by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

A Guide to Double Cleansing, the Skincare Step that Beauty Gurus Swear By

Image via @gelcream

Cleansing is the basis of any good skincare routine; it’s vital to remove all the makeup and dirt from your face to prevent any skin issues like acne, which is why you’ve cleansed and ready to finish your skincare routine before bed. As you’re wiping your face with a cotton pad soaked in toner, you spot remnants of foundation and streaks of what is probably that really long-lasting mascara left on the pad. Is your cleanser not good enough? Or did you not wash thoroughly enough? Enter double cleansing, a ritual that many swear by for cleaner, healthier skin.

What is double cleansing and why is it good?

Double cleansing is starting with a cleansing oil, balm or micellar water to break down the makeup, sunscreen and sebum sitting on the surface of your skin, before following up with a water-based cleanser.

The point of the two-step process is to cleanse deeper and better; the preliminary step is supposed to pave the way for your regular cleanser to get rid of any gunk on your skin instead of having to work its way through layers of makeup and sunscreen. This also lets the products you apply after cleansing to penetrate deeper into your skin, making them more effective.

Double cleansing is also especially important if you’re a city dweller, exposed to high levels of pollution daily. A quick wipe with a makeup remover won’t properly dislodge foundation and pollution particles, which can lead to skin problems if left on your skin overnight.

When should I double cleanse?

Here’s a rule of thumb: if your skin is acne-prone or oily, double cleansing is very useful. But be aware that there can be too much of a good thing; if you’re suffering from a rosacea or cystic acne outbreak, opt for only an oil cleanser or gentle cleansing milk, as double cleansing can over-stimulate the skin and aggravate it further.

Another thing to keep in mind is, if you’re wearing a full face of heavy make-up, double cleansing is the best way to ensure your skin is free from every single scrap. If your skin doesn’t get oily until the end of the day or if your skin is on the drier side, double cleansing probably isn’t necessary unless you’re wearing a lot of makeup.

How to double cleanse

Step 1. Use a cleansing oil, balm or micellar water (whichever you prefer) to wipe off the initial layers of makeup and sebum. Massage in for a minute to thoroughly remove any buildup.

Three Cleansing Oil, SGD68
Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, SGD50
Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water, SGD33

Step 2. Now is the time for your cleanser and water. Take at least a minute to do a water-based cleanse; wash upwards and outwards for a deeper cleanse.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, SGD63
Gallinée Face Foaming Cleanser, SGD33
Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser, SGD68

Tip: The temperature of the water matters, too. Water that is too hot could irritate the skin, especially if you suffer from acne or skin conditions such as rosacea, so it’s best to rinse with lukewarm water.