The Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin Is Your Key to Perfect Balance


We all contain multitudes. But if you’re looking for the best moisturizer for combination skin, those multitudes can manifest in especially frustrating ways. By now, you’ve probably perused an article or two that focuses on oily skin or dry skin, and felt completely bewildered by the intel they provided. Because if you’re reading this, the skin on your face is both—oily in some spots, dry in others—as opposed to the fourth type, the kind of perfectly balanced dermis the industry calls “normal”. But you, buddy, you’re special. Your skin defies easy categorization, and you straddle both ends of the spectrum. Your oilier spots are likely across the T-zone (the forehead and nose) as well as the chin. Your drier areas are probably the cheeks, hairline, and jaw. But you’re not going to use two types of hydrator simultaneously, right? Enter the best moisturizer for combination skin.

The primary rule of combination skin is to yield to the more extreme condition, and in this case, it’s likely those pesky oilier spots. That’s not saying oily-skinned folks have it harder than their dry-skinned counterparts—it’s just that people with dry skin, no matter how parched, can usually lather on an excess of nourishing ingredients, while oil-prone folks have a stricter list of pore-clogging (or comedogenic, in skin care parlance) ingredients to avoid, including coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, and more.

But you also don’t want to avoid attending to your drier patches entirely. What you need is a pore-friendly, lightweight moisturizer expressly designed to pull double-duty, ideally with toning abilities that help preserve your skin’s precious pH level, bringing you closer to that ever-elusive harmonized state of “normalcy”. In other words, what you need is the best moisturizer for combination skin—and as luck would have it, we rounded up a veritable murderers’ row of them directly below.

The Best Combo Skin Moisturizers, at a Glance

The Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin Overall

Aesop moisturizer for combination skin

Aesop’s aptly named “In Two Minds” products are specially formulated for combination skin, which explains this moisturizer’s ability to gently center and tone both dry and oily areas with soothing witch hazel. Try it alongside the others in the assortment, like the In Two Minds cleanser and toner.

The Best Night Moisturizer for Combination Skin

Youth to the People hyaluronic acid whip moisturizer

Lightweight whips like this one from Youth to the People work perfectly as breathable overnight shields for almost every type of skin. This one launches hyaluronic acid into the depths of your dermis to help retain its suppleness and firmness, though the recipe only uses one type of oil (sunflower seed, which is non-comedogenic and rich in antioxidants). More like Youth to all people, right?

The Best Warm-Weather Moisturizer for Combination Skin

We love super hydrating moisturizers but many are too thick to apply to the skin when the temps soar past 80 degrees. (Few things are more uncomfortable than immediately breaking out into a waxy sweat once you’ve applied your final layer, trust.) Tatcha’s oil-free Water Cream will keep your skin looking dewy (not greasy) with its lightweight formula packed with Japanese wild rose and detoxifying green tea.

The Best Gel Moisturizer for Combination Skin

Pretty Boy gel moisturizer

Pretty Boy carries a distinction from the National Eczema Association thanks to its skin-reviving formula, but the real distinguishing factor here is a lightweight gel recipe that wears easy across all types of skin. The brand positions it as an all-in-one, too, for any time of day and every kind of face—including your tricky combo skin. 

The Best Assortment of Moisturizers for Combination Skin

Atwater combination-to-oily skin moisturizer

Atwater dry-to-combination skin moisturizer

Atwater universal moisturizer

Sometimes, combination skin can skew heavily towards one end of the oily-dry spectrum, as opposed to a mix of the two in equal measure. If that sounds familiar, Atwater—founded by ex Kiehl’s honcho Chris Salgardo—makes a trio of terrific options, depending on where your skin falls along that range: combination to oily (with oil-tempering properties), dry-to-combination (for ultra nourishment and defense against the elements), and one lightweight, shine-free pick for those whose skin refuses to be boxed in. 

The Best SPF-Infused Moisturizer for Combination Skin

La Roche-Posay Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen

While we recommend layering a standalone SPF on top of your moisturizer, the 2-in-1 is a great option for those working under a tight schedule (or tight packing parameters). La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer with SPF30 is lightweight and blends in with a range of skin tones so you don’t have to worry about clogged pores (or looking like the ghost of sunscreen’s past). 

The Best Moisturizer for Smoothing Out Texture And Tone

Dr Dennis Gross Vitamin C Lactic Oil-Free Radiant Moisturizer

This silky smooth moisturizer feels more like a thick serum which is great for hot, summer days. Even better, it’s infused with lactic acid, vitamin C, and niacinamide to gently even out hyperpigmentation while boosting your skin’s natural glow. Think of it like a morning pick-me-up in a cheerfully bright bottle. 

The Best On-the-Go Moisturizer

Laneige Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream Moisturizer

If you’ve entered a dry, hot summer in your parts then Laneige’s Blue Hyaluronic Cream Moisturizer is the tall glass of water your skin is begging for. Infused with hyaluronic acid, squalane, and ceramide, it’s the three-punch hydrating combo you can easily re-up on wherever you are thanks to the handy tube packaging. And—sham

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The Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin Is Your Key to Perfect Balance

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