Face Wash vs Cleansers: Differences And Which To Choose

December 28, 2022

A Woman Cleaning Her Face With Cleanser

Most people often confuse a face wash with a cleanser. Since cleansers and face wash are intended to remove impurities from the skin, these terms are frequently used interchangeably. However, cleansers and face wash perform distinctive functions, and the effects and benefits of these products differ significantly.

It is important to ensure that either of the two products you are using meets your skin's needs. To help you understand the functions and differences between these two products, we've created a guide to assist you identify the right product for your face.

Continue reading to discover which cleansing product you should incorporate into your skincare routine.

What's the difference between face wash and cleanser?

Cleansers are gentle, non-foaming skincare products that remove oils and impurities from your skin while also adding moisture - their primary function is to cleanse, hydrate, and soothe your skin. Their moisturising properties make them ideal for dry and sensitive skin. Cleansers typically come in dense, creamy, milky or clay-like textures.

Face washes, on the other hand, are also intended to remove dirt, but they have a harsher cleaning effect on your skin than cleansers. Their astringent and foaming properties deep clean pores while also combating oil production. Face washes, like soaps and shower gels, foam up when applied, which works to remove stubborn dirt from your skin. The most common types of face wash come in water-based formulations like gel and foams.

Here is a table that summarises the key features and differences between face washes and cleansers:

Face wash Cleansers
Purpose Cleanses pores and removes debris from deeper layers of skin. Cleans the skin's surface of dirt, makeup residue, and excess oils.
Recommended for skin type Oily skin
Acne-prone skin
Combination skin
Dry skin
Sensitive skin
Foam Usually well-foaming Generally non-foaming
Moisturising properties Less moisturising and hydrating properties Better moisturising and hydrating properties


Can you use face washes and cleansers together?

Yes, depending on your skin type, you can incorporate both face wash and cleanser in your skincare regimen.

If you have oily but sensitive skin, incorporating a face wash and a cleanser into your routine can help to avoid irritation. Double cleansing is beneficial, especially if you have acne-prone or oily skin. Additionally, if you wear a lot of makeup, double cleansing will help you remove the makeup residue from your skin.

It would be best to use the face wash before you begin your day for a thorough cleanse and then use a cleanser throughout your day between workout sessions and before bedtime to remove all dirt. It is also better to use toners to balance your skin's pH and moisturise it to nourish it.

How to use a cleanser?

Use a cleanser twice daily to remove impurities and oils accumulated on your skin during the day and overnight. This keeps your pores clear of debris, which would otherwise lead to blackheads and pimples. Cleansing your skin twice a day will also hydrate and moisturise it, softening and smoothing any dry patches.

How to use a face wash?

Face washes can also be used up to twice daily, particularly if you suffer from oily skin. They are intended to be massaged into damp skin, allowing the product to foam up and lift stubborn dirt away. Face wash must be thoroughly rinsed away with lukewarm water; otherwise, it may dry your skin.

How to cleanse your face with a cleanser / face wash?

A Woman Rinsing Her Face

Washing your face may sound like a simple, everyday routine. Still, to reap the optimum benefits of the products in your skincare regimen, it is important to practise proper measures when using a cleanser or face wash.

Here are some dos and don'ts you should remember when washing your face with either of these products:

  • Before you begin, wash your hands properly, as the cleanser/face wash may lose effectiveness due to the grease on your hands.
  • Massage a coin-sized amount of face wash/cleanser into your skin for thirty to sixty seconds. In small circles, work your way up, and then rinse thoroughly.
  • Rinse your face with lukewarm water. Hot water can strip your skin's natural oils, leaving it dry and tight.
  • Avoid using bath soaps on your face altogether. Bath soaps have a pH of around 10, whereas the skin's pH ranges between 4.7 and 5.75. Soap bars can interfere with the skin's optimal pH level.
  • Do not rub your face excessively after washing. Excessive rubbing after cleansing can remove natural oils from your skin and disrupt its pH.
  • Use a toner to restore the pH balance of your skin after cleansing.

If you are looking for effective face washes and cleansers for your skin type in Malaysia, visit allyoung today!

Are you looking for an effective face wash and cleanser for your skin? allyoung has various options that are perfect for anyone's skin type. From gentle cleansing agents specifically designed for sensitive skin to powerful yet gentle exfoliating washes, we have the ideal option. Browse through our collection at allyoung Malaysia today - from acne-soothing cleansing creams to cleansers for dry skin in Malaysia - you're sure to find the right cleansing product for your skin's needs!