Blog /Beauty/ 15 Best Cleansers for Combination Skin in U.S. [December, 2023]
15 Best Cleansers for Combination Skin in U.S. [December, 2023]
By Aravind Pai -
Combination skin can be tricky to manage. The T-zone tends to be oily, while the cheeks are dry and sensitive. Finding the right cleanser is crucial for keeping combination skin balanced and healthy. The wrong formula can strip moisture from dry areas or leave oil untouched.
After extensive research, testing, and reviews, we’ve selected the 15 best cleansers for combination skin available in the US. These gentle, non-irritating cleansers effortlessly remove dirt, oil, and makeup without over-drying. They leave skin feeling soft, smooth, and comfortable. Keep reading to discover which cleanser is right for your combination skin needs.
Cetaphil’s iconic daily cleanser gently removes impurities without disturbing skin’s protective barrier. The soap-free, fragrance-free formula contains skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera and allantoin. It foams up lightly to lift away dirt, makeup, and excess oil without stripping moisture from dry areas. Gentle enough for sensitive skin, it rinses clean without leaving any greasy residue behind. The generous 20 oz bottle lasts a long time, making it a great value.
Customers love Cetaphil’s cleanser for keeping combination skin balanced. It effortlessly removes makeup and oil without causing tightness or flaking on drier areas. Users say it leaves their complexion soft, smooth, and comfortable without over-drying.
Our testers agree this is one of the best cleansers for combination skin. The hypoallergenic formula never causes redness or stinging. We appreciate the foam’s ability to dissolve oil and impurities while preserving natural moisture. Skin feels fresh and healthy without tightness or irritation after rinsing.
2. Neutrogena Skin Balancing Purifying Gel Cleanser with 2% Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA), Softening Face Wash for Normal & Combo Skin, Paraben-Free, Soap-Free, Sulfate-Free, 6.3 oz
Neutrogena’s innovative gel cleanser conditions as it cleanses for healthy, balanced skin. The soap-free formula contains 2% PHA, a gentle exfoliant that smooths and softens without irritation often caused by harsh scrubs. Skin-nourishing vitamin E, glycerin, and pro vitamin B5 hydrate as the gel lifts away impurities, preventing over-drying. It rinses clean without residue, leaving skin purified but not stripped of natural moisture.
Reviewers with combination skin say this cleanser leaves their skin clean and refreshed without tightness or flaking. They love the smooth, soft feel it provides. Users also note it effectively removes makeup and excess oil from the T-zone without drying out their cheeks.
Our testers found this cleanser superbly balanced for combination skin. The creamy gel dissolved oil and makeup easily but did not dehydrate dry areas. We noticed smoother, softer texture after use. This dermatologist-tested formula cleanses thoroughly without disrupting skin’s moisture barrier.
3. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser | Daily Face Wash for Oily Skin with Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, and Niacinamide| Fragrance Free Paraben Free | 16 Fluid Ounce
CeraVe’s foaming cleanser whisks away dirt and oil with a rich, creamy lather. The soap-free formula contains three essential ceramides to restore skin’s protective barrier. Hyaluronic acid attracts and retains moisture while niacinamide calms inflammation. This non-irritating cleanser foams up to dissolve impurities and sweep away excess oil without stripping moisture from dry areas. It rinses clean, leaving skin feeling fresh and comfortable.
Users with combination skin love the thorough cleanse this formula provides without causing redness or tightness on their cheeks. The lather effortlessly removes makeup and impurities from the T-zone without stripping moisture from dry areas. Reviewers say it leaves their complexion clean, balanced, and healthy-looking.
During our product testing, we found this cleanser outstanding for cleansing combination skin. The creamy foam lifted away every trace of dirt, makeup, and oil without causing dry patches or irritation. Skin looked clear and felt hydrated and soft afterwards, not tight or flaky. We highly recommend it for keeping combination skin balanced.
