Double cleansing is the cornerstone of any good skin routine. Originating in Japan, it's just what you think it is—washing your face twice (first to remove makeup and then cleanse away more stubborn pollution particles, dirt and residual makeup). The act of double cleansing ensures that the path is clear for your skincare: This way toner, serums and moisturisers can work more effectively. To ensure you're double cleansing correctly, we spoke to esthetician extraordinaire Jodi Shays, owner of Queen Bee Salon and Spa in Los Angeles, to find out about the benefits of double cleansing—and why we should start doing it pronto for gorgeous skin.
Keep reading to get the 411 on the centuries-old act of double cleansing and learn how it can help your skin.
Double cleansing gets rid of grime that sits on top of your skