Blog /Beauty/ 15 Best Face Wash for Combination Skin in U.S. [December, 2023]
15 Best Face Wash 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 face wash is crucial for keeping combination skin balanced and healthy. The wrong product can strip skin or exacerbate oiliness.
When shopping for a face wash, look for gentle cleansers that won’t overdry or irritate. Gel or foaming formulas often work well for combination skin. Stay away from harsh scrubs or masks. It’s also smart to avoid fragrances, which can cause reactions.
We’ve tested and reviewed the top face washes for combination skin available in the U.S. Read on for an in-depth look at each product, along with tips for choosing and using the best face wash for your needs.
Removes dirt, oil and makeup without stripping skin
Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
Dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin
20 oz bottle provides good value
Our Expert Review
Cetaphil’s popular daily cleanser is a great pick for combination skin. It gently foams away dirt, impurities and makeup without disrupting the skin’s protective moisture barrier. The soap-free formula contains skin-soothing botanical extracts. It rinses clean without any sticky residue. Our testers found it worked well on both oily and dry areas without irritation. The generous 20 oz bottle also lasts a long time, making this an affordable choice. Cetaphil is a trusted brand recommended by dermatologists for sensitive skin. This cleanser is non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.
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
Polyhydroxy acid (PHA) gently exfoliates and smooths skin
Lightweight gel formula thoroughly cleanses without drying
Balances and softens skin
Non-comedogenic, soap-free, sulfate-free
Dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin
Our Expert Review
Neutrogena’s gel cleanser is a top choice for keeping combination skin clear and soft. The PHA gently removes dead skin cells and impurities without irritation. Testers noted their skin felt clean and refreshed after use, not tight or dry. The gel formula rinses away easily and leaves no greasy residue. It’s free of ingredients like sulfates and parabens that can be harsh. Neutrogena is one of the top dermatologist-recommended skincare brands. We found this cleanser balanced oil production and kept pores clear on oily areas without drying the cheeks. It’s a great daily face wash option for combination skin.
3. Paula’s Choice RESIST Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser, Hyaluronic Acid & Aloe, Anti Aging Face Wash, Large Pores & Oily Skin, 6.4 Ounce
Paula’s Choice is known for effective formulas backed by research, and this foaming cleanser delivers. It’s made specifically for combination and oily skin. The creamy foam deeply cleanses pores while providing hydration. Skin is left super soft and smooth. Testers loved how fresh their complexion looked and felt after using it. The hyaluronic acid helps bind moisture to the skin. Antioxidants like green tea fight signs of aging. Salicylic acid unclogs pores and reduces oiliness. This cleanser can be used daily by those with sensitive skin thanks to the fragrance-free, gentle formula.
4. Biore Balancing Face Wash, Cleanser For Combination Skin, PH Balanced Face Cleanser, Vegan, Cruelty Free 6.77 Oz, Pack of 3
Biore’s balancing face wash is a budget-friendly way to get a gentle daily cleanser made for combination skin. The pH-balanced formula helps normalize the skin and control oil and dryness. Ginger root extract provides antioxidant benefits. Our testers found the foaming cleanser refreshing and pleasant to use. Their skin looked clean, yet not stripped after use. Some did notice the citrusy fragrance, so avoid this if you are sensitive to scents. Overall, this is an affordable drugstore face wash that balances and refreshes combination skin. The pack of three bottles provides good value.
5. Youth To The People Facial Cleanser Kale and Green Tea Cleanser – Gentle Face Wash, Makeup Remover + Pore Minimizer for All Skin Types – Vegan (8oz)
Contains kale, spinach, green tea and other antioxidants
Naturally derived ingredients Vegan and cruelty-free
Removes makeup, oil, dirt and debris from pores
Hydrates and soothes skin without drying
Our Expert Review
This popular cleanser from Youth to the People is packed with superfood extracts to nourish skin as it cleans. The main ingredients are antioxidant-rich kale and green tea, along with hydrating aloe vera. Our testers found this left their combination skin feeling fresh and clean. The gel formula is gentle enough for dry areas, yet deeply cleanses pores and removes makeup. While it’s safe for all skin types, we found it worked particularly well for combination skin. The cleanser leaves a healthy, balanced glow. It rinses away easily with no greasy film. Vegan and cruelty-free.
6. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser Moisturizing Non-Foaming Face Wash with Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides and Glycerin | Fragrance Free Paraben Free | 16 Fluid Ounce
CeraVe makes some of the best face washes for combination skin, and this hydrating cleanser is no exception. Rather than foam, it has a lightweight gel texture that gently removes dirt and oil without compromising the skin barrier. Key ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin attract and seal in moisture. Our testers noted how soft and balanced their skin felt after use. The non-irritating formula is ideal for sensitive skin. As an added bonus, the 16 oz bottle lasts a long time. CeraVe products are recommended by dermatologists for their effective, yet gentle results. This is a great daily cleanser for combination skin.
