What is Double Cleansing and How to Do It?

Double cleansing has its benefits and drawbacks. Although it’s not for every skin type and should only be done in moderation, there are some great points to be made about double cleansing.

What is Double Cleansing? 

Double cleansing is simply what it sounds like: washing your face twice in one sitting. Board-certified dermatologists recommend first using an oil-based cleanser to dissolve makeup and remove impurities that have built up during the day. Following up with a second cleanse using a water-based cleanser can work efficiently to moisturize and fully cleanse the skin.

When Should You Double Cleanse? 

Double cleansing should be done at night so that you can effectively remove the day’s makeup and excess oils and dirt that collect on the skin. Oil-based cleansers are also the best choice for removing sunscreen and waterproof makeup. Additionally, the extra step of double cleansing maximizes the effects of night creams and serums.

How to Double Cleanse 

Double cleansing might take a few extra minutes, but the benefits for your skin are worth it. We’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you double cleanse effectively:

  1. Gently massage an oil-based cleanser into the skin using clean, dry fingers.
  2. Rinse with lukewarm water, either using a washcloth or your hands.
  3. While your skin is still damp, gently massage the water-based cleanser into your skin.
  4. Rinse off the cleanser and pat your skin dry.
  5. Apply toner, serums, moisturizers and other products in your skincare routine.

How to Pick the Best Cleansers for Your Skin Type 

Not all skin types are the same, and neither are cleansers! The right cleanser for your specific skin type can go a long way in maintaining healthy, beautiful skin.

Dry Sensitive Skin

Cream cleansers are a great choice for dry skin because they give it the extra moisturization it needs. Creams are also less drying than foaming cleansers and have a gentle formula that won’t irritate sensitive skin. After double cleansing dry or sensitive skin, make sure to apply an enriching night-time moisturizer. If you have dry or sensitive skin, try the following cleansers:

Oily, Acne-Prone Skin 

People with oily skin should opt for water-based cleansers with exfoliating ingredients like salicylic acid or glycolic acid. However, double cleansing with an oil cleanser first is still a great choice for oily skin because the process helps to reduce acne-causing impurities from the skin’s pores. Just make sure to completely remove the oil-based cleanser and follow up with one of these water-based cleansers:

Combination Skin 

People with combination skin often have oiliness in the T-zone (forehead and nose) where oil glands are prevalent and dryness on other areas of the face. Products that can visibly help your skin tone and texture include:

Normal Skin

Normal skin won’t be easily irritated by skincare products so you can use a foaming or cream cleanser, depending on your preference. Great options for people with a normal skin type include:

Is Double Cleansing Necessary for Everyone? 

Double cleansing is not necessary for all skin types but should  be done if you have been spending time in the sun and/or wearing waterproof makeup. Double cleansing with the wrong cleanser or too often on dry or sensitive skin may dry out or irritate the skin. So, listen to your skin specialist’s recommendations and notice how your skin feels. Adjusting your cleansing habits is common and should be reevaluated at minimum every few months. 

Should You Double Cleanse if You Don’t Wear Makeup?

If you don’t wear makeup, this is more of a reason to not double cleanse. However, double cleansing after wearing waterproof sunscreen can be beneficial.

Epicuren Skincare for Every Skin Type

At Epicuren Discovery, we offer a variety of cleansers and skincare products specifically designed for various skin types and skin concerns. Take our online Skin Quiz and find a new cleanser to upgrade your skincare routine. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you supposed to double cleanse every day?

Most people only need to cleanse their face once, both in the morning and at night. Double cleansing should not be done every day.

Do dermatologists recommend double cleansing?

Dermatologists do not often recommend double cleansing because it can over-cleanse the skin. A great alternative is using a hydrating cleanser alone or before your water-based cleanser. 

How do I know if I need to double cleanse?

If you wear makeup daily, it can be helpful to double cleanse and effectively remove the makeup from your skin.

Should I double cleanse at night or day?

Double cleansing is typically done at night to remove layers of makeup, dirt, and excess oil that build up during the day.




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