What are the benefits of double cleansing?
Which skin types can benefit from double cleansing?
Most skin types! Oily and breakout-prone skin will love that a double cleanse whisks away the sebum and bacteria that can lead to blemishes and may want to opt for oil cleansers, which are incredibly effective at dissolving excess grease. A micellar water works too. On the other hand, dry skin types might find that two gentle cleanses are better than relying on one powerful cleanse to get rid of makeup, dirt and sebum.
There are, however, two skin types that should proceed with caution: super sensitive skin (which may find just the first oil or milk cleanse is enough to keep skin clean and happy) and those with cystic acne (which could become overstimulated by double cleansing and just exacerbate the problem).
When do I double cleanse?
How to double cleanse:
Double cleansing dos:
Do use a cleansing oil, balm or milk as your first cleanse.
These types of cleansers are very, very good at dissolving sunscreen (which you're wearing every day, right?) and longwearing makeup, and they can get inside the pores where oil and product tend to build up. For a nourishing oil cleanse, try the Mario Badescu Cleansing Oil. To keep things gentle, opt for Moon Juice’s Milk Cleanse Gentle Wash. Or if your skin is sensitive, a balm cleanser like the Alpha-H Melting Moment Cleansing Balm with Wild Orange Leaf Extract will leave skin hydrated and soft rather than stripped, tight or dry.
Their effectiveness comes down to their formulations. You know how water and oil don't mix? That’s why oil-based cleansers are so good – they can dissolve oil-based makeup and sebum on the skin, which means they also work for those with shiny complexions.
Do apply your cleansing oil or balm with dry hands to start with and then add water
Massage cleansing oil, balm or milk all over your face to melt products and lift off any impurities (most are usually fine to use around the eyes, but always read the label). Take your time. This is the step that feels a bit spa-like and so good. When you're ready, wet your hands and go over your face again; this will emulsify the cleanser and turn it milky, so everything will wash off when you rinse.
Do use a foam or gel cleanser as the second cleanse
Foam or gel cleansers like the Tatcha’s The Rice Wash or Drunk Elephant’s Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser ensure your skin is left squeaky clean, but not tight, stripped or dry, by removing any residue from your first cleanser and any lingering traces of product or sunscreen. You don't need to use a lot of product here, as the first step has already done a lot of the hard work.
Double cleansing don'ts:
Don't use a foam, gel or exfoliating cleanser for both steps
This will strip, dehydrate or over-exfoliate your skin, which is not something you ever want to do. Using two different formulas for the two steps is the key to keeping your skin clean and happy.
Don't use very hot water
Scorching water will dry out skin and compromise the skin barrier, which means it'll lose moisture at a more rapid rate. Stick to lukewarm water.
Don't dry your face with a dirty towel
Not double cleansing-specific, though consider this one as general skincare advice. You never know what kind of microorganisms are lingering in your towel, particularly in a warm and damp bathroom, so always use a clean and dry face washer.