Hey there thanks for stopping by! I wanted to write a blog post about double cleansing for any heavy makeup users out there. I have covered many of the questions that came to my mind when I was struggling to find a proper way to cleanse my skin.
To give you a bit of the backstory, I discovered double cleansing while on a mission to stop clusters of breakouts from happening every time I wore makeup. I searched for the healthiest kinds of foundations, thinking that was the problem. I tried Oil-free, no parabens, and non-SPF. Even after all my efforts in searching, I kept breaking out.
One day I woke up to a pillow that had traces of makeup even though I had washed my face the night before, and then it hit me. I was leaving products on my face somehow, and so the search began.
I wasn’t sure what cleanser to use for my skin, and I felt extremely overwhelmed at the Sephora counter. I was powerless and at the mercy of what the labels were promising me. In my quest to learn about skincare, I stumbled upon The Korean Skincare Bible and the 2 step process called double cleansing, which quickly became the foundational step in my nightly routine.
So What Is Double Cleansing?
Double cleansing is washing your face with two types of cleansers. Yup, it’s that basic.
The first cleanser would ideally be an oil-based cleanser and the second a water-based cleanser. I say ideally because we all have different skin types, and even though oils are my best friends, that may not be the case for you. Some people benefit from using micellar water instead since it contains water-soluble lipid molecules, which give you the benefits of an oil, more on that later.
Some Fun History
The double cleansing method originated from Japan and has been used by Japanese women for centuries.
It started with Geishas, who are known for their unique snow-white face, bold red lips, and black eyes. To get this look, Geishas used oshiroi, a bright white powder made from rice often blended with metals, oil, and wax. Wearing this heavy paint would make you think their skin would be a hot mess, but instead, they have been admired for having flawless complexions.
How? Their secret was double-cleansing! Geishas would use camellia oil to remove the heavy layers of paint on their faces, followed by a second foam cleanser to remove any residue left behind, and so the double cleansing method was born.
Knowing this history changed the way I viewed makeup, knowing that these artists have been able to keep great-looking skin while wearing tons of products was enough proof that I could do the same for my skin.
Should You Be Double Cleansing?
I know the thought of adding an extra step to washing your face may not sound that exciting, and it may also not be for you. I have found through research that if you fall into these two categories below your skin will benefit from the double cleansing method.
If you are a heavy makeup user and are all about that bake.
Why? because your foundations and concealers are most likely glued to your face and deep inside your pores. Being able to lift and dissolve these products will save you the stress of having to cover up any breakouts later.
If your skin produces a lot of oil in the t-zone area, or you have oily skin.
Why? because chances are these natural skin oils are attaching themselves to dead skin cells, and if left on the surface of your skin too long, it can potentially lead to breakouts and congested pores.
The Benefits of Double Cleansing
You know that feeling of waking up with a clean canvas? I like that feeling too. Knowing I won’t be needing that spot concealer for the day already feels like a win and that is the #1 reason I love to double cleanse. No matter what your skin type is, you can benefit from this method. Here are some more great reasons for you to double cleanse.
- Glowy and radiant skin – If your foundations have made their way inside your pores, using a second cleanser will help get to the deepest layer without scrubbing and rubbing like a crazy person. Leaving your skin glowy and radiant instead of red and flaky.
- Removing pollutants from your skin – If you live in a city, you may be dealing with higher levels of pollutants in the air and free radicals. These free radicals are microscopic, they go inside of your body and attach to cells which speed up the aging process (insert roll eye emoji). Cleansing twice will help the fight against these tiny monsters.
- Getting the most out of your products- Getting rid of the dead cells that are sitting on the surface of your skin will help your products sink in more effectively, and who doesn’t want to get all those yummy antioxidants.
An In-depth Guide To Double Cleansing
I have made an in-depth guide below to help you get started. I will be explaining the different kinds of products you can use, how to use them, and the products that have worked best for stubborn makeup.
