How to Choose a Botnia Face Wash

Nothing feels better than washing off the day! Our face washes are all formulated to cleanse without stripping your skin’s acid mantle. Did you know the skin naturally sits at around 6.5 pH? Your genius skin is slightly acidic to protect you from bacteria and pathogens. So, when you look at any face wash the pH matters! Incorporating a cleanser into your skincare routine is the first step to reaching your skin goals; cleansing comes first in any skincare routine, so let’s make sure to start strong! We’re here to break down the difference between our face washes and cleansers.

Science-based skincare//

All our face washes are pH balanced to never deplete your skin’s acid mantle and come in around a 7 on the pH scale (the lowest we can get and still have a soap). Face washes formulated with castile soap or conventional soaps have a high pH and deplete your acid mantle, essentially disarming your skin’s natural protection system. This is why we never suggest washing your face with bar soap!

How long do you normally take to wash your face? Seconds? Maybe a minute? In research, the ideal length of time to wash your face is similar to the length of time you wash your hands to get rid of bacteria. Research showed that when the washing time was increased from 15 seconds to 30 seconds, the removal of Escherichia coli [2] and Shigella flexneri [3] was improved regardless of the use of antimicrobial or bland soap.[1] It takes at least 20 seconds of handwashing to fully remove all the bacteria, so if you’re only washing your face for a few seconds, there’ll definitely be dirt and grime left in the pores of your skin. Here’s a challenge: For a month, take more time to wash your face (we’re talking at least 30 to 60 seconds), and let us know if you see improved results! 

No rules in face washing//

There’s no hard rule for the perfect skin routine. It mostly depends on your lifestyle and habits. If you’re someone who generally sweats a lot, wears makeup, or is out in the environment, it’s a good idea to wash your face at least once if not twice a day to get all of the impurities out of your skin. If you’re experiencing acne or oiliness, you may want to incorporate a few simple products in addition to cleansing into your daily routine. If you’re forgoing the makeup and don’t go outdoors, you’re probably okay with skipping washing your face twice a day. Overwashing can also be detrimental to your skin and strip your skin’s natural barrier. So work with a holistic esthetician who can help recommend the best cleansing cadence for your unique skin.

Botnia Face Washes//

Daily Face Wash – Our everyday cleanser is pH balanced and won’t compromise your skin’s protective barrier. Willow tree bark provides a natural source of salicylic acid to keep your skin glowing and fresh, while arnica and goldenseal extracts heal inflammation and reduce bacteria. (Contraindicated for pregnancy: sorry mamas!) 

Renewing Face Wash – Extracts of green tea, goldenseal, and arnica deliver a potent dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to address the signs of aging. Refreshes and cleans to keep your skin balanced and even.

Gentle Cleanser – Our #1 bestselling cleanser year after year. This gel-like cleanser is formulated for sensitive and reactive skin types and works well for almost all skin types. It’s great as a second step in double-cleansing. 

Balancing Oil Cleanser – The baby (newest product) in our lineup, our oil cleanser is awesome as the first step in double-cleansing and works great for removing makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and other impurities in the skin. This cleanser will balance the skin’s natural oils to gently heal and soothe. ​​Free of essential oils. (Contraindicated for pregnancy.)

Refills – Our foaming face washes and cleansing oil are also available to refill using our aluminum refillable bottles! You even get a little extra product (at the same price) for being a conscious consumer. (Mother Earth thanks you, and we do too!)

How to use//

The first step in your skincare routine: use one of our foaming cleansers or our Gentle Cleanser in circular motions on your face. Experiment using it on dry or wet skin. Continue massaging the cleanser into your skin for at least 30 seconds and up to a minute to remove any dirt and impurities. Use lukewarm water to rinse off the cleanser. Pay dry with a soft clean towel.

For oil cleansing or double cleansing use our Balancing Oil Cleanser, and check out our guide to oil cleansing here

If you’re feeling too dry and tight in the morning, try using only lukewarm water to rinse your face in the AM. 

If you’re using a traditional cleanser, make sure you follow up with a toner or hydrosol to bring the pH level of your skin back to balance. 

Do you wash or cleanse?//

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a face wash and cleanser? We use both words–and it’s somewhat nuanced–but let’s break down what we mean when we talk about them in terms of Botnia. 

Our face washes are foaming and give you the sensation of using soap, but that’s just trickery from the foamer bottle! Our foaming face wash is gentle and feels like light clouds of soap, leaving your skin feeling “washed.”

Our cleansers, on the other hand, either don’t foam up at all (like the Balancing Oil Cleanser) or are more of a lather than a foam (like the Gentle Cleanser). These leave your skin feeling cleansed, but not “washed.” One of the delicate nuances of skincare is how it feels on the skin.

Need help choosing the right cleanser for you? Email us at or DM us on Instagram and one of our holistic Master Estheticians can help you out! Happy cleansing! 


P.S. Is washing your face your favorite part of a skincare routine? We miiiight just have something super-special to share with you very soon! Sign up for our newsletter here and you’ll be the first to hear all about new product launches (hint hint).

1. Paul B. Tchounwou, Efficacy of Removing Bacteria and Organic Dirt from Hands—A Study Based on Bioluminescence Measurements for Evaluation of Hand Hygiene When Cooking. 2021

2. Jensen D.A., Macinga D.R., Shumaker D.J., Bellino R., Arbogast J.W., Schaffner D.W. Quantifying the Effects of Water Temperature, Soap Volume, Lather Time, and Antimicrobial Soap as Variables in the Removal of Escherichia coli ATCC 11229 from Hands. J. Food Prot. 2017;80:1022–1031. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-16-370. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

3. Fuls J.L., Rodgers N.D., Fischler G.E., Howard J.M., Patel M., Weidner P.L., Duran M.H. Alternative Hand Contamination Technique to Compare the Activities of Antimicrobial and Nonantimicrobial Soaps under Different Test Conditions. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2008;74:3739–3744. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02405-07. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

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