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Should You Be Using A Face Wash Or Soap? Here’s The Real Difference Between The Two

Should You Be Using A Face Wash Or Soap? Here’s The Real Difference Between The Two

Since the skin on your face is delicate and thinner than the skin on the rest of your body, you must be picky about the beauty products you use. Very often, we use face washes to keep our pores squeaky clean. However, another skincare product that can be used to do the same job is a facial soap bar. Both products come with their pros and cons. So ladies, face wash vs soap – what would you choose? More so, what’s the difference between soap and face wash?

Like always, we’re here to put all your beauty queries to rest. Read on for more!


What Is A Facial Bar Of Soap?

facial bar of soap



First things first, face soaps are formulated differently from body soaps. While body soaps scrub away the oil, bacteria and dirt, face soaps wash off all the gunk from the skin without disrupting the skin’s pH balance. Using a body soap to wash your face will not only dry the skin out but irritate the skin as well. Key ingredients in a face soap to keep an eye out for are – soybean oil, herbs, clay, olive oil, coconut oil, essential oils, shea butter, vitamin E, glycerin, emollients, humectants, babassu oil, soy wax, rosehip oil, cocoa butter and mango butter.

What Is A Face Wash?

What is a face wash




As obvious as it sounds, a face wash cleans the face. Face wash not only keeps the pores squeaky clean but also make the skin fresh and dewy after washing the product off. It’s easy to confuse face wash with cleansers, but you will know that they are poles apart because of their texture and formulation. While cleansers have a lotion-like texture, they’re great for dry and sensitive skin types. Whereas, face washes foam upon application and is best suited for oily and combination skin. If you like wearing heavy makeup, neither a facial bar of soap nor a cleanser will thoroughly get rid of the makeup residue. Only a face wash will come in handy in such a situation. 


What Is The Difference Between A Face Wash And Soap?

face wash and soap



Bar soap vs face wash – what’s the difference between these two products? Soap or face wash for oily skin? Face wash or soap – which is good for face? We’ll address all these questions for you. From skin type to usage time, here’s all that you need to know about soaps and face washes.



Face Wash

Skin Type

Dry and sensitive skin

Oily and combination skin

Usage Time

30 seconds

1 minute

Foam Production

Mild lather

Thick lather


Gentle on the skin

Not very gentle on the skin

Negative Effects

Scented & dyed

Makes skin dry

How To Pick The Best Face Soap For Your Skin?

Have you often asked yourself which is better – face wash or soap? While face soaps work best for dry and sensitive skin types, they do work for other skin types as well. We’d have to say it depends on the ingredient list as well. Whichever soap you choose, make sure that it does not have a high pH value, contain chemicals or fragrances. The presence of these ingredients in your bar of soap can cause irritation and damage to the skin. 

  • Oily Skin – Look for ingredients like sea salt, brown sugar, peach pits or oatmeal. These ingredients will extract oil without drying the skin out. 
  • Dry Skin – Keep an eye out for soap ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, avocado, glycerin, shea butter and vegetable oil. All of these ingredients have moisturising properties and perfect for dry skin. 
  • Sensitive skin – Pick a soap that contains no fragrance, colourants and harsh chemicals. 
  • Combination Skin – Glycerin soaps are perfect for your skin type!
  • Normal skin – Herbal soaps are your best bet. 

How To Choose The Best Face Wash Based On Your Skin Type?

With a variety of face washes in the market, it becomes easy to find a face wash for your skin type. Ideally, face washes work best for oily and combination skin types. However, face washes can be used on other skin types as well provided you choose the right formula. 

  • Oily Skin – A gel face wash will be perfect for your skin type as it will remove excess sebum and deep cleanse your pores. 
  • Dry Skin – Look out for face washes that have a silky texture and provide the skin with moisture and hydration post rinsing. Avoid face washes that contain fragrances, chemicals, alcohol and salicylic or glycolic acid as they can dry out the skin. 
  • Sensitive Skin – Choose an unscented face wash that’s free from microbeads. Microbeads can be too rough on the skin, and if you’re not gentle enough, it will create micro-tears. 
  • Combination Skin – Any face wash that’s light on the skin and does not clog the pores is a great product for combination skin types. After using a face wash, make sure that you moisturise your skin. 
  • Normal Skin – All face washes work for your skin type. However, you must choose a product that’s free from alcohol, fragrance and chemicals as it won’t disrupt your skin’s pH balance or strip the skin from its natural oils.

Which Is Better – Soap Or Face Wash?


Soap vs face wash – It all boils down to personal choice at the end of the day. If you are someone who has dry and sensitive skin, without having a second thought, choose soap. If your skin is oily and acne-prone, pick face wash. Regardless of which product you choose, you must make it a point to moisturise your skin after as both products can dry out the skin. Also, when it comes to choosing a bar of soap, not any soap will make the cut. You’ve got to look for ‘facial soap’ on the packaging. They’re formulated differently as compared to regular soap bars. Face washes are designed to cleanse the skin on your face and fairly easier to choose if you aren’t great with reading the list of ingredients. 


Now that you know the difference between a soap and a face wash, we hope you choose a skincare product based on your skin type. After all, skincare is self-care!

Also Read: Best face wash for combination skin


Also Read: Best Face Washes In India

Also Read: Non comedogenic face fash 


Also Read: Best Face wash for sensitive skin

Featured Image: Shutterstock



15 Oct 2020
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