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Face Wash Vs Cleanser: Which One Should You Use?

Face Wash Vs Cleanser: Which One Should You Use?

Face wash and face cleanser might look the same to you. Isn't it? Have you ever wondered why there are two names for the same product type? Let us answer all these questions in this article for you. While both the names “face wash” and “cleanser” might look similar as per the usage purpose, they are not the same. The process they use to clean the face is different. Generally, as per the experts, cleansers are more hydrating as compared to face wash. Moreover, you have to pick up the right one as per your skin type and requirements. Let's first figure out what each product is and then dig deeper into the cleanser vs face wash battle.

Cleanser vs Face Wash: What are they?

A face cleanser comes in a creamy, clayey, or get-type texture. It helps to cleanse, moisturise, and comfort your skin. However, a face wash does deep cleansing of the skin pores. It has a foamy texture and creates foam when applied on damp skin. Typically, you use a face cleanser before bed to remove makeup, impurities, and oils. In place of traditional soaps, face wash deeply cleanses the skin. To get a fully clean and refreshing feeling, this foaming product needs to be washed off with water. However, for cleansers, there is no need to wash off or rinse with water, you can just wipe off with a wet tissue or towel. 

Face wash and cleansers from O3 offer amazing benefits and treat a range of skin concerns. You can browse our website to check the entire range. All these product formulations are based on advanced research and development. You can even select one based on your skin type like acne-prone, sensitive, dry etc.   

Differences between Cleanser and Face wash

No one wins or loses in this battle of cleanser vs face wash. Each one has its benefits. Let us look at the differences between cleansers and face wash based on various aspects.


For oily and acne-prone skin, the face wash works best as it will deeply cleanse the pores and remove the stubborn oil, grit, and dust that cleansers cannot do. For dry sensitive skin, face cleansers are more suitable as they are mild, hydrating and gentle on the skin. However, in the case of combination skin, you can use both of them for a double cleanse or any one of the two. 


The face wash is foamy and produces foam when applied on a wet face. It lathers up well just like a normal soap. This gives a refreshing and super clean feeling. Although the cleansers do not lather up and they necessarily don't need rinsing. It comes in a milky, creamy and thick texture.

Usage time

Typically, face wash should be used in the morning time for a squeaky clean and fresh feeling. Massage cleanser or face wash on your face for 30-60 sec not more than that.

Face cleanser should be used at night to remove makeup, dirt and grease accumulated in the whole day from the skin surface. 


The face wash is soft as compared to regular soap bars on the face, therefore many people prefer to use face wash as it will not strip out the natural oils from the face. However, cleansers are more gentle and milder than face wash. 

Is it possible to use both Face Wash and Cleanser on my face?

Yes, you can use both products on your skin depending on your skin type. So if you are exposed to air pollution, dirt, heat and dust outside on a day is advisable to use a cleanser first and then use a face wash for deep cleansing to remove all the particles from your face. Conventionally, face wash is meant for oily skin and cleanser for sensitive skin as they are mild. However, both naming conventions are used interchangeably now.

To prevent irritation, use both the cleanser and face wash in the skincare routine for oily yet sensitive skin. Double cleansing is needed if you have acne-prone and oily skin to clean the pores and build-up. Moreover, if you apply heavy makeup double cleansing will help you remove all the makeup traces and cosmetics effectively.

You may use a face wash before starting your day to deep cleanse and rejuvenate yourself. Later, after your workout sessions and at night you can use a cleanser to get rid of all the accumulated dirt and oil. You can easily adjust and switch between the two based on how your skin feels after cleansing like extremely dry or oily. 

Wrapping Up

Both face wash and cleanser are meant to remove the excess oil, dirt, dust and pollutants from your face. However, the additional benefits they provide and the choice depend on your skin type. Even you can choose to use both of them in a combination that suits you. Your skin must be clean so that all other skincare products you use on it will work effectively and deeply. Face wash is the perfect solution for oily and acne-prone skin while cleansers are good for dry and sensitive skin. So now that you know the difference between cleanser and face wash clearly, we hope that you won't be confused among the two again. Make a skincare regimen that suits your skin concerns and type and follow it for radiant skin!

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