As if choosing a face wash from the hundreds available isn't hard enough already, picking the best cleanser for combination skin can feel a bit like picking the winning racehorse — a game of chance. The good news is that it's simpler than in sounds.
First, understand that combination skin is really a spectrum of varying skin types with different levels of dryness, oiliness, and sensitivity. So you'll want to get to know your skin a little better and narrow down what your biggest concerns are. If you experience excess sebum production (basically oily spots), you may have accompanying acne or blackheads. And if you've got dry spots, you might have flaking, discoloration, or sensitivity.
If your main concern is acne and blackheads, look for a cleanser with salicylic acid or another exfoliant to clear away pore-clogging dead skin. If you're more worried about the drier skin on your face, try something that refreshes, protects, and soothes skin with ingredients like aloe, glycerin, and hydrating oils.
Whatever your decide, gentle, non-comedogenic cleansers are always better choices for combination skin because if you treat one of your skin's concerns too harshly, you risk upsetting the balance of the rest of your skin. Balance really is the best way to keep any kind of combination skin happy and nourished.
And you can't go wrong with any one of the nine cleansers — all of which expertly cleanse the skin without stripping your natural moisture barrier or, in other words, throwing off your skin's precious balance.