What Is Double Cleansing? Experts Explain the Face-Washing Technique--ModeGlamor.com


As with many things skincare, we often turn to Korean beauty trends to help guide us on our quest to beautiful skin, and double cleansing—yep, washing your face twice—is no different. The idea of double cleansing probably seems like a little much for lazy-girl beauty routines. But a couple of extra minutes can make a world of difference when it comes to skincare.

To learn everything there is to know about double cleansing, including its benefits and the best products to use for each skin type, we spoke to esthetician Jodi Shays and board-certified dermatologist Annie Chiu who tout the face washing method for giving gorgeous skin—and fast.

What Is Double Cleansing?

Double cleansing involves washing your face using two products: an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser.The method removes grime that sits atop your skin, along with makeup, excess oil, and dead skin, says Shays. "The first step draws out oil-based impurities such as sebum, SPF, makeup, and pollutants, while the second step cleanses water-based debris such as sweat and dirt," explains Chiu.

How to Double Cleanse

Double cleansing is simple and involves two easy steps: cleansing with an oil-based formula followed by a water-based one. We break it down for you here:

The first step of double cleansing involves a cleansing oil, balm, or micellar water. Apply it onto dry skin to break down makeup, toxins, pollution, SPF, and sebum. "Be sure to massage the cleanser into your face for a minute before rinsing with lukewarm water—this helps to minimize irritation and drying out the skin and is important if you suffer from rosacea," notes Chiu. After rinsing away your cleansing oil, move on to your second cleanser, which should be a water-based one, and wash as normal. "This step cleans deeper and provides the type of cleaning that people associate with typical face washing," explains Chiu. "It also removes residues of the preceding step of oil-based cleansers and ensures all impurities are removed." Wash for one minute before rinsing with lukewarm water.

If your skin is looking dull, Shays recommends adding a bit of face scrub to your second cleanser and gently massaging it in before rinsing it off with water.

The Benefits of Double Cleansing

Double cleansing is brimming with skincare benefits, from helping to prevent acne to gently unclogging pores. Heres what our experts have to say about the specific benefits of a double cleanse:

Fends off acne-related flare-ups:"Sebum buildup causes infections that lead to acne," says Chiu. "Oil-based cleansers are great at removing oil-based dirt, residue, cosmetics, and most importantly sebum, which is overproduced when someone has acne."Improves the efficacy of other skincare products:"A double cleanse, especially in the evenings, can help your other products penetrate better," explains Chiu. The result? Your pores are clean and better prepared to draw in your serums and moisturizers. "If your skin is thoroughly cleansed, it’s easier for moisturizing serums and creams to be absorbed," adds Shay.Gentle on skin:"Youll find that two gentle steps work better than one strong formula to combat sensitivity or overdrying," says Chiu.

Who Should Try Double Cleansing?

Those most in need of double-cleansing are those who live in a polluted climate or those who wear a lot of sunscreens, as these can leave deposits that are hard to get off. Also, if youre a heavy makeup wearer, double cleansing is a safety net for preventing sebum-related breakouts. Additionally, those with dry skin may be better off with a double cleansing routine. "Dry skin particularly benefits because of the non-stripping makeup cleansing step that can leave a little moisture behind," says Chiu.

How to Choose the Right Cleansers

If you have dry skin, Chiu says to look for gentle cleansers that will not strip the skin of its natural oils. "Cleanser with a neutral pH will ensure skin isnt dried out further, as well as ingredients like shea butter, jojoba, plant oils, honey, and squalene."

For oily skin, anti-inflammatory ingredients like vitamin E and polyhydroxy acids can help fight blackheads. Combination skin types will benefit from a balancing cleanser that contains ceramides to retain moisture as well as something lightweight to hydrate while controlling oil, notes Chiu.

If your skin veers between dry and oily, Chiu recommends Guerlains Abeille Royale Cleansing Oil ($70), which helps wash away pollutant particles that can contribute to aging and pigmentation. The oil can be followed with Khalms Foaming Cleanser ($55).

Those with sensitive skin should opt for mild formulas that are fragrance-free. However, if you have ultra-sensitive skin, be aware that there can be too much of a good thing. For instance, Shays says shell never double-cleanse if shes suffering from a rosacea outbreak. Instead, shell opt for only an oil cleanser or gentle cleansing milk. If shes treating a client with cystic acne, shell stick to one cleanse, as double cleansing can overstimulate the skin and aggravate it further.

The Final Takeaway

Double cleansing is a beneficial face-washing technique for a few reasons. The two-step process helps remove oil-based dirt, residue, makeup, and sebum. A double cleanse also ensures your skin is thoroughly cleansed, making it easier for moisturizing serums and creams to absorb. Bottom line: Adding an oil and water-based cleanser to your routine can be game-changing.

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