The Best Face Moisturizers for Combination Skin According to Dermatologists
If your forehead, nose and chin tend to shine like a diamond while your cheeks flake like a pastry, you probably have combination skin. And while multi-masking can be a fun way to tackle disparate patches on your face, attempting to use multiple moisturizers at once is more likely to drive you mad than fix any issues you’re dealing with.
Luckily, evening the differences in oil production across your face isn’t as complicated as you might think. The trick is finding a product that helps regulate your skin’s oil production while also providing ample hydration, rather than tackling just one of those challenges. As Dr. Joshua Zeichner a dermatologist from NYC, puts it, “When choosing a moisturizer for combination skin, stay away from extreme ingredients that may work for one part of the face, but aggravate the other. I usually recommend moisturizers that have a lighter consistency which won’t weigh down oily skin, but are effective enough for dry skin.”
On the bright side, combination skin is actually the most common skin type, which means there are lots and lots of products specifically designed to create a balance for this particular conundrum. So, we talked to Dr. Zeichner and three other dermatologists and skincare experts to find out what are the best moisturizers for combination skin. Here are their picks.
1. INNBEAUTY PROJECT Next Level No BS Moisturizer
Best Affordable OptionDr. Zeichner’s first choice is from clean, vegan beauty brand Innabeauty Project. “The specialized gel cream base is super lightweight and won’t weigh down the skin. It also delivers soothing niacinamide along with botanical extracts (like ribrose and licorice) with natural hydrating benefits.”
2. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer
Best Clean Beauty OptionIn addition to treating flaky and oily sections of your skin, Dr. Sunitha D. Posina, a beauty internist in New York with certification in dermatology therapies, emphasizes continual nourishment to prevent those imbalances from getting back out of control. “Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow is packed with antioxidants and botanical extracts to help neutralize free radicals and protect against environmental irritants. It is also developed with hyaluronic acid, which I recommend for dry skin. On top of this, the product contains watermelon extract, which is filled with vitamins and amino acids, helping nourish the skin. Watermelon extract is touted for its cleansing and exfoliating properties, while the vitamin C within it helps cells regenerate. This helps combination skin stay hydrated, regulate excess oils, and address dryness.
3. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
Best for Those with More Oily Patches Than Dry“I recommend this to some of my patients who have oily skin with dry patches in some spots of their faces,” says Dr. Posina. “The formula combines vitamin E for antioxidant benefits with hyaluronic acid for hydrating and retaining moisture in the dermis and epidermis throughout the day. Vitamin C and B12 are also present in this product, which help boost collagen production, reduce inflammation and brighten the skin for a more supple feel and look.”
4. Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mineral Water Gel
Best for Those With More Dry Patches Than OilyAccording to Dr. Stacy Chimento, MD, based out of Miami Beach, Florida, this water gel is a great “lightweight option for those on the dryer side of combination skin” thanks to glycerin, which pulls water into the outer layers of your skin. “[The Vichy moisturizer] also contains hyaluronic acid to attract moisture from the environment to leave your skin feeling cooler (a bonus in the summer months) and better moisturized. This will have a ripple effect as this proper hydration helps level oil production and revitalize and minimize pores.”
5. Ole Henriksen Counter Balance Oil Control Hydrator
Best Pre-Foundation Prep
The combination of potent botanicals—green tea, eucalyptus, algae and Irish moss—works to both mattify skin and provide a dewy complexion. This might sound like an oxymoron, but what that really means is that this moisturizer can limit oil production while providing deep hydration for a deep, healthy glow that comes from within. Another bonus of this oil-controlling formula is its ability to work in conjunction with your makeup for a guaranteed eight hours of melt-free foundation.