face wash vs cleanser what is the difference

Cleanser vs Face Wash – What is the Difference

Scrolling through the thousands of products on askderm.com can be a daunting task. You are pummeled with product after product that promises to combat acne, reverse the signs of aging, or using advanced technology to turn back time. Ok, I exaggerated a bit, that last one does not exist.  Seriously though, when it comes to washing your face, there are countless ways to get the job done which is why we are going back to basics today to get to the bottom of the difference between a cleanser vs face wash.

What is the difference between a Cleanser and Face Wash? 

  • Cleansers can be used on a daily basis to effectively remove makeup and dirt from your face, more so than a face wash would.
  • Unlike most soaps and body washes, cleansers do not contain the ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate, which is known to be a common skin irritant.
  • A cleanser is more moisturizing and hydrating than your typical face wash.
  • Face wash can be used as a substitute for soap.
  • Cleansers are proven to be gentler than face washes and soaps.
  • Face washes are perfect for those with oily skin, giving you a more matte look.
  • Face washes foam up like soap when applied to leave you feeling clean and refreshed.

Which one should you be using?

Cleansers and face washes can most certainty be used together in ones skin care routine but we have some recommendations to help you out.

For those who tend to have dry skin, a cleanser can be used to keep your skin feeling soft and smooth.

You can figure out how often you should use your cleanser based on how often you leave your house. If you tend to stay inside more, you will want to use your cleanser about once a week. Those who go out more frequently will want to use it daily to remove the dirt that built up during the day.

For those with oily skin, a face wash is recommended to rid your skin of oil and provide much needed nourishment. You can use this on a daily basis to wash and thoroughly clean your skin. If you plan on using these products together, it is better to use face washes more frequently than cleansers to keep you skin feeling healthy, hydrated, and refreshed.

Here are a few of our favorite face washes:

PCA Skin pHaze 1 Facial Wash – A refreshing, skin-friendly, gentle gel cleanser that effectively removes makeup and environmental impurities wile leaving the skin supple and pH balanced. An excellent choice for normal skin on the face or body.

Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash – A pure facial wash that leaves skin clear and refined, without over-drying. Features lactic acid to cleanse and gently exfoliate acne prone skin.

Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash – Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash is a two-in-one oil free face wash. With key ingredients, such as rose hip extract, milk thistle, passion flower, and chamomile, this face wash rebalances the skin. Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash is cleansing for all skin types.

Here are a few of our favorite cleansers:

Murad Renewing Cleansing Cream – Loaded with papaya and tangerine botanicals, this cleanser not only washes away dirt, oil and make-up, but it exfoliates and hydrates too.

GlyDerm Gentle Face Cleanser –  A concentrated AHA (glycolic acid) cleanser which contains no soap or alkalis. Gentle Face Cleanser is a non-irritating formula and may be used on even the most sensitive skin.

Glytone Mild Cream Cleanser – Glytone Mild Cream Cleanser thoroughly washes away the day without causing redness, itching or dryness. Those with acne, eczema or sensitive skin will love using Glytone Mild Cream Wash. It is safe for all skin types and for use up to twice daily.

What is your favorite face wash or cleanser?


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