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We Found the 10 Best Cleansers for Combination Skin, Ever

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TFW you don’t have full-on oily skin but aren’t 100 percent dry either? We get it. Having combination skin means some parts of your face are prone to excess oil while others patches of dry skin are left dehydrated. Finding the right skincare products to add to your skincare routine is no easy feat: Do you choose a face wash for oily skin or a face wash for dry skin? Luckily, you don’t have to pick just one or the other. There are plenty of dermatologist-recommended products out there that are designed specifically for this sensitive skin type.

Continue reading below for our picks for the 10 best face wash formulas for combination skin. Hydrated, shine-free skin is coming right up. P.S. Looking for a moisturizer for combination skin that you can lather on after you've cleansed? We've ranked the best options.

The Best Balancing Face Wash for Combination Skin

Life is all about balance, and this foaming cleanser from ORIGINS pulls off the balancing act of clearing breakouts while also soothing dry skin zones. Free of parabens and other chemicals, this foaming facial cleanser is made with gentle Broadleaf kelp extract, wheat protein, and tourmaline to combat excess oil without stripping your skin of much-needed natural oils. Your skin will feel clean, refreshed, and free of blackheads and other pore-clogging impurities–all without feeling tight or dry.

MURAD Clarifying Cleanser
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MURAD Clarifying Cleanser

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The Best Face Wash for Combination Acne-Prone Skin

Want to zap your zits without drying your skin out entirely? Try a blemish-busting face cleanser like this one from MURAD. Time-released salicylic acid dissolves excess oil and exfoliates away blackheads and pimples, even well after rinsing. Meanwhile, green tea extract helps soothe inflammation and protects sensitive skin against environmental damage. Although it’s super-powerful, it’s still safe for acne-prone skin, combination skin, and even dry skin.

"Great basic cleanser for combo complexion," one Ipster writes. Another adds, "After using it my skin feels really clean. I have very sensitive skin and haven't had any problems."

YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE Superfood Cleanser
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YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE Superfood Cleanser

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The Best Lightweight Face Wash for Combination Skin

Like a detox smoothie for your face, the YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE Superfood Cleanser is formulated with a healthy mix of cold-pressed kale, spinach, and green tea. These naturally purifying ingredients clear breakouts and blackheads all while balancing your skin’s pH level without over-drying. One rinse removes makeup, brightens, and detoxifies your skin, without sulfates or parabens. All in all, this is one foaming gel cleanser combination skin types will love.

"AMAZING! So gentle, but it does clean your skin," says Ipster focokvic. "My skin loves it. It feels so good after and leaves my skin looking balanced. Highly recommend."

GLOW RECIPE Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser
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GLOW RECIPE Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser

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The Best Face Wash for Combination Skin on the Dryer Side

Bonjour, balanced skin. This jelly cleanser is a top pick for combination skin types that fall more on the "dry skin" end of the combination skin spectrum. The hydrating gel texture quickly transforms into foaming bubbles that remove all traces of makeup and fully cleanse the skin while also infusing it with hydration. The oily, often acne-prone areas, areas of your face will benefit from the exfoliating AHA duo of glycolic acid and lactic acid that's also featured in this formula. These two non-drying ingredients gently break down dead skin cells to unclog pore and keep skin clear, smooth, and healthy.

"As light as this is, it takes off all my eye makeup, so it’s a winner for me," says Ipster emcha777. "And it doesn’t strip my skin of moisture"

MILK MAKEUP Matcha Cleanser
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MILK MAKEUP Matcha Cleanser

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The Best Face Wash for Oil-Prone Combination Skin

This handy stick cleanser is just as convenient as it is effective. This vegan and sulfate-free formula utilizes the power of green tea to both provide potent antioxidant benefits and control excess oil production. This is thanks to the natural tannins found in green tea which can temporarily shrink pores and help to regulate sebum. To use, simply wet the face, swipe the stick around the face, and then use clean hands to lather the cleanser into the skin. Now you can finally travel without having to leave your go-to cleanser behind.

