Do I Really Need to Double Cleanse?

by Roki Prunali

double cleanse

As truly the laziest beauty-lover, it takes all my energy to even wash my face once a day. The new popular conversation dictates that we now must double cleanse (or use a cleanser twice in one washing), and I have to ask: is this just the industry’s way of forcing us to buy more products? I am all about an express routine, and so I tried double cleansing for myself to see why it is, and if it is, at all necessary.

A common misconception – and I will admit, I am guilty of this – is that those who do not wear makeup daily can get away with a gentle nightly rinse. But spending a day present in my surroundings, cognizant of the dirt and toxins my skin comes into contact with each day, I realized I am exposed to enough to scrub my face for hours before it could truly be clean. All that gunk forms a thick layer of impurity on our skin over the course of a day! If you live in a heavily polluted area or wear makeup daily, a double cleanse may be imperative for saving your skin’s general health.

Double cleansing also makes it easier for your fancy moisturizing serums and creams to be absorbed. You may try starting with a natural cleansing oil and then following it with a natural face wash or even a cream cleanser.  Oil cleansers will dissolve the oil-based dirt – makeup, sunscreen and pollution. They break down the sebum on the surface of your skin. Then, a cream cleanser or deeper water-based cleanser will remove dead skin cells, sweat, bacteria and water-based pollution.

Some simple steps to include in double cleansing:

Step 1:

Use your oil-based cleanser on moist or even dry skin – you know how oil and water don’t mix – same rule goes for your face. The oil will not grab the dirt if it is interacting with water.  When using an oil cleanser, be certain that you can use it around your eyes. For such a delicate area, a cotton pad with even just coconut oil can work. Some oil cleansers that I love are:

double cleanseMarie Veronique Pure + E.O. Free Oil Cleanser


Nazan Schnapp Rinse Away Oil Cleanserdouble cleanseNazan Schnapp Rinse Away Cleanser

double cleanseOne Love Organics Vitamin B Active Cleansing Moisture Oil

You can also opt for micellar water, which is neutral and non-lathering, and gently removes makeup and dirt oils but leaves your skin’s hydrating oils behind.  The one I depend on most for a successful removal of makeup and oil buildup is the Biodema Sensibio H20.

double cleanseBioderma Sensibio H20

Step 2:

Once the makeup and impurities are removed, use a gentle, natural cleanser and water to get deep into the pores. Circular motions will work the cleanse deeper into the skin. Try removing the cleanser with a warm washcloth, and if you have a bit of extra time, leave the warm cloth on your face after cleansing to help it reach more deeply into your pores.

Follow up with these cream or water-based cleansers:

double cleanseMV Gentle Cream Cleanser

double cleanseTata Harper Clarifying Cleanser

double cleanseTammy Fender Purifying Cleansing Gel


We must remain aware of over-cleansing,  which can lead to dryness or irritation. That is why I highly recommend natural cleansers, to be sure we are free of any harsh chemicals. If you have super-sensitive skin, you may not benefit from double cleansing. Rashes, cystic acne or even rosacea outbreaks should stick to a simple gentle cleansing, because doubling it up often leads to more inflammation.

Whether you’re ready to give this a shot or not, one thing is certain: most of us are not spending enough time cleansing. Professionals recommend washing for at least a minute, but making sure to massage the cleanser into the skin in order to thoroughly remove makeup, toxins, pollution and buildup. The bottom line is, if we do not remove all the accumulated buildup, we are not giving our skin cells a chance to regenerate overnight. Ie. You can kiss that youthful complexion goodbye. If your skin is not clean enough to let them work, your expensive serums and moisturizers will not stand a chance at fighting against your skin woes. The need to double cleanse depends on your lifestyle, and as a city dweller I am most at risk. Double cleansing may be just the solution to wash away all that buildup so our skin can truly breathe.


Related All the Pretty Birds Skincare Posts:

Does This 60 Second Skincare Rule Really Work?

How To Get Dewy Skin Year Round

Anti-Pollution Protection: A City Guide For Your Skin


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