Double Cleansing For Clear, Glowing Skin

Medically reviewed by Cara Downey, MD
Written by Sindhu Koganti
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Washing your face before hitting the bed is extremely important. However, washing once may not clear all traces of makeup, dirt, pollution, and sebum. That’s why you should double cleanse.

This Korean way of skin cleansing uses two different types of cleansers to ensure thorough cleansing – minus any irritation. Wondering how double cleansing may benefit your skin and how to do it properly? Keep reading to find everything you need to know about double cleansing.

What Is Double Cleansing?

Double cleansing is a two-step cleaning process where you use an oil-based cleanser (also called cleansing oil) followed by a water-based cleanser. The oil-based cleanser lifts dirt and breaks down sebum and makeup, and the water-based cleanser washes it off. This ensures deep cleansing. Double cleansing provides a clean canvas for your skin care products to work on and revitalizes dull skin.

With the kind of pollution we are exposed to each day, our skin needs deep cleansing every day, regardless of whether we wear makeup or not. Just soap does not cut it anymore. That’s why you need to double cleanse. It has multiple benefits.

The Benefits Of Double Cleansing

  • Provides Deep Cleansing: Double cleansing ensures your skin and pores are squeaky clean. It allows skin care products to get absorbed easily.
  • Minimizes Breakouts: Double cleansing cleans the skin pores thoroughly. As a result, the pores do not have trapped dirt, oil, and bacteria. This reduces inflammation and minimizes future breakouts.
  • Prevents Skin Irritation: Washing the face with soaps can remove the natural oils, causing dryness and irritation. Double cleansing ensures the natural lipid barrier remains undisturbed.
  • May Slow Down Skin Aging: Double cleansing ensures the skin stays hydrated. This helps the skin maintain its elasticity and slows down premature aging.

Double cleansing is the best way to maintain skin health. Scroll further to find a step-by-step guide to the process.

How To Double Cleanse: A Step-By-Step Guide

STEP 1: Oil-Based Cleanser or Cleansing Oil

What Does It Do: It dissolves the makeup, oil, dirt, and sebum.

How To Do It Right

  • Massage your face with a pea-sized amount of the oil-based cleanser (cleansing oil or balm) in a circular motion.
  • Wet your hands and continue massaging to create a light milky emulsion.
  • Wash off with lukewarm water.

Tip: If you are not using lukewarm water, pat your face with a warm towel for a few seconds to open up the pores.

STEP 2: Water-Based Foaming Cleanser

What Does It Do: It clears debris, sweat, stubborn dirt, and oil from your skin.

How To Do It Right

  • Rub a coin-sized quantity of the cleanser and a few drops of water between your palms.
  • Massage your face with the cleanser in an upward circular motion.
  • Rinse off with lukewarm water.

And you are done! If you are wondering, washing your face twice can overwash it, we have addressed the concern in the next section.

Will This Method Over-Clean The Face?

No. As long as you are using suitable cleansers for your skin type, double cleansing will not irritate your skin. If you have dry and sensitive skin, double cleanse only once a day, preferably at night. To ensure you are using the right products, scroll down and check out the guide.

Suitable Products For Double Cleansing As Per The Skin Type

1. Oily Skin

Look for lightweight cleansing oils. Check for ingredients like moringa, avocado, olive, and rose oils and antioxidants like vitamins C and E.

Pick any water-based foam cleanser with ingredients like aloe vera, green tea, and rose water. These ingredients have anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties and may help soothe the skin and keep it healthy (1), (2).

2. Dry Or Sensitive Skin

When picking a cleansing oil or balm, look for ingredients like  shea butter and jojoba oil. Both have anti-inflammatory properties and help moisturize and condition dry skin (3), (4).

Always choose gentle cleansers that do not contain synthetic preservatives, fragrances, and drying alcohols. Dry skin is more prone to develop signs of aging. Hence, choose cleansers enriched with anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid and green tea. Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin and maintains its elasticity, while green tea reduces the signs of photoaging and feels soothing (5), (6).

Tip: After rinsing your face with lukewarm water, apply your night moisturizer on slightly damp skin to lock in moisture.

3. Combination Skin

If you have combination skin, your skin needs are different. For cleansing oils, you can use any lightweight oils suitable for oily skin. However, for water-based cleansers, look for products that will remove excess oil and without drying out the skin. Opt for gentle oil-based cleansers rich in ceramides, which repair the skin’s natural barrier and help moisturize your skin (7).

4. Acne-Prone Skin

Certain oils can clog the pores and aggravate acne lesions. Check for cleansing oils that contain a blend of non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic oils and ingredients. Go for products containing ingredients like squalane, antioxidants, argan, and grape seed oils.

Always opt for facial cleansers with anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, and green tea. These ingredients calm skin irritation and keep it hydrated, soft, and healthy (1), (8), (2).

5. Mature Skin

If you have mature skin, look for the best double-cleansing products that remove all skin impurities and have anti-aging benefits. Choose cleansers (both facial and oil cleansers) that are infused with antioxidants, vitamins, and oils that protect, repair, and rejuvenate your skin and improve firmness and hydration levels.

In the following sections, we have addressed a few more doubts regarding double cleansing. Check them out.

When Should You Double Cleanse?

It is a common routine to double cleanse at night. Unless you have sensitive and dry skin, you should double cleanse in the morning too. This removes sebum and dirt that your skin may gather from the pillows while you sleep.

Products To Use After Double Cleansing

After double cleansing, always follow up with toner on damp skin. A toner helps your skin retain moisture and removes any leftover residue from the cleansing process.

Final Word

Double cleansing is an easy yet effective method that requires just 5 minutes of your time. It cuts through the makeup, dirt, and sebum, dissolving and cleaning every bit of them, leaving your skin clean. Remember to choose gentle cleansers suitable for your skin type to avoid dryness and irritation. Follow this routine to get the clear and healthy skin that you are always dreaming of.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Can I double cleanse with the same cleanser?

Yes. You can double cleanse with the same cleanser.

Will an oil-based cleanser cause breakout?

No, cleansing oils do not cause breakouts as long as you are using a product suitable for your skin type.

Is it ok to use coconut or olive oils for double cleansing?

Yes, you may use cold-pressed vegetable oils for double cleansing. However, if you have oily skin, it is best to avoid coconut oil as it may clog the pores and cause breakouts

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Sindhu Koganti is a Biotechnology graduate and has been in the writing field for over 4 years now. She specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has hands-on experience in writing articles and press releases on Life Sciences and Healthcare, Food and Beverages, and Chemicals and Materials. When she’s not writing, she loves watching movies and listening to music. She also enjoys traveling.
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