If you have combination skin, you know that a “little bit-o-this, little bit-o-that” kinda situation can at times be hard to balance, especially when it comes to cleansing. Those with combination skin deal with areas of their face that are dry and other areas that are oily. It can feel almost impossible to treat both issues. In this article, we discuss how to treat combination skin and the best cleansers to help you cater to everything it needs. Read on to learn more about our favorite cleansers for combination skin.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: Yes, you can help balance your combination skin through proper cleansing without inciting either dryness or breakouts. It’s just a matter of finding the right product that is formulated for you and your skin.
Good to Know: When seeking the best cleanser for your combination skin, avoid astringent ingredients that will almost undoubtedly be too harsh for the drier areas of your face.
Recommended Products: So Clean! Facial Cleanser.
What is Combination Skin?
As far as skin types go, the term combination skin is pretty self-explanatory, suggesting a combination of both oily and dry skin. While all skin types have their set of challenges, combination skin can require an extra dose of dexterity; how exactly does one attempt to minimize oil in one area of the face while providing extensive hydration to another – and all with just one set of skin care products? Seems like an impossible task, but the truth is you don’t need to double up on your product purchases; you’ll just need to make some thoughtful decisions.
One thing you never want to do for oily skin, even that which fails to be peppered with dry patches, is strip it completely of its natural oils. It is a common misconception that those with oily skin should apply harsh astringent cleansers and avoid moisturizers. But adhering to this ideology can actually lead to more oil production and by extension, breakouts.
Similarly, just because skin is dry doesn’t mean that it should fail to experience a radical clean or that it needs suffocatingly heavy oils for proper hydration. The key ultimately becomes sourcing formulas composed of complexion-balancing ingredients.
When mapping out your combination skincare routine, it’s always best to start at the beginning. A quality cleanser will not only keep your skin healthy and fresh but will also prime your face for any subsequent product application. Here are our top picks for cleansers for combination skin:
1. Best Overall Cleanser for Combination Skin
Fleur & Bee: So Clean! Facial Cleanser
Flawlessly balanced to both purify and hydrate, So Clean! is the perfect answer to combination skin and a thoughtful addition to any skincare regimen. Rich with 13 nourishing actives, and newly formulated with a touch of pink grapefruit peel oil for an invigoratingly fresh experience, our lightweight formula packs an undeniable punch. This vegan facial cleanser works to balance your complexion by washing away excess oils without drying out your skin.
2. Best Clarifying Cleanser for Combination Skin
Paula’s Choice: CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser
For those who have combination skin and struggle to keep those oily patches under control, reach for a cleanser that will clarify pores and gently combat breakouts. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser is a soothing gel that lathers to gently dissolve excess oils and impurities, while offering a truly well-rounded cleanse. Salicylic acid helps prevent blemishes and controls oil production. Pro-vitamin B5 and arginine soothe and smooth skin for a softer feel. A blend of humectants and emollients protects against dryness or flaking. If you are in the market for a next level clean with a side order of complexion coddling, give this one a whirl.
3. Best Brightening Cleanser for Combination Skin
Acure: Brightening Cleansing Gel
No matter what skin type you have, you deserve to glow as you go! Acure’s Brightening Cleansing Gel is crazy gentle, yet effective enough to not only remove dirt and impurities, but makeup as well. But more importantly, this sunshine in a bottle blends the plant power of pomegranate, calendula, and chlorella, with lemon (i.e., vitamin C’s poster child) to enrich your skin with antioxidants that work to reveal brighter, more radiant skin. And a little goes a long way; just a small drop and twice daily use will be more than enough to get you glowing!
4. Best Age-Defense Cleanser for Combination Skin
Pacifica: Wake Up Beautiful Dream Jelly Face Wash
If you feel like your combo complexion is starting to spar with the old tick-tock, you’ll want a future focused cleanser. Formulated with tons of nutrient packed botanicals like quinoa, hibiscus and rose, this ultra-gentle gel to foam face wash cleanses and nourishes, while amino acids and antioxidants minimize fine lines, wrinkles, and other effects of aging to reveal revivified, more youthful looking skin. The sulfate-free formula cleans without stripping, while mushroom sugars and hyaluronic acid hydrate and help retain moisture in areas of your face that may be prone to dryness. So, if balance and age-defense are what you seek, look no further than Pacifica’s Wake Up Beautiful Dream Jelly Face Wash!
5. Best Luxury Cleanser for Combination Skin
Tata Harper: Nourishing Oil Cleanser
Want a luxury product that is worth its weight in gold? Tata Harper’s Nourishing Oil Cleanser is a light and super nutritious cleansing oil that breaks down buildup for a vitamin enriched clean suited for all areas of your combination skin. A cleanser that will neither clog pores nor strip the skin, your face will be fresh, makeup free, and undeniably soft. For optimal results, massage directly onto skin without pre-wetting. Then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, sending impurities down the drain and revealing the dream-like pampered skin you totally deserve!
6. Best Oil-free Cleanser for Combination Skin
Dr. Dennis Gross: Hyaluronic Marine Meltaway Cleanser
On the flip side, if you are completely adverse to using a cleansing oil, consider an oil-free cleanser like this one from Dr. Dennis Gross. A lightweight cleanser that doesn’t require any water, it’s packed with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe and marine algae to treat any dry areas. This formula is also rich in essential amino acids and B vitamins to help reinforce your skin's barrier function without leaving your skin feeling too oily.
Yes, you can have it all. Pick up one of these cleansers for your combination skin and wash your way to Biles-like balance that will have you beaming!
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