Many people who think they have dry or oily skin, actually have combination of both. There are 2 common types of combination skin. There's the oily T-zone, which happens along the forehead, down the nose and to the chin, while the cheeks can get dry and flaky. Then there are the adult acne sufferers, who still get acne, despite also experiencing dry skin at the same time.
Not sure if you have combination skin? Find out for sure in my article, How to Tell If You Have Combination Skin.
The key to cleansing combination skin is to use the correct products for the areas of your face. They must always be gentle and never harsh or you risk exacerbating your problem spots. You may choose to use products on the problem spots on your face. For example, try an oil-absorbing product on your T-zone and use moisturizer on the drier parts of your face. Or, use acne treatment on your breakouts and moisturizer everywhere else. You may find once you change your products, your skin problems clear up.
All of these cleansers I've picked for this list are formulated for combination and normal skin types.
Perhaps one of the most popular cleansers for combination skincare on the market today, Boscia's purifying cleansing gel works best for oily to normal skin types. It works by gently cleansing skin without stripping it and adding harsh elements to the skin. It can be a tad drying, so it works best on women with more oily spots than dry spots. You can also use it to cleanse your oily T-zone, but keep it away from your dry spots, where you may want to moisturize more. Also, consider using this in the warmer months when you might be oilier, but find a less drying cleanser for the winter months.
Some cleansers can make your acne or dry skin worse because they are so harsh on the skin. This foaming facial cleanser is gentle and water-soluble so it's a great pick for those with sensitive, acne-prone or rosacea-prone skin as well as those with an oily T-zone.
CeraVe is a great line of products that can be purchased in drugstores. I love their thick, creamy moisturizers which I use on my super dry legs in the winter. This facial cleanser is the best drugstore buy and at a great price. Makeupalley.com reviewers give this cleanser high marks, and 80 percent would buy it again.
Also see my list of the Best Cleanser for Acne-Prone Skin.
Another great drugstore buy, Eucerin's Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser is formulated for people with easily irritated, sensitive skin. Ingredients include anti-irritants including licorice and root extract but you'll find that with cleansers simple is better. It's not on your face long enough to cure rosacea or acne, but it will cleanse skin without irritating it more, which is key when finding a good cleanser. Plus, you can get it at the drugstore, which is nice, and affordable. Really, you don't need to spend the big bucks on cleansers.
If you are into Mary Kay and you have combination skin, then this is the cleanser for you. Specially formulated for combination skin, this cleanser gently (remember, gentle is important when it comes to your skin type). It's suitable for sensitive skin, will help maintain your skin's moisture balance and it's a favorite among users, garnering lots of positive votes on review sites.
The microbeads in this cleanser work to unclog pores, while the orange extract in the product will soften, refresh and revive your skin without stripping it free of all the oils on your dry spots. You'll love the smell. This cleanser is tagged "for all skin types" so it's perfect for combination skin, just be sure to use a moisturizer on your dry spots or acne medicine on your pimples.
A favorite cleanser on review sites, Clinique's Liquid Facial Soap cleans away the oils without leaving your face feeling stripped. It's very gentle, so you may find it won't remove all your makeup if you are a heavy makeup wearer. Don't use it on the eyes. That's what makeup remover is for.
It's important you find a water-soluble cleanser when you have combination skin and this one is inexpensive and conveniently findable at Target. It's also super popular among users, getting 5 stars on review sites.
This gel-based formula is best for women with oily t-zones. It's non-drying for your dry spots, but will get rid of excess oil and cleanse your pores in your t-zone. Really, a perfect cleanser. Plus, it's full of goodies like zinc, seaweed extract to balance your oily skin and vitamins A & E for those dry spots that need a lot of moisture.
If you're looking for a gentle cleanser -- important for combination skin types because you don't want something that's oily for your oily spots and too drying for your dry spots -- Philosophy's Purity Made Simple is an excellent bet. Ingredients include sage, chamomile and carrot. You can buy it online or at Sephora, where it's a best-seller.