Skincare » Everything You Need To Know About Double Cleansing

Everything You Need To Know About Double Cleansing

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Washing your face is the foundation of good skincare. Cleansing your skin of impurities keeps it healthy, preps it to soak in beneficial serums, and helps it look clear and glowy. So if one cleanse is good, could two be even better? Double cleansing is a time-honored practice making waves as a skincare trend. Read on to find out why it works and whether you should incorporate it into your skincare routine.

What’s double cleansing?

Double cleansing is having a hot new moment, but it’s a tried-and-true practice in the skincare world. As the name implies, it’s a skincare practice where you wash your face twice in the same session for a more thorough cleanse. Double cleansing originated in Japan and Korea, and companies like Shiseido have been sharing the practice with a Western audience for over 100 years.

Though, there’s a little more to double cleansing than doing a shampoo-style “rinse and repeat” with your favorite cleanser. The idea is to pair two different cleansers that complement each other to remove skin impurities and give you a fresh deep clean.

For example, a common practice is to start with an oil-based cleanser and then follow with a water- or gel-based one.

How double cleansing works

Your skin plays a major role in your physical and mental health. It’s the largest organ in your body and protects against exposure to bacteria, chemicals, and harsh environmental conditions. A makeup routine can help you feel more confident and ready to take on the day, so you want your skin to stay balanced while you wear your favorite products.

Between cosmetics, air pollutants, and everything else your skin comes into contact with, it’s no surprise that you might have traces of various impurities left behind. Double cleansing can cover a broader range of techniques to get rid of them effectively.

Makeup is often oil-soluble, meaning it dissolves in oil rather than water. An oil-based cleanser may lift makeup more effectively, so you don’t have to scrub delicate skin or leave the product lingering on your face. Even after your skin looks clean, you might still have particles of pollutants, sweat, and overall daily grime that’s too small to see. A gentle cleanser can remove them, leaving behind super-clean skin.

Immediately after your second cleanse, apply a nourishing moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and balanced.

Who should try double cleansing (and who shouldn’t)

With any skincare routine, you want to add products that provide your best skin benefits and skip unnecessary steps that irritate or go too far. Double cleansing can be a breakthrough for some and overkill for others, depending on your skin type, habits, and environmental exposure.

Double cleansing is a great practice for daily makeup wearers and people who prefer heavier makeup that need to do a little extra to remove unwanted product at the end of the day. People with oily skin may also benefit from a double cleansing routine.

Getting rid of excess oil without overdoing it (and prompting the skin to produce even more oil) can be a fine balance. Double cleansing with mild cleansers can give you more control over a layered cleanse than a one-and-done scrub with a harsher product that strips your skin.

Double cleansing might work better as an occasional practice if you prefer light makeup (or skip it entirely) or have normal skin. Try a double cleanse after a special event when you wear more makeup than usual or if you’ve been out in harsh conditions (e.g., traffic exhaust) and want a deep clean.

If you’re prone to dry skin or have sensitive skin conditions like eczema, double cleansing may do more harm than good. Using multiple cleansers back to back can strip your skin’s natural oils. Double cleansing could lead to irritation if it’s hard for your skin to stay balanced. Talk with your dermatologist about what products and skincare practices they’d recommend.

Best cleaners for double cleansing

If you want to try double cleansing, the next step is to pick which cleansers work well together to deliver the best results for your skin. There are various types of skin cleansers available, so you can choose a custom pair that works for you:

  • Oil cleansers. These are great for emulsifying and removing makeup without dehydrating your skin.
  • Cold creams. They emulsify water with fats, so they have the creamy texture of a moisturizer and are perfect for removing makeup, sweat, and dirt.
  • Micellar water. It’s water-based (as the name suggests) but infused with tiny particles of oil that help strip away makeup — without stripping your skin’s natural oils.
  • Gel or mousse cleansers. These are also water-based, making them ideal for removing sweat and tiny dirt or pollutant particles. Look for gentle cleansers without harsh ingredients, like benzoyl peroxide, unless you’ve discussed a skin treatment plan with your dermatologist.

You should always choose cleansers and other skincare products that work with your skin type for best results. If double cleansing seems like double the work, doing one thorough wash can still leave you fresh and clean. But if it sounds like an intriguing addition to your skincare routine, give it a try with gentle products and see if you notice a cleaner, clearer face in the mirror.