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What is Face Wash? A Complete Guide to Uses, Benefits & Types


How do pick your skincare products? Do you follow your favorite influencer's suggestions or choose products based on their feel, fragrance, price, and effectiveness?  

Whatever your process be, one product that can make or break your skincare game is a face cleanser.

However, simple or even boring it might seem, washing your face plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy, radiant skin.  

But what exactly do you mean by a face wash? How is it different from soap? And do you really need to use it every day? There could be a lot of questions running through your mind right now.  

To answer all of them, here is a comprehensive blog. Let's dive into the world of face washes and uncover the secrets to healthy, glowing skin.

What is face wash?

Face wash, often interchangeably used with a cleanser, is a skincare product that is formulated to clean the delicate skin of your face.

Face washes are crafted with ingredients that cater to the specific needs of facial skin, which is more sensitive and could be prone to various issues like dryness, oiliness, and acne.

Throughout the day, your skin accumulates pollutants, dead skin cells, dirt, and excess sebum on its surface that can clog pores and lead to skin problems.

A good face wash helps cleanse these accumulated impurities, oil, and gunk from your skin, leaving it fresh, clean, and ready to absorb the benefits of other skincare products.

Most face cleansers contain surfactants which are compounds that help lower the surface tension between the skin and the impurities, thus allowing them to be washed away.

However, the best face cleansers contain additional ingredients like hydrating agents, exfoliants, and acne-fighting actives that cater to specific skin needs.

Types of face wash

Every skin is different, which makes it imperative to cater to its needs while choosing products. Face washes come in various formulations to suit different skin types and concerns. Here are some types of face washes you can choose from

1. Gel face wash:

Gel cleansers have a clear, gel-like consistency that is gentle on the skin and does not clog pores. Such cleansers are specifically ideal for oily and acne-prone skin, as they also help remove excess oil and deeply cleanse the pores.

2. Cream face wash:

If your skin feels rough and dry after washing it, you need a cream cleanser. Cream cleansers have a rich, creamy texture that hydrates while cleansing, preventing the skin from feeling tight or dry. These are some of the best face washes for dry skin. 

3. Foam face wash:

Foam cleansers are lightweight and create a foamy lather, breaking down oil and impurities as you massage it on your skin. They are excellent for combination skin, balancing the skin's natural oils without over-drying.

4. Exfoliating face wash:  

These cleansers contain small microparticles or chemical exfoliants that help exfoliate and remove dead skin cells while cleansing. They are great for dull or flaky skin but should be used sparingly to avoid irritation.

5. Oil Cleansers:  

Contrary to what you might think, oil cleansers are excellent for all skin types, including oily skin. They dissolve makeup and impurities without stripping the skin's natural moisture barrier. A cleansing oil or balm can be categorized under oil cleansers that deeply remove makeup, sunscreen residue, dirt, and impurities from your skin. 

Bath soap vs face wash- are they different?

Yes, they are. Bath soap should not be used for the delicate skin of the face, due to various reasons.

Firstly, they contain natural oils or fats that can be harsh and dry on the skin.

Secondly, they typically have a higher pH value as compared to face washes and can disrupt the skin barrier of your skin. On the other hand, face washes usually have a pH value of 5.5, the same as that of your facial skin.

They are delicate and mild, containing antioxidants and emollients that cater to specific facial skin needs that cleanse while retaining the natural moisture of your skin. 

Why do you need a face wash every day? 

Let’s understand the benefits of face wash that makes it a must-have in your daily skincare routine:

1. Removes dirt and impurities:

Face wash effectively removes dirt, oil, makeup, and pollutants, preventing clogged pores and breakouts.

2. Prevents acne:

By keeping the pores clean and free from excess oil, face wash benefits your face by reducing acne and blemishes.

3. Prevents post-wash dryness:

Specially formulated face washes help maintain the skin's natural moisture balance, preventing dryness and irritation.

4. Prepares skin for other products: 

By deeply cleansing the layers of your skin, a face wash allows serums, moisturizers, and other skincare products to penetrate better, enhancing their effectiveness.

5. Refreshes and rejuvenates:

Washing your face with a face wash leaves your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. 

How to choose a face wash?

To get the maximum benefits of face washes, you must choose the right one. Here are a few things to consider while buying a face wash for your skin: 

Your skin type 

Consider your skin type and concerns before buying a face wash. For oily skin, opt for gel or foam cleansers that help control excess oil without stripping the skin. A cream cleanser rich in emollients would be better for dry skin that hydrates while cleaning. 


Read the labels on the product for their ingredients. If you have oily or combination skin, you can look for ingredients like salicylic acid, green tea, or niacinamide.

Similarly, the presence of hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, ceramides or aloe vera will benefit you if you have normal to dry skin.

However, watch out for harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, or colors if you have sensitive skin.

How to use a face wash correctly?

  1. Use a face wash as the first step in your skincare routine in the morning and evening. 
  2. If you use makeup or are outdoors during the day, ensure to do a double cleansing in your nighttime routine. 
  3. Gently massage your face with a face wash for at least 60 seconds. It allows the product to efficiently remove all the dirt, impurities, and oil from your skin. 
  4. Always cleanse with lukewarm water to avoid stripping your skin of natural oils. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing it.
  5. Always follow up with a moisturizer 
  6. Avoid washing your face more than two times a day to avoid drying out your skin. 

Incorporating a face wash into your daily skincare routine is essential for maintaining healthy, radiant skin. By choosing the right type of face wash, you can ensure your skin stays clean, hydrated, and free from impurities.


Q 1. How often should I use face wash?

It’s recommended to use face wash twice daily—once in the morning and once in the evening. Adjust based on your skin’s needs, but avoid over-washing to prevent dryness and irritation.

Q 2. What is the difference between face wash and regular soap?

Face wash is specifically formulated for the delicate skin on your face, with ingredients that cater to various skin types and concerns. Regular soap can be too harsh, stripping the skin of natural oils and leading to dryness and irritation.

Q 3. How much face wash should I use each time?

A dime-sized amount is generally sufficient. Using more doesn’t necessarily mean better cleansing and can sometimes lead to wastage.

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