While sunscreen is mandatory, and a fabulous serum can take your skin to the next level, one often overlooked regimen booster is the double cleanse. Double cleansing involves using two separate cleansers to perfectly prep the skin to soak up all the benefits of the products you apply after. Sounds complicated? Not at all! In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to elevate your skincare routine.
Why You Should Double Cleanse
If you’re unfamiliar with the double cleanse method, you’re probably curious about the purpose of two cleansers, especially if you just wash them off after a few seconds? Your first cleanser will be more emollient. These have a richer formulation designed to fully remove dirt, excess sebum, sweat, makeup, pollution, or bacteria that’s accumulated under your mask (ick!) from the skin’s surface.
After all that nastiness is cleared away, your second cleanser can do what it’s designed to do- get in there and clean your pores. Now that your skin is TRULY clean, all your actives such as exfoliants, serums, and moisturizers can perform better, which means visible results sooner.
Two types: oils and balms. Oils tend to be the most versatile and popular because they are suitable for every skin type. Benefits include nourishment and restoration for drier skin types, and may balance out excess oil production in combo or oilier skin.
Yes, that’s right, because oil attracts oil, you actually won’t be left with greasy skin. Even acne prone faces can benefit from an oil cleanser. Many contain ingredients that help reduce inflammation without stripping the skin. Furthermore, since oil cleansers remove surface debris before it has a chance to enter the pore (creating blackheads and congestion) this may reduce breakouts without added stress to the barrier of the skin.
Cleansing Balm vs Cleansing Oil
My personal favorite oil cleanser is the Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil from One Love Organics. It removes every stitch of makeup, smells like a tropical vacation, and leaves my skin feeling baby soft! Botanical B also has the added benefit of fruit enzymes that gently eat away dead skin cells and surface build up with each use, leading to a smoother complexion.
Another love of mine is the Marie Veronique Pure + E.O. Free Oil Cleanser. This gem has a neutral scent thanks to not containing added fragrance or essential oils, which makes it fantastic for super sensitive types. Pure + E.O. Free gently lathers once water is added, which is great for those who like a super clean feel.
Cleansing balms are similar to oils except for the texture. While again appropriate for all skin types, dry and mature skin tends to love the creamy nourishing feel of a balm. They are also fantastic at dissolving makeup, and feel soothing to sensitive or inflamed skin. As a matter of personal preference, some people prefer the texture of a balm instead of oil, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
I highly recommend Naturopathica’s Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm. It’s luxe formulation contains manuka honey, sweet almond oil, and probiotics, all of which support skin in dry climates that leech the moisture from the face. Manuka honey is also anti bacterial and anti inflammatory which benefits acne prone skin too.
What about makeup wipes? Ditch them. I totally understand how a quick swipe across your face at the end of the day seems easy, but wipes really don’t do an adequate job of cleaning your skin. They also can be drying (even the alcohol free ones), which in the long run can compromise your skin’s barrier. Try oil cleansing for a week and I promise your skin will thank you.
How to Double Cleanse
Okay, we’ve gone over the benefits of double cleansing, and you’ve picked out which type you plan to use, so let’s go over proper technique. No matter which option you choose, you apply the first cleanse to dry skin, even directly over makeup. Don’t wet your hands or face first! Spread your product across your entire face (lips included) before adding a splash of water and massaging your face to emulsify, then rinse clean.
Now it’s time for the second cleanse. Grab your favorite daily face wash, whether it’s a milk, gel, or foam and combine a dollop of cleanser with a splash of water in your hands before applying to your face and rinsing off. Take a look at yourself in the mirror- fresh balanced skin! Finish the routine with your toner, serum, moisturizer, or whatever you apply post wash.
While it’s generally not necessary to double cleanse first thing in the morning, it is highly beneficial to follow this process at night to thoroughly wash the day from your face. Try double cleansing for one full week, your skin will feel softer and more balanced, and you’ll wonder how you ever went without it.