4. natural outcome Combination Skin True Balance Facial Cleanser Green Tea & Acai Berry | Face Wash and Cleansing Gel for Men & Women | Cruelty Free | 8 oz
This refreshing gel cleanser from natural outcome balances combination skin with antioxidant-rich botanicals. Green tea extract soothes and protects, while acai berry nourishes and hydrates. The soap-free formula turns into a light lather that removes impurities without drying skin. It rinses clean and leaves no greasy residue.
Many reviewers with combination skin say this cleanser leaves their skin feeling clean but not stripped. It effectively eliminates oil and shine from the T-zone without causing flakes or irritation on the cheeks. Users love the refreshing herbal scent and smooth, soft feel it provides.
Our product testers found this cleanser extremely gentle on dry areas yet powerful enough to thoroughly clean oily zones. The plant-based formula maintained our moisture levels while washing away dirt and oil. We highly recommend it for combination and sensitive skin types who want a botanical cleansing experience.
5. Biore Balancing Face Wash, Cleanser For Combination Skin, PH Balanced Face Cleanser, Vegan, Cruelty Free 6.77 Oz, Pack of 3
Biore’s balancing cleanser contains special pore-targeting micro-crystals to draw out and absorb excess oil without over-drying. The gentle formula maintains skin’s pH balance as it dissolves pore-clogging impurities. Natural clay absorbs excess shine, while skin-soothing aloe keeps moisture intact. This soap-free cleanser foams up gently to thoroughly cleanse without stripping skin of natural oils.
Reviewers say this cleanser leaves their combination skin fresh, balanced, and shine-free. They love that it fights oily buildup in the T-zone without drying their cheeks. Users report their skin looks clearer and feels hydrated yet oil-free after using this face wash.
Our product testers found this cleanser removes oil and impurities without compromising moisture levels. The pH-balanced, soap-free formula cleaned the T-zone thoroughly yet remained gentle on dry cheeks. We observed balanced moisture and oil levels after use. This is an excellent cleanser choice for combination skin.
Paula’s Choice foaming cleanser nourishes skin as it cleanses with anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, antioxidants, and niacinamide. The soap-free formula transforms into a rich, creamy foam that gently whisks away dirt, oil, and impurities without drying. Skin feels soft and comfortable after rinsing with no greasy residue remaining. The light tropical scent energizes the senses.
Reviewers with combination skin say this cleanser leaves their face fresh and balanced. It sweeps away excess oil without causing dry patches or irritation. Users love the skin-softening feel it provides along with the refreshing scent.
Our testers were amazed by how clean and nourished our skin felt after using this cleanser. The foam eliminated every trace of oil and makeup without stripping away moisture. Skin appeared clearer and smoother yet still properly hydrated. The anti-aging ingredients provide an added bonus.
7. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser | Moisturizing Non-Foaming Face Wash with Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides and Glycerin | Fragrance Free Paraben Free | 16 Fluid Ounce
CeraVe’s hydrating cleanser gently cleanses without disrupting the skin’s protective barrier. The non-foaming gel formula contains 3 essential ceramides along with hyaluronic acid to attract and retain moisture. Skin-soothing ingredients like glycerin and amino acids cleanse while helping to restore a healthy moisture balance. This soap-free formula rinses clean without residue, leaving skin feeling soft and refreshed.
Reviewers say this CeraVe cleanser leaves their combination skin clean yet hydrated. It removes excess oil from the T-zone without drying or irritating the cheeks. Users love the skin-restoring ceramides that keep their complexion balanced and comfortable after cleansing.
Our testers found this cleanser outstanding for keeping moisture intact in dry areas during cleansing. The non-foaming gel dissolved impurities and swept away oil without tightening the skin or causing irritation. We observed plump hydration levels after use. This is a great pick for nourishing dry zones on combination skin.
8. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Lightweight Hydrating Facial Cleansing Gel, Gentle Face Wash & Makeup Remover with Hyaluronic Acid, Hypoallergenic & Non Comedogenic, 6 oz
Neutrogena’s refreshing gel cleanser provides pure hydration for combination skin. The soap-free, oil-free formula contains hyaluronic acid that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Skin-conditioning glycerin prevents moisture loss during cleansing. This cleanser gently removes impurities and makeup without stripping skin’s natural moisture. The refreshing gel leaves skin feeling clean, smooth, and hydrated.
