What Is The Double Cleansing Method & How To Do It Right  

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We’ve all been there. Admit it, you too. I know there are those nights when you get home utterly exhausted and have absolutely no motivation whatsoever to wash your face. You debate back and forth, but it’s even an accomplishment if you manage to take off your jewelry and turn off the lights.

As you fall into a deep slumber, you’re able to relax after a long day and perhaps an even longer night. Yet while you’re just lying there in your bed, so is your makeup, sweat, and other pollutants from the day. What this means is that while you sleep, your pores aren’t getting any rest whatsoever. They’re clogged and upset, as acne and breakouts start forming. Your gain is their loss, and ultimately yours as well.

This is why cleaning your skin is so important. If you want to make sure to keep your face free of breakouts, the first step is a proper cleansing routine. You might be used to a quick rinse, or maybe you even have a really good tried-and-true facial cleanser within reach. But have you ever tried the double cleansing method? Do you even know what it is? Keep on reading to find out!

What Is Double Cleansing?  

Woman with hair in towel wiping face with cotton pad.

Woman cleansing her skin.

Soap and water alone aren’t enough to fully take care of your skin. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s true. Sure, some people are blessed with naturally clear and acne-free skin, and I’ll forever be envious. But for most of us commonfolk, it’s just not in the cards. This means we need to try a little harder to keep our skin looking clean and fresh.

Double cleansing is precisely what it sounds like- cleaning your face twice. It involves first using an oil-based cleanser, followed by using a water-based cleanser. The benefit is that the first cleanser will clean your skin by breaking down whatever makeup you have on your face and removing dirt and oil. Then, the second cleanser can target more specific skin concerns while also hydrating, smoothing and exfoliating. All while treating and preventing acne!

The good news is that by adding just another minute or two to your daily skin care routine, you can make it infinitely more effective. You’ll want to make sure that you use double cleansing face products appropriate for your skin type, so that you don’t overwash or dry out your skin. After all, dry skin can lead to cracking, and stripping away too much oil can lead to your body producing an excess amount.

How To Double Cleanse? Double Cleansing Method Breakdown 

In order to find the right balance, you might want to only double cleanse at night. This is when you’re most prone to having excess oil, dirt and pollutants on your face, so a more heavy-duty cleaning is in order. However, if you cleanse properly at night, there shouldn’t be too much buildup in the morning. And in this case, the least-harsh option might be to just cleanse normally in the morning so as to not offset the balance of your skin.

As we mentioned, you’ll want to find products that meet the needs of your individual skin type. For example, if you have particularly oily skin, then the sound of putting more oil on your face might make you cringe. But in fact, using oil on your skin can rid it of sebum and impurities. It works because oil attracts oil, thereby cleaning your skin. If you really don’t like the idea of this, you can instead soak a pad in micellar water. Then just lightly dab it and brush it over your face. The micelles, tiny oil molecules, can get rid of dirt and oils already on your face. Afterward, you’ll want to use a cleanser with nourishing ingredients such as aloe, rose, green tea, moringa seed, and glycolic acid. These ingredients will work to balance moisture in your cells, prevent inflammation, and minimize the production of sebum.

For dry skin, you’ll want to focus on not drying out your skin too much (as it can totally throw off your skin’s balance and lead to more acne). Therefore, for the first cleanser, you’ll want something with emollients and cleansing balms, such as a product with shea butter or jojoba oil. To combat the potential pitfalls of dryness, you’ll want your second cleanser to have anti-aging ingredients such as vitamin C, green tea, glycolic acid, and hyaluronic acid.

If you have normal or combination skin, you’ll want to start off with a cleanser with ceramides, since these can help plump and hydrate your skin. For the second cleanser selection, you’ll want to use a foam cleanser with almond and squalene oils as well and glycolic and hyaluronic acid.

Facial Cleansing Oil Explained  

“Facial cleansing oil” might sound like an oxymoron. Yet the idea is that it works because it can remove bad excess oil since its properties are similar to those of sebum, thereby allowing the oils to interact. (Conversely, water separates from oil.) It might be best if we reframe this type of product. Think of it not as something that will wash your face, but rather as something that will cleanse it, as the name implies. A facial cleansing oil is a way to rid your face of dirty oil that is tainted with bacteria, makeup, dead skin cells, and other impurities. In turn, this dirty oil is replaced with clean, nourishing oils that will balance your skin.

