There is a popular misconception that Cleansers and Makeup Removers are both the same thing just with different catchy names. Most people believe either of those can remove makeup, dirt and bacteria. The fact is not only they’re not the same, their function based on their formulas is completely different.
Every company makes and calls their products differently, and this is because there isn’t an established industry standard. But by checking the ingredients, and the directions you can actually figure out what the product is really intended for, even though the label might say something different.
Cleansers are generally mild soapy or foamy solutions, with a pH slight acidic or alkaline, although neutral are also commercially available. They’re intended to be used with your morning routine. They’re not great at removing makeup at all, which is one of the biggest complains women have, but they’re great at gently cleansing the skin getting it rid of left over lotions and creams that were applied the night before, sebum secreted during the night, makeup particles left behind, dead skin cells and any possible bacteria expelled by pores during exudation.
Makeup Removers are usually oily products formulated to completely melt or dissolve all makeup including waterproof mascaras, foundations and eyeliners. These products are intended to be used at night with your night time beauty routine as they can leave skin too oily or heavy making the application of makeup a really complicated one if used during the morning routine.
Because not all makeup removers are created equal, you should consider checking the ingredients list for possible problematic ingredients, like heavy or comedogenic oils, fragrances and such. Avoid products with ingredients you could be potentially allergic too, as the chances for adverse skin reactions and acne breakouts can increase.
A good morning and night beauty routine must contain both, a good AM Cleanser and PM Makeup Remover.