Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Face Wash and Cleanser 

Not long ago when people were using bar soaps to wash their skins with an objective of removing dirt and keeping them moisturized. However, the emergence of face wash and cleanser has made things more natural when it comes to face maintenance.

What is a Cleanser?

A cleanser is something that is required or used by individuals who want to remove dirt from their faces and maintain a cleansed face.

An individual who exposes his or her face to the environment is likely to get dirt and oil which require a cleansing substance for removal.

A cleanser is usually used by individuals to get rid of makeup, dirt, and oils, especially before bedtime. It is a non-foaming liquid that does not need to be washed out when applied to our face.

What is a Face Wash?

A face wash is a substance that is used in place of the standard soap to wash our faces. Many substances have been developed by companies that offer a more advanced alternative to soap that is used to clean our skins, especially our faces.

A face wash is a foaming substance and is highly applied when removing deep-seated dirt and grim which leaves individuals feeling thoroughly clean and refreshed.

Difference between Face Wash and Cleanser

Application of Sensitive Skins

The face wash is used when one has oily sensitive skin because he or she needs a deep wash to remove the foreign materials on the skin and the breathing pores. The face wash is highly recommended for oil sensitive skins because it dissolves and breaks oil, dirt, and dust which cannot be removed by cleansers.

Cleansers are highly recommended for dry, sensitive skins because they have a moisturizing and refreshing effect on the skin. They have a hydration effect which makes the skin to reduce its sensitivity. People exposed to pollutants and apply makeup should apply cleansers for their skins well-being.

Usage Time for Face Wash Vs. Cleanser

The second difference arises on the best time to use the two products which depend on the activities of an individual. However, in a normal scenario, the face wash is recommended in the morning when an individual is preparing for daily activities or when preparing to go to work.

On the other hand, face cleansing is required in the evening during bedtime. After spending a day in an environment full of dirt and other foreign materials sticking on your face, an individual is required to remove these materials together with makeups before bed which refreshes and cleanses your face.

Negative Effects on Continued Usage of Face Wash Vs. Cleanser

Many of the products used to treat the skin of an individual have their benefits and demerits. However, face wash has been noted to be one of the best skin treatment products which do not have adverse effects worth noting.

However, individuals are cautioned against replacing face wash with normal bathing soap because it may lead to severe consequences.

Nevertheless, individuals have been cautioned against excessive cleansing on their faces because over cleansing strips of some necessary oils on the face. Removal of some essential oils on the face may lead to an imbalanced Ph, which may create a favorable environment for bacteria.

Foam Production

Face washes produce foam whenever used that is essential in keeping the face refreshed, hydrated, and clean. This is similar characteristics that are exhibited by common bathing soap which means that the two products can be used in place of the other.

Face cleansers do not produce foam, which means that they do not have a refreshing and a hydrating feel. Their primary purpose is to remove deep-seated dirt and oils. Thus, cleansers and soaps cannot be used in the place of one another.


A face wash is known to be gentler than the regular bathing soap which justifies as to why many people opt to use face wash than the ordinary soap to remove dirt on their faces after spending much of their days under a dusty environment.

On the other hand, a cleanser is gentler than the face wash substances and the regular soap. It should be noted that cleansers offer through cleaning removing all the oils and other foreign substances on the face of an individual.


Although this is not a critical aspect when it comes to differentiating the two products, it is necessary to distinguish the smell of the two products because scent plays a vital role in taste and preferences of individuals.

Cleansers are commonly known to have a specific scent that is fruity with dominant fruit scents being that of pineapple. On the other hand, face washers are not available in many scents because individuals are likely to use makeups and sprays after washing their faces.

Difference between Face Wash and Cleanser

Summary of Face Wash Vs. Cleanser

  • A cleanser is a non-foaming product that is used by individuals to remove deep-seated dirt, dust particles, and oils on the face while face wash is a foaming product that is used in removing dirt and other foreign materials on the face.
  • A face wash has a hydrating effect and makes a face to be highly moisturized after it has been used to remove dirt while cleansers to do not have a hydrating effect.
  • Cleansers are highly recommended for dry, sensitive skin although excessive use of these products leads to removal of essential oils on the face which is not healthy for the life of an individual. Face washes are recommended for dry skin.
  • Other differences between cleansers and face washers include scents, application time, and gentleness among other aspects.

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References :

[0]Fendall, Lisa S., and Mary A. Sewell. "Contributing to marine pollution by washing your face: microplastics in facial cleansers." Marine pollution bulletin 58.8 (2009): 1225-1228. 

[1]Matsuoka, Yoshie, et al. "Effects of skincare and makeup under instructions from dermatologists on the quality of life of female patients with acne vulgaris." The Journal of Dermatology 33.11 (2006): 745-752. 

[2]Webb, Thomas O. "Cementing process using micellar solutions as well pipe and formation face cleansers." U.S. Patent No. 3,532,168. 6 Oct. 1970. 

[3]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/afiler/113323503

[4]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/147535472@N07/32081459912

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