Users with combination skin love this cleanser for its hydrating powers. It leaves their skin feeling soft and smooth instead of squeaky-clean and parched after washing. The formula effectively cleanses the T-zone without dehydrating the cheeks.
Our testers found this cleanser refreshing and hydrating. The lightweight gel eliminated excess oil without drying out dry zones or causing tightness. Skin looked dewy and felt supple and comfortable after rinsing. We highly recommend it for hydrating and cleansing combination skin.
9. Neutrogena Fragrance Free Ultra Gentle Foaming Daily Cleanser, Hydrating Face Wash for Sensitive Skin, Removes Makeup & Gently Cleanses Without Over Drying, Hypoallergenic, 5.8 fl. oz
Neutrogena’s fragrance-free foaming cleanser provides a gentle cleanse for even the most sensitive skin. The soap-free formula contains skin conditioners like glycerin and pro vitamin B5 to hydrate as it cleanses, preventing over-drying. It foams up into a rich lather that lifts away impurities, leaving skin clean, soft, and balanced. The cleanser is dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic.
Reviewers with combination skin say this gentle cleanser removes impurities without causing dryness, irritation, or redness. They love the skin-nourishing lather that leaves their face feeling soft and hydrated. Users report it effectively cleanses the T-zone without stripping moisture from the cheeks.
Our product testers found this to be an outstanding cleanser for sensitive combination skin. The nourishing lather dissolved away oil and makeup yet maintained hydration in dry areas. Skin looked clear and felt soft and comfortable with no signs of redness or tightness. We highly recommend it for a soothing cleanse.
10. Youth To The People Facial Cleanser – Kale and Green Tea Cleanser – Gentle Face Wash, Makeup Remover + Pore Minimizer for All Skin Types – Vegan (8oz)
Youth to the People’s antioxidant-rich cleanser nourishes as it cleanses with nourishing botanicals like kale, spinach, green tea, and chamomile. The soap-free formula gently removes dirt, makeup, and impurities without stripping moisture. Cold-pressed antioxidants and hydrators like jojoba oil and aloe keep skin balanced. This cleanser is vegan, cruelty-free, and suited for all skin types including combination.
Users with combination skin love how this cleanser leaves their face feeling clean and fresh but not tight or dry. It effectively eliminates excess oil and shine from the T-zone without irritating the cheeks. Many note clearer, more even skin tone with regular use.
We were impressed by how clean and nourished our skin felt after using this formula. The botanical cleanser erased impurities without compromising moisture levels. Skin looked smooth, healthy, and radiant. This is an outstanding choice for gently cleansing while hydrating combination skin.
11. [Be the Skin] BHA+ Pore Zero Cleansing Foam 5.07 fl oz / 150 ml | Face wash cleanser for pore care and sebum control | For sensitive and combination skin
[Be the Skin]’s BHA cleansing foam controls excess oil and refines pores to balance combination skin. Salicylic acid (BHA) gently exfoliates to eliminate pore-clogging buildup. Devil’s claw extract helps visibly minimize the look of enlarged pores while providing an exceptionally gentle cleanse. The nourishing, low-pH formula leaves skin feeling fresh and comfortable, not stripped.
Reviewers with combination and sensitive skin love how this cleanser leaves their skin balanced and pores minimized without causing dryness or irritation. They experience thoroughly cleansed skin yet no tight or flaky feeling afterwards.
Our product testers found this foam provides the perfect pore-cleansing balance for combination skin. It dissolved excess oil and sweeping out clogged pores without over-drying. We noticed visibly minimized pores yet no loss of hydration in dry areas. We highly recommend this for keeping pores clear while maintaining moisture.
12. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Fragrance Free Hydrating Gel Facial Cleanser with Hyaluronic Acid, Daily Foaming Face Wash & Makeup Remover, Gentle Face Wash, Non-Comedogenic, 7.8 fl. oz
Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost cleanser quenches thirsty skin with long-lasting hydration. The soap-free formula contains hyaluronic acid, a molecule that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This locks moisture into the skin and continues hydrating throughout the day. The oil-free gel transforms into a creamy foam that gently cleanses away impurities and makeup. Skin feels clean, smooth, and supple after rinsing.
