In a way, all skincare products have the same job, as they are intended to promote the health of your body’s largest organ—your skin. When getting down to the details, the difference between facial cleansers and exfoliators seems minimal, as they are both made with the intention of clearing dirt from your skin. However, the way these products achieve this goal is very different, which begs the question: What’s the difference between facial cleansers and exfoliators?
What Do Facial Cleansers and Exfoliators Do?
Facial cleansers are the first step of any skincare routine, as they are designed to remove the dirt, oil, bacteria, and debris that builds up on your skin naturally throughout the day. Many facial cleansers also contain additives that act as humectants, such as hyaluronic acid. This is done with the intention of drawing water to the upper layers of the skin to be locked in by your moisturizer in later steps. Essentially, facial cleansers act as the groundwork for the rest of your skincare routine.
Exfoliators can come in physical or chemical forms; most people are more familiar with physical exfoliation. Physical exfoliators include scrubs, brushes, and dermaplaning treatments. Chemical exfoliants include acids such as glycolic, citric, lactic, or malic acid. Regardless, all exfoliators are made to remove dead skin cells and dirt.
What’s the Difference Between Them?
So, both products get rid of the gunk on your face that you don’t want. What’s the difference?
Cleansers remove dirt, oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells that are ready to fall off. The intention is to prep your skin for the rest of your skincare routine. Exfoliators, on the other hand, do a much better job at removing most, if not all, of dead skin cells on your face. They reveal the true glow of the upper layer of your epidermis, the stratum corneum, clearing the way for serums and oils to be absorbed and promoting skin cell turnover. Additionally, they improve the overall texture of your skin, allowing you to apply makeup more smoothly.
What Do You Need in Your Skincare Routine?
While your skin type may need products with different ingredients and additives, you should include both cleansers and exfoliators in your routine. While you will ideally use your cleanser twice a day, you should only use your exfoliator twice a week. Over-exfoliating your skin leaves the sensitive layers of your epidermis raw and vulnerable, leading to redness and other skin issues. However, without an exfoliator, your skin may not meet its maximum potential, and you won’t get that youthful flow you’re after.
Now that you know the difference between facial cleansers and exfoliators, you’re better equipped to decide what products are best for your skin, meaning you can reach your skincare goals faster. And if you’re looking for a gentle, everyday cleanser you can rely on, Essential Wholesale & Labs sells organic face wash that makes it easy to feel good about what you’re putting on your skin.