Cleansers for Combination Skin

A gentle cleanser will clean your face without drying it out.

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If you have combination skin, you know full well how hard it can be to find a cleanser that won't dry out your skin, but still leave it feeling clean. That's the bane of this skin type. You have two very different issues. If your skin is sensitive on top of that, then you have a real challenge. Just because a product says it is "natural" or "organic” does not mean it may be right for you, explains dermatologist Leslie Baumann, of the University of Miami's Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute. You have plenty of choices that may not fall in either category. The important thing is to choose a product that what works for you.

What is Combination Skin?

Combination skin defines a condition where you have more than one skin type. You may have oily areas on your forehead and nose, yet your cheeks tend to be dry. Some parts may be normal, and others may be different. Things like the products you use on your skin as well as your hair can affect your skin. What you don't want is to let bacteria build up and end up with a case of acne. On the other hand, you don't want to irritate dry skin and leave your face looking blotchy with red areas.

Gentle is the Way to Go

A skin that is gentle and doesn't strip the good oils from your skin offers a middle-of-the-road solution. You can keep the bacteria at bay, while ensuring smooth skin. Your best judge will be your skin. If your skin feels tight after washing, your cleanser may be too harsh for you. A lightweight moisturizer can alleviate some of the tightness, but you want your skin to feel clean and fresh, rather than dry after cleansing. That will only compound the problem of having dry skin.


When choosing the best cleanser, think about other issues that come up so you can get a product specific for your needs. If you are prone to breakouts, you may want a product with tea-tree oil to fight bacterial buildup. If you have allergies, opt for a fragrance-free cleanser. If you have sensitive skin, pass on a cleanser containing glycolic acid or vitamin C to avoid irritating your dry skin. Your best choice considers all of the factors that affect your skin and its appearance. The product that may be good for one person may not be right for you.


Depending upon your skin's sensitivity, you should cleanse your face every 12 hours. Even with dry skin, you still have to deal with bacteria and preventing breakouts. You may find that cleansing at night, followed by a splash of cool water is a good schedule for cleaning your combination skin. You will avoid the loss of oils that can worsen dry skin, while still keeping your face clean. When testing combination skin cleansers, use one product line at a time just in case you have an allergic reaction. It will make it easier to determine which product you have to stop using.

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