Cleanser vs Face Wash

Cleansers vs Face Wash: Which One Should You Choose?

Ever felt lost between "facial cleanser" and "face wash"? Blame it on the everyday language mix-up, overlapping features, or marketing terms, but it is quite possible to get confused between the two. 

The question is, "Are they actually different?" The short answer is yes. Although they both are tasked with face cleansing, there are nuanced differences. Mind you, this confusion can mess up your routine big time! How? You will be using the wrong product, and that's the ultimate way to aggravate your skin issues. 

Now, the long answer? Here it is. Keep reading. 

What is a Cleanser? What are the Different Types of Cleansers?

A facial cleanser is designed to effectively remove impurities without causing undue harm to the skin. Here's the lowdown on what they're all about:

Cleansers lift away all the gunk and grime from your skin, leaving it fresh and ready for the next steps in your skincare routine. Plus, you can use them for makeup removal. But here's the best part. Unlike those harsh soaps that leave your skin super dry, a gentle cleanser cleanses without stripping away essential oils. Why does it matter so much? Because it preserves the skin's natural barrier function.

Moreover, many cleansers are tailored to specific skin types. Whether you're battling oily skin, dryness, or sensitivity, there's a cleanser out there with your name on it. That being said, let’s quickly look at the four types of cleansers available in the market: 

Oil-Based Cleanser

Oil cleansers, also called dry skin cleansers, offer a gentle and effective makeup removal process. They maintain skin moisture, ensuring the oil cleansing method effectively removes impurities without causing excessive dryness. 

Cream-Based Cleanser

Cream cleansers are hydrating and nourishing, acting as moisturizing cleansers suitable for almost all skin types. Their thick, creamy texture helps to maintain skin hydration, like plant-based oils, while gently removing impurities. 

Deep Cleanser

ILEM JAPAN's Deep Cleanser fits just into the role, especially if you have sensitive skin. The cleanser's refreshing formula creates a soft foam that deeply cleanses and helps calm inflamed skin while reducing the friction between the product and your skin. 

Gel-Based Cleanser

Gel-based cleansers are a light, refreshing option, perfect for oily and combination skin. Also known as an oily skin cleanser or oil-free cleanser, it is tailored for those with oily skin, providing a balanced and revitalized complexion. 

Gentle Cleanser

For instance, our Gentle Cleanser. Its gel-based formula is designed to gently soothe, hydrate, and rejuvenate skin. Plus, the active ingredients, Japanese Yuzu Extract and Grape Leaf Extract help promote three important things for a revived, glowing complexion:

  • Skin cell turnover
  • Even skin tone
  • Prevent rough skin build-up.

Water-Based Cleanser

Water-based cleansers like mild cleansers or micellar water offer gentle and convenient cleansing suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.

mild cleanser

They effectively target water-soluble particles, swiftly removing impurities without stripping the skin's natural oils.

What is a Face Wash? What are the Different Types of Face Wash? 

A face wash is specifically formulated for deep cleansing to remove dirt, oil, and impurities from the skin's surface. It commonly has surfactants, which create a lather when you mix it with water. So, it's sometimes called a foaming cleanser. Here's the lowdown on what they're all about:

  • Face washes get into your pores, keeping out all the gunk – debris, extra oil, and even that makeup. Result? Your skin feels fresh and clean!
  • If you have acne-prone skin, face washes with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help to prevent breakouts.
  • Oily skin? No problem! Face washes wipe out the excess oil but leave your skin's natural moisture untouched. 

Primarily, there are three types of face washes:

Foaming Face Wash

This deep-cleansing, pore-minimizing face wash is ideal for oily and acne-prone skin. It not only tackles acne but also treats you to a refreshing lathering experience. Thus, working perfectly as an acne cleanser. 

Gel-Based Face Wash

Also called a normal skin cleanser, this gentle and effective daily face wash suits most skin types. Its mild formulation ensures thorough cleansing. Bonus? No moisture-stripping! So, it's an ideal daily face wash to maintain clean, refreshed skin. 

