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What is the Difference Between Cleansers and Face-Wash?

What is the Difference Between Cleansers and Face-Wash? - Sprig Flower Co

What is the difference between face wash and cleaners? If you asked me 3 years ago I would have never known. Honestly I have always thought they were the same thing, but they are not and they both have very different purposes, and both have a place in your skincare routine.


Let's dive into cleansers first, cleansers are specifically formulated to hydrate, purify and soothe your skin. Cleansers are typically loaded with vitamins and essential nutrients such as Vitamin E and C, Hylauranic Acid to aid in hydration, and in natural products, you will commonly see tropical enzymes such as papaya to help in natural exfoliation. Cleansers are designed to melt away excess oils, dirt and makeup from the day and can come in the form of creams, milks or oils. They are ideal for imparting nutrients and hydration back into your skin while also mildly exfoliating. They typically do not need to be washed off and instead wiped off with a towel or cloth and are perfect for all skin types.

Face Wash

Face washes are designed get deep into your pores and they get a deeper clean than cleansers will. They typically have a foaming action that allows them to clean deeper. They are not ideal for removing makeup, and grime from the day, so we recommend using a face wash in the morning.

When to Use Each?

Cleansers are ideal for removing excess oils, dirt, makeup and grime from the day which makes them perfect for night time. However, if you are someone who feels they need a little more then a cleansing at the end of a day, we are a big fan of the double cleanse which mean you cleanse with your oil, milk or cream cleanser and then set in with your face wash to get that secondary deep clean once the surface grime is melted away with the cleanser. 

Face washes are perfect for morning, they help start your day off by cleaning your pores and allowing your makeup to apply smoother and better. You also should be free of makeup come morning so you are really just "washing off the night". 

Should you settle into just a cleanser or just a face wash?

Here is the thing, in a perfect world no, you shouldn't settle into just one or the other because your skin will thank you if you are using both. BUT we get it, it's not easy remembering both and taking the time for both routines. Your skin does need the nutrients and the purifying properties that come from cleansers however we all need that deep pore cleaning that comes from a face wash. 

No, a face wash will not dry out your skin if your have dry skin, not if you are using a proper moisturizer. No, a cleanser will not make you more oily if you are oily prone, but it will help balance your PH and help regulate your skins oil production. So yes, there is a place for both in your skincare routine and if you can make the time for it, your skin will thank you! 

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