Double cleansing – what is it and how do I do it?

  • 3 min read

Most of us already know that cleansing your skin is vital. It’s especially important for the city-dwellers amongst us, as we are constantly bombarded by airborne bacteria and pollution. If we don’t properly clean our skin, these toxins and dirt accumulate, ultimately contributing to aging, spots and pigmentation. In short, cleansed skin means healthier looking skin.

What is double cleansing?

Double cleansing has become the new norm across the beauty industry. Facialists, bloggers and dermatologists across the globe recommend double cleansing every evening to keep your skin in the best condition it can be. But what exactly is double cleansing and 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 means that you remove the first layer of dirt, pollution, sunscreen and make up, followed by a second cleanse of the deeper layers of pore bacteria and congestion. 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.

Cleansing properly in the evening will also give serums and moisturisers the opportunity to penetrate the skin deeply overnight and be properly absorbed, making them more effective. The effectiveness of these serums is further enhanced if one of the stages of your routine is an exfoliation (learn more about the benefits of exfoliation).

How to double cleanse

The first cleanse should be with an oil-based cleanser, such as our Cleansing Face Balm. Oil dissolves oil, so it's the most effective way to dissolve make-up, pollution and any other surface layer dirt without drying out your skin. It'll also ensure you get a thorough cleanse without altering the natural balance of your skin.

If you're wearing a lot of makeup you may even wish to repeat this step twice, just to be sure that you get everything removed. After massaging in your oil based cleanser, wash it off with a damp muslin or flannel. This helps remove all traces of excess oil, ensures maximum dirt removal, and has the added benefit of gentle exfoliation.

The second step is to use a water-based cleanser. You can use a natural Soap Bar or any other water based cleanser – but be wary of chemicals and synthetic foaming agents. Some ingredients, such as SLS, are not only stripping to the skin but also can be harmful to your health and the environment. For more information, have a read of our blog post on skincare ingredients to avoid.

Using a water-based cleanser ensures you remove any remaining oil but also bacteria and dead skin cells. Spend time massaging your skin and ensuring a deep cleanse. This stage preps the skin to be ready for any other products and ensures maximum absorption and efficacy. A clean surface ensures that products can effectively penetrate your pores.

Top tips for double cleansing

Here are some 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.
  • You do not need to double cleanse if you have been in the house all day and are not wearing any SPF or makeup.
  • 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, make up 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!