Here’s why you should add “double cleansing” to your skin care routine

Short of the fountain of youth, there are very few skin practices or products that can drastically change your complexion with little to no effort. Sure, there’s fancy face masks that promise to wipe off years of damage in minutes. Heck, there are even blood facials that claim to be the “natural” alternative to botox. (Side note: OUCH.) In truth, there are few (if any) face washing practices that rival the overwhelming results of double cleansing.

If you’re new to double cleansing, you might think: “Ugh, even more work washing my face?! No thanks.” But hear us out on this one. Because while it does add a solid 30 seconds to your face washing regimen, it offers some fan-freaking-tastic results.

But first and foremost: what is double cleansing?

“Double cleansing is a trend that I recommend all the time to my patients because it is so gentle and effective, and can even preserve your collagen, Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe told HelloGiggles.

"It is surprisingly easy and quick. You start with an oil-based cleanser to remove your makeup and dirt, pollution particles, etc. from your day, and then, follow with a gentle, pH balanced cleanser."

Washing the face with an oil cleanser may seem counterproductive at first. Why add more oil to an already oily face?

“As I tell my patients, like dissolves like,” Dr. Bowe explained. “Given that many types of makeup and products that we use on our faces are oil-based, the oil-based cleanser is best to dissolve and remove these products from our skin.”

Essentially, an oil-based cleanser dissolves the makeup and grit on your face.

So when you’re ready for that pH-balanced cleanser, it can really work its magic by getting into your pores without any interference.

Like we said before, double cleansing doesn’t actually add that much time to your face-washing routine. In fact, double cleansing might actually save you time, considering that oil cleansers wash away pesky makeup at rapid-fire speed.

“Oil cleansers are extremely effective, especially for stubborn eye makeup,” Dr. Bowe said.

"It takes my patients longer to wash off their eye makeup if they only use water-based cleansers. When you add the oil-based cleanser as a first step, it very gently yet very efficiently removes your long-wear makeup, even mascara and liquid liner."

Translation: the oil cleanser step can replace your pesky makeup wipes.

Then, there’s the matter of what results you can expect. We promised great things. And kidding, we were not.

“Your skin is primed for a deeper clean from your face wash and your skin is ready to absorb the full benefits of the antioxidants and other powerful ingredients in your serum and moisturizer,” Dr. Bowe said.

"Over time, double cleansing can slow down the aging process by ensuring that free radical damage is minimized."

For best results, limit your double cleansing to nighttime only, because over-cleansing *is* a possibility (and one with nasty, drying effects). Follow the two-step wash with an antioxidant serum and then a hydrating moisturizer, in that order. If you experience any dryness, don’t be afraid to lather on a rich night cream.

Of course, then comes one of the most important questions: which cleansers should one actually use for this process?

“One of my favorite products for double cleansing is Dermalogica’s Precleanse Balm ($45),” Dr. Bowe explained. “This balm locks in your skin’s hydration while protecting your skin’s barrier to keep you looking healthy and radiant. I love that it begins as a balm and has a water-activated formula, which transforms the balm to an oil, which then cuts through all of the buildup, makeup, and dirt.”


As for selecting a follow-up cleaners, Dr.Bowe recommended gentle, PH-balanced formulas.

Go ahead and try a good double cleanse for yourselves. We dare you. Because after you experience the radiant and clear skin that follows, we wager you’ll never go back to the one-step wash.