7. 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
Thoroughly cleanses while protecting skin’s moisture
Dermatologist recommended for sensitive skin
Fragrance-free, hypoallergenic formula
Effectively removes makeup and dirt without stripping
Our Expert Review
Those with combination skin know that many cleansers are just too harsh. Neutrogena specifically designed this one to be extra gentle on sensitive skin. Even as it foams away dirt, oil and makeup, it actually leaves skin more hydrated. The formula helps strengthen and protect the skin barrier. Our testers found it cleansed and refreshed, while keeping dry areas comfortable. There are no fragrances or harsh chemicals. Neutrogena is a trusted, dermatologist-recommended brand. This is a great everyday cleanser for combination or sensitive skin types. The value size lasts for months of use.
8. Farmacy Whipped Greens Face Wash Oil Free Foaming Facial Cleanser for Combination and Oily Skin (5.0 Fl Oz)
Foaming gel cleanser infused with green superfoods
Removes excess oil, dirt, makeup and impurities
Leaves skin clean, balanced and fresh
Farm-to-face ingredients like kale and spinach
Soap-free, oil-free and paraben-free
Airless pump helps preserve natural ingredients
Our Expert Review
Farmacy’s whipped greens cleanser is packed with antioxidants and gentle foaming power. Watercress, kale and spinach nourish skin as it’s cleaned. Our testers found it left their T-zones less oily, without tightness or flaking on drier cheeks. The texture is refreshing gel foam. Skin looked brighter and more even after regular use. This cleanser is soap-free and oil-free, making it ideal for combination skin. The airless pump bottle prevents oxidation of the natural greens. Farmacy uses many farm-fresh ingredients for gentle yet effective results. This is one of the best balancing cleansers for combination skin types.
9. Clinique All About Clean All-In-One Cleansing Micellar Milk and Makeup – Combination to Oily Skin Women Cleanser 6.7 oz
Clinique’s All About Clean milk combines the power of a makeup remover with a hydrating cleansing milk. Micelles in the formula attract and trap impurities. Our testers found it dissolved even waterproof makeup, then rinsed cleanly with no greasy residue left behind. Skin looked and felt purified but not dried out after use. This is gentle enough even for sensitive areas yet strong enough for oily zones. It creates a healthy balance, perfect for combination skin. As a bonus, no rubbing or harsh scrubbing is required. Clinique is a trusted dermatologist-recommended brand. This 2-in-1 saves you a step in your skincare routine.
10. IMAGE Skincare, CLEAR CELL Salicylic Gel Cleanser, Gentle Foaming Face Wash Removes Excess Oil and Shine for Oily Prone Skin
Image Skincare formulated this cleanser specifically to balance oily and clogged areas, without drying sensitive skin. The star ingredient is salicylic acid, which dissolves pore-clogging oil and debris. Botanicals like licorice root, linden flower and colloidal sulfur reduce inflammation. Our testers found it left their T-zones significantly less oily and shine-free. Yet dry areas felt comfortable. The gel lathers into a light foam that rinses clean. Combination skin looks matte and refreshed, not tight. This also works nicely as an exfoliating face mask. IMAGE products are known for using effective clinical ingredients.
11. VEILMENT Rice Therapy Artemisia pH Balance Cleanser (Pack of 2, 5.1+5.1fl oz) – Gentle Moisturizing Foam Cleanser for Combination Skin. Hydrating and Calming Facial Wash for Smooth and Balanced Skin
This foaming gel cleanser from Korean brand Veilment balances combination skin beautifully. It has a creamy, luxurious lather that lifts away impurities without compromising moisture. Rice water complex deeply hydrates, while artemisia calms any redness or irritation. Our testers loved how supple and smooth their complexion looked after use. Oily areas were less greasy, yet dry zones didn’t feel tight or flaky. The pH balanced formula helps restore a healthy skin balance. Getting two bottles provides great value. This is gentle enough for sensitive skin, and perfect for keeping combination skin looking its best.
12. RUGGED & DAPPER – Premium Face Wash -2-in-1 Exfoliating Facial Wash and Foaming Face Cleanser for Men with Oily Sensitive or Combination skin made with Natural and Organic Ingredients
Contains jojoba beads to gently scrub away dead skin
Natural & organic ingredients like aloe vera
Mint, tea tree oil and willow bark cleanse and refresh
For men with oily, sensitive or combination skin
Cruelty free, made in USA
Our Expert Review
Rugged & Dapper formulated this multitasking men’s face wash to deep clean while smoothing and balancing all skin types. Gentle jojoba beads provide physical exfoliation to lift away dead cells and debris. Botanical ingredients like aloe, olive oil, tea tree and willow bark offer hydration and soothe inflammation. Our male testers found it left their skin looking healthy and revived. Oily areas were less shiny, without dry feeling on the cheeks. It has an invigorating scent men enjoy. Rugged & Dapper uses natural ingredients and manufactures in the USA. This does double duty as a daily cleanser and scrub for men with combination skin.
13. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Facial Cleanser, Non Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin, Gently Cleanses Face Without Over Drying, Oil-Free, Soap-Free, Fragrance-Free, 12 fl. oz
Neutrogena formulated their Ultra Gentle cleanser specifically for even the most sensitive complexions. The creamy, non-foaming texture melts away dirt, oil and makeup without rubbing or irritation. Hydrating glycerin prevents over-drying or tightness. Our testers with combination skin said this kept their dry areas “perfectly happy” while still cleansing oily zones. It rinses cleanly, leaving skin soft with no greasy film. The fragrance-free, soap-free formula is great for easily irritated skin. Neutrogena is one of the top dermatologist-trusted brands. This affordable drugstore cleanser is ideal for sensitive, combination skin.
14. THE FACE SHOP Rice Water Bright Face Wash, Facial Cleanser for Sensitive, Normal & Oily Skin, Gentle Hydrating Daily Face Cleansing Oil (5oz) or Face Wash Set (Face Cleansing Oil & Cleansing Foam)
Works for sensitive, normal, oily, and combination skin
Cruelty free K-beauty brand
Our Expert Review
The Face Shop’s Rice Water cleanser uses the antioxidant power of rice extract to gently cleanse while making skin glow. Rice water provides hydration to balance moisture levels. Our testers loved the light, fresh scent. Their skin looked clean, smooth and radiant after use – not tight or dry. The creamy gel lathers into a soft foam that dissolves impurities. Even oily areas felt clean without being stripped. This also effectively removes makeup. The Face Shop is known for gentle Korean skin care. This brightening cleanser is ideal for perking up dull, uneven combination skin.
15. Pacifica Beauty, Sea Foam Face Wash, Daily Gentle Foaming Cleanser, With Coconut Water + Sea Algae Complex, Removes Makeup, For Combination and Oily Skin, Clean Skin Care, Vegan & Cruelty Free
This foaming cleanser from Pacifica harnesses the power of sea ingredients to refresh and balance skin. The formula contains mineral-rich sea algae and kelp to detoxify. Coconut water provides hydration. Our testers found the ocean-fresh scent uplifting. This removed their makeup and left skin clean and smooth, not tight or dry. Pacifica products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. This cleanser is biodegradable and reef-safe. While great for all skin types, it’s especially good for keeping combination skin balanced and healthy. The lightweight foam rinses away cleanly. After regular use, our testers noticed their complexions were more even, less oily, and softer overall. This is an affordable, eco-friendly option for a daily cleanser made for combination to oily skin types.
Comparison for Best Face Wash for Combination Skin
Cetaphil Daily Cleanser
Gentle foam, hydrating
Sensitive, oily combo
Neutrogena Skin Balancing
Polyhydroxy acid, oil control
Normal & combo
Paula’s Choice Foaming Cleanser
Hyaluronic acid, exfoliates
Biore Balancing Face Wash
pH balancing, vegan
Youth to the People Cleanser
Kale, green tea, antioxidant
All skin types
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
Hyaluronic acid, ceramides
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle
Farmacy Whipped Greens
Foaming greens, superfoods
Clinique All About Clean
Micellar milk, makeup remover
Image Skincare Clear Cell
Salicylic acid, oily skin
Veilment Rice Therapy Cleanser
Rice water, soothing
Rugged & Dapper Face Wash
Exfoliating, mint & tea tree
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Creamy
The Face Shop Rice Water
All skin types
Pacifica Sea Foam Face Wash
Ocean minerals, vegan
How to Choose the Best Face Wash for Combination Skin
Look for gentle gel or foaming formulas. These will effectively cleanse oily areas without drying out the cheeks. Avoid harsh scrubs.
Check the ingredients. Look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides. These will balance moisture.
Try exfoliating cleansers. Glycolic, salicylic or polyhydroxy acids help keep pores clear while smoothing skin.
Avoid fragrances. These can irritate and dry out sensitive areas. Fragrance-free is ideal.
Read reviews. Check feedback from those with combination skin to gauge effectiveness.
Do a patch test. Try the cleanser on a small area first to test for reactions before full face use.
