A woman using a face cleanser

Face Scrub vs Cleanser, What Are The Differences?

Your face is your billboard to the world, so it's super important you take care of it the right way. Today we're talking about scrubs and cleansers and which one is best.
Updated: November 9, 2022
Article Contents:

Modern-day beautification can sometimes be overly complicated. With so many brands, products, and advice out there, it’s difficult to get a firm grasp on what you actually need for your skin. Facial products are probably some of the most popular items on the market, and there is no shortage of options. Two of the most prominent types of products for facial care are face scrubs and cleansers. What’s the difference between them, and which one should you go for?

Everything you need to know about face scrubs

Face scrubs are impactful facial cleaning products that are used by millions of people every day. The formula of the product is relatively simple except for one key element, the texture. Within the substance, face scrubs contain small hard granules made from crystals, volcanic rock, microplastics, and other materials. When you rub the cream on your face and rub it into every area, these granules scrape away dead skin cells that are lying on the surface of your face. It feels a little weird, almost like you’re wiping gravel over your skin, but this serves an important job. Removing dead cells is essential for avoiding breakouts and other blemishes as it stops your pores from getting clogged. Beyond that, face scrubs do a great job of moisturizing your skin and giving you a youthful shine.

As great as this sounds, you must also take some precautionary measures when using a scrub. If you apply it too harshly or use it too frequently, you can actually cause harm to your skin in the form of micro-scratches. You could also induce dryness in certain areas too, which isn’t very comfortable. Otherwise, it is a fantastic facial product that does the job it is meant to do.

Everything you need to know about cleansers

Cleansers are gentle facial cleaners that are often used at the end of a long day. Their job is to remove dust, dirt, and other unwanted muck from the surface of your skin in an unobtrusive way. Many women use cleansers to remove their makeup before going to bed, as they provide a light and soft wash that leaves their skin feeling refreshed for the night. Cleansers can be water or gel-based, and it’s up to the individual which one they prefer to use. Water-based products are usually better for sensitive skin but cleansers, in general, are pretty suitable no matter what skin type you have. A key objective for your skin at the end of a hard day is to inject some moisture back into it, and cleansers fulfill this need very well, hydrating your skin to look and feel its best. It should be noted that cleansers and face wash are considered different things, as cleansers tend to only focus on surface-based dirt, whereas face wash aims to clean deeper into your pores.

Which one is better, face scrub or cleansers?

The two products aren’t really comparable. Face scrubs are much rougher and dig deeper into your skin, whereas cleansers are light, gentle and simply aim to rinse off surface-based dirt. A good way to use both of them in your routine would be to prime your face with a cleanser before using a face scrub to complete a comprehensive face wash.


That’s all there is to it. Scrubs and cleansers serve different purposes but can ultimately work well in tandem. There are plenty of options on the market to choose from, but you should always figure out what would benefit your skin type the most before making a purchase. No doubt both face scrubs and cleansers will continue to rise in their popularity in the years to come.

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