What is Double Cleansing?
Your skincare should be a ritual; an artful self-care routine that cleanses not just your soul, but your body. If there’s anything that will elevate your skincare ritual to the next level, it’s double cleansing. Double cleansing is the process of using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser. Double cleansing can occur anywhere on the body, and the same principles will always apply. While the steps are relatively simple, the science behind it is slightly more complex. Let this be your ultimate guide to creating the perfect double cleansing routine you will reach for day after day.
How to Double Cleanse Your Skin
Step 1: Oil-Based Cleanser
While double cleansing can be achieved anywhere on the body, today we will focus on the brightest feature of all: your face. There are two very basic steps to achieve a double cleanse. You’ll always want to start your double cleanse routine using an oil-based product, such as liquid cleansing oil or a cleansing balm. Cleansing balms are solidified oil-based cleansers that serve the same purpose as liquid oil. Some people prefer balms to traditional oils because they are less messy and more travel-friendly.
Okay, but why start with oil to cleanse? What if you already have oily skin? Even if you’re oily and acne-prone, there’s good reason to incorporate oils into your skincare routine. “Oil-based product is the ideal first step to remove makeup and sebum from the skin while leaving behind the natural hydrating oils,” says Dermatologist Peterson Pierre, MD of Pierre Skin Care Institute. “This step is gentle and doesn’t strip your skin of its natural moisture.” So rather than making your skin more oily, it actually makes it less oily by extracting excess sebum (AKA pore-clogging oil) from the skin. The result? Your skin will feel cleansed, hydrated, and ready for the next step.
Step 2: Water-Based Cleanser
The second and final step in your double cleansing routine is to rinse off the oil cleanser and follow up with a water-based cleanser. While you can technically end your facial cleansing after step 1, there’s an added benefit to capping off your cleansing routine with a water-based cleanser. After rinsing your skin of makeup and impurities, “you can focus on a deep cleansing of the skin and pores” says Pierre, and a water-based cleanser will help to achieve just that.
The Science Behind Double Cleansing
According to Facial Plastic Surgeon David Hartman, MD from Fine Arts Skin & Laser, “The best double cleansing occurs when the cleaning methods are different from one another but are complementary.” There’s indeed a science behind it all. It seems counterintuitive, especially for oily skin types, to apply more oil all over your skin. However, the oils contained in cleansing products are noncomedogenic, meaning they won’t further clog your pores. Instead, they act as magnets, removing oil and even totally pulling out blackheads from the skin altogether.
Water-based cleansers alone can often be too stripping on the skin, especially ones that contain harsh surfactants. That squeaky clean feeling you get after cleansing? Yeah – that’s actually the feeling of stripped skin. So if your skin feels extra tight after a cleanse, it means that the cleanser has stripped your skin of its natural oils. If you have dry skin, this will only dry it out even more. Without a proper exfoliation routine, this can lead to dead skin cells clogging your pores, resulting in inflammation, redness, and breakouts. For oily skin types, drying products will only encourage your skin to overproduce oil in order to compensate for lost moisture.
By utilizing both an oil-based cleanser and a water-based cleanser, your skin is able to find perfect harmony. Not too oily, not too dry – exactly just right.
When to Double Cleanse
It’s now time to determine when double cleansing should rightfully fall into your skincare routine. While there’s no exact right or wrong answer, some people prefer doing it once daily in their nighttime routine. “Double cleansing before bed removes the grease and pollution from the day to prepare the skin for the rejuvenating ingredients that we will want to apply for sleep time,” says Hartman. Prefer to do it in the AM? Dr. Hartman states that doing so in the morning can prep and moisturize your skin for protective ingredients, such as your daily dose of SPF. “This will have you confidently feeling your best for your daytime activities,” he says.
What Skin Types Should Double Cleanse?
Clearly, there are a ton of benefits to double cleansing. Thankfully, your skin type doesn’t really matter when it comes to whether or not you can double cleanse. “All skin types would benefit from double cleansing,” says Hartman. Whether you’re oily, dry, or a combination skin type, double cleansing will help to deep clean your skin and provide it with the nourishment it needs, regardless of skin type.
Best Cruelty-Free Double Cleansing Products
You likely have reached a “great…now what?” point in your double cleansing journey. The next step now is actually just doing it. Luckily, there are tons of amazing cruelty-free and clean beauty options available on the market. We know you’re ready to jumpstart your double cleansing routine, and these top 10 best cleansing balms will help get you started on the right foot. So go ahead, take a deep dive into the world of cruelty-free double cleansing. We’ll see you on the other side.