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When your skin has just one problem, such as excess oil production or dry patches, it’s easy to figure out which products work best for you. When you have both oily and dry skin though, that’s when things get challenging. Combination skin basically means you have two or more problems (so convenient, we know), and both issues tend to be just as prevalent.
Not all cleansers will work for your skin because you need such a sophisticated balance. Some might over moisturize your oily parts and others might not be strong enough to hydrate and smooth your dry parts, which ends up causing more problems instead of solving them. Let’s not forget acne can be thrown into that mix, too. Instead of just accepting that combination skin will always be your issue, you can look for cleansers that solve both issues and are specifically formulated for combination skin.
Read on to learn more about the best cleansers for combination skin you can buy right now.
Best Overall: Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser
Combination skin can be tricky because there’s always more than one problem to address. Philosophy created this cleanser to multitask for even the most complicated of skin. It gently cleanses, so it’s not too harsh for those with sensitive skin. At the same time, it also smoothes, removes makeup, and extracts dirt from your pores. The natural oil extracts also help condition and balance your skin for a clearer complexion.
This product has over 8,000 five star reviews on Sephora, and the brand positions it as the best facial cleanser in America. The brand suggests you use this in the morning and at night if you have combination skin, following up with your favorite moisturizer and other necessary products, like serums or sunscreen.
Best Budget: Pond's Cleanser Cold Cream
What makes this cleanser unique is it’s actually made up of 50% moisturizer to infuse your skin with as much hydration as possible. If your skin is more dry than oily, this could be the best for you because it’s infused with so much moisture. It removes dirt and excess makeup from your skin, but saves you the added step of applying moisturizer afterwards. The thick, cool feeling of this product feels great during application and it doesn’t leave any residue on your skin. This product has almost 4,500 five star reviews on the Pond's website. It’s great for sensitive skin too because it has no added irritants and smooths out any issues that might occur. And at less than $10 per tub, you won't break the bank looking for a cleanser that works for your combination skin.
Best Foaming: Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser
Cetaphil’s daily facial wash is always a crowd favorite, but their newest foaming cleanser might just beat it. Because it foams up, it has a rich lather that rinses away easier than before. It’s a gentle cleanser so it doesn’t irritate your skin, which is great for sensitive skin, but it still removes any dirt or oil sitting on your face after a long day.
To make sure your skin doesn’t feel stripped dry or too tight, it’s infused with conditioners and a vitamin complex, two ingredients that provide your skin with moisturize and overall balance. Because it’s dermatologist tested and sensitive skin approved, you can be sure it won’t irritate your combination skin. Cetaphil also made this product fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, so there’s no added irritants that could cause inflammation or irritation.
Best Organic: Kora Organics Foaming Cleanser for Oily/Combination Skin
Supermodel Miranda Kerr started her beauty line Kora Organics to give people luxe organic beauty products that are also just as effective as they are clean. Her foaming cleanser was designed specifically with combination skin in mind. It treats oiliness, enlarged pores, and an uneven skin tone without leaving the skin feeling stripped. It’s formulated with noni fruit (a key ingredient in most of her products), green tea extract, sandalwood oil, and aloe vera, so it’s all natural, yet great for moisturizing and smoothing the skin. Kerr’s products are also mostly vegan, aside from a few products that use beeswax and goat’s milk. All Kora products are cruelty-free too.
Best for Acne: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Wash Daily Scrub
When it comes to acne, it’s important to know what you’re looking for when shopping for a great cleanser. Neutrogena is the #1 Dermatologist recommended acne brand because their products are simple but effective and inexpensive. This face wash includes 2% salicylic acid, which is a known acne treatment most useful for blackheads. The oil free formula should be used twice a day as recommended by the brand and followed up with your favorite moisturizer and SPF to protect your skin from the sun's harsh rays and any other environmental factors.
Best for Removing Makeup: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup™ Balm
Not all cleansers are created equal. In fact, not all cleansers are designed to remove all of your makeup properly either. It Cosmetics created this product to eliminate another step from your routine by making this cleanser have makeup removing powers. Most makeup removers can dry or irritate skin, especially skin that’s more sensitive, but this makeup removing balm was created to remove everything without those annoying issues.
This product also has an anti-aging serum infused, so it can reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles at the same time. It’s cruelty-free and made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Jamie Kern Lima, founder of It Cosmetics, developed this product with plastic surgeons and dermatologists so that you can have a great experience using it with the best results.
Best Cleansing Water: Garnier® SKINACTIVE™ Micellar Cleansing Water
It might seem counterintuitive to use just water to cleanse your face, but micellar water products are actually some of the best tried and true cleansers on the market today. Similar to a magnet, micelle molecules cluster together to lift out dirt, oil, and makeup stuck in your pores without the added process of rinsing it off. Seriously, no water or washcloth is needed. It’s gentle on skin, but effective because it can cleanse and remove makeup all in one. Garnier also made sure this product was oil-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, sulfate-free and silicone-free.