Users with combination skin say the gel-cream consistency provides the perfect level of hydration during cleansing. Their dry areas stay moisturized while the formula effectively cleanses excess oil from the T-zone. Skin feels comfortable and balanced instead of tight and flaky.
Our testers found this to be an outstanding moisturizing cleanser for combination skin. The Hydro Boost technology preserved hydration in dry areas as the lather lifted away oil and impurities. Skin looked radiant and felt refreshed with no greasy residue remaining after rinsing.
13. Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser for Combination & Oily Skin, Oil-Free Face Wash with Salicylic Acid & Aloe Vera, Deep Pore Clean, 6 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
Mario Badescu’s acne cleanser purifies congested combination skin with salicylic acid. This natural exfoliant dissolves pore-clogging oil and cellular buildup that can lead to breakouts. Soothing aloe vera prevents over-drying while olive oil-free formula removes excess sebum. Your complexion is left balanced, clean, and shine-free.
Reviewers with acne-prone combination skin say this cleanser keeps their breakouts under control and pores clear. The salicylic acid formula eliminates congestion and oil buildup without causing irritation or dryness on the cheeks. Users experience clearer, more balanced skin over time.
Our product testers found this cleanser ideal for keeping acne-prone combination skin clear. The foaming action dissolved oil, debris, and impurities from the T-zone without compromising hydration in dry areas. Regular use can help prevent clogged pores and blemishes.
14. Clinique All About Clean All-In-One Cleansing Micellar Milk and Makeup – Combination to Oily Skin Women Cleanser 6.7 oz
Clinique’s micellar milk instantly dissolves dirt, oil and makeup in one simple step. The milky formula turns to an oil on contact with skin to swiftly sweep away impurities. Skin-conditioning ingredients like probiotics help strengthen skin’s moisture barrier during cleansing. No harsh rubbing or rinsing required. This allergy-tested cleanser leaves combination skin balanced and touchably soft.
Users love the one-step cleansing convenience along with how fresh and balanced it leaves their skin. The milky formula easily removes makeup and impurities without causing tightness or irritation on the cheeks. Many report smoother skin texture over time.
Our product testers found this to be a phenomenal micellar cleanser for combination skin. The milky formula dissolved and lifted away every trace of makeup and impurities without compromising moisture. Skin looked clear, smooth and glowy after use with zero residue left behind.
15. IMAGE Skincare, CLEAR CELL Salicylic Gel Cleanser, Gentle Foaming Face Wash Removes Excess Oil and Shine for Oily Prone Skin
Image Skincare’s CLEAR CELL cleanser combines salicylic and glycolic acid to remove pore-clogging impurities and excess oil from congested skin. Botanical extracts like aloe vera, chamomile, and peppermint provide a soothing presence. This refreshing gel transforms into a light foam that dissolves debris, clears pores, and balances combination skin without irritation.
Reviewers say this cleanser leaves their combination skin looking clearer and more balanced. The foaming gel formula eliminates shine on the T-zone without causing dryness or flaking on the cheeks. They also note pores looking tighter and cleaner.
Our testers found this cleanser perfect for keeping acne-prone combination skin clear and clog-free. The CLEAR CELL technology exfoliates and purifies congested areas while soothing botanicals prevent irritation on drier zones. Regular use helps control oil and prevent breakouts.
