uses natural fragrance.

Best Organic: Juice Beauty Organic Face Wash

4.9
Juice Beauty Organic Face Wash

Courtesy of Juice Beauty

Wellness entrepreneur Karen Behnke started Juice Beauty in 2005 while in her 40s, a time when she was grappling with young babies, hormone disruptions, and the appearance of fine lines. The result is a gentle skincare line carefully formulated with an organic, vitamin-rich botanical juice base. This affordable cleanser is chockfull with revitalizing sugar cane, apple and grape juice, and good fatty acids from primrose, linseed, and borage seed oils.

A grime-removing workhorse, it works on dry, oily, and combination skins equally well, leaving your complexion looking dewy and clean. Certified USDA Organic, it is also confirmed cruelty-free and vegan by Leaping Bunny and PETA. The face wash comes in a recyclable pump bottle and the packaging is crafted from FSC-certified paper, meaning it’s sourced from responsibly managed forests.

Best Fragrance-Free: Alder New York Everyday Cleanser

5
Alder New York Everyday Cleanser

Alder New York

If when they’re free of synthetic perfumes, many face washes still have some kind of fragrance, often from plant-based ingredient. However, if you crave an unscented cleaner, consider Alder New York’s Everyday Cleanser. It uses seal kelp and 1% glycolic acid to restore your face to feeling refreshed and smooth. The glycolic acid is a gentle chemical exfoliant derived from sugar cane that removes dead skin cells. 

We also like that it’s made in the United States, the bottles contain 30% recycled content, and the paper packaging is deforestation-free. 

Best for Dry Skin: Evolve Organic Beauty Gentle Cleansing Melt

Evolve Organic Beauty Gentle Cleansing Melt

Courtesy of Credo

The star ingredient of Evolve Beauty’s luscious melt comes from the majestic baobab tree. Organic baobab oil, which contains calcium, proteins and vitamins A and C, is blended with antioxidant vanilla, and just a hint of rose in this formulation. The result is a heavenly milky balm that’s certified COSMOS ORGANIC and is anti-ageing, improving skin elasticity.

To use this face wash, just massage the cleanser on to dry skin with your fingertips. Lather it into a rich cream with warm water, then rinse thoroughly. This daily rite of passage can reveal radiant and rejuvenated skin. The bottle is recyclable, and the unique grass paper packaging is FSC-certified, while the printing is done using non-toxic vegetable and soy-based inks.

Best for Oily Skin: Annmarie Citrus Mint Cleanser

Annmarie Citrus Mint Cleanser

Courtesy of Amazon

On a rambling journey across the Americas in an RV fueled by vegetable oil, conscious living bloggers Annmarie and Kevin Gianni had a chance encounter with an herbalist and chemist named Bunnie. The rendezvous led to the start of Annmarie, a meticulously wild-crafted skincare line that’s certified MADE SAFE and Leaping Bunny cruelty-free.

This refreshing pH balanced cleanser has a base of skin conditioning aloe vera gel. It is infused with botanicals such as stimulating rosemary, purifying lemon balm, detoxifying neem and skin-tightening witch hazel distillate. Just a pump or two of this creamy cleanser helps dislodge stubborn grime, working best on oily skin. Used regularly, it will leave your skin soft, thanks to anti-inflammatory calendula and anti-bacterial lavender flower extract.

Best Splurge: Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser

5
Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser

Courtesy of Tata Harper 

Bring the spa home with Tata Harper’s lush, exfoliating cleanser that’s gentle enough to use twice a day. It sloughs off debris from congested skin and leaves your skin luminous. A creamy cleanser, it combines 16 potent botanicals that buff away grime, refine pores and deeply penetrate the upper layer of the skin.

This heady list includes apricot microspheres that polish your skin and BHA (soluble beta hydroxy acid peels away the surface of skin) extracted from white willow bark that dissolves sebum and dead skin. Free from fillers, toxins, GMOs, artificial fragrances and colors, it is COSMOS ORGANIC certified and PETA-certified cruelty free.

Best Oil-Based Cleanser: One Love Organics Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

One Love Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

Courtesy of One Love Organics

Slathering on a layer of oil to cleanse your face of natural oils secreted from the sebaceous glands seems rather contradictory. Yet, it works. One Love Organics’ oil cleanser bursts with Vitamin B that’s derived from papaya, pumpkin, and sunflower oils, along with fruit enzymes. It leaves your skin fresh and silky. It melts away make-up and dirt in a jiffy, without stripping your skin dry. It washes off completely.

This exfoliating and toning oil can be used comfortably on nearly all skin types without leading to a breakout. What’s more, it's made at an Ecocert licensed manufacturing facility for natural and organic cosmetics, is PETA-certified cruelty free, and has the Gold Certified Business Seal of Approval from Green America.

