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Double cleansing is a thing. We know, we know, it takes time, but now that you have more time at home, there's no excuses. We hear the term bandied about but it’s not implicit what the benefits are. Put simply, it’s a two-step process. The first involves purifying your face of makeup, pollution, dirt, debris, even sunscreen—basically anything found in your pores and on the surface of the skin at the end of the day. The second step ensures anything that wasn’t removed in the first step is washed away (including leftover cleanser residue). The end result? Skin that’s gloriously clean and ready to absorb your next skincare products.
You only need to look at Korean, Japanese and even French skincare rituals to see how important cleansing is. It’s one of the best things you can do for your skin, and double cleansing allows you to maximise the process. A stellar cleansing routine means that you’re set up for (skincare) success, enhancing the treatments you applying after. Here are the do’s, don’ts and everything in between when it comes to perfecting your double cleansing routine.
Use a cleansing oil, balm or milk as your first cleanse.These formulations are very good at dissolving even the most stubborn, longwearing makeup—plus they can get inside the pore where oil and product tend to build up. Oil-based formulations also help balance the amount of oil on your skin while they cleanse, so they also work for those with shiny complexions.
Apply your cleansing oil or balm with dry hands to start with and then add water.This means the cleanser will be able to lift and melt everything off effectively. Oil dissolves oil (both oil-based makeup and oil on the skin) and when you add water it’ll start to turn milky before your final rinse.
Use a foam or gel cleanser during your second cleansing step.Try using a gel or foam second, as this will ensure your skin is left squeaky clean by removing any traces of product. Your second cleanse won't require using a lot of product, the hard work is done with your first cleanse.
Use a foam, gel or exfoliating cleanser for both steps.This will strip or over exfoliate the skin. Instead, opt for two different formulas (oil, milk or balm first) to ensure that your skin is deeply cleansed but not stripped of essential moisture.
Dry your face with a grubby towel that’s been sitting in your bathroom forever.Sure, this isn’t double cleansing-specific advice, but it’s advice you should heed, nonetheless. You never know what kind of microorganisms are lingering in your towel, particularly in a cold damp bathroom, so use a clean dry face washer or tissue your skin dry.
Use really hot water.Always use tepid water, particularly if you're doing a double cleanse. Hot water will dry the delicate skin on your face out, resulting in a compromised skin barrier that’ll lose precious moisture at a more rapid rate.
Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing BalmThis rich balm is perfect for those who want to treat themselves to a sensorial experience. The brand originated in spas and channels that wellness vibe in its high-performing skincare. A hero ingredient for Elemis is padina pavonica, a unique Mediterranean algae with proven anti-ageing and reparative benefits. The balm is free of mineral oil-free, and enriched with a combination of rose and mimosa wax, plus nourishing shea butter to melt away makeup, pollution and dirt particles in pores.
AmorePacific Cleansing OilInfused with coconut oil to melt away makeup and impurities, plus green tea seed oil to restore the skin’s barrier, this rich oil transforms into a silky emulsion when mixed with water. It’s super high in essential fatty acids, and leaves skin feeling refreshed and restored.
Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing OilA customer favourite for obvious reasons, this lightweight oil easily removes makeup and sunscreen without congesting the skin. It’s infused with Japanese camellia oil, which is rich in oleic acid, omegas 3, 6 and 9 and vitamins A, B, D and E—in other words a cocktail of nourishing ingredients that your skin will drink up. The brand’s signature Hadasei-3™ complex (an anti-ageing trio of green tea, algae and rice) restores natural glow to the skin.
REN Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil CleanserThe latest launch from clean and conscious skincare brand REN, this jelly-meets-oil cleanser is designed to remove makeup quickly without leaving the skin feeling tight or uncomfortable. It’ll give you a good dose of antioxidants via grapeseed oil, while meadowfoam seed oil mimics the skin’s natural oils, so things feel balanced post-cleanse.
Shiseido Complete Cleansing MicrofoamThis frothy face wash has garnered fans around the globe for its ability to deeply clean and leave skin baby-soft. A combination of rice germ oil and mineral spring water help to clean the surface of the skin while keeping the skin barrier intact.
Dermalogica Daily SuperfoliantThis exfoliating cleanser is gentle enough to use every day and contains enzymes that softly resurface skin by digesting unwanted dead skin cells. It also contains binchotan charcoal to detoxify pores, niacinamide to calm redness and red algae to protect skin from environmental nasties (like pollution).
Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly CleanserOne of the unique things about this cleanser is it’s PH balanced (at 5.5), which leaves your skin more resistant to breakouts and irritation (a win win). This jelly formula is made from natural surfactants (ingredients that dissolve oil) and is filled with hydrating glycerine and nourishing marula oil. And don’t be fooled by how gentle it feels, it can still remove stubborn makeup.
Dr. Dennis Gross All-In-One Facial Cleanser With TonerThis one is for the fuss-free types. Used by Dr. Gross for all his in-clinic treatments, this multitasking cleanser harnesses the power of witch hazel to tone the skin (witch hazel also strengthens capillaries) as well as chamomile and vitamin E to soothe, calm and chill out stressed skin.
Learn more about balm cleansers here.
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