Moisturizer is one of the most important steps in any skincare routine. The hard part is choosing the right one for your skin type. There are options out there for dry skin, oily and acne-prone skin, sensitive types and more but combination is a little trickier than the others. “This skin type can be the hardest, as you’ll need to assess your skin on a daily basis,” says Fatima Fahs, M.D., board-certified dermatologist in Michigan and founder of Dermy Doc Box. “If your skin is on the oiler side, opt for lighter based formulations or consider only applying thicker ointments to dryer areas like the cheeks.”
Since those with combination skin experience both dryness and oiliness, “it is important to look for ingredients that will both hydrate and reduce excess oiliness and shine, without clogging the pores or drying out the skin,” says Marisa Garshick, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Cornell – New York Presbyterian Medical Center. The formulas need to be truly multi-tasking and “include hydrating ingredients such as humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, as well as ingredients that help to strengthen the skin barrier like ceramides, without being too occlusive on the skin or leaving the skin feeling greasy.” It’s a tough job, but luckily we found plenty of products that can do it and do it well.
To find the best facial moisturizers, the Good Housekeeping Institute screened dozens of products using both consumer and laboratory testing. This included 240 women with various skin types who evaluated facial moisturizers at home and then rated the products on multiple factors including ease of use, performance and more. The top scored products were then further evaluated in the Lab. Our picks below include some of these high performing products, some that are backed by our Good Housekeeping Seal and others recommended by our Lab scientists and top dermatologists.
Our Top Picks
Read on for what to look for in a moisturizer for combination skin. Keep your entire face hydrated with the best eye creams and top lip balms.
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Best Overall Moisturizer for Combination Skin
Purity Made Simple Moisturizer
|Key Ingredients||Vitamins, antioxidants|
Best Value Moisturizer for Combination Skin
Daily Moisturizing Face Cream
|Key Ingredients||Oat flour|
Best Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Combination Skin
Gentle Clear Mattifying Acne Moisturizer
|Key Ingredients||Salicylic acid, botanicals, prebiotics|
Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin for Teenagers
PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion
|Key Ingredients||Hyaluronic Acid, niacinamide|
Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin in Summer
Toleriane Double Repair Matte Face Moisturizer
|Key Ingredients||Ceramides, niacinamide, glycerin|
Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin with SPF
UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
|Key Ingredients||Antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid|
Best Tinted Moisturizer for Combination Skin
Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30
|Key Ingredients||Antioxidants, macadamia and kukui seed oils|
Best Gel Moisturizer for Combination Skin
Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Vitamin C Face Moisturizer, Anti-Aging Gel Cream
|Key Ingredients||Vitamin C|
Best Nighttime Moisturizer for Combination Skin
TimeWise® Age Minimize 3D® Night Cream – Combination/Oily
|Key Ingredients||Japanese apricot extract, encapsulated resveratrol, vitamin B3 and peptides|
Best Splurge Moisturizer for Combination Skin
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Light Moisturizer
|Key Ingredients||Peptides, vitamin E, coconut alkanes|
How we test moisturizers for combination skin
To find the best skincare, the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab rounds up the latest and greatest products on the market to see which ones are actually worth your money, from drugstore moisturizers to luxury picks and more.
For this test, we included 240 women with various skin types who evaluated facial moisturizers at home, by using it daily for two weeks following the manufacturer’s instructions. Following the testing period, testers completed questionnaires rating ease of use, absorption, performance and satisfaction. Products are masked to remove any brand biases. The top overall scoring products from consumer testing were then evaluated in the Lab for moisturization using the Corneometer, which provided 1,920 data points.
What to look for when shopping for the best moisturizers for combination skin
As we mentioned above, those with combination skin should seek out a mix of hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, and ones that will minimize shine and oil production. “You should also look for oil-free formulations that are non-comedogenic so they won’t clog pores,” says Dr. Garshick.
Other ingredients to look for include niacinamide, “as it helps to control sebum production and is also calming, soothing and anti-inflammatory,” she adds. Lightweight is a big buzzword for those with combination skin, with gel-based formulas being a great option. “In terms of sunscreen, you can use either chemical or mineral blockers, however if your skin is more sensitive, it can be safer to stick with the mineral sunscreens,” advises Dr. Garshick.
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
Danusia Wnek, a chemist in the Beauty, Health and Sustainability Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, contributed to this story by providing both Lab-tested and personal product picks and testing information. She has been testing skincare products including but not limited to eye creams, serums, night creams, neck creams, facial oils and moisturizing creams for over seven years at the Good Housekeeping Institute. She has experience in using specialized skin evaluation lab equipment to gauge changes in skin moisturization, firmness and facial features like wrinkles and texture before and after product use. She also regularly polls our consumer panel on their purchasing and product use habits as well as weighs in on the benefits of skincare ingredients like vitamin C, retinol and niacinamide.
Dori Price added to Wnek’s picks with additional dermatologist recommended options and expert advice. She has over 15 years of experience researching and writing skincare stories, combining her knowledge with the expertise of top industry professionals, including dermatologists and aestheticians. She is an expert in all face and body skincare product categories, from cleansers to toners, serums, moisturizers, sunscreens, exfoliators, masks, professional treatments and more.
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