A Simple Routine That Delivers: Double Cleansing

It’s so nice, you should do it twice.

November 19, 2022

Most beauty novices go through dark times when one would think micellar water is the holy grail for taking the day off. I remember as if it were yesterday: Regularly using SPF with only micellar water to cleanse my skin, aggressively using a cotton pad on areas where I should have been more gentle; not to mention the breakouts with surprise appearances on my poor face. Finally, double cleansing got me to stop blaming sun protection for my acne issues and congested pores.

Double cleansing means washing your face two times in a row. And, not surprisingly, it is based on Korean and Japanese skincare routines. Let me explain right away why double cleansing can do the trick for better-looking skin: It helps cleanse the “bad stuff” that clings onto pores and clog them, such as sunscreen, makeup, sweat, and air pollution. The idea behind it is that oil dissolves oil.

This method usually involves an initial application of cleansing oil, followed by a water-based cleanser. I start by warming a bit of cleansing oil between my palms and massage it in for about 1-2 minutes. There is just something about watching it transform into a milky texture upon contact with water. And then, the water-based cleanser purifies the skin from the remaining sebum and makeup (some days it takes a village to get rid of them), and voila! My skin is thoroughly cleansed, and ready for the next step.

I understand that you could be concerned about cleansing oils increasing sebum in your skin, especially if you’re on the oily or combination sides. But no need to worry: You can pick a cleanser with non-comedogenic oils for the first step. And we know that every balanced, healthy skin needs a certain amount of sebum. Drying out the skin for the sake of cleansing it could conversely cause even more damage to it.

Cleansing oil is not a must for the first step. The first step of double cleansing could start with micellar water, and then a water-based cleanser that is suitable for your skin type.

Applying this method when necessary (every day if you live in a city, use sunscreen or makeup) will give you more radiant skin, cleanse pores, and balanced sebum levels. I used to wonder how that could be possible through cleansing alone. But when I started doing it, I noticed that thoroughly cleansed skin absorbs products more efficiently. I suggest giving it a go if you want to get the most out of active ingredients, and most importantly, not give up on sunscreen!

Oil-Based Cleansers

Water-Based Cleansers