Clay-Based Face Wash

A clay-based face wash is ideal for oily and combination skin. It absorbs excess oil and impurities, just like your favourite clay mask! It provides a deep-cleansing experience to promote skin balance and clarity, like the Purifying Cleanser

Although not categorized as a face wash, its rich, creamy lather makes it the detoxifying cleanser for removing excess sebum & pollutants, leaving you with clear and refreshed skin.

Face Cleanser vs Face Wash 

Choosing the "right" skincare product depends on your skin concerns. Are you dry, oily, or somewhere in between? Plus, sensitivity matters, too! 

The bottom line here is that customizing your routine based on what your skin craves guarantees a morning routine or evening routine that's not just effective but also feels like a total win. For this reason, here's a breakdown of what you can opt for:

Face Cleanser vs Face Wash

The Double Cleansing Method

How about using both cleanser and face wash? Well, not so surprisingly, it's a thing nowadays and for the right reason—it literally wipes out all dirt, makeup, and oil. 

Start with an oil-based cleanser on your skin. Once it dissolves makeup, sunscreen, and excess oils, rinse it off. Now, follow up with a water-based face wash. Once you get rid of remaining impurities, rinse it off. And there you go! You now have an even more refreshing cleanse.

Debunking Myths

You might have heard that face wash is exclusively for oily skin, whereas cleanser is gentle for all skin types. Well, that's a bit of a mix-up! The truth is face wash and cleansers each have their own use, and it's not as black and white as it seems. 

Face washes come for all skin types. If you have oily skin, go for a gel-based face wash. Dry skin? Cream-based is your thing. And if sensitivity is your skin concern, stick with fragrance-free and gentle options.  

Similarly, not all cleansers are created equal. Do you have dry skin? Look for hydrating cleansers to keep it moisturized! Dealing with acne? Targeted ingredients have your back! But watch out for harsh chemicals in some cleansers — they might not play nice with sensitive skin.

Pro Tips and Beyond

A glow-up requires more than just washing your face. So here are some extra steps for that radiant, healthy glow: 

  1. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week to get rid of those dead skin cells. Look for gentle exfoliators with glycolic or lactic acid for extra pampering without the harshness. Pay special attention to the beads in the exfoliator. They should be gentle, like our natural Japanese Konjac (Glucomannan) scrub beads in Face and Body Scrub, to avoid any skin irritation.
  2. Apply a hydrating moisturizer to replenish the skin's moisture barrier. Whether your skin is a bit oily and wants gels or it's feeling dry and needs creams – find your perfect match to keep your moisture game strong. Use a Light Moisturizer during the day and switch to a Deep Moisturizer or a Rejuvenating Night Gel in the evening.
  3. Finish up with a SPF 30 or higher sunscreen. Reapply every 2-3 hours during the day, especially if you're catching some rays. 

For skin that's on point, you need to go beyond your skincare routine. Finding the right balance in your lifestyle does wonders for your skin. Just go for the following lifestyle tweaks and watch your skin glow from within:

  • Get loads of healthy foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains. They're packed with vitamins (A, C, E), antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. This combo helps your skin make more collagen, stay elastic, and fight off stress. 
  • Drinking enough water keeps your skin hydrated, stopping it from getting dry. When your skin is well-hydrated, it looks full and young. 
  • Get good sleep for your skin. When you're in a deep sleep, your body releases growth hormones that help your skin cells renew and make collagen. If you don't sleep enough, your skin might look dull and get more fine lines. 
  • When you're super stressed for a long time, it can make your skin problems worse, like acne or eczema. But meditation or yoga can help relax and make your skin look better, too!
  • Regular exercise boosts blood circulation, delivering oxygen and nutrients to skin cells. When you sweat, your skin does a little cleanup, clearing out your pores. And guess what? Exercising also makes your skin firmer and gives it a lively look. 

Cleanser vs Face Wash: Which is Best For You?

Getting a healthy glow demands a little clarity in the cleanser vs. face wash debate. After all, picking the right cleanser or face wash tailors your skincare routine to fit your skin type. Plus, clarity in your choices means that you can make an informed choice about a personalized routine that's all about you and your skin's unique needs. 

Are you ready to choose what's best for your skin with ILEM JAPAN? Because we are!

👉 Cleanse off any dust residing on your face with Japanese Face Cleansers from ILEM JAPAN

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