DOUBLE CLEANSING: WHAT IT IS, WHY/WHEN/HOW TO DO IT AND WHICH PRODUCTS TO USE
Carla Valois Lobo
Possibly, you already know – or, at least, you should know – that cleansing is what makes your skin look healthier, brighter. Yet, many of us forget to wash our faces following a busy day or a night out. Although that sounds perfectly reasonable, especially after a few drinks, when you sleep with make-up or sunscreen on your skin is left to sit with chemicals, bacteria and grime, which slows down cellular renewal and increases the chances of break-outs and clogged pores. On top of that, dead cells pile up and the active ingredients of your skincare regimen are not fully absorbed.
Assuming that you are now convinced that removing make-up and sunscreen is imperative, even at 4am, we shall tell you that, unfortunately, washing your face once is not enough. It may seem excessive, but doing it twice helps you to get rid of dirt, pollution and all sorts of residues, plus it prepares the skin to receive anything you apply afterwards. That is called double cleansing and, essentially, means that you’re using two products to cleanse your skin as deeply as possible. It looks like hard work, but the good news is that you only have to do it in the evenings.
When you wake up, just wash your face, preferably with an oil cleanser, moisturise and apply make-up normally. At night, however, your skin is packed with grease, sebum, sweat and everything we mentioned previously, and that is why you should double cleanse. As it started in South Korea and Japan, double cleansing traditionally begins with a water-soluble oil cleanser or a micellar water, and is followed by a clay-based cleanser, a cleansing balm, gel or foam.
Yes, you may think this is a way of selling more products. That’s fair. However, you will notice quite soon that your skin looks and feels brighter and your pillowcase won’t be stained with mascara. No “panda” eyes anymore. In addition, your anti-ageing products will act faster as they will penetrate effectively. It’s important to point out that when or if you don’t use make-up, you can wash your face once with a thick-textured cleansing balm, cream or gel and a warm muslin cloth. The latter, apart from removing every trace of sunscreen and grime, will mildly exfoliate your skin.
Keeping in mind that your epidermis attracts two types of dirt – make-up and sunscreen are oil-based, whereas sweat and dust are water-based – will help you choose the right products for your double cleansing routine. As chemists say, “like dissolves like”, and that mixing oil and water-based cleansers is the best way to go. Another heads-up: before buying a foaming cleanser, check out if it contains sulphates. If it does, do not purchase it as these compounds strip the lipids that form your skin’s barrier (stratum corneum), which has many benefits, including the prevention of dehydration.
In the gallery below, you can find a list of the best products to double cleanse, from budget-friendly to high-end: