The best cleansers for combination skin in 2023 (2023)

A “combination” skin type is exactly what it says on the tin, presenting characteristics of both oily and dry skin. While it’s the most common skin type, finding the right products to address your specific concerns –whether that’s an oily forehead and dry cheeks, or sensitive zones around the eyes but dry elsewhere – can prove difficult. Heavy oils and ultra-hydrating formulas can exacerbate a greasy T-zone, for example, whereas anything too clarifying on dry skin could cause irritation or flakiness.

While it’s possible to use two different moisturisers, for oily and dry, on particular areas of your face to achieve a happy medium overall, the nature of cleanser application means that you ideally need to find one hero product that works for both of these issues in one fell swoop.

Thankfully, there are some great dedicated cleansers for combination skin that can bring balance to your complexion, leaving skin happy, clean and comfortable. Whether you’re looking for a budget option, a gentle formula for sensitive skin or a fix for pesky blemishes, read on to discover our pick of the best cleansers for combination skin, plus a guide covering the factors you should consider when making your choice.

READ NEXT: Best foundation for combination skin

Best cleansers for combination skin: At a glance

  • Best overall: CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser | £13
  • Best for sensitive skin: Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Cleanser for sensitive skin | £20
  • Best for acne-prone skin: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Gel Wash | £21
  • Best for removing makeup: Beauty Pie Japanfusion Pure Cleanser | £25
  • Best on a budget: Aveeno Face Calm + Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser | £7.99

How to choose the best cleanser for combination skin 2023

What causes combination skin?

Compared to normal skin, where oil production is balanced across the face, combination skin is usually characterised by an oily and shiny forehead, nose and chin (known as the T-zone), and dry cheeks and temples. There are a number of factors that could result in this skin type, including external factors such as changes in the weather, harsh products, high stress levels and sun damage, as well as your genes.

Do I have combination skin?

There are many tell-tale signs that would indicate that you have combination skin. These include:

  • Sensitive cheeks that can feel tight and irritated
  • Different pore sizes across your face
  • Skin becomes shiny very quickly
  • You often have a cluster of blemishes in the same place (usually around the T-zone)

Our list of the best cleansers for combination skin has the top products to help balance out these areas for a more even and comfortable complexion.

(Video) The BEST Cleansers of 2022!

Which ingredients should I look for in a product?

When shopping for the right cleanser for your combination skin type, we recommend choosing a product that’s both soothing and clarifying. Steer away from harsh formulas, which will leave your skin irritated and potentially even damage the skin barrier.

See related

The best salicylic acid products 2023: Blemish-busting solutions that will help clear skin

Best skin vitamins in 2023: Boost your skin health with our expert picks

The best blenders and smoothie makers to buy in 2023

(Video) BEST FACE WASH for your SKIN TYPE? Guide to CLEANSERS + Recos per Skin Type! (Filipino) | Jan Angelo

Opting for hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and antioxidant-rich oils can help nourish drier areas as they remove any makeup, banishing that tight feeling.

If you have acne-prone or very oily skin, look for a cleanser that has exfoliating properties, such as salicylic acid, which will help unclog pores and eliminate shine.

The ratio of hydrating ingredients to exfoliants can vary from one cleanser to the next, so for best results, opt for the product that caters to your primary concern, whether that’s blemishes and clogged pores or sensitivity and flakiness.

READ NEXT: Best moisturiser

The best cleansers for combination skin to buy in 2023

1. CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser: Best overall cleanser for combination skin

Price: £13 |Buy now from Boots

This CeraVe cleanser is our top pick for combination skin types, delivering a thorough yet gentle cleanse while restoring the skin's barrier. Skin is left feeling comfortable with no hint of tightness. Made up of a hydrating blend of ceramides, hyaluronic acid and amino acids to soothe and nourish parched skin, its combination of ingredients gets to work without stripping the skin of natural moisture.

Impressive ingredients aside, we adore how luxurious this cleanser feels to use. Starting as a cream, it lathers into a silky foam that can easily be worked into skin to remove all traces of makeup, oil and grime. It’s fragrance-free (a blessing for sensitive skin) and online customers were particularly impressed at its affordable price and the fact that a little product goes a long way.

Key specs – Volume: 236ml; Texture: Cream to foam; Star ingredient: Jojoba oil

Buy now from Boots

2. Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser for sensitive skin: Best for sensitive skin

Price: £20 | Buy now from Cult Beauty

(Video) TOP 10 CLEANSERS | Kbeauty

The sensitive version of Jordan Samuel's OG cleanser is free of harsh ingredients or fragrance, making it a soothing saviour for irritated, combination skin. Its gel-to-oil formula feels ultra-soft and gentle on application, removing all traces of makeup and excess oil.

Containing antioxidant-rich oils including olive and jojoba to help slough away stubborn mascara, plus green tea and chamomile extract to calm stressed skin, it gets to work without stripping your skin of essential moisture. Customers comment on its fabulous texture and how well it works on dry, sensitive skin, cleansing without causing irritation, leaving the face super-soft.

Key specs – Volume: 94ml; Texture: Gel to oil; Star ingredient:Olive, jojoba and grape seed oils

Buy now from Cult Beauty

3. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel Wash: Best for acne-prone skin

Price: £21 | Buy now from Look Fantastic

This foaming cleanser from well-known French brand La Roche-Posay is the perfect choice for anyone whose combination skin leans more towards the oily side. The formula contains a combination of 2% salicylic acid, lipo hydroxy acids (LHA) and zinc to help perform a micro-exfoliation and slough away any blemish-causing bacteria without irritation.

Gentle enough to use daily, we particularly loved the cooling feel of menthol as it was massaged into damp skin. Customers loved how well it cleansed, leaving skin feeling fresh, and how well it cleared spots and blemishes. Alcohol-free and hypoallergenic, it’s a great choice for sensitive skin, and it comes in at a great price, too.

Key specs – Volume: 400ml; Texture: Gel; Star ingredient: Salicylic acid

Buy now from Look Fantastic

4. Beauty Pie Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser: Best for removing makeup

Price: £9 for members, £25 for non-members | Buy now from Beauty Pie

(Video) Best Face Cleansers For All Skin Types | Dr. Shereene Idriss

Those looking for a formula to remove makeup effectively, including waterproof cosmetics, will love this cleanser that promises to “tracelessly remove makeup, oils and pollution”. Its gel-to-oil-to-milk texture is super versatile, working well for both your daytime and nighttime skincare routine.

Boasting Nmfission Moisture Lock complex, a yeast derivative, it delivers hydration and firmness, while Jabara extract, rich in vitamin C, reduces pigmentation. The cleanser has been awarded five stars online many times over for cleansing skin without irritation, leaving skin looking dewy and radiant. It can even effectively remove waterproof mascara.

Key specs – Volume: 100ml; Texture: Gel to oil to milk; Star ingredient: Jabara extract

Buy now from Beauty Pie

5. Aveeno Face Calm + Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser: Best budget cleanser

Price: £7.99 | Buy now from Feel Unique

Looking to calm irritated skin on a budget? Aveeno’s cult-favourite oat cleanser is here to soothe your skin worries away, with its prebiotic oat complex that’s been proven to nourish, strengthen and protect the skin’s barrier. Unlike some of the other cleansers on the list, it doesn’t foam, but its texture is perfect for use on any dry patches of skin. Fragrance-free, it’s also a great choice for combination skin that’s particularly sensitive.

The formula also includes feverfew, which is high in antioxidants and helps to improve the appearance of facial redness, calming irritated skin. Many reviewers rave about its stellar makeup-removing abilities and claim it’s a holy grail for flakiness. Suitable for the whole family, including kids, we love its budget price, too.

Key specs – Volume: 200ml; Texture: Gel; Star ingredient: Prebiotic oat

Buy now from Feel Unique


Does combination skin need cleanser? ›

If you have combination skin that is mostly dry, you'll need a hydrating cleanser to combat it. This gentle cleanser from La Roche-Posay may be a good choice for you as it contains skin-nourishing ceramides. It's noncomedogenic, so it won't clog pores and contribute to excess oil production.

What type of cleanser is best for oily or combination skin? ›

Gel and foaming cleansers are typically suited to people who have more oily and acne prone skin. They can be quite harsh on dryer skin types, as these formulas have stripping properties. Cream cleansers are the ideal formula texture for dry skin.

What do dermatologists recommend for combination skin? ›

For combination skin, some dermatologists recommend using two different moisturizers to treat your separate skin woes. The Derm Review suggests treating dry skin areas with an emollient-rich moisturizer, while treating oily skin areas with a moisturizer that contains acne-fighting ingredients.

Is CeraVe better than Cetaphil? ›

CeraVe is the safer bet for anyone with dry or sensitive skin. It's the one I use most often. If you want something for normal, combination, or oily skin, Cetaphil is a better place to start.

What toner is best for combination skin? ›

Toners for Combination Skin
  • Glow RecipeWatermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner. ...
  • The OrdinaryGlycolic Acid 7% Exfoliating Toning Solution. ...
  • Tower 28 BeautySOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray. ...
  • Paula's ChoiceRESIST Advanced Replenishing Toner with Hyaluronic Acid. ...
  • innisfreeGreen Tea Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Toner.

Is gel or foam cleanser better for combination skin? ›

For that reason, gel face washes are best for those with oily or combination skin. While gel face washes can be effective in removing excess oil without stripping the skin of its natural oils, some gel cleansers may still remove too much oil, depending on your specific skin type.

Should I use cleanser or face wash for combination skin? ›

Because facial cleansers gently clean your skin without stripping away too much oil, they're considered an ideal product for many skin types, including normal, sensitive, dry, and combination.

What is the number one cleanser in Korea? ›

Best Overall:The Face Shop Rice WaterBright Cleansing Foam

It is the best Korean water-based cleanser. It also contains soapwort extract, a gentle cleanser for sensitive and dry skin types. The cleanser minimizes moisture loss and leaves your skin refreshed without feeling stretchy or tight.

Which cosmetic brand is best for combination skin? ›

Combination Skin Care Products
  • Day cream. L'Oreal Paris Hydrafresh Genius Multi-Active Essence Cream. ...
  • Night cream. Lotus Professional Phyto-Rx Skin Renewal Anti-Ageing Night Crème. ...
  • Moisturizer. The Body Shop Vitamin E Gel Moisture Cream. ...
  • Serum. The Moms Co. ...
  • Day cream. ...
  • Night cream. ...
  • Moisturizer. ...
  • Serum.

What is not good for combination skin? ›

Avoid products with excessive fragrance or other irritants. Any product that includes harsh ingredients like fragrance or alcohol can irritate both dry and oily skin. Dry areas may become drier, while oily parts may produce more oil, potentially leading to breakouts.

How often should I wash my face if I have combination skin? ›

Combo skin types are seen as the lucky ones. In this case, you can take your pick of the cleansers on offer. It's still advisable to wash twice a day and use a gentle formula “that removes impurities, deep cleans pores, helps remove makeup, and leaves the skin feeling refreshed, clean, and hydrated,” says Tim.

What CeraVe cleanser is best for combination skin? ›

For those with combination skin, balancing the two skin concerns is key to maintaining a healthy and radiant complexion. We recommend the CeraVe Hydrating Cream-To-Foam Cleanser which targets both oily and dry skin by restoring the skin's natural barrier, gently cleansing and locking in moisture throughout the day.

What makes combination skin worse? ›

Certain products and lifestyle habits can contribute to combination skin type; using harsh products that contain dry ingredients can trigger your skin to produce excess oil, which can worsen breakouts in the T-Zone while drying out other parts of the face.

What are the 3 most important skin care products? ›

Three Essential Elements in a Basic Skincare Routine
  • Step 1: Cleanser. ...
  • Step 2: Moisturizer. ...
  • Step 3: Sunscreen. ...
  • Taking it to the next level: Antioxidants and retinoids. ...
  • 3 (or 5) simple steps to beautiful skin.

What are the two types of combination skin? ›

Combination Skin Type

Your skin can be dry or normal in some areas and oily in others, such as the T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin). Many people have this type. It may need slightly different care in different areas.

What brands are better than CeraVe? ›

Love CeraVe? Shop Alternatives To Their 6 Bestselling Products
  • Earth Rhythm Restore Hydrating Cream Cleanser. Earth Rhythm Restore Hydrating Cream Cleanser. ...
  • Globus Salicylic Acid Face Wash. ...
  • Re'equil Moisturiser. ...
  • Cetaphil Moisturising Cream. ...
  • Neutrogena Oil Free Face Moisturizer SPF 15. ...
  • Dr.

Which brand is better than Cetaphil? ›

The most noticeable difference between the two cleansers is that CeraVe is a gel cleanser while Cetaphil is a cream cleanser. If you have normal to oily skin and prefer a gel-based foaming cleanser, CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser will be the best choice.

Why is CeraVe so recommended? ›

The beauty of CeraVe is that it works across all skin types and tones — normal, oily, acne-prone or sensitive. Praised for its gentle and restorative qualities, all CeraVe formulas are made without fragrances, a common irritant for those with sensitive skin.

Should I use toner if I have combination skin? ›

Apply toner

A well-formulated toner for combination skin really can help nourish dry skin and minimize oiliness at the same time—and it won't make the dry areas drier or the oily areas oilier. Don't skip this step, it's incredibly beneficial for this skin type.

Is hyaluronic acid good for combination skin? ›

Hyaluronic Acid can quench even the driest of complexions and works equally well for people with oily and combination skin types. Unlike some skincare products, hyaluronic acid gets quickly absorbed into the skin, meaning you lose less product.

Is toner necessary for combination skin? ›

No, toning is not necessary for skin health. Toners were originally developed to remove soap scum from the face when lye-based soaps combined with hard water left a sticky residue post cleansing.

Which gel is best for combination skin? ›

When choosing good moisturizers for combination skin, the key is to go for products with mattifying ingredients and oil-free base. This means Salicylic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin among others. If you are looking for a natural way to hydrate skin, apply Aloe Vera gel for best results.

How to do double cleansing for combination skin? ›

How to double cleanse
  1. Apply an oil-based cleanser to the palm of your hand and gently massage the cleanser into your skin to help break down makeup, sebum and sunscreen residue.
  2. Rinse using either a washcloth or your hands with lukewarm water. ...
  3. Instead of reaching for a towel to dry of your face, keep your skin damp.
Jun 21, 2022

Can I use CeraVe foaming cleanser on combination skin? ›

CeraVe's dermatologist-developed cleansers and face washes for combination skin help address both of these concerns simultaneously—with options including a foaming gel formula, exfoliating salicylic acid cleanser, and more.

Which is best cleanser? ›

Today we'll list the best cleansers for dry skin available in the market. Take a look:
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. ...
  • Biotique Almond Oil Cleanser for Dry Skin. ...
  • Loreal Paris Revitalift Hyaluronic Acid Gel Cleanser. ...
  • SkinKraft Face Wash for Dry Skin. ...
  • Dermafique Absolute Detox Facial Cleanser.

Should you wash your face in the morning if you have combination skin? ›

Oily or combination skin

That said, regardless of your skin type, if you're squeezing in a morning workout, it's a great idea to wash your face right after to remove excessive sweat, bacteria, and dirt, says Dr. Stephens.

What is the best face wash for acne and combination skin? ›

Best for acne and blackheads: Bioré Charcoal Acne Daily Cleanser. Best for combination skin: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. Best for teenage acne: Humane Acne Face Wash, 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. Best for adult acne: Simple Micellar Cleansing Water.

What is the #1 facial cleanser in America? ›

Philosophy's Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser Is Officially America's #1 Facial Cleanser.

