Should You Double Cleanse

Should You Double Cleanse?

Some of us struggle to wash our faces one time (don’t judge), so the concept of double cleanse sounds like a particularly brutal punishment.

If we’re putting on our grown-up “truth” panties, then double cleansing offers amazing benefits to your skincare routine. Especially for those of us who like to have our makeup lay on our faces to perfection.


Now, double cleansing isn’t necessary for everyone because, in some cases, it can be drying to the skin and strip the skin of its natural and beneficial moisture.

Should You Double Cleanse?

The Why Behind Double Cleanse

The theory is that the first wash removes surface debris, enabling the second wash actually to clean the skin. However, it really is a question involving not only skin type but also lifestyle. Oily skin tends to tolerate double cleansing better, and it is also beneficial for those who wear lots of makeup. But double cleansing also removes airborne particles, pollutants, sebum, bacteria, and residue from moisturizers and sunscreens.

Dermatologist agrees the most important consideration in cleansing your skin is to make sure you remove all of the makeup, grime, and impurities from our faces daily. They urge that for normal and dry skin, a single cleanse is generally sufficient, particularly if used with a makeup remover.

Double cleansing first became popular in Asian culture, migrated to Europe, and eventually landed in North America. (Anyone remembers the cult-like following for the Korean ten-step skincare routine. Yikes!)

How to Double Cleanse


Dr. Syril Que, professor of Dermatology at Indiana University, told Self magazine that picking the right cleanser is the first step in any skincare routine, whether you choose to double cleanse or not. She explained that the base ingredient- oil, gel, cream, or water- is critical to determining your cleanser. Dr. Que also explained that in double cleansing, because oil attracts oil, when you wear heavy makeup or sunscreens, using an oil-based cleanser as the first step in washing your face will pull the oil residue away from the skin. Then, depending on your skin type, use your regular cleanser to wash your face as you normally would.

You will find surfactants in most cleansers, which break down oil and impurities and strip away too much of the skin’s natural oils to be used to cleanse the skin twice. So, please avoid using your everyday cleanser for both steps unless it is a gentle oil-based or cream-based cleanser.

Remember to watch for signs like flakiness, redness, irritation, or peeling. These signs may indicate that you’re overdoing it or that you’re using the wrong combination of cleansers.

Tips to Get Started

I hope you find this helpful in determining if you want to start applying double cleansing to your everyday life.

  • Take the oil-based cleanser or your regular face wash and apply it to your palm or forefingers. (A little goes a long way so don’t feel the need to cake the cleanser on your face.)
  • Massage the cleanser as you’re doing circular motions around the t-zone area and underneath the eyelids. Don’t be scared to get close to your eyes. The oils from the cleanser will actually help you get rid of leftover make-up
  • When you are ready to rinse, I recommend using a washcloth. Even though your hands are seemingly clean, there are still dirt particles underneath the nail-bed. You didn’t do all of this work just, so your face can get dirty again, now did you?
  • Next use a water-based formula and repeat the steps above with the second cleanser.
  • Pat face until completely dry and add moisturizer if need be.

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