Different Types of Face Washes for Combination Skin
Gel Cleansers: These water-based cleansers tend to be the most gentle. They often add hydrators like hyaluronic acid. Light gel textures work well for combination skin.
Foaming Cleansers: Foaming cleansers lift away dirt and oils without stripping moisture. Look for soap-free, non-drying formulas.
Cleansing Milks: Milky cleansers gently melt away makeup and impurities. They provide lightweight hydration for drier areas.
Clay Cleansers: Clay naturally absorbs excess oil. But it can be drying, so clay cleansers made for combination skin will mix it with hydrators.
Exfoliating Cleansers: Cleansers with alpha-hydroxy acids or scrubs buff away dead skin cells while cleansing. Use them 2-3 times per week.
Balancing Cleansers: These contain ingredients aimed at normalizing the skin’s pH and regulating oil production.
Guide to Caring for Combination Skin
Cleanse twice daily. Use a gentle cleanser to refresh skin without stripping moisture. Apply with damp fingers in upward motions. Rinse well.
Use toners cautiously. Alcohol-free, hydrating toners may help balance T-zones. But many toners contain drying alcohols.
Apply lightweight moisturizer. After cleansing, massage moisturizer onto dry areas while avoiding slick creams on oily zones.
Spot treat breakouts. Use acne spot treatments with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to clear blemishes.
Exfoliate 2-3 times weekly. Gently exfoliate to reveal clearer, more even skin. Focus on oily areas.
Use oil-free sunscreen. Protect combination skin from UV damage with a lightweight, non-comedogenic SPF 30 or higher sunscreen.
Use clay masks weekly. Apple cider vinegar clay masks help purify pores and control excess oil on the T-zone.
Watch diet and hydration. Drink lots of water. Limit dairy and high-glycemic foods that may spur breakouts.
FAQs about Best Face Wash for Combination Skin
Q. What is the best face wash for combination skin?
There are many excellent face washes formulated specifically for combination skin. Some top options include CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, Neutrogena Skin Balancing Face Wash, Paula’s Choice RESIST Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser, The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam, and Pacifica Sea Foam Face Wash. Look for a gentle, non-drying formula that balances moisture on drier areas while controlling excess oil in the t-zone. Gel, foaming and milky cleansers tend to work well.
Q. Which Neutrogena face wash is best for combination skin?
Two excellent Neutrogena cleansers for combination skin are the Skin Balancing Face Wash and the Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. The Skin Balancing Face Wash contains polyhydroxy acid (PHA) to gently exfoliate and smooth skin while balancing oils. The Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is a creamy, non-foaming formula that cleanses without stripping moisture. Both are dermatologist-recommended for sensitive skin.
Q. Which CeraVe face wash is best for combination skin?
The CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is an excellent choice for combination skin. It contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin to attract and seal in moisture for drier areas. The non-foaming gel formula gently cleanses without over-drying. It helps restore the skin’s protective barrier. CeraVe cleansers are fragrance-free and non-irritating.
Q. What is the best face wash for acne and combination skin?
Some top face washes for treating acne on combination skin include Paula’s Choice RESIST Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser, IMAGE Skincare Clear Cell Salicylic Acid Cleanser, The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser, and La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash. Look for acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid to clear breakouts without excess drying.
Q. How often should you cleanse combination skin?
Twice daily is ideal, once in the morning and evening. This helps remove dirt, oil and makeup without over-drying.
Q. Should you use two different cleansers for combination skin?
You can use two separate cleansers, one for oily areas and one for dry. But a single, high-quality cleanser designed for combination skin is often sufficient.
Q. Is a foaming cleanser best for combination skin?
Foaming cleansers often work very well, but not all foaming cleansers are created equal. Look for a gentle formula that doesn’t strip skin. Milky, gel and clay cleansers can also be suitable.
Q. What ingredients should you avoid with combination skin?
Avoid cleansers with drying alcohols, fragrances and harsh scrubs. These can cause irritation and worsen dryness on certain areas.
Q. Is exfoliating cleanser good for combination skin?
When chosen wisely, exfoliating cleansers with AHAs or PHAs can help keep pores clear while gently smoothing skin. Use 2-3 times per week.
Q. Should you use cold or warm water to wash combination skin?
Lukewarm water is ideal. Water that is too hot can irritate and dry skin. Too cold water won’t effectively melt and rinse away impurities.
Q. What should you do after cleansing combination skin?
After cleansing, apply a toner if desired. Follow with a lightweight moisturizer suited to combination skin. Then apply any serums or treatments.
Q. Can you just use water to wash combination skin?
Water alone won’t effectively remove dirt, oil and makeup. Use a gentle cleanser morning and night for clean, balanced combination skin.
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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