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What is Double Cleansing? Your Step-By-Step Guide

From the Experts | Jul 12, 2022
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When beauty experts first started hailing the benefits of double cleansing, you might have thought it was just another skincare trend; a fad that would rinse off faster than your favourite cleansing foam. But the results of this deeply purifying ritual have stood the test of time, making double cleansing an essential first step to healthy skin – both morning and night.

In Japan, the culture of water was established long ago through the idea of cleansing the skin with a generous amount of foam to prevent stress during the process. In a country where rainfall is high and the quality of water is very good, water represents beauty and is used to rinse away impurities and hydrate the skin.

Here, we reveal everything you need to know about the double cleanse, from what it is, to how it enhances the effects of your complete skincare routine…

What is double cleansing?

Double cleansing is a skincare technique that sees you cleanse your face not once but twice every morning and night. The first cleanse is to remove the top layer of grime or makeup, and the second is to work deep down into pores.

In the morning, double cleansing is going to rid your pores of any treatments you applied the night before, which is particularly key if you’ve applied potent acids that might leave skin vulnerable to sun damage. While those active ingredients are ideal for repairing and plumping while you sleep, all that pore-renewing power could overwhelm your skin when exposed to UV rays. Double cleansing also paves the way for smoother skin, so foundation and concealer glide on like a dream. Plus, your softeners, serums and day creams are able to sink into pores deeper, resulting in boosted effects.

By night, double cleansing is extra-important, as you’re taking the day off – along with any makeup you might have been wearing. The first sweep will cut through surface impurities, as well as foundation, concealer, mascara, and any other products you might be wearing. The second cleanse will tackle any remaining makeup, while giving pores the deep cleanse they deserve after a long day. This also lets your night creams and treatments absorb deeper and work harder, so you get more from those high-tech ingredients.

Should I double cleanse?

If you have dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin, you might be wondering if double cleansing is right for you. After all, you don’t want to strip your pores or leave your face feeling tight. However, the very act of double cleansing means the rest of your soothing skincare routine will work deeper, and you’ll also be removing the build-up of dead skin cells that’s common in drier skin. Put simply, double cleansing is suitable for all skin types, providing you pick the perfect cleansers to suit your complexion.

How to double cleanse your skin

As long as you have the right products to hand, double cleansing is super simple. Here’s how to get your routine just right, morning or night…


Massage in an emulsifying cleanser

Your first cleanser needs to break down surface level makeup and grime, so reach for a cleansing oil that will melt impurities away. Massage it in upwards and outwards motions, paying particular attention to heavy makeup areas, like the lashes and lips.


Thoroughly rinse and remove

Emulsify the cleansing oil by running your hands underneath the tap and massaging your face once more. Then remove the cleanser completely using water or a damp muslin cloth.


Apply your second cleanser

Pat skin with a towel until it’s slightly damp, then reach for your second cleanser. This one should be water-based and tailored to your skin type – you can find your perfect formula below. Typically, this will be a gel, cream or exfoliant that should be massaged into skin, then thoroughly rinsed away.


Complete your day or night routine

Gently blot skin dry, before following up with your favourite skin softener, serum, moisturiser and, if it’s the morning, a generous application of sunscreen.

The best products for double cleansing

It’s easy to tailor your double cleansing routine to your skin type. Here, we reveal the best cleansers for you, whether your complexion is normal, oily, dry or dehydrated.

For oily and normal skin types

The first cleanser: Perfect Cleansing Oil

It might sound counterintuitive to apply an oil to oily skin, but in this case, like attracts like. This means the cleansing oil is able to effectively absorb oil in your pores. This silky cleanser is lightweight yet powerful, breaking down makeup and impurities fast. If you’re looking for rapid cleansing that leaves skin fresh, smooth and balanced, lather up with this.

The second cleanser: Deep Cleansing Foam

This weightless foam works deep down into pores after you’ve rinsed off your oil cleanser, leaving skin feeling perfectly refreshed and energised. Purifying granules suspended in the foam lightly scrub to unclog pores. Follow up with a serum and a light moisturising cream or gel for a soothed, smoothed complexion day or night.

For dry and sensitive skin types

The first cleanser: Creamy Cleansing Emulsion

Beautifully gentle and delicate, this creamy cleanser can be massaged into skin and removed with water, a muslin cloth or even tissue. Your complexion feels exceptionally soft and supple post-cleanse, with not a trace of makeup left behind. It’s the perfect pick for tight, parched skin and especially sensitive eye areas.

The second cleanser: Clarifying Cleansing Foam

Sumptuously soft and soothing, this whipped foam is packed with white clay to remove impurities, while ridding your pores of pollutants and oxidised substances that speed up skin ageing. We’ve also formulated it with hydrating ingredients, so skin feels supple and never stripped; perfect for refreshed dry, dehydrated complexions.

Up next

Discover the benefits of hyaluronic acid, and how to add this super ingredient into your skincare routine.

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