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Everything you need to know about double cleansing

  • 4 min read

Anyone who takes an interest in their skincare routines will probably have heard about double cleansing by now. But with trends telling us to adopt new techniques all the time, how do you know which you should be using for your skin? 

Discover what double cleansing is, what it does for your skin and if we need to double cleanse as part of our skincare routine? Spoiler alert, Team UpCircle is firmly in the yes camp!

What is double cleansing?

Double cleansing is as simple as it sounds, but is it as simple as grabbing a couple of face wipes and giving your skin the once (or twice) over? Hot take – no!

Double cleansing helps you to remove more impurities and congestion from the skin by allowing the products to penetrate deeper. The first cleanse removes the first layer of dirt, pollution, sunscreen, and make-up, whereas the second cleanse removes bacteria and congestion from deep within your pores. 

The process of double cleansing involves thoroughly washing your face with two cleansers – the only catch is that the cleansers must be two different types to work. The first cleanser is usually an oil-based cleanser which is then followed up by a water-based one.

Most of us already appreciate how vital it is to ensure we are thoroughly cleansing our skin. It’s especially important for the city-dwellers amongst us, who are constantly bombarded by airborne bacteria, pollution and free radicals

If we don’t properly clean our skin, these toxins and dirt accumulate, ultimately contributing to ageing, spots, and pigmentation. In short, cleansed skin means healthier-looking skin and double cleansing can help achieve this.

How to double cleanse

1. Use an oil-based cleanser

The first cleanse should be with an oil-based cleanser. These types of cleansers help to dissolve oil, so it's the most effective way to dissolve makeup, pollution, and any other surface layer dirt that has accumulated throughout the day – without drying out your skin. It'll also ensure you get a thorough cleanse without altering the natural balance of your skin. 

Gently massage the oil-based cleanser and wash it off with a damp muslin cloth or a flannel. The first cleanse helps remove all traces of excess oil and ensures maximum dirt removal to help with the second cleanse.


2. Use a water-based cleanser

Now it's time for your second cleanse using a water-based cleanser. This helps take care of the impurities you might not necessarily see with the naked eye such as debris or congestion. Any gentle cleanser is perfect for this last cleanse. 

Using a water-based cleanser ensures you remove any remaining oil as well as bacteria and dead skin cells. Spend time massaging the cleanser on your skin to ensure a deep cleanse and then rinse with warm water. This stage preps the skin to be ready for any other products in your skincare routine and ensures maximum absorption and efficacy. A clean surface ensures that products can effectively penetrate your pores.


Benefits of double cleansing

1. Removes more impurities from the skin

With the two-step double cleanse, surface level dirt is removed with an oil-based cleanser and deeper congestion is removed with a water-based cleanser. This means that on the second cleanse, more bacteria and impurities are removed from the skin than with a standard single cleanse. 

2. Helps give you glowing skin

Cleansing thoroughly before bed ensures that your skin has the best chance of regenerating overnight and that no leftover grime is going to cause breakouts or irritation. Not only is a double cleanse meant to give a more thorough cleanse, it can also revitalise dull skin to give you a healthy glow

3. Allows skincare products to penetrate more deeply

As double cleansing helps to remove deeper congestion and bacteria in the skin, it can help other skin care products to penetrate more effectively. This means that night creams, serums and eye creams can all do their jobs better and get to work as you rest. 

Top tips for double cleansing

Here are some of our top tips to really help you perfect the art of double cleansing:

  • You do not need to double cleanse in the morning – your skin does not get dirty enough overnight and doing so may end up stripping your skin.
  • Avoid using water that is too hot, as this may leave your skin inflamed or dehydrated.
  • Remember that makeup and SPF are designed to stick to the skin. So, in step one, really take the time massaging in your cleanser to ensure you dislodge all dirt, makeup and sunscreen using a muslin cloth.
  • Remember that if your skin is not thoroughly clean, any skincare efforts you make after your cleanse will be in vain!

UpCircle double cleansing products to use

We’ve brought together the best double cleansing duo with our Double Cleansing Bundle. Better still, you save 10% when purchasing as a bundle. Included in the bundle are our fan-favourite cleansers:


Double cleansing FAQs

Can you double cleanse with the same cleanser?

It is not advisable to double cleanse with the same type of cleanser. It is best to use an oil-based cleanser for your first cleanse, and then a water-based cleanser for your second cleanse. 

Can double cleansing cause purging?

Yes, for some people double cleansing – usually the first oil cleansing step – can cause some purging. However, this is only temporary and can be reduced by only double cleansing in the evenings, rather than twice daily. Stick to a single cleanse in the mornings. 

Discover more about the differences between skin purging and skin breakouts in our previous blog. 

Is double cleansing necessary?

Double cleansing is not necessary in the morning, but in the evenings, double cleansing helps to remove the build up of impurities from the day. Not only will a double cleanse help to remove dirt, bacteria, traces of makeup and congestion, it will also help your other skincare products to be better absorbed by the skin. 

Discover our full range of vegan and cruelty-free skincare and haircare products.