AVETTE Fresh Clean Coconut Mild Foam Cleanser
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AVETTE Fresh Clean Coconut Mild Foam Cleanser

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The Best Face Wash for Sensitive Combination Skin

Combination skin is already somewhat sensitive due to its various oily and dry patches. Add onto that skin that easily reacts to ingredients like harsh soap and essential oils and you can find yourself in quite the skincare predicament. To cleanse sensitive combination skin without irritating it, turn to a gentle cleanser like this option from AVETTE. This paraben-free, pH-balanced formula uses coconut water, vitamin C, cactus stem extract, and acai fruit extract to soothe, hydrate, boost radiance, and wipe away all traces of dirt, all while leaving your delicate moisture barrier undisturbed.

"Great cleanser that I feel a noticeable difference using," one Ipster writes. Ipster rory7676 adds, "Very clean feeling without the tight, drying effect!"

GLAMGLOW TROPICALCLEANSE™ Daily Exfoliating Cleanser
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GLAMGLOW TROPICALCLEANSE™ Daily Exfoliating Cleanser

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The Best Exfoliating Face Wash for Combination Skin

While using a facial wash with a physical exfoliant can often be too abrasive for daily use, it can still be a great addition to your weekly skincare routine when used a few times a week. This formula uses pomegranate seeds to gently polish and exfoliate the skin while tropical fruit enzymes act as chemical exfoliants. Purple clay also comes into play here to provide deep-cleansing benefits and some much-needed oil control.

"Absolutely love this facial scrub," one Ipster writes. "Smells good, feels good, exfoliates really well, and is made from all-natural products. 5 stars!"

HONEY JARRET Clean Whip Cleanser
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HONEY JARRET Clean Whip Cleanser

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The Best Calming Face Wash for Combination Skin

Whether you're dealing with breakouts, eczema, rosacea, or other skin irritations, this soothing face wash will leave sensitive skin types feeling clean, calm, and refreshed. A key ingredient here is propolis extract, a buzzy ingredient derived from beehives which comes with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients. This is combined with honey extract, which helps to produce a creamy, hydrating lather that nourishes, hydrates, and balances the skin. And as a special bonus that's particularly beneficial for those with combination skin, black tea ferment helps to keep pores free of oil, dirt, and debris.

"I have cystic acne-prone skin and have now found a cleanser that smells heavenly and clears my face," one Ipster says. "It makes my skin feel clean and fresh without drying it out," another writes.

IT COSMETICS Confidence in a Cleanser
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IT COSMETICS Confidence in a Cleanser

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The Best Face Wash for Mature Combination Skin

If you have mature combination skin, you may notice your dry patches becoming even drier as the years go on. For hydrating, anti-aging benefits, turn to this multitasking cleanser that acts as a cleanser and serum wrapped up into one. The formula is packed with all-star moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, colloidal oatmeal, and a protective ceramide complex. To reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, IT COSMETICS' proprietary Anti-Aging Armour Rejuvenating Concentrate™ comes into play, plumping up the skin with firming collagen.

"I can tell how luxe this is from the first use," one Ipster writes. "It feels amazing, cleanses my skin immaculately, leaves it silky smooth and feeling light."

VASANTI COSMETICS Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator - Exfoliating Cleanser
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VASANTI COSMETICS Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator - Exfoliating Cleanser

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The Best Brightening Face Wash for Combination Skin

Ready to double down on the power of those fruit enzymes we mentioned earlier? Here's another exfoliating cleanser that uses papaya enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, clearer, more even-toned complexion. While papaya enzymes are definitely the star of the show here, aloe is also a hero ingredient, ready to hydrate and soothe skin with every use. If your skin doesn't react well to using physical exfoliants (i.e. microbeads, walnut shells, etc.) this is a great, gentle alternative that still provides noticeable results without being abrasive on the skin.

"This feels so nice and it isn't scratchy or rough like some other exfoliants," one Ipster writes. "Saw a difference after the first use!" another adds.

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About the author
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Cortney Clift
Cortney is a New York-based freelance writer who has written about beauty and wellness for more than six years. She was previously the senior writer and special projects editor at Brit + Co where she covered a wide range of news and lifestyle topics.
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Article Last Updated July 24, 2023 12:00 AM