Comparison for best face cleanser for combination skin
Cetaphil Daily Cleanser
Aloe vera, allantoin
Neutrogena Skin Balancing Cleanser
PHAs, Vitamin E
CeraVe Foaming Cleanser
natural outcome True Balance Cleanser
Green tea, acai berry
Biore Balancing Cleanser
Aloe vera, micro-crystals
Paula’s Choice Balanced Cleanser
Hyaluronic acid, aloe
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
Ceramides, hyaluronic acid
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Cleanser
Hyaluronic acid, glycerin
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser
Glycerin, pro vitamin B5
Youth to the People Cleanser
Kale, green tea
[Be the Skin] Pore Zero Cleanser
Salicylic acid, devil’s claw
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cleanser
Hyaluronic acid, glycerin
Mario Badescu Acne Cleanser
Salicylic acid, aloe vera
Clinique All About Clean
Image Skincare CLEAR CELL Cleanser
Salicylic acid, peppermint
How to Choose the Best Cleanser for Combination Skin
Choosing an effective yet non-irritating cleanser is crucial for keeping combination skin in balance. Here are a few tips for selecting the best cleanser for your needs:
Pick gel or creamy foam formulas: Gel and foam cleansers are ideal for thoroughly removing oil without stripping moisture from dry areas. They provide effective cleansing with a lightweight feel.
Avoid harsh scrubs and soaps: Harsh beads, scrubs, and soap-based cleansers can irritate sensitive skin and cause dryness on the cheeks. Look for gentle, soap-free cleansers instead.
Select hydrating ingredients: Ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and ceramides cleanse gently while attracting and sealing in moisture.
Consider exfoliating acids: Cleansers with AHAs like glycolic or PHAs softly remove dead skin cells and debris to keep pores clear on oily zones.
Check for skin-soothing botanicals: Botanical extracts like chamomile, green tea, aloe vera, and peppermint calm and condition skin during cleansing.
Non-comedogenic is ideal: Avoid pore-clogging ingredients by selecting non-comedogenic cleansers tested not to clog pores.
Fragrance-free is best: Fragrances, especially artificial ones, can irritate sensitive skin. Opt for fragrance-free cleansers when possible.
Read reviews from users with combination skin: Check reviews from users with combination skin types to determine how well a cleanser balances hydration and oil control.
Choosing a cleanser formulated to gently cleanse oily zones while nourishing dry areas is key to keeping combination skin balanced and healthy.
Types of Facial Cleansers for Combination Skin
There are a few main types of cleansers well-suited for effectively yet gently cleansing combination skin. Here’s an overview of the top cleanser formulas:
Gel cleansers offer an oil-free deep cleanse that thoroughly removes impurities without drying skin. They provide refreshing hydration thanks to ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Gel cleansers are ideal for normal to oily and combination skin types.
Foaming cleansers produce a rich, creamy lather that lifts away dirt, oil, and makeup. The airy foam dissolves impurities without compromising moisture. Foams are ideal for thoroughly cleansing oily areas on combination skin.
Creamy cleansers gently melt away makeup and impurities without drying skin. The creamy base keeps moisture intact on dry zones during cleansing. Creams offer very gentle yet effective cleansing for sensitive, combination skin.
Micellar Cleansing Waters
Micellar waters contain tiny micelles that grab onto dirt, oil, and makeup to cleanse skin without harsh rubbing. The no-rinse formulas maintain moisture for combination skin.
Milky cleansers dissolve impurities and makeup with a quick one-step application. The milky consistency maintains moisture for sensitive, combination skin types. No rinsing required.
Cleansing Balms & Oils
Cleansing balms and oils whisk away stubborn makeup and deeply cleanse pores while retaining natural moisture. They thoroughly cleanse combination skin without feeling stripping or drying.
Tips for Caring for Combination Skin
Caring for combination skin requires balancing the needs of dry and oily zones. Here are some top tips for keeping combination skin looking balanced and healthy:
Cleanse gently AM and PM with a cleanser made for combination skin types. Avoid harsh scrubs.
Use lightweight, oil-free moisturizers formulated for combination skin. Focus hydration on dry cheeks.
Use mattifying products like oil-absorbing primers only on oily areas like the T-zone, not whole face.
Exfoliate 2-3 times per week to remove pore-clogging buildup from oily zones. Avoid over exfoliating dry areas.
Use clay masks on oily areas to absorb excess shine. Use hydrating masks on dry cheeks.
Always remove makeup thoroughly before bedtime to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.