What face wash do the Kardashians use? ›

Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser

After her skin is clean, Kardashian follows with Peach & Lily Hydrating Gel Cleanser to make sure every last bit of makeup and oil is gone.

Which ingredient is best for combination skin? ›

  • Ingredient #1 Superoxide Dismutase. Choose a gentle, soap-free cleanser for your combination skin. ...
  • Ingredient #2 Hyaluronic Acid. ...
  • Ingredient #3 Peptides. ...
  • Ingredient #4 Lactic Acid. ...
  • Ingredient #5 Squalane.

What is a simple skincare routine for combination skin? ›

Tips for Combination Skin

Gently exfoliate and deeply moisturize. This will help get rid of dry patches while also nourishing and replenishing your skin. Try a clay mask on your T-zone to get rid of excess oil, and apply a moisturizing mask to your cheeks to hydrate dry areas.

How can I improve my combination skin? ›

How to Care for Combination Skin
  1. Use a Gentle Facial Cleanser. ...
  2. Add Routine Exfoliation to Your Routine. ...
  3. Never Skip Moisturizer. ...
  4. Avoid Touching Your Face. ...
  5. Blot Away Oil. ...
  6. Make Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen Your BFF. ...
  7. Treat Your Complexion to a Face Mask. ...
  8. Tend to Your Dry Under-Eyes.
Jan 6, 2023

Which Cetaphil cleanser is best for combination skin? ›

This can make it bewildering to know which products to use to get the best results for combination skin. WHAT TO DO: The best step is to use a gentle cleanser, like Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser and stick with a moisturizer with oil-free hydrators such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

Why La Roche Posay is so good? ›

The benefit of La Roche-Posay is its high-quality formulations that address specific skin concerns, including sensitive skin, dryness, acne, and rosacea. The products are well-researched and tested for efficacy and safety. La Roche-Posay is also a widely available and generally affordable brand.

What should be used for combination skin? ›

If you have combination skin, exfoliating dead skin cells is key to keeping your complexion smooth and glowy. Whether that be with a serum, a toner or a face scrub, routine exfoliation will help to buff away the layer of dead skin, revealing a velvety and radiant complexion.

Is foam cleanser better for combination skin? ›

Who should use a foaming cleanser? While all skin types can benefit from foam cleansing, oily, combination and normal skin types will likely reap the best results. For these skin types, foaming cleansers are likely to leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed, without being stripped of its natural oils.

How often should you cleanse combination skin? ›

For combination skin

“Cleansing twice a day is ideal unless you're noticing your skin getting flaky, dry, or irritated, then it's ok to take a break,” she advises. “Combination skin will need a thicker moisturizer than oily skin, especially in dry winter weather.

Which CeraVe cleanser is best for combination skin? ›

For those with combination skin, balancing the two skin concerns is key to maintaining a healthy and radiant complexion. We recommend the CeraVe Hydrating Cream-To-Foam Cleanser which targets both oily and dry skin by restoring the skin's natural barrier, gently cleansing and locking in moisture throughout the day.

What does combination skin look like? ›

Typically, the combination skin type is characterized by dry, flaking skin on the cheeks, while excessive oil and shine appears on other areas of the face. Those with combination skin are in a constant battle with their T-Zone, which includes the forehead, nose, and chin.


1. The ULTIMATE Oily Skin Routine | Doctorly Routines
(Dr Dray)
3. The best drugstore cleansers . .
(Taylor Margaret)
4. Combination Skin? Use This Cleanser TODAY!
5. Best Cleansers for Oily Skin of 2022! 🧼
6. Dermatologist Dr.Koh’s picks: Best Cleansers for Combo Skin
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Errol Quitzon

Last Updated: 06/10/2023

Views: 6142

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Errol Quitzon

Birthday: 1993-04-02

Address: 70604 Haley Lane, Port Weldonside, TN 99233-0942

Phone: +9665282866296

Job: Product Retail Agent

Hobby: Computer programming, Horseback riding, Hooping, Dance, Ice skating, Backpacking, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Errol Quitzon, I am a fair, cute, fancy, clean, attractive, sparkling, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.