Face Wash vs Cleanser – What is the difference between Cleanser and Face Wash

There are many people who are still confused about whether cleanser and face wash are the same. Even though both skin care products can help cleanse your skin, their effectiveness differs.

So, it’s crucial to ensure that either face wash and face cleanser suits your skin best. To help you do the same, we’ve outlined some differences between face wash and face cleanser. Please keep reading until the end to know more and make an informed decision regarding your regular skincare regimen.

Let’s get started.

Face wash vs Cleanser: Basic Functions

To choose a cleanser or face wash, you should note the essential functions first. Cleaning and face washes help do the primary job of cleansing your face.

However, face washes are formulated to remove germs, impurities, dirt, and makeup that can irritate the skin. In comparison, cleansers help dissolve excess oil, grime, and other impurities on your face skin. But when the skin is cleansed frequently with harsh soaps, the natural moisture of your skin is stripped off. Thus, it makes your skin vulnerable to dryness and irritation.

The normal pH of skin typically ranges between 4.5 to 6.5. And whenever you cleanse your skin, a typical interaction occurs between your skin’s pH and moisture barrier and the cleanser.

Cleansers that contain harsh surfactants can deliberately increase your skin’s pH, thereby altering the moisture barrier. This typically makes your skin dry and irritated. However, the soap-free cream, gel, and foam cleansers are highly effective and gentle. In other words, it causes minimal changes to your skin’s pH and less disruption to the moisture barrier.

Should You Use a Face Wash or a Cleanser?

In the never-ending battle of face cleanser vs face wash, you might wonder which one you should use. Remember that face washes are highly suitable for acne-prone and oily skin types because of their effective cleansing.

The face wash's foaming action can reduce clogged pores and terminate breakout development. Besides, it efficiently helps in removing the deep-seated oils on your face skin.

On the other hand, cleansers are most effective for sensitive skin. Since they are mild, they can efficiently help in treating conditions like rosacea, eczema, etc. And both face wash and cleanser are highly suitable for combination skin.

Now that you know the cleanser and face wash difference, you must determine your skin type first. After that, you can decide whether to use a face wash or a cleanser.

Can You Use Face Wash and Facial Cleanser Together?

Even though there is a significant difference between cleanser and face wash, you can use both together. You should adhere to double cleansing if you are often exposed to air pollutants and grime and use makeup frequently.

Consider using a cleanser and a face wash to remove stubborn dirt particles from your skin.

What is the Difference Between a Cleanser and Face Wash?

If you are wondering ‘what is the difference between cleanser and face wash, we have listed down the most commendable ones:



Face Wash


Helps in removing makeup, dirt, and excessive oil residue from the skin’s surface

Helps in deep cleansing the pores of skin


Mild foaming

Well foaming

Skin Type

Dry and Sensitive skin

Oily, acne-prone, and combination skin


Hydrating and moisturising

Less hydrating and less moisturising

Benefits of Cleanser and Face Wash

Now that you know the differences of face wash vs cleanser, let’s check out the benefits of both:

Cleansers can effectively help in removing sebum, dirt, dead skin cells, and excessive oil on the skin. And it can do so without inflicting significant damage or irritating the skin.

On the other hand, face wash helps in cleansing and hydrating the skin. It also helps in treating acne, stimulating blood circulation, and slowing down signs of premature ageing.


Usage of Cleanser and Face Wash

The techniques of using a cleanser vs facial wash are also different. Here we’ve enlisted how you should be using both the skincare products:

· Using a Cleanser

Firstly, you need to tie your hair properly so that it doesn’t fall on your face. Next, you need to wash your hands and dampen your face with lukewarm water. After that, you need to apply the cleanser evenly on your face and massage gently until it forms a lather. Once you’ve completed the procedure, you need to rinse it off thoroughly.

· Using a Face Wash

Before you apply a face wash, you need to wash your hands thoroughly. Next, you need to dampen your face and apply the skincare product. After that you need to massage gently on your face in circular motions and rinse it off. And Finally, you need to pat your skin dry.


Even though cleansers and face washes can effectively remove dirt and grime on your face, their functions are different. So, to know whether a cleanser or face wash is best for your face, you need to determine your skin type.

However, you can use the Hydrating Foaming Mild Cleanser from The Pink Foundry irrespective of what your skin type is.

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