The short answer to the last question…NO! While most of use are always looking for the cheapest way to have healthy skin, a cleanser is not something we should skimp on. Most bar soaps have high levels of alkalinity, a bitter, caustic mineral. Few bar soaps and bar cleansers are pH-balanced, and even if they are, contain wax to bind its ingredients together which can irritate the skin and leave a light film on the skin. That “squeaky clean” feeling that marketers write about is actually the result of dehydration in the top layers of your skin. That tight feeling is a result of the absence of oils your skin should have to properly function.
Cleansing milks, gels, and oils (yes, oils) are the most common types of liquid cleansers. A milk type cleanser is an effective cleanser and gentle on the skin. Many people prefer a gel cleanser. While some gel cleansers are excellent, many produce a lot of foam because they are detergent based. It is best to use a light foaming gel cleanser that will gently cleanse your skin without irritation. The thought of smearing oil onto your face to clean it often raises eyebrows. What most find even more surprising is that an oil cleanser is often recommended for those with oily skin! OIL CLEANS OIL! Think about it this way, a mechanic will wash the grease off his hands with a heavy, oily cleanser. Oil helps liquefy other oil.
One last thought…using a washcloth, brushes, or sponges are okay, but you MUST keep them clean. Sponges should be cleaned in the dishwasher at lease once a week and disposed of after a month. Sponges, if kept clean, can work great and help to gently exfoliate skin and remove make-up.