As for the types of face washes and cleansers you should avoid if you have combination skin, you’ll want to stay away from anything super harsh. “A natural response to seeing excess oil and large pores is to think that using a harsh product to cleanse the skin will magically rid it of these concerns,” Tavernise says. “The truth is those with combination skin have to be very selective when it comes to the cleanser that they use. Again, treating combination skin is all about bringing balance. Cleansers with strong and harsh ingredients can strip the skin of its natural oils, which in turn prompts the skin to produce even more oil. When these cleansers are used on the dry areas of the face, it can further exacerbate tightness and flaking.”
When trying out a new cleanser or face wash, Tavernise recommends waiting 10 minutes after washing your face before applying the rest of your routine. If you skin feels too tight, then you’re probably using a product that’s too strong.
And in general (for both face washes and other products), you’ll want to stay away from anything fragranced. “I would avoid using most oils on oily skin, especially those that are known to be comedogenic,” Marcus says. “Specific commonly used ingredients to avoid include coconut oil, cocoa butter, palm oil, and vitamin E oil. Although, this list is certainly not exhaustive. I would also avoid products with alcohol that may exacerbate dry skin.”
To find out what face washes and cleansers are best for combination skin, check out our list below.