Step 1 – Determine your skin type
Knowing your skin type will make it easier to shop for products instead of guessing what is best. If you don’t know your skintype, here is a quiz you can take https://askthescientists.com/skin-type-quiz/
Step 2- Pick an Oil-Based Cleanser
Now that you know what skin type to shop for, it’s time to pick your first cleanser. The whole point of the first cleanser is to break down any oil-based products and remove any surface build-up without stripping your natural skin oils. Let’s dive into three types of oil-based cleansers you can use.
Cleansing oils are a mix of natural oils such as almond, jojoba, olive. These oils are mixed in the cleanser, and work as solvents that bind to other oils on your skin. The texture of this product will be a bit runny, and it will emulsify with water to cleanse your skin without over-drying it.
How To Use – You will want to apply a small amount to dry skin and gently massage in upward circular motions. Add a bit of water to your skin so the oil starts to emulsify. Rinse thoroughly with warm water or wipe off with a muslin cloth. To remove stubborn mascara, hold a cotton pad with cleansing oil over the area for about 10-20 seconds.
Here are some of my staples :
Cleansing balms are also made from oil but have a different texture and consistency. They start as solids, and when massaged into the skin, they warm up and meltdown to a cleansing oil. This is a fun way to oil cleanse since it gives you that spa experience. I have also found that it is the quickest of the 3 at removing stubborn eye makeup.
How To Use –Warm up the product between your fingers first. Gently massage the balm in circular motions on your face. Then, gently wipe away with a muslin cloth soaked in warm water. If you want the full spa experience, you can place this cloth over your face and wait a moment for the steam to open your pores.
The best at removing Makeup:
Micellar water may look like regular water, but you’ll notice it has an oily texture. Not to worry, it doesn’t contain oil. Instead, it uses micelles, think of these as tiny magnets. They lift and attract any make-up, oil, and dirt. Micelles contain both water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients. This product is ideal for those with dry and sensitive skin types.
How To Use – Shake well and apply the product to a cotton pad until it’s fully absorbed. Gently wipe it across your face making sure to hold it in place for a few seconds where you need it most. Once you apply the cotton pad to your skin for a few seconds you’ll notice a warm sensation. This means it’s working and breaking up the products on your face.
These are my favorites:
Step 3 – Pick a Water-Based Cleanser
Now that you have removed layers of products by using the first cleanser, it’s time to cleanse again with a water-based cleanser. This step is still important, even if your face feels clean after the first cleanser. The second cleanser will draw out any water-based products left behind, such as sweat, dirt, and bacteria. Let’s dive into 3 types of different cleansers you can use.
Cream cleansers are usually thick and have a similar consistency to moisturizers. They are typically sulfate-free and are made of heavier oils and waxes. This is the type of cleanser that won’t leave your skin feeling tight because it hydrates the skin and is ideal for dry and sensitive skin types.
How To Use – Wet your skin and massage a small amount of cleanser using your fingertips. Let the cleanser sit for a minute or two before rinsing with warm water.
Gel cleansers have a thick gel consistency. This type of cleanser will remove excess oils and bacteria and help mattify your skin. They are best for combination and normal skin types.
How To Use – Gently massage a small amount of gel cleanser on wet skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
Foam cleansers have an airy, lightweight consistency. They are best for acne-prone and oily skin types. They are meant to deep cleanse the skin and can help with oil production.
How To Use – Use one to two pumps and gently massage the foam onto the skin. Rinse off with lukewarm water.
How Often Should You Double Cleanse?
How often you double-cleanse will depend on your skin type. If you have oily skin, you may benefit from doing it twice a day, and if you have sensitive skin, you may only want to do it once a day. I recommend you test this out and consider your skin type and personal needs first.
I have combination skin, which means I get oily in some areas and dry in others, so I only double cleanse at night and as the seasons change. In the summer my skin is producing more oil I may double cleanse twice.
If you’ve stuck around this long, thank you! I hope this blog post inspires you to try this ancient method, and if you give it a go, come back and share how it went in the comments below. If double cleansing is something you already do, I’d love to hear how it has helped you, and what types of products you use.
If you are a beginner and are interested in building this into your routine, you can save or print the checklist below.