What are the key Differences Between Face Cleanser and Face Wash?

What are the key Differences Between Face Cleanser and Face Wash?

As they say, “Face is the mirror of the mind”. It simply means that our face tells everything about us. A clear face is an indication of a clear mind. That’s why people place a lot of importance on healthy skin. So, if you are looking for youthful facial skin, you need skincare products like face cleansers and facewash.

What is Cleanser?

As the name indicates, cleansing lotion, face cleanser, or simply cleanser is a facial care product used to clean and remove dirt, excess oil, sweat, make-up, dead cells, and other pollutants. In addition, it helps in preventing skin infections, irritation, dullness, and even acne.  

What is a Face Wash?

Similar to a cleanser, a facewash is a beauty product that cleans the skin of the face and keeps it fresh and lively.

Cleanser V/s Face Wash: What are the Key Differences?

Due to the similarity in their basic function of the cleansing face, many people confuse between cleanser and facewash and often use these terms interchangeably. However, the fact is that the two products are a bit different in their composition, usage, and way of application. Hence, when choosing between cleanser and facewash, one must consider their skin type, exact requirements, and usage time.

Below are some key differences between a cleaner and a facewash.

  1. A cleanser is non-foaming, while a facewash is foaming in nature. So, after applying, while a cleanser requires just a wipe-off with a cloth, a facewash must be washed with water.
  2. A cleanser removes oil-soluble impurities, make-up, and grime from the face, where facewash may not be 100% effective. On the contrary, facewash, being a foaming cleanser, cleans the skin pores by removing deep-seated debris. And in case you are wearing heavy make-up, it is a good idea to use a cleanser before a facewash.
  3. While a facewash may be used in the morning and after coming back from work, if you have braved heavy traffic and pollution, consider using a cleanser first and then facewash. Cleanser may also be used at night, just before going to bed.
  4. A cleanser is suggested for people with dry or sensitive skin or wearing make-up. In comparison, people with oily or combination skin or who don’t wear make-up can skip cleanser and use a facewash.

How do they work?

Be it cleanser or facewash – both cleansing products contain detergents called ‘surfactants’ which, once applied, remove unwanted substances and particles from the outermost layer of skin. These surfactants, which vary in strength and effectiveness depending on your skin care product, remove dirt and attract excess oil, make-up, dirt, and debris so that they can be rinsed away easily. 

Benefits of Face cleanser:

Using a facial cleanser daily has the following benefits:

  • A good face cleanser removes dead skin cells and reveals a fresh layer to give a natural glow. 
  • It keeps the skin hydrated, soft, and supple, making it feel young.
  • Stimulates blood circulation, boosting blood flow for glowing skin.
  • It fights signs of ageing and makes skin look more youthful.
  • It helps other skin care products penetrate the skin.

Benefits of face wash:

  • A balanced facewash removes excess oil without causing dryness. 
  • Facewash helps remove dead cells. This exfoliation does wonder for acne-prone skin
  • The foam present in the facewash can remove deep-seated debris, clean the skin pores, and make it acne-prone.
  • Clears up any build-up for healthier and smoother skin 

Cleanser v/s Face Wash: How Frequently Should You Use Them?

Our skin produces sebum and oil throughout the day. So, as a general rule of thumb, one must cleanse the face at least twice a day – once in the morning and then at night. 

The frequency of using these two skin care products depends on the skin type, the kind of environment you work in, and the amount of make-up you wear.

People with oily or combination skin may feel the urge to wash their face more often than those with dry and sensitive skin. While it depends a lot on the skin type, one should restrict their usage to once or twice a day.

Can You Use Face Cleanser and Face Wash together?

At times both these cleansing products may be used together. For people who face heavy pollution regularly, using a cleanser before using facewash helps in deep cleaning the skin and making the skin feel young. While using both together, one should use the facewash more frequently than the cleanser to keep your skin feeling healthy, hydrated, and refreshed. You can mix and match other routines or products if your skin feels dry.

Cleanser v/s Face Wash: Which one should you choose?

As such, both cleanser and facewash are good for the skin. However, what to choose depends on your skin type and daily routine. For example, a facewash is suitable for oily and combination skins, while a face cleanser, like the face cleansers by Tatvik Ayurveda, suits all skin types. So, selecting the product that suits your skin and using it only once or twice a day will help your skin feel young!


Both face cleanser and facewash serve the same basic function—removing make-up, excess oil, dust, and grime from your face. So, it depends upon your personal choice and skin type. But as a general rule of thumb, cleansers like the face cleansers from Tatvik Ayurveda do a better job of removing make-up and other oil-based impurities. To cater to your personal preferences and different skin types, Tatvik Ayurveda offers face cleansers with different ingredients like Aloe Vera & Cucumber, Basil & Saffron, Charcoal & Tea Tree, Orange & Guava, and Sandalwood & Turmeric. In comparison, facewash removes deep-rooted debris and opens up the skin pores. But they both ensure your skin glows and ensure that your skin feels thankful to you for taking good care of it.


Q.1: Which is the better face wash or cleanser?

Ans: Both facewash and cleanser bring a glow to your face. But a lot depends on your skin type. While a facewash is good for oily skin, a cleanser can be used by people of all skin types.

Q.2: How do I choose the right cleanser and face wash according to my skin type? 

Ans: A face wash is usually better for oily skin types, while a face cleanser is often universally helpful.

Q.3: Can cleanser be used daily? 

Ans: Yes, a cleanser can be used daily. People with oily skin benefit more if they use it twice a day.

Q.4: Is cleanser good for dry skin?

Ans: Cleanser is good for all skin types, including dry skin.

Q.5: What makes a good cleanser?

Ans: A good cleanser is one that contains the best ingredients for skin care. While oily and acne-prone skin needs retinol or salicylic acid, dry skin needs glycerin or ceramides. In addition, a good cleanser must have chemical and physical exfoliants. 

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