How To Do Double Cleansing For Clear And Glowing Skin

Investing your time in an elaborate cleansing routine can do a wealth of good for your skin.

Medically reviewed by Cara Downey, MD
Written by Arshiya Syeda, BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Dip
Edited by Ramona Sinha, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach
Fact-checked by Medha Deb, Integrated MA  • 

Cleaning your face is the first step of a beauty routine. However, washing it once with micellar water may not always help in makeup removal and clearing dirt and sebum due to pollution. That is where double cleansing helps you.

Double cleansing is a step in Korean skincare for face cleansing with two different types of cleansers. How does double cleansing work? What are its benefits? This article answers all your queries related to double cleansing. Keep reading to know more beauty tips on 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

Double cleansing helps in slowing skin aging
Image: Shutterstock
  • Provides Deep Cleansing: Double cleansing ensures your skin and pores are squeaky clean. It allows skin care products to get absorbed easily.
  • Minimizes Breakouts: Like exfoliation, double cleansing ensures skin pores are thoroughly cleaned. 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.

A beauty blogger shared her personal experience of incorporating a double cleanse in her skin care regimen. She said, “The first time I tried double cleansing, I was amazed at how much cleaner and fresher my skin felt. It’s as if I was giving my skin a clean slate to start anew. I’ve since made it a non-negotiable part of my evening routine. My skin has never looked better (i).”

protip_icon Trivia
Celebrities like Kerry Washington, Olivia Wilde, and Hailey Bieber have raved about the wonders of double cleansing for glowing, youthful skin.

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.

protip_icon Did You Know?
The practice of double cleansing in Korea and Japan goes as far back as the 14th century. It was essential to clean the traditional white cosmetic paints they wore.

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

Moringa oil is suitable for double cleansing of oily skin
Image: Shutterstock

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-inflammatoryi  XA medication or ingredient that can help lower inflammation i.e., reduce redness, pain, and swelling. and moisturizing properties and may help soothe the skin and keep it healthy (1), (2).

2. Dry Or Sensitive Skin

Shea butter is suitable for double cleansing of dry and sensitive skin
Image: Shutterstock

When picking a cleansing oil or balm, look for natural skincare ingredients, such as 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

Argan oil is suitable for double cleansing of acne-prone skin
Image: Shutterstock

Certain oils can clog the pores and aggravate acne lesions. Check for cleansing oils that contain a blend of non-comedogenici  XA skin care ingredient or cosmetic that helps prevent the development of acne and its related symptoms without blocking skin pores. and hypoallergenic oilsi  XProducts or formulations that, according to the makers, are less likely to produce an adverse reaction than others. 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

Use a toner after double cleansing to keep the skin hydrated
Image: Shutterstock

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.

Double cleansing is a gentle cleansing process that requires using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser. This two-step process ensures removal and washing off of dirt, makeup, and oil. Incorporating this process into your daily skincare allows the products to get absorbed, reduces acne breakouts, and protects your skin from dryness and irritation. Ideally, do the double cleansing at night before going to sleep. Remember to choose cleansers that are suitable for your skin type and that leave you with smooth, soft, and glowing skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to double cleanse if I only wear sunscreen?

There is no need to double cleanse if you wear only sunscreen. However, if the sunscreen is waterproof, then you might need to double cleanse to remove it.

Is double cleansing dermatologist-recommended?

Double cleansing is not usually recommended by dermatologists, who believe that it may over-cleanse the skin and make it sensitive and dry. However, using gentle products helps reduce these negative effects.

Should I double-cleanse every day?

A daily double cleanse is not necessary for everyone. Washing your face thoroughly once daily with a gentle cleanser is more than adequate.

Can I double-cleanse with coconut oil?

Yes, you can use coconut oil for a double cleanse but make sure it is suitable for your skin type.

Should I wash my face in the morning if I double cleanse?

Yes, you can wash your face with a gentle cleanser in the morning after double cleansing.

Why do I break out after double cleansing?

Breaking out after double cleansing might be a result of using products not suitable for your skin type or that contain harsh ingredients.

Key Takeaways

  • An oil-based and a water-based cleanser are used to cleanse the face in double-cleansing.
  • This cleansing method reduces breakouts and skin irritation effectively.
  • It will not dry out your skin if you use cleansers that are suitable for your skin type.

Unveil the dermatologist-approved technique of double cleansing for healthy, radiant skin! Check out this video to understand the step-by-step process and gain valuable insights on maximizing your skincare regimen.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Aloe vera: Potential candidate in health management via modulation of biological activities
  2. Treatment Modalities for Acne
  3. The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review
  4. Acute Effects of Transdermal Administration of Jojoba Oil on Lipid Metabolism in Mice
  5. Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans
  6. A Review of the Role of Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) in Antiphotoaging, Stress Resistance, Neuroprotection, and Autophagy
  7. Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skins own natural moisturizing systems
  8. Vitamin E in dermatology
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