What is the difference between a cleanser and a face wash?
We get asked this question a lot in-store and many people do find it difficult to determine the difference between the two types of products as both serve very similar purposes when it comes to cleansing your skin, removing excess oils, dirt and leftover make-up.
Simply put, though, we tend to think of face washes as a deeper treatment. Whereas as cleansers focus on getting rid of make-up and dirt, face washes, although perhaps not as effective in this field, help to cleanse your pores and eliminate impurities that are deeply rooted in your skin.
That’s why so many people often choose to use a cleanser before a face wash. Face washes are also frequently foaming and have to be washed off (hence their name!) while cleansers can simply be wiped away.
How are face washes damaging your skin?
A lot of problems associated with face washes come down to three factors – application, ingredients and skin type. It’s estimated that women pile more than 200 chemicals on their skin each day and, of these 200, more than 60% get absorbed into the bloodstream, which amounts to around 120 synthetic chemicals floating around within your body! Not good news for your endocrine system.1
It may sound odd but a lot of people aren’t really aware of what ingredients are lurking in their face washes or how it may impact their overall health, not just their skin!
This can result in a lot of people purchasing overpriced face washes which they assume are benefiting their skin but may actually be making the problem worse. Not to mention, many often don’t know how to apply their product correctly to make the most out of it, instead washing it off immediately after they’ve applied it!
What ingredients should you be avoiding?
This is the biggest issue that is corrupting your face wash and turning it from a skin-saver to a drying agent that’s secretly stripping away vital oils and moisture from your skin. Unfortunately, a lot of high-street brands include these components, which is why we always recommend going for a natural alternative that won’t contain all these nasties!
These are 3 of, in my opinion, the worst ingredients you should be looking out for!
1 – Alcohol: Often it may hide behind fancy names such as isopropyl alcohol or SD alcohol but don’t trust these new aliases. Alcohol is just plain terrible for all skin types – it increases your production of sebum oil, weakens your epidermis, enlarges your pores and even prevents your skin from repairing itself! Now avoiding this particular nasty can be difficult, as it seems to pervade almost every type of skincare product, which is why I’d always opt for alcohol-free, especially if you suffer from dry or oily skin!
2 – Parabens: You’ve probably heard us moan about this one a lot here at Jan de Vries, and I’m about to add my voice to the choir. Parabens are everywhere – in your skincare products, your make-up and even the cleaning products you use to scrub your bathroom. Typically they are used as a preservative to ward off bacteria and fungus and hide behind even more grandiose names for themselves than alcohol. A few of their more familiar monikers may include – methylparaben, ethylparaben and propylparaben.
3 – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS, is widely used in hygiene products such as toothpaste and body washes as well as haircare and skincare products. It works as a detergent, but SLS can be very harsh on your skin, causing irritation and breakouts. It also has corrosive properties that may breakdown the fats and proteins that form your skin. It can even help other chemicals to permeate your epidermis, making it particularly nasty for sensitive skin or eczema-prone skin!
My favourite natural face washes…
Okay, so I’ve covered what ingredients you should be trying to avoid but how can you go about doing this? Well unsurprisingly, going au naturale with your face wash can make a big difference. Not only do natural face washes exclude those aforementioned nasties, they also include a plethora of nourishing ingredients to help soothe and condition your skin for a more radiant complexion!
Which one is right for my skin though?
Even if you do decide to convert to natural skincare products, knowing which ones are best for your skin type can still be tricky. That’s why I’ve listed a couple of my favourite natural face washes below and how they may benefit your particular skin type.
If you suffer from sensitive skin try…Pacifica’s Quinoa Sensitive Super Gentle Face Wash!
Pacifica is one of our favourite brands when it comes to make-up and skincare and this calming face wash is one of my absolute favourites. It’s extremely delicate and gentle for sensitive skin but potent enough to remove residual traces of make-up and other impurities.
It’s chockfull of beautiful, natural ingredients, including herbal extracts of comforting calendula and cleansing aloe vera. It’s also rich in bioflavonoids and antioxidants, containing natural anti-inflammatory properties that may help if your skin is prone to bouts of inflammation.
At just £9.99 it’s definitely one of our more affordable face washes and it has the added bonus of being 100% vegan-friendly and sulfate-free!
If you suffer from dry skin try…Green People Foaming Face Wash Organic
100% free from alcohol, Green People have managed to create a gorgeous face wash that’s completely suitable for daily use. Excellent for removing make-up, I think this face wash is particularly suited for dry skin due to its abundance of hydrating ingredients
, such as witch hazel, green tea and chamomile.
Soothing and gently cleansing, it can even help to reduce breakouts and prevent further blemishes nourishing skin for a more balanced complexion. Inherently organic, this product is also surprisingly affordable, costing just £12.00!
If you suffer from oily skin try…Natura Siberica Cleansing Foaming Mousse
Natura Siberica’s foaming face wash is ideal for oily skin types, helping to cleanse and revitalise your complexion. It gently regulates your lipid balance and strengthens your skin, preventing damage. No silicones, no parabens, instead they rely on a selection of natural ingredients.
Their foaming mousse combines extracts of chamomile and Siberian pine oil with Saphora Japonica, to produce a refreshing formula that’s capable of tackling excess oil and removing any traces of impurities or pollutants. Available for an incredible £5.75, this is easily the most affordable option on my list!