What is Double Cleansing?

A Classic Skin Care Ritual to Improve the Health of Your Skin

Double cleansing is just what it sounds like – washing your face not once, but twice. Essentially, this technique calls for using two different cleansers back-to-back before moving on to the rest of your skin care routine.

While the types of cleansers you use are up to you, the most common double cleansing method involves the use of a gentle makeup remover, cream, oil, or balm followed by a more heavy-duty cleanser suited to your skin type.

The Origins of Double Cleansing

While the double cleansing method has gained attention in the U.S. and Europe in recent years, it originated in Korea and Japan. The practice has roots dating back to the 14th century, but it returned to prominence with the rise in popularity of extensive, multi-step Korean skin care routines.

What are the Benefits of Double Cleansing?

How to double cleanse your face

Your skin will likely never feel cleaner than it does after a good double cleansing. But the skin-loving benefits don’t just stop at squeaky-clean skin, as double cleansing will:

  • Remove makeup
  • Clear away daily dirt, grime, and pollution
  • Dissolve pore-clogging sebum

One of the biggest advantages of incorporating the double cleansing method into your skin care routine is that it can increase the effectiveness of the products you apply afterward. By truly clearing your pores, this helps the toners, serums, treatments, and moisturizers penetrate your skin to deliver on their benefits.

Is Double Cleansing Really Necessary?

Now, we can hear you asking, “If I’m washing my face with a good facial cleanser, is double cleansing really necessary?” The short answer? Absolutely.

If you wear makeup or sunscreen on a regular basis or live in a polluted area, we would highly recommend it. Simply put, those impurities don’t just lie on the surface of your skin. Cleansing once and then cleansing again ensures that you’re not simply rubbing those substances deeper into your skin before moving on with your skin care routine.

What Kinds of Skin Care Products Can I Use to Double Cleanse?

Algae Deep Cleanse Face Wash on her cheek

With any skin care regimen, you should be using products that suit your skin type and concerns, and the double cleansing method is no different. For your initial cleanse, you can use something oil-based like pure jojoba oil or an emollient cleansing balm, or something lighter like micellar water or a gentle, milky cleanser. Avoid using anything that includes mineral oils, silicones, or preservatives. For your first cleanse, you want something that can help to dissolve makeup and dirt without stripping the skin from essential moisture.

For your second cleanse, opt for a product that treats your skin’s unique needs and offers a deeper clean. Milky, hydrating cleansers are best suited for dry or mature skin types, while gel-based cleansers are ideal for oily or combination skin. If you are experiencing congestion or rough texture, you may also want to use an exfoliating cleanser for your second cleanse.

How to Properly Double Cleanse

how to double cleanse

While adding double cleansing into your routine is a relatively simple process, it does take a little extra time and care. For this reason, we would recommend double cleansing in the evening.

Step 1 – If your preferred first cleanse is a cleansing oil or balm, begin by warming a small amount in your hands, and gently massage it into skin. If you prefer to use something lighter like a micellar water, dispense a small amount onto a flat cotton round and sweep across the face. This will loosen and remove makeup, dirt, and built-up sebum. It will also boost circulation, likely leaving you slightly flushed.

Step 2  Key to the double cleansing method is facial massage. As your first cleanser is busy dissolving the gunk and grime of the day, you should use this time to give yourself a face massage to stimulate the skin and boost circulation.

Step 3 – Once you’ve given your skin a thorough massage, finish off your first cleanse by rinsing with warm water. Gently wipe away any remaining product with a muslin rag, face towel, or soft wash cloth.

Step 4 – Now it is time for the second cleanse. Wash your face as normal using the cleanser that best suits your skin type or current concerns. If you’d like to use an exfoliating cleanser, do so during your second cleanse.   

Step 5 – If possible, we recommend leaving the second cleanser on the skin for a few minutes. This allows it to work more like a facial mask, penetrating deeper into the facial tissue to deliver more noticeable results.

Step 6 – After letting the second cleanser sit for a few minutes, use warm (not hot) water to gently rinse away all the product. Finish by patting the skin dry with a towel. 

After this ritual, your skin should look and feel quite clean, while your pores appear noticeably smaller and less congested. Your skin should also not feel tight or dry, so if it does, you’re likely using cleansers that are too harsh or drying for your skin type.

How Often Should I Add Double Cleansing Into My Skin Care Routine?

Although double cleansing can be done daily, it might not be feasible for everyone. If you’re short on time or simply don’t care to devote that much time to your daily skin care routine, we recommend using the double cleansing method once or twice a week. While you won’t experience immediate results, the benefits will certainly appear over time with consistency.

While double cleansing may not be for everyone, or even for every day, it provides undeniable skin care benefits. Working in tandem with products tailored to your unique skin, double cleansing can take the efficacy of your skin care regimen to the next level.