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Article: Face Wash vs Cleanser: What's the Difference?

Face Wash vs Cleanser: What's the Difference?

Face Wash vs Cleanser: What's the Difference?

Have yu ever wondered what's actually the difference between cleanser and face wash.

No question, cleansing your face is an essential step of your skin routine. That is if you want to have beautiful, plump and glowing skin. When you cleanse your face properly, you remove makeup, face oils, pollution particles, and the rest of the grime and give your skin a chance to breathe, renew, and soak up your other skincare products.  

And while the benefits of washing and cleansing are clear, many people get a little bit confused about the different products, their purpose and the face wash and cleanser difference. 

We actually couldn't even count how many times we were asked this question, so we've decided to devote a whole article to it. 

Let's dive in. 

Cleanser vs Face wash

To understand the difference between cleanser vs face wash, we need to look at each of these products.

Face cleanser

A face cleanser is usually a creamy or milky cleansing product designed to purify the skin (though you can also find more waterish cleansers).

Face cleansers are gentle, they don't strip too much oil off your skin and are suitable for any skin type, from sensitive to oily. 

They are also soothing, hydrating and nourishing, which is a great added value. Very often, face cleansers are enriched with nourishing and hydrating ingredients that moisturise the skin.

Face wash

Unlike SCOUT's Super Fruit Wash Off Cleanser, a face wash is often a water-based product (usually foaming or gel-like) designed to reduce oil production and deeply cleanse the pores, and it leaves your skin almost literally squeaky clan. A face wash has astringent properties, and that's why it's really suitable for people with oily or combination skin. 

Some face washes can be a little too harsh for dry or sensitive skin as they remove too much natural oil, leaving the skin even drier, tight and itchy. 

That's why it's important to pay special attention get the right face wash for your skin type. 

So the answer to the question "is face wash and face cleanser the same?" is a clear no. 

Shop Daily Revitalise Cleansing Crème

Daily Revitalise Cleansing Crème with Lemon Myrtle, Papaya and Coconut

Which product to choose

Face wash vs cleanser? Whether you have oily and acne-prone skin or sensitive and dry skin, our recommendation is not to choose between the products but to choose each product carefully. Always remember that to give you the best results, it should work for your specific skin type.

When our customers ask, "can we use both cleanser and face wash?" I always say that not only you can, but you absolutely should because it's the best way to get clear and beautiful skin.

We'll talk more about how to combine these products a little later.

How often to cleanse the skin

There's a continuous discussion about how often we should cleanse the skin. And while it all truly depends on each person, we recommend washing and cleansing your skin not more than twice a day (it's okay to make exceptions, e.g. after a very sweaty workout). 

Cleanse your skin in the morning and before you go to bed. If your skin is dry or sensitive, using only a gentle cleanser in the morning will suffice, but follow the double-cleanse method in the evening. 

What is the double-cleansing method? Continue reading, as understanding the method will also help better understand the difference between face wash and face cleanser.


Using two different cleansers one after another is called double-cleansing. This method is key to truly clean, glowing and healthy skin.

The cleanser firstly breaks down the makeup, SPF and all the face oils, and then the water-based face wash removes dead skin cells, gently exfoliates and cleanse your pores.

Remember to choose complementary products, e.g. if you're using a stronger face wash, you want your cleanser to be super gentle, so you don't strip your skin of natural oils too much.

Shop Super Fruit Wash-Off Cleanser

Super Fruit Wash-Off Cleanser with Blueberries, Grape Skin and Acai

Benefits of double-cleansing 

You might wonder why on earth should we wash the face twice, especially in the evening when we're tired and just want to hit the hay? 

Well, first of all, a quick face wash will not remove all the foundation, SPF, pollution particles, sweat and all the other grime.

Just think of the times you used face wipes – you indeed needed more than one as that first didn't do much! This is pretty much the same. 

Getting everything removed properly helps your skin cells regenerate overnight, giving you that glowy, plump complexion in the morning. 

Double-cleansing exfoliates, removes dead skin and makes your skin brighter, gets rid of dullness, and you might even look like you had a tiny facelift! 

If you live in a city or urban area, double cleansing is crucial to remove all the harmful pollutants, particles and toxins that cause premature aging, so yes, double cleansing has anti-aging benefits.

How to double-cleanse

Cleanser or face wash first? The order is pretty important, so remember that the first product should be a gentle, hydrating cleanser to remove the makeup and grime.

SCOUT Daily Revitalise Cleansing Crème with Lemon Myrtle, Papaya and Coconut is perfect for the first step as it gently removes buildup and purifies the skin, revealing radiant, healthy skin.

The cleanser is infused with nourishing organic ingredients that help detoxify the skin whilst balancing natural oils.

The second step after removing all those pollutants and grime is to deeply cleanse with your face wash. A foaming face wash is probably your best option as it's not too harsh yet is effective and prepares your skin for your other products like serums and creams.

For the second step, choose The Super Fruit Wash-Off Cleanser with Blueberries, Grape Skin and Acai whcih contains a potent, multi-fruit complex to remove dead skin cells.

The cleanser is rich in natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA's). They gently exfoliate the skin's surface and promote increased cell turnover, collagen production, and a brighter-looking complexion.

It's worth it!

Yes, double-cleansing takes a little bit more time, but it is definitely worth it if you want to have beautiful, glowing skin and reap those anti-aging benefits!

We hope you're now clear on the difference between face wash and face cleanser, and this will help you improve your daily skincare routine!