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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 (aka combination skin), that’s when things get challenging.
Not all cleansers will work for your combination skin because you need 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. Luckily, we found a handful of cleansers formulated with the needs of combination skin in mind.
Read on for the best cleansers for combination skin you can buy right now.
Best Overall: Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Paraben Free Facial Cleanser
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 thousands upon thousands of five-star reviews on Sephora, and the brand positions it as the number one face wash in America.
Best Budget: Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser & Makeup Remover
If your skin is more dry than oily, this could be the best for you because it’s infused with so much moisture. What makes this cleanser unique is it’s actually made up of 50% moisturizer to infuse your skin with as much hydration as possible.
Like a typical cleanser, it removes dirt and excess makeup from your skin but saves you the added step of applying moisturizer afterwards. The cooling sensation feels great during application and it doesn’t leave any residue on your skin.
Best Foaming: Cetaphil PRO Foaming Face Wash
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 moisture and overall balance.
Best Organic: Kora Organics Foaming Cleanser
Green tea is a botanical derived from the leaves and buds of the tea plant Camellia sinensis. The active components of green tea are polyphenols (also called catechins) that are believed to benefit the skin due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Supermodel Miranda Kerr started her beauty line Kora Organics to give people luxe organic beauty products that are effective and 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.
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. This face wash includes 2% salicylic acid, a known acne treatment most useful for blackheads. The oil-free formula should be used twice a day 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 Cleansing Balm
It Cosmetics created this makeup-removing balm to put all others to shame. Most makeup removers can dry or irritate the skin, especially skin that’s more sensitive, but this formula tackles stubborn makeup without any unwanted side effects.
This balm is infused with an anti-aging serum, so it can reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles while it cleanses the skin. To top it all off: It’s cruelty-free and made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
Best Cleansing Water: Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
There's water in the name, but this cleanser is more than just plain tap. It boasts tiny micelles which cluster together to lift out dirt, oil, and makeup stuck in your pores without harsh rubbing, tugging, or—in some cases—rinsing. For this particular formula, no water or washcloth is needed, which means you can cleanse from virtually anywhere regardless of your proximity to a sink.
Best Korean Beauty: Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the human body. It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes. When used in skincare, it acts as a moisture binder, which means that it will attach itself to the water in the cells (while also attracting and holding water from the air) making them plump.
Packed with antioxidant-rich blueberry extract, hyaluronic acid, and a blend of lactic and glycolic acids, this lightweight gel wash is the key to gently yet effectively removing surface dirt and makeup. The result is skin that looks clear and radiant, and pores that are visibly minimized thanks to a mild exfoliating action.