Best for Acne: Aromatica Tea Tree Balancing Foaming Cleanser

Aromatica Tea Tree Balancing Foaming Cleanser

Aromatica

Research shows that tea tree oil is an effective way to reduce acne. This foaming cleanser from Korean beauty brand Aromatica incorporates both tea tree leaf extract and tea tree leaf oil, as well as aloe vera and Murdock root extract. It’s vegan and EWG Verified, meaning it means strict standards for ingredient safety. It’s free of silicone and alcohol, as well as sulfates and parabens. 

We also like Aromatica’s commitment to reducing plastic packaging waste. The company redesigned its bottles and tubes to make them more easily recycled, and also works with zero waste shops to offer refill stations at a handful of brick and mortar stores in Korea. 

Best Brightening: Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Foaming Cleanser

Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Foaming Cleanser

Kora Organics

Our pick of cleansers for dull skin is supermodel Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics’ foaming cleanser, flush with tropical noni fruit, a superfood native to the South Pacific Islands. The bitter, lumpy fruit brims with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that rejuvenate skin. Combined with soothing aloe vera and inflammation-fighting turmeric, this plant-powered blends is designed to brighten and cleanse. 

The foam cleanser is COSMOS Organic certified, vegan, and comes in a recyclable glass bottle. Adding good juju to the cleanser are loving vibes thanks to charging it with rose quartz crystal. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but we’ll take it.

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the versatile True Botanicals Nourishing Cleanser deep cleanses your skin without peeling away moisture. We also recommend Juice Beauty Organic Face Wash & Cleanser, an affordable product that's USDA Organic certified and made from revitalizing botanical extracts and nourishing essential oils.

What to Consider When Shopping for Natural Face Wash

Your Skin Type

If you have any particular skin concerns, it’s a good idea to look for a face wash that’s formulated to address the issue. For example, if you have acne-prone skin is good to look for something with ingredients that can kill bacteria, such as tea tree oil. 

Certifications

Sifting through a sea of certification to choose the best skincare product for you can be daunting. Here are the most common certifications that you’ll see on a bottle of face cleanser:

·   USDA Organic: In the US, the US Department of Agriculture (Agriculture Marketing Services) regulates the term organic. If a cosmetic meets the set criteria; it is eligible to be labelled under one of the categories. A “100% organic” product contains only organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). A product labelled “Organic” means it contains at least 95% of organic ingredients (excluding water and salt), while “Made with Organic Ingredients” implies it contains a minimum of 70% organic ingredients

·   MADE SAFE: This nontoxic seal certifies that products are made using ingredients safe for human health, avoiding over 6,500 nasties such as heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, endangered plants, high risk pesticides and more.

·   COSMOS-standard: The COSMOS Organic and Natural Standard for organic and natural cosmetics has been developed by five global certification bodies, including French Ecocert and UK’s Soil Association. In a “COSMOS ORGANIC” certified product, at least 95% of its plant ingredients are organic and the product contains a minimum of 20% of organic ingredients (10% for rinse-off products). Whereas “COSMOS NATURAL” means that even though the cosmetic in question complies with the standards, it does not contain the minimum amount of organic ingredients as per criteria.

Ingredients to Avoid

There are many safe synthetic ingredients used in skin care, however, it’s important to avoid artificial ingredients that have been linked to health problems. Parabens (Propylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Butylparaben, and Isobutylparaben), phthalates (Dibutyl and diethylhexyl phthalates), and synthetic fragrances are the main ingredients of concern that you might might spot on the labels of face wash. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What makes a face cleanser “organic”?

    Look for products sporting the USDA Organic seal, or check the ingredients label. Companies using organic ingredients will often indicate which ones are certified organic. For the purposes of this list, we looked for face washes that use a majority of organic ingredients.

  • What is the best natural face wash?

    Based on our research, we think Renew Nourishing Cleanser by True Botanicals is the best face wash for most skin types. However, everyone’s skin is unique, so it’s a good idea to consider if you want a face wash that targets any specific concerns.

Why Trust Treehugger?

At Treehugger, we’ve scoured the market and carefully reviewed ingredients lists for the gentlest, cruelty-free, and most effective cleansers that leave your skin sparkling without using concerning chemicals. To make this list, we choose face cleansers that have gentle formulations, ethically sourced plant-based ingredients, and contain minimal chemical irritants. Our shortlist includes companies whose products are certified natural or organic with appropriate third-party certifications.

Author Neeti Mehra is a luxury-industry veteran who’s also committed to sustainable, slow, and mindful living. Her simple skincare routine includes using gentle botanical and Ayurveda-based cleansers for her morning and evening skincare rituals, followed by a lightweight moisturizer.

View Article Sources
  1. Bassett, Ingrid B, et al. “A Comparative Study of Tea-Tree Oil versus Benzoylperoxide in the Treatment of Acne.” Medical Journal of Australia.

  2. Skin Deep Database. “Aromatica Tea Tree Balancing Foaming Cleanser.” EWG.

  3. The Toxic Twelve Chemicals and Contaminants in Cosmetics.” Environmental Working Group.

  4. Stoiber, Tasha, PhD. “What Are Parabens, and Why Don’t They Belong in Cosmetics?Environmental Working Group.