The relatively new phenomenon of 'double cleansing' is largely reported as key to brightening dullness & lifting the complexion. While more time-consuming than a simple 1-step cleanse, double cleansing could leave your skin looking more radiant and potentially less prone to breakouts. Worth considering then, right?
So what's the point? The aim is to try to get your face as clean as possible, without irritating your skin: preparing it for gels and creams you might use to get the most out of them. Some swear by this method, stating that double cleansing reveals the cleanest skin and clearest pores you’ll ever experience. So what are we waiting for? Read on for what we’ve uncovered from all the latest advice.
How to do it?
A double cleanse usually involves using two different cleansers — one with an oil-base, followed by another with a water-base. The oil-based cleanser removes excess oil and oil-based product residue, and the water-based cleanser will get rid of any pore-clogging dirt that remains. It really is a more thorough cleanse - the first step is to remove your makeup or sunscreen, so the second more skin-type specific cleanser doesn’t have to work so hard to get through makeup and other barriers.
What we’ve found is that there is no definitive guide! However, generally the advice is to follow these steps:
Step 1. Wash your face with a pure oil, oil-based liquid cleanser, cleansing balm, gentle face scrub, or cleansing cloth – oil based cleansers dissolve oil and debris more easily, making way for the next step.
Step 2. Wash with regular, water-soluble cream, gel, or lotion cleanser specific to your skin type.
Step 3. Apply your usual toners and creams.
You can wash twice with the same cleanser. While you don’t get the benefit of the initial oil-based cleanser, this method can be suitable if you don’t have particularly oily skin, & don’t wear a lot of makeup.
It’s best done in the evening, to remove the day’s dirt, makeup and pollutants. This evening cleanse will allow serums, moisturisers and night-time leave-on products like retinols to penetrate and work their magic much more effectively.
Double cleansing is suggested for very oily skin when you are finding that your regular cleanser isn’t removing enough excess oil. It’s better to use two gentle cleansers than one harsh, drying cleanser (see the note of caution at the end of the article). Taking at least a minute to do a water-based cleanse will ensure you gain all the benefits from your cleanser and its ingredients. Some skincare experts even suggest washing for two minutes.
The temperature of the water matters: Too hot and you could risk irritating the skin, too cold and your pores don’t open enough to be cleansed properly. Lukewarm is best!
When not to double-cleanse?
If you're not oily until the end of the day or if your skin is super-dry, double cleansing probably isn't necessary unless you're wearing a lot of makeup.
Also, some dermatologists are cautious about double cleansing as over-washing can lead to dryness, sensitivity and irritation. The ideal cleanser should be sulphate-free to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils, and it's important not to rub the skin too harshly.
Double cleansing isn't suited for everyone: for sensitive, dry, or rosacea-prone skin you need to be careful about over-drying the skin. In these cases it’s best to speak to your dermatologist before changing your routine too drastically..