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Picky Guide: All About Double Cleansing

You’ve probably heard about the concept of double cleansing. But did you know it can immensely improve your skincare game? We go into the what, why, who, when, and how of double cleansing so you can discover how to add this essential step into your skincare routine!

What is Double Cleansing?

The concept of double cleansing originated from the Korean 10-step skincare routine. Basically, double cleansing requires you to use two different cleansers. This method promises to thoroughly clean your skin without irritating the skin barrier. Accordingly, you should first use an oil-based cleanser, followed by a water-based cleanser.

Why would we need both? Well, based on science-backed studies, oil penetrates oil. This means that oil-based cleanser are better at removing any oil-based dirt, sebum and cosmetics. Meanwhile, water-based cleanser are better at removing the non oil-based dirt and any excess residue left behind from the first step.

Why is it Important? 

Washing our face is an essential part of keeping our skin happy and cared for, but over-washing can strip our natural oils away. You may be thinking, “Why would I double cleanse? Would this damage my skin barrier?”

This is a fair question. However, double cleansing is meant to be a gentle process. Oil-based cleansers generally have more emollients, which are agents that basically protect the skin from harsh chemicals or other drying agents. As for water-based cleanser, since water is the main ingredient, it is unlikely to dry out your skin or make it feel tight.

In addition, double cleansing will allow serums, moisturizers and active night-time ingredients to penetrate and work their magic more effectively. It also can help brighten your skin in general!

While there isn’t scientific evidence to prove double cleansing has anti-aging benefits, there is plenty of evidence to support that pollution and environmental toxins can accelerate the aging process. Therefore, double cleansing can help keep that skin clean and clear from external pollutants, which may help with keeping your skin clean and young.

Who is it for? 

Any and everyone! Double cleansing is an ideal step in the cleaning process of our face every evening, when you want to wash off the day’s gunk and makeup off your face.

It is generally recommended for all skin types. But, of course, the same product wouldn’t work for everyone. Therefore, regardless of whether you double cleanse or not, it’s crucial to find the right cleanser for your skin type.

How to Double Cleanse?

First, start with a dry face! Rub the oil cleanser on your open palm and gentle massage into your face. This will help to remove and dissolve all the oil-based residue from your skin. However, if you wear a good amount of makeup, you might want to do this step twice.

After this point, don’t wash it off with water just yet. Instead, go in with a facial cotton pad and continue the same step again until all the excess is removed.

Once you are satisfied that the surface grime has been removed, it’s time to wash it off with a water-based cleanser*! This doesn’t mean just a quick splash of water! Make sure to massage your water-based cleanser gently on your skin for at least a minute. This is important, because this will thoroughly remove makeup, toxins, pollution, and any residual buildup. So, don’t haphazardly speed through this part! Be patient and gentle as you work to remove all dirt on your face, prepare your face for the rest of your skincare routine.

Do’s and Don’ts of Double Cleansing

  • Don’t use makeup wipes. Makeup wipse aren’t part of the double cleansing process. They can actually cause micro-tears in our skin and advance the aging process! Also, they’re usually full of fragrances. 
  • Do cleanse once a day. Once a day is all you need with double cleansing. Save it for the evening time. Mornings are for more hydrating cleansers to restore moisture that you may have lost overnight.
  • Don’t just lather. Make sure to really massage that cleanser, gently, into your skin. This will help to thoroughly clean it.
  • Do moisturize. Moisturizing is crucial, especially after double cleansing. So, always remember to moisturize your face afterwards!

Picky’s Picks: Oil-Based Cleansers

Picky’s Picks: Water-Based Cleansers

Want to start double cleansing? Check out the different oil-based and water-based cleansers on the Picky app to find the best for your skin! Don’t forget to also follow us on Instagram and see more on our blog for more skincare science content!

*Author’s note: Micellar water isn’t my go-to product for water-based cleansers. This is because I find that micellar waters tend to leave a surface residue on the skin. When cleansing with a micellar water, residual grime often end up being moved around my face, rather than actually being removed from the skin. Let me know what you think about this observation in the comments below!

One Response

  1. I really liked this article on “Double Cleansing” I have been double cleansing for months but there were some key points I was not exactly sure of. I have been using dear Klairs Black Cleansing Oil but I did not know that I should not rinse off the oil before I apply the “water based” cleaner. Then after massaging it in rinse! Also use a water based cleaner. This was very helpful & informative as always, I hope that alot of other people take advantage of these articles they are chocked full of useful information that will help use on our skincare journey & become that much more knowledgeable in skincare & skincare products. Thank you so much!

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