Face Wash vs Face Scrub

Textures, scents, and choices, ooh, my!

Walking down the face wash aisle can be overwhelming! Face wash or a face scrub? Do I need both??

Not to worry, we have you covered!

Face Wash…What’s The Deal?

Excellent question!

Face wash vs face cleanser #timetorumble.

For those with dry or sensitive skin, a milder wash is recommended – aka cleansers.

Cleansers are not only moisturizing, but they tend to be more gentle than traditional face washes. Meaning, these milky-like liquids remove makeup and dirt from your face just as effectively as a face wash, while leaving skin feeling silky and smooth.

Face washes, on the other hand, are very similar to soap (crisp and refreshing, zing!) and are perfect for those with combination or oily skin (as they also help to mattify.)

So, if they both clean skin, what is the difference?

The difference is that face washes foam upon application and need to be washed off, while on the other hand, cleansers have a lotion-like consistency, will not foam and often (but not always) need to be wiped off.

That said, at the end of the day, it really comes down to skin type and skincare needs.

If you tend to be more indoors and wear little-to-no makeup, a cleanser is the better choice.

If you tend to be more outdoors and enjoy the latest and greatest makeup face charts, a good face wash is highly suggested for a deeper clean.

And yes, for the record, you can use both in your skincare routine.

Can I use face cleanser as face wash?

Yes and no.

The better question to ask is, what type of skin do I have and what products are right for me?

Using the wrong product for your skin is a big no-no.

For example, if you have dry or sensitive skin and use a face wash, it will wash away impurities and dissolve oil … a little too much. Therefore, you might run the risk of removing all the natural good stuff, leaving your skin feeling dried out, tight and irritated.

Whereas, if you have oily or combination skin and use a cleanser, not specifically formulated for oily and combination skin, you might run the risk of not removing all the impurities and dirt from your face.

To find out what type of skin you have, stop by your local beauty counter or dermatologist.

Cleansing Sticks? What’s that about?

You may have seen products that look like jumbo glue sticks in the face wash aisle. Cleansing sticks are face washes in solid form!  Our St. Ives Cleansing Sticks use 100% natural coconut oil to dissolve excess sebum on your skin, leaving you with clean, radiant skin.

FUN FACT: oil attracts oil.

So, strike gold with our Cactus Water & Hibiscus Cleansing Stick. #shinebright

Made from 100-percent natural coconut oil, makeup-melting, and efficient at massaging out clogged pores, twist and you glow, girl!

Face Scrub vs Face Wash: What is the Difference?

…and can they be used interchangeably?

Well, no a face scrub cleanses and removes dead skin cells, leaving skin smooth.

Scrubs can be oil-based, cream-based or clay-based, and include sand-like grains made of walnut shells, or sugar, for example, which act as an agent for exfoliation. Our Radiant Skin Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub is a perfect example. The citrusy face scrub is infused with lemon peel powder to smooth away rough skin.

Face washes, on the other hand, cleanse skin of dirt and oil and have a creamy or foamy texture.

A face scrub should never be used to substitute a face wash, and never be used on or near the eyes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you already use a face wash, a face scrub can be a nice compliment to your skincare regimen.

For example, St. Ives Gentle Smoothing Oatmeal Scrub & Mask is a two-in-one gem, gentle enough to be used three-to-four times a week as a scrub or as a mask.

Additionally, our St. Ives Acne Control Apricot Scrub is a great deep clean to help prevent breakouts and keep skin beautiful!

Bye, bye blemishes!

(43 )
  • girl meditating on the mountains

    How to Be Stress Free with 5 Chill Outdoor Activities

    How do you deal with stress? If you opt for exercise, meditation, yoga, or journaling you’re on the right track. But do these activities out in nature, and their stress-lowering benefits go to the next level. In fact, just 15 minutes with nature is proven to have a serious de-stress effect!

    Tell Me More
  • girls running towards beach with surfboard

    5 Stress Relief Sports to Boost Your Mood

    Fact: Working out is a great way to burn off stress and boost your mood. That’s because exercise has been shown to lower cortisol levels (aka the body’s stress hormone) and release endorphins (the body’s happy hormone). And when you do it in a park, the woods, a beach or any natured-filled space, you get the added benefits of nature!

    Tell Me More
  • girl jumping in ocean

    4 Health Benefits Of Going To The Beach

    The sounds of the waves, the sand between your toes, and all that sunshine. There’s nothing more relaxing than a beach day! But besides making you feel calm, there are loads of other health benefits of going to the beach. Here are some positive effects of being at the beach for your body and brain, and activities you can do while you’re there.

    Tell Me More
  • yellow background model scrubbing face

    Is Physical Exfoliation Bad for Your Skin?

    There’s a lot of buzz around physical exfoliation, but rest-assured, it is a safe and effective way to exfoliate your skin when done correctly!

    Tell Me More
Load More

FACE CARE

Face CareFace Care

Let your face have a little good, clean fun. Our scrubs are made with 100% natural exfoliants and our cleansing sticks are made with 100% natural coconut oil. Leave your skin feeling alive, fresh, and glowing! CHECK IT OUT 

BODY WASH

Body WashBody Wash

Suds up, recharge, and glow out! Made with 100% natural extracts & exfoliant, St. Ives body washes cleanse skin with a sudsy sumptuous lather.CHECK IT OUT 

BODY LOTION

Body LotionBody Lotion

Skin-smoothing lotions packed with 100% natural moisturizers (like soybean oil and plant based glycerin) soothes, smooths, and lets your skin live its softest life.CHECK IT OUT 





Hey! You made it! Welcome to the bottom of the page. Not everyone makes it down here, so we’re guessing you like us. Hooray!

We spend most of our time down here talking about what inspires our skincare. Oh, and how to get glowing skin—specifically, how to make your skin glow. So let’s get started, shall we?

Our products were all made to bring the joy of nature to your skin while making it glow—all without crossing into shiny skin territory (not cute). That’s why our entire lineup features 100% natural moisturizers, exfoliants, and extracts! We also just really, really love apricots.

Think of St. Ives as your go-to for great-smelling cleansers, lotions, masks, and body washes you can use on the daily to get glowing skin that feels super-hydrated and oh-so-silky smooth. Did we mention we’re America’s #1 Scrub brand*?

Thanks for stopping by. Keep on looking around!



St. Ives