What Is Double Cleansing? Here’s What To Know

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Double cleansing is a crucial skin-care step, particularly at night, ensuring a deep clean. It involves removing makeup, sunscreen, dirt, oil, and buildup, and then cleansing the skin twice. Originating in Korea, it has gained popularity worldwide over the past five years.

What Is Double Cleansing?

Double cleansing is exactly what it sounds like—washing your face with two separate cleansers. It involves cleansing the skin twice, removing makeup, sunscreen, dirt, oil, and buildup. This Korean skincare practice, originating from the 10 step K-beauty rituals, aims to remove these substances and then cleanse the skin a second time to ensure a clean, refreshed appearance.

What Are the Benefits of Double Cleansing?

Double cleansing is a skincare method that promotes a thorough wash, addresses specific skin concerns, and promotes a healthier complexion. It’s beneficial for those with daily makeup use, oily skin, whiteheads, acne, and those living in polluted cities. It improves skin absorption of active ingredients, preventing clogged pores, breakouts, and premature aging.

Is it vital to double cleanse?

Double cleansing is a skincare routine that can be beneficial for those who regularly wear heavy makeup or sunscreen, as it effectively removes impurities and prevents future breakouts. However, it is not universally necessary for those with dry or sensitive skin or those who don’t normally wear heavy makeup. The effectiveness of double cleansing depends on factors such as skin type, lifestyle, and how makeup or sunscreen is used. It is essential to tailor the skincare routine to your specific skin type and habits to ensure the best results.

How to Double Cleanse?

Double cleansing is a skincare routine that involves two different formulas: an oil-based wash that removes impurities, and a water-based gel, foam, or micellar water for exfoliation, smoothing, brightening, or hydrating the skin. It is often done at night followed by a gentle wash in the morning to refresh the skin. To avoid skin tightness, rashes, irritation, or breakouts, it is essential to use the correct products based on your skin type. Double cleansing is not one-size-fits-all, so each individual may have different practices for best cleansing their skin. To ensure a successful double cleansing routine, curate your cleansing to your liking and use the best formulas for your skin type.

Step One: Using an oil-based cleanser

The first step is an effective method for removing makeup and impurities using cleansing oils, balms, and cream cleansers, especially beneficial for dry skin or winter, as it doesn’t strip the skin of essential oils.

Apply an oil-based cleanser to your palm and massage gently for a minute, concentrating on the eyes and hairline. These cleansers can remove eye makeup as long as they are fragrance-free. Rinse with lukewarm water or a towel to prevent dehydration. Because of their creamy texture, oil-based cleansers containing an emulsifier are simpler to remove.

Papaya Sorbet Enzym Cleansing Balm

Gentle Cleansing Oil

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (70ml)

Augustinus Bader
The Cleansing Balm

Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm

The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm 150ml

Step Two: Use A water-based Cleanser

The second step of a double cleansing routine addresses skin concerns like dryness, pigmentation, and aging signs. Apply a small amount of water-based formula to damp skin, cover face, rinse with lukewarm water, and pat dry with a soft towel.

Avoid formulas that leave your skin feeling dry or taut, and opt for a cleanser that suits your skin type.

Gentle Cleansing Foam

SkinCeuticals Simply Clean Cleanser 6.8 fl. oz

Tatcha The Matcha Cleanse

Decree Deep Cleanse 30ml

Add an exfoliating wash to the double cleansing sequence, especially around the hairline, neck, and ears, to remove buildup and makeup, making this “triple cleanse” ideal for makeup wearers or facial-like treatments.

ELEMIS Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash 200ml

LANCER Skincare The Method: Polish Exfoliator for Oily to Congested Skin

Should You Double Cleanse Everyday?

Daily double cleansing is especially beneficial for people who use a lot of makeup and sunscreen or live in polluted areas. Double cleansing is not necessary for dry or sensitive skin types, and it’s up to the individual whether their skin can handle it or not.

Because makeup and dirt collect during the night, double cleansing is usual; however, since sebum is created during sleep, it can also be done in the morning. For best results, choose a frequency that works for your lifestyle and follow it every day.

How Frequently Must I Double Cleanse?

The recommended daily cleansing routine depends on your skin type and lifestyle habits. Heavy makeup and sunscreen users should double cleanse daily for a thorough cleanse. Sensitive or dry skin should double cleanse on days of heavy makeup and sunscreen use, but daily use is not necessary. Combination skin can be done as-needed, especially if you use heavier products or live in high pollution areas.

Observe how your skin reacts to extreme dryness or irritation, and develop a regimen that works for your specific skin type.

What should you use?

normal skin

Though it’s ideal to utilize hydrating or creamy formulations, normal skin types don’t need to worry about specific problems.

oily or acne-prone skin

If you have acne, specifically, use mild cleansers that control the production of oil and look for products that have anti-inflammatory substances like glycolic acid and vitamin E.

Try Garnier’s Shine Control Cleansing Gel.

dry or sensitive skin

Individuals with dry or sensitive skin should opt for soft, non-irritating products, with a neutral pH to prevent further skin drying, and moisturizing agents like shea butter and jojoba oil can also be beneficial.

Try Avène’s XeraCalm Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil.

combination skin

To maintain a well-rounded skincare routine, combo skin types should select moisturizing cleansers that are free of oil and include ceramides, followed by a revitalizing foamy cleanse.

Try Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil.

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