EVER wondered why you use different cleansers and moisturisers for your face and body?
The reason is that brands traditionally had different formulas for each, as the skin on our face is more sensitive. But these days, they often share active ingredients.
Find out what really happens when you use body products on your faceCredit: Getty
Body products tend to be cheaper, so could you save cash by using them on your face?
Claire Coleman tries out some of the leading products, talks about them with cosmetic scientist Nausheen Qureshi (nausheenqureshi.com) and gives her verdict.
If you’re prone to breakouts, don’t use a heavier body product on your face
WHILE the facial product is a gel, the body product feels creamy and smells a bit soapier. Nausheen says: “There are definitely heavier ingredients in the body product than in the face one.
“But that said, if you have very dry skin and you’re not prone to breakouts, you might want something heavier on your face, especially at night.”
VERDICT: If you are prone to spots, avoid. But if you have drier skin, your face could thank you for the heavier body cream.
FACE: Hydro Boost Gel-Cream Moisturiser (£12.99 for 50ml)
BODY: Hydro Boost Body Gel-Cream (£3.95 for 400ml)
All-in-ones are more likely to be face-friendly, not your average body wash
THESE are both blue gels and each leave my face feeling clean – even if the shower gel smells a lot more pungent.
Given that a lot of men’s products seem to be formulated as all-in-one face, body and hair washes, shouldn’t you be able to use a body wash on your face?
According to Nausheen, all-in-ones are more likely to be face washes that you can also use on your body and hair. She says: “Body washes tend to use more aggressive cleansing ingredients that can be very drying for the face.”
VERDICT: Probably best not to use shower gel on your face.
FACE: Refreshing Wash Gel (£3.59 for 150ml)
BODY: Splashy Ocean Shower Gel (£1.99 for 250ml)
This body lotion has a lot of fragrance in it – making it too much for your face
THE facial cream feels heavier than the more gel-like body lotion, which feels refreshing on my face, but Nausheen points out that the body product has a lot of fragrance in it.
She says: “Although it uses a different form of vitamin C, which might be a bit less effective, I’d be slightly worried about putting vitamin C – which is acidic and potentially quite reactive – on the face with high levels of fragrance, as it could be a recipe for irritation.”
VERDICT: Stick to using the creams as directed.
FACE: Superdose Vitamin C Oxygen Boosting Moisturiser (£12.54 for 50ml)
BODY: Superdose Vitamin C Bio-Vitamin Brightening Body Lotion (£12.86 for 250ml)
Our experts couldn’t tell the difference between UpCircle’s body and face scrubs
UPCIRCLE does not advise using the body scrub on your face, saying it has “fine-tuned” its formulations “to soften up the texture” of its face scrubs.
I couldn’t tell the difference, though the body one contains salt and the face one does not.
The ingredients are near-identical. The face scrub has a few more essential oils but Nausheen suggests they might be in lower concentrations.
VERDICT: If your skin doesn’t object to the combo of coffee grounds and essential oils in the first place, there is no reason not to use the body one on your face – but go gently.
FACE: Coffee Face Scrub Citrus Blend (£12.99 for 100ml)
BODY: Coffee Body Scrub With Lemongrass (£14.99 for 220ml)
Those who suffer from acne should consider this cheap swap
BOTH contain the same amount of active ingredient salicylic acid, which helps spot-prone skin.
But the face product is more of a watery gel, which feels quite sticky, while the body version is more of a cream and is easily absorbed.
Nausheen says: “The body product has silicones that help spread the active ingredient over a larger surface. But those silicones will also make it a bit more moisturising, which is important, as that can help protect the skin barrier.”
VERDICT: Most people should have no problem using the body product on their face, and it’s almost half the price.
FACE: Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant (£29 for 100ml)
BODY: 2% BHA Body Spot Exfoliant (£31 for 210ml)
Nausheen says there isn’t a huge difference between these vitamin creams
THE body cream definitely felt thicker, heavier and initially a bit greasier on the skin. But after a minute or so, I couldn’t tell which product I’d used where.
While the body product doesn’t have any SPF in it, it does seem to have decent active ingredients, and there’s not much difference between the two.
Nausheen says: “There’s quite a lot of fragrance in both of these, but not a huge difference.”
VERDICT: If you’re sensitive to fragrance, avoid both. If not, you’re probably fine to use the body cream on your face.
FACE: Superdrug Vitamin E SPF 15 Radiance Moisture Cream (£1.50 for 50ml)
BODY: Superdrug Vitamin E All Over Body Cream (£4.99 for 475ml)