Cleanser Vs Face Wash: What’s The Difference?

A woman is using face wash | cleanser vs face wash

It can seem straightforward to know how to wash your face, but there are a few things you should think about before beginning this daily activity. The optimum cleanser for your skin type should be used, which requires studying the various formulations on the market and being aware of when to use a cleanser as opposed to a face wash. Other important things to consider are how often you should wash your face each day, the ideal water temperature, and the position of the cleanser in your step-by-step skincare process.

How Do Cleansers and Face Wash Differ?

Let's examine the main distinctions between face wash and cleansers to put an end to the argument once and for all and make sure you're using the right product for your skin type.

A facial cleanser may remove dirt and oil while also hydrating and soothing your skin. It will be thick and smooth, like cream or milk, or it may even be gel-like or watery. Cleansers are far more nutritious and relaxing than a conventional face wash. In contrast, a face wash is intended to go deep into your pores and clean them out. To create a foamy or frothy appearance when applied to wet skin, the texture is often designed to include a little amount of surfactant.

Are a cleanser and face wash the same?

No. Face ‌cleanser ‌and face wash; both are ‌used‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌rid‌ ‌of‌ ‌dirt,‌ makeup ‌and‌ ‌oils from the face. The difference is, that the face wash is a foaming substance, while a face‌ ‌cleanser‌ does not foam.

You may either remove facial cleansers with dry cotton wool or water and a fresh, moist towel.

There is a tendency for face cleansers that are meant to be removed with cotton wool and without water to leave a greasy film on the skin.

On the other hand, face cleansers designed to be removed with water or a moist cloth completely remove dirt, makeup, extra oil, and dead skin cells from the skin.

Can I use a cleanser instead of a face wash?

No, that is not advised. A cleanser by itself cannot replace a face wash's foamy effect and micro-level cleaning. If you have sensitive skin, you might try these things: Just once each day, wash your face gently.

When to use cleanser and face wash?

  1. Use ‌a face‌ cleanser ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌morning‌ ‌or‌ ‌while‌ ‌having‌ ‌a‌ ‌bath.‌ ‌‌
  2. Use‌ ‌face‌ wash ‌before‌ ‌bedtime.‌ ‌
  3. To remove makeup, use a face cleanser after using makeup remover
  4. After a workout, use a face wash.

Best cleanser and face wash for skin

Here’s Saturn’s pick for the best face wash for skin:

Foaming Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil

Oily and sticky skin texture often get on our nerves. The dirt & pollution worsen the problem, causing pores to get blocked which often leads to scary pimples. Saturn Foaming Face Wash, with its unique formula, helps you look clean & fresh at all times.


  • Tea tree oil & Essential oil blend: makes this one of the best face wash for oily skin. It is known to treat acne, sunburns, pimples and acne scarring. It also helps relieve skin inflammation & redness. This face wash has anti-bacterial and antifungal properties helping it fight acne-causing bacteria, and giving a clear and radiant glow. Essential oil makes this face wash aromatic and refreshing to use.
  • Niacinamide: helps ease skin irritation & redness it also reduces blotchiness. It helps regulate oil production and doesn’t have a drying effect on the skin, while reducing sebum production it also keeps the skin moisturised and hydrated.
  • Aloe Vera extract: it easily gets absorbed into the skin, and helps remove excess oil, dirt and pollutants from the skin. Its anti-inflammatory effects can help to lessen pain, inflammation, and sunburn. It promotes collagen formation and release. It has the potential to shorten wound healing time and reduce scarring.
  • Rose oil: Rose oil noticeably improves the texture of your skin, it also benefits in the fight against ageing and dry skin. 
  • Orange peel & lemon extract: Orange peel and lemon have high vitamin C concentration, which promotes healthy skin, removes excessive oil and also is effective against dark spots. Vitamin C also helps to tighten the skin by forming elastin & collagen. Furthermore, the antimicrobial characteristics help to prevent acne and eliminate scars.
  • Here’s Saturn’s pick for the best cleanser for your skin:

    1% PHA Face Toner with Hyaluronic Acid

    Face toner eliminates any remaining debris, grime, and pollutants from your pore. It helps minimise the appearance of the pores. Saturn by GHC Face toner is designed for Indian Women. It leaves the skin looking fresh & taut, without making it dry. This unique skin toner helps balance & rebalance skin pH levels.


    • Niacinamide: these are the best toners to treat Hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide has a strong anti-hyperpigmentation effect. It inhibits the release of melanin from pigment cells to the skin cells, thereby giving a clear, lighter and brighter look. 
    • Polyhydroxy acids or PHA: are known to improve skin texture and enhance skin quality. PHA is an excellent exfoliant and helps eliminate dead skin cells, debris and oil build-up from the skin, ultimately giving a fresh and clean look. PHA in this face toner helps reveal healthy skin cells while reducing hyperpigmentation, thereby improving skin texture.
    • Cucumber extract: Cucumber extract is hydrating and soothing to the skin. Its cooling properties can aid to decrease puffiness and irritation, and also treat redness, tanning and sunburn.
    • Hyaluronic Acid: helps enhance skin hydration and minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps tighten the skin pores, giving the skin a tighter & supply look. It is also a great agent to clear clogged and blocked pores. It allows the skin to breathe and aids in the healing of acne scars. The natural hydration characteristics in this face toner seal in moisture, giving radiant and soft skin.

    Take Away

    Both cleansers and face washes work to remove excess oil and other impurities from your skin, although the benefits they provide depend completely on your skin type.

    Face washes deeply cleanse and remove the stubborn dirt from your skin, making them the excellent choice for people with oily and acne-prone skin types. For dry and sensitive skin types, cleansers are a gentle option that also keeps the skin moisturized and hydrated.


    Should you use cleanser or face wash first?

    If you often come into contact with air pollutants, you may want to use a cleanser first, followed by a face wash to get the particles off your skin.

    Does cleanser lighten skin?

    Yes. Cleanser lightens the skin providing better skin tone.

    What happens if you don't use Facewash?

    If you don't wash your face with any kind of face washes at least once a day, your face will develop a layer of dead skin all over it and lose its texture and radiance.