Face Wash vs. Cleanser: Which One Should You Use?

Face Wash vs. Cleanser: Which One Should You Use?

Published by Jil Goorman on Nov 3rd 2023

The world of skincare often uses the terms “face wash” and “cleanser” interchangeably. But it’s important to note that they’re not the same thing.

Both face washes and cleansers have the main objective of cleaning your skin, but they perform slightly different functions and cater to different skin needs. So, face wash or cleanser, which one should you use? Discover your best option based on the product’s ingredients and your skin type.

What Is a Face Wash?

Like soap, a face wash works up into a luxurious, foamy lather. It is removes excessive oils, dirt, and even stubborn makeup stuck in the pores.

Individuals with sensitive or dry skin might find that face washes strip away too much of the skin’s natural oils. This effective formula is best for oily and combination skin types for ultimate oil control. People who wear heavy makeup products often may also benefit from foaming face washes for a refreshed complexion after a long day.

What Is a Cleanser?

Cleansers have a cream or gel consistency that is exceptionally gentle on the skin. With its unique formulation, it effectively cleanses and provides deep hydration and soothing properties with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Cleansers are favorable for individuals with skin conditions like eczema and rosacea, or those with dry, sensitive skin. Its nourishing ingredients help maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance. Additionally, cleansers reduce discomfort and inflammation, so the skin feels refreshed and revitalized.

Which Product Should You Use?

The infamous question remains: face wash or cleanser, which one should you use? Don’t worry. Deciding is easy! Those with skin conditions or dry skin may prefer sticking to a cleanser. It will hydrate the face while washing away dirt and oil cemented in the pores. Individuals with oily or combination skin will benefit from the vigorous cleansing of face washes.

However, it is possible to use cleansers and face washes in tandem to reap the benefits of both products. Start your routine with a face wash to deep cleanse and remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup. Wet your face with warm water, apply a coin-sized amount of the product, and gently massage it all over your face in circular motions. Rinse thoroughly and pat your skin dry.

Following the face wash, use a cleanser for acne-prone skin to alleviate inflammation and hydrate the skin. Apply a generous amount of the cleanser to your face, gently massaging it into the skin. This second step will make sure your skin is thoroughly clean and ready for the rest of your skincare routine.