What is the difference between car wax and polish? Is it the same thing? No!
Generally speaking polishing means using abrasives taking a very thin layer of the paint away. This is the step in the car care process that should create most of the shine effect. Car wax on the other hand is used to protect the shine from the environment and surrounding elements. So really, an authentic car wax should contain 0 % abrasives. Car wax shall protect and enhance that shine created by polish!
However, it’s not that simple with the car products of today. Some none abrasives are labeled polish and some waxes actually contain abrasives as well.
Some car paint products are combination products, i.e. claims to polish and wax in a one step process. This saves time and often gives a decent results.
But for serious car paint protection, polishing first and then waxing separately is the way to go! Since you probably are spending some time on your car, naturally, you should only use high quality paint protection products. Products that give that long lasting shine!