The Double Cleansing Method Explained

woman cleansing face with cotton pad

The Double Cleansing Method Explained

Written By:

Thea Christie

If you’re the kind of person that swabs their face with a makeup wipe and calls it a day, then double cleansing might not be for you. But for those who are already committed to at least a one step cleanse, you might be interested in learning about the perks of washing your face two times! 

What Is Double Cleansing & What Are The Benefits?

Everyone should know that cleansing is an essential step in their nightly skin care routine. But what few people know is that they should actually wash their face twice. That’s right, one of our secret skin care strategies for healthy, youthful-looking skin is double cleansing.

This unique washing method accounts for two important steps in the fabled Korean 10-step skin care routine, with cleansers of different formulas to create the the desired effect. The first oil-based cleanser removes impurities like makeup, sunscreen, sebum and pollution. Oil cleansers attract and draw out oil from elements that builds up on the surface of your skin.

The second water-based cleanser removes any remaining residue by giving your skin a thorough cleanse. It deals with impurities by breaking down their oil components. “Cleansing your skin is important because it helps to remove surface impurities such as dirt, oil, makeup, debris, pollution and is beneficial for reducing the look of aging too,” says Eminence Organics Product Support Representative Alana Henrikson. Forego cleansing a little too often and you run the risk of clogged pores, irritation, dryness and breakouts. This prevents your skin from being able to renew itself overnight or properly absorb skin care products.

Besides recommending a combination of oil and water-based cleansers, we also suggest avoiding cleansers that have harsh sulfates that strip away your natural skin barrier, and staying away from irritating ingredients like artificial fragrance or alcohol.
woman washing her face with water

How To Double Cleanse

Begin with a liquid cleanser or balm cleanser made from an oil such as grapeseed, sesame or almond. For a balm, massage it in your hands until it dissolves into an oil. Gently, and in a circular motion, massage the oil into your face and neck to work away impurities. Depending on your preference, you can emulsify with water while you massage before rinsing away cleanly with lukewarm water. 

Repeat the cleansing while your face is still damp, but this time, opt for a traditional gel or cream cleanser. This second cleansing sweeps away remaining impurities and penetrates pores to unclog them. This preempts acne and enlarged pores. It also leaves your skin dewy, soft and fresh with that dull layer of oil and city grime thoroughly removed. Your skin is now primed and ready for the next steps in your skin care routine.

When & How Often Should You Double Cleanse?

How frequently you double cleanse depends on your skin — many people prefer to cleanse once a day, while others prefer to cleanse both during their morning and night time routine. As a general rule, it’s more common to double cleanse at night. After all, the skin is likely to be covered in sunscreen, makeup and the accumulation of environmental stressors throughout the day. 

How often you double cleanse also depends on your skin type and lifestyle. For example, if you have oily skin, breakout-prone skin, or you wear heavy makeup, double cleansing minimizes potential congestion likely to build up. Many use this cleansing routine in the mornings, too, as sebum can be produced while you sleep. Pick whatever suits your lifestyle, and then try to stick to it daily for the best results.

Does Double Cleansing = Overcleansing? 

Is double cleansing overdoing things a bit? Possibly, if you’re using products that are not suitable for your skin. Or, if it’s winter and your skin is already dry. The telltale sign of overcleansing is tightness after you dry your skin. Over cleansing will strip the skin of its natural essential oils and damage the skin barrier, leaving your skin vulnerable to developing skin issues. Stick to the right combination of double cleansing products for your skin type, and you’ll avoid this pitfall. 

Recommended Products

The First Cleanse: What Products To Use

For your first cleansing step, the Stone Crop Cleansing Oil is a flexible option because it suits all skin types. It contains sunflower oil rich in Vitamins A, D and E, as well as hydrating jojoba oil. The Wildflower Cleansing Balm is so gentle that it also suits all skin types. Use this as the first step in a double cleansing routine to melt away dirt, grime and makeup. This gel balm uses natural botanical oils to leave the skin soft and supple. 

If you have sensitive skin, the Calm Skin Chamomile Cleanser is infused with calming chamomile, arnica and rosemary and has a fluid milk texture. Another option is the Bright Skin Cleanser which also has a fluid milk texture and leaves the skin perfectly cleansed and balanced. The formula removes surface build-up and blockages to ensure the complexion is clear, smooth and even. 

Product picks first

Stone Crop Cleansing Oil Wildflower Cleansing Balm

Product picks second

Stone Crop Gel Wash Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam

Body second

The Second Cleanse Product Ideas

For your second cleansing step, the Stone Crop Gel Wash is designed for all skin types. It hydrates while cleansing thanks to the inclusion of shea butter and stone crop ingredients. For those with problem skin, consider the Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam or the Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser. The Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam clears blocked pores and cleans the skin. This foam features time-released encapsulated salicylic acid to unclog pores, and contains a natural herb blend. If you’re concerned with large pores, the Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser minimizes the appearance of pores. This milky gel contains a Lactic Acid Complex that works together with mangosteen to give the skin a smoother, more radiant complexion by sloughing off dead skin.

Lastly, if you want a deep cleanse, the Charcoal Exfoliating Gel Cleanser uses charcoal to draw out oil and dirt to reduce clogged pores. This gel is particularly suited to oily to normal skin types including those with congested, dull and large pores. 

If you’re looking to leave your complexion fully cleansed and prepped for the rest of your skin care routine, a double hit of the cleansing step is the best method for fresh and supple skin, free of impurities. Which perfect pairing works best for your skin type? Let us know in the comments below or on social media. To find out more about what double cleansing can do for you and your skin, get in touch with your favorite Eminence Organics Spa Partner.

This article was originally written by Clara Young in August 2020.

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