As you might have guessed, the best skin type to use with a facial cleansing oil is dry skin. It can use the extra moisture. The benefits of a facial cleansing oil are that it lets you remove makeup and suntan lotion easily, it leaves your skin feeling smooth. It’s ideal for pairing with another cleanser if you want to double cleanse.

Top 5 Natural Double Cleansing Products  

1. PIXI Double Cleanse

Pixi Double Cleanse.

Pixi Double Cleanse.

The PIXI Double Cleanser holds a lot for one jar. The first step is using the solid cleansing oil, which is great for clearing away makeup and sunscreen. The formula includes vitamin E, camellia oil, and evening primrose oil. With its nourishing ingredients, the cleanser will hydrate, condition, and protect your skin.

The next step is the luxe cleansing cream, which further nourishes and cleanses your skin. The product uses a Peptide Complex to minimize fine lines while promoting plumper skin.

2. Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil

Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil.

Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil.

This cleansing oil is great for getting rid of all kinds of makeup (even the waterproof kind!). This product includes 100% naturally derived plant oils to nourish and soften your skin without leaving a greasy residue.

The Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil has a light texture. It turns into a milk once it comes into contact with water, giving your skin a nice feel. This product is perfect for dry skin, and the company recommends pairing it with their foaming cleanser.

3. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser Sensitive Skin

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser Sensitive Skin.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser Sensitive Skin.

This “gentle milky cleanser for sensitive skin” will clean your skin of makeup (including waterproof makeup), dirt, and oil while not overdrying your skin. This product is perfect for skin that’s sensitive, including skin that’s prone to allergies or intolerances. After using it, you can easily wipe it off with water, cotton, or a tissue.

The La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser Sensitive Skin immediate relieves irritation and discomfort. This is due, in part, to its inclusion of glycerin as well as La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, which is naturally rich in minerals with soothing and antioxidant properties.

4. Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel.

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel.

This cleanser will provide a refreshing lather that removes impurities without interfering with your skin’s moisture levels. It contains naturally foaming Quillaja Saponaria, which can both purify and calm skin. This product will clean your skin and leave it feeling smooth in the process.

The Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel is good for every skin type and is gentle enough for you to use every day. In addition to its cleaning properties, its formula also includes lavender and balm mint extracts in order to soothe your skin.

5. Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil.

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil.

This “decadently silky, oil-based formula” contains apricot kernel oil and tangerine peel extract in order to clean your skin (it also can take off waterproof makeup) and nurture it while maintaining balanced levels of hydration. This cleansing oil contains a bunch of antioxidants, and it will clean your skin without leaving an oily residue.

The Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil was actually the recipient of the 2019 Allure Best of Beauty Award, so you know that it has to be good. It should be the first step in your double cleansing routine, and it can easily be emulsified and then rinsed off.

Natural Face Cleanser DIY Recipe & Guide

Womans hands pouring essential oil on cotton pad.

DIY Face Cleanser.

There’s nothing wrong with buying a face cleanser in your local drugstore. In fact, more and more companies are turning to natural ingredients so that you can feel better about what you put on your body. Yet some people prefer to make their own face cleansers, and that’s pretty awesome. So whether you’re a DIY-regular or a newbie, you should be able to follow this recipe & guide easy peasy for a natural face cleanser. 

To get started, you’ll need:

      ½ a cup of liquid castile soap

      ½ a cup of brewed organic chamomile tea

      1.5 teaspoons of a carrier oil such as grapeseed, avocado, or sweet almond oil

      16 drops of essential oil

      (optional) a few drops of vitamin E oil

Begin by brewing the tea and letting it cool. Once it is cool, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. After mixing well, pour the mixture into a small pump or squirt bottle. It’s really as simple as that!


I know, I know, it’s not easy to put all that effort into our daily skin care routine. I can’t even get myself to floss each night, let alone get carried away with an elaborate skin care routine. But the truth is that double cleansing isn’t too elaborate. In fact, it’s rather simple.

If we really thought about everything that our skin can pick up throughout the day, we wouldn’t have to think twice about washing our face. Yet often, this gets left on the backburner. But don’t let this cycle continue – if you want healthy and clear-looking skin. Once you’ve picked out the right products for you, the rest of the double cleansing process should be a breeze. And at the end of the day (quite literally), you’ll be left with clear, balanced, and radiant skin. 

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