Use oil-blotting sheets as needed during the day to reduce mid-day shine on the T-zone.
Drink plenty of water and use a humidifier to improve skin hydration.
Protect skin from sun damage by wearing an SPF 30 broad spectrum sunscreen daily.
With the right balance of hydration and oil control, combination skin can look beautiful and balanced.
FAQs about Best Cleanser for Combination Skin
Q. Which CeraVe cleanser is best for combination skin?
Based on our research and testing, the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is an excellent option for combination skin. It contains ceramides to restore the skin’s protective barrier along with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid for added hydration. The creamy foam whisks away excess oil from the T-zone while maintaining moisture on the cheeks. It rinses clean without dryness or tightness. The CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is also a great choice for its non-foaming gel formula that hydates as it cleanses.
Q. What type of cleanser is best for combination skin?
Gel and foaming cleansers tend to work best for combination skin. Gel cleansers provide an oil-free cleanse that removes impurities without over-drying. Foaming cleansers produce a rich lather that dissolves oil and makeup without stripping moisture from dry areas. Creams and milks also cleanse effectively while maintaining hydration. Avoid harsh scrubs or soap-based cleansers which can exacerbate dryness. Look for formulas containing skin-soothing and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera, and ceramides.
Q. How do you choose a cleanser for combination skin?
When choosing a cleanser for combination skin, look for gel or foaming formulas that will gently yet thoroughly cleanse oily areas without drying out the cheeks. Avoid harsh scrubs or soaps. Seek out hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and skin-soothing botanicals. Non-comedogenic, fragrance-free cleansers are best to prevent clogged pores and irritation. Read reviews to determine how well a cleanser balances and hydrates combination skin types.
Q. Should you use separate cleansers for oily and dry areas?
It’s not necessary to use two different cleansers. Look for a gentle, balanced cleanser made specifically for combination skin instead. The right formula will lift away oil and impurities from the t-zone without compromising moisture on the cheeks. Using one quality cleanser for combination skin is more effective and convenient than using two separate products.
Q. What ingredients to look for in a combination skin cleanser?
Some beneficial ingredients to look for in cleansers for combination skin include: hyaluronic acid for hydration; glycerin to attract moisture; ceramides to repair the skin barrier; salicylic acid to keep pores clear; aloe vera, green tea, chamomile to soothe skin; and niacinamide to calm redness and inflammation. Avoid harsh alcohols, fragrances, and soap-based cleansers.
Q. How often should I cleanse combination skin?
Twice a day, morning and evening, is ideal for keeping combination skin balanced. Cleansing morning and night helps remove pore-clogging impurities, excess oil, dead skin cells, and other debris that can lead to breakouts over time.
Q. Should I use different cleansers for my dry and oily zones?
Using two separate cleansers is not necessary. Look for a gentle, balanced cleanser formulated for combination skin instead. The right combo cleanser will effectively yet gently cleanse the oily T-zone without over drying the cheeks.
Q. Can I just use water to cleanse combination skin?
Water alone does not effectively dissolve and remove oil, makeup, sunscreen, and impurities from pores.Using a proper facial cleanser formulated for combination skin is important for thorough cleansing.
Q. Do I need to use a toner on combination skin?
Toners are optional for combination skin. They can help remove traces of cleanser and oil while adding a layer of hydration. Look for an alcohol-free toner containing ingredients like witch hazel or rosewater to balance and hydrate.
Q. Should I exfoliate combination skin?
Gentle exfoliation 2-3 times per week can help keep pores clear on oily areas and remove dead skin cells. Use scrubs with soft, round beads or chemical exfoliants like lactic acid. Avoid harsh scrubs that can irritate.
Keeping combination skin properly cleansed, balanced, and hydrated is key to maintaining a radiant, healthy-looking complexion. Consistently using high-quality cleansers and care products formulated for combination skin is the best place to start your routine.
Aravind Pai is a passionate blogger and content creator who has been writing extensively on technology topics since 2020, with a focus on Online shopping deals and product reviews. He graduated as a B.Tech 4 years ago and enjoys road trips and exploring latest gadgets.
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