Washing your face twice a day is the foundation of any good skincare routine. But your efforts may be in vain if your face wash isn’t formulated with the right ingredients. In fact, your go-to face wash may even be drying out your skin instead of nourishing it.

As the Environmental Working Group reports, that probability is high. Cosmetic and personal-care companies are “allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish” when formulating products, and “the U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold,” writes the EWG.

This problem is amplified by a lack of education on the consumer end. A staggering 65% of surveyed American adults have “no idea what ingredients to look for when purchasing a facial cleanser,” according to CeraVe’s Skincare Survey. Sixty-three percent don’t understand the purpose of those ingredients.

To help bridge this educational gap and navigate the confusing world of skincare, we tapped licensed esthetician Matthew Miller of Matthew Miller Skin. Below, read up on the drying face-wash ingredients to avoid, plus the best face washes for dry skin.

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