A woman washing her face

Face Wash vs. Face Cleanser, What’s The Difference?

Face wash and cleanser are not the same! They provide different benefits for different purposes. Here's what you need to know.
Updated: November 9, 2022
Article Contents:

With so many facial cosmetics on the market, sometimes it’s difficult to know which is what. What’s the difference between a face wash and a cleanser anyway? Surely they both do the same thing?

Well, they may not be as similar as you think. Choosing to use a wash or cleanser might make the difference between having vibrant-looking skin, or getting it all wrong. Let’s dive in.

Everything you need to know about face wash

Face wash is, well… a product you use to wash your face! Simple, right? But hold your horses, it’s a little more complicated than that.

For decades, people used bars of soap to wash their faces, but thankfully things have moved on a bit since then. While regular soap may give the impression it is doing a good job, it is nothing compared to a proper face wash product. Face wash is water-based and has foaming qualities. Once applied and rubbed into the face, it works to thoroughly clean the skin on a deeper level. Unlike soap, it is more gentle but still manages to get right down into difficult pores to wash them out. After that, it is rinsed from the face with water, and it should leave the skin looking as good as new.

Everything you need to know about face cleanser

Cleanser is not the same as a face wash. Usually reserved for evening use, the cleanser has a richer consistency and uses the power of oils to get the job done. It primarily works to clean the surface of the skin to remove dirt, debris, makeup, and other forms of gunk that may be causing issues.

Unlike face wash, the cleanser contains potent moisturizing elements that will act to sufficiently hydrate the facial skin, restoring that youthful glow and shine. It is a heavier product than a face wash, but this contributes to the overall level of nourishment it will provide.

Which one is better?

There’s no point in comparing face wash and cleanser to each other as they are both different. However, they both provide excellent uses that will benefit the skin hugely.

If you have particularly dry skin, a cleanser may be the better option, as it will work to hydrate and moisturize the problematic areas of the skin and smooth over any troublesome patches. Conversely, people with oily or combination-type skin might reap more rewards from a good face wash, as it will clean those blocked pores much more efficiently.

Can face wash and cleanser be used together?

Yes! In fact, we’d recommend that you do exactly that.

A face wash is perfect for morning use, as it will clear the skin for the day ahead and allow you to apply makeup on a good base. Then, at night, a cleanser will remove all the nastiness your skin has accumulated from the day, and restore the skin back to a neutral, balanced level. Using both face wash and cleanser together to book-end your day is a recipe made in heaven.

Final word

We love both of these products and they both provide tremendous benefits. We’d recommend using them as main components of your daily skincare routine, especially if you are active and busy during your days.

Good luck, and happy cleansing!

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