Cleanser or Face Wash: The Difference and How to Use Each One

In the world of cosmetics and beauty products, the sheer number of options you have has led to some serious complications in the way we define the products. Without thinking, people will refer to “face cleanser” and “face wash” as essentially the same product, when in reality, there are enough distinctions between the two that they’re no longer interchangeable. Here’s the difference between cleanser and face wash and which one you should be using according to your skin type.

What is Face Wash?

Face washes tend to be water-based formulas that suds up into a foam as you massage it into your skin. This foaming action helps force the formula deep into the pores, resulting in a deeper clean that can be too much for some skin types. Think of a face wash as focusing on getting the job done, whereas a cleanser may be more soothing and luxurious, like something offered during a spa treatment.

What is Face Cleanser?

Cleansers, unlike face washes, are richer in their formulas, and can include oil-based cleansers. The ingredients chosen for a face cleanser are more aimed at keeping skin’s moisture balance even while still cleansing gently. Face cleansers typically have a thicker formula compared to face washes, but can have a range of textures from thick to thin.

Which is Better for My Skin Type?

Face cleansers are typically recommended for any skin type, as they’re formulated to cleanse without stripping away too many vital nutrients and oils. However, for people who struggle with very oily skin or who frequently get breakouts, a face wash can help get in deep and clean out clogged pores efficiently.

The catch is that if your skin ever feels tight or irritated after using a face wash, it’s probably too intense a formula for your skin. At this point, you can try a different face wash formula or switch to a face cleanser to ensure it’s not getting rid of too many oils.

How to Use Face Washes and Cleansers

Whether you’re using a wash or a cleanser, you should be washing your face twice a day: once in the morning to scrub away oil that built up while you were sleeping and once in the evening to clear away the day’s debris and makeup. Most cleansers and washes are simply applied using your fingers, then massaged into your face and neck, whereas others are applied with cotton balls or pads. Many products will specify whether they should be rinsed with warm or lukewarm water, as well as whether you should leave it on for a specified period of time.

Our Recommended Face Washes and Cleansers

At Epicuren Discovery, we’re proud to carry a complete line of professional skincare products and formulas, including both face washes and cleansers. For those needing a deeper clean, our Silk Radiance 3-in-1 Cleansing Oil offers a rich blend of essential oils with transformative gel-to-oil action. And for those who need a better balanced clean, our Apricot Cream Cleanser effortlessly cleanses skin and removes makeup while simultaneously leaving the skin to appear hydrated.

To find more products that are ideal for your skin type and concern, don’t hesitate to take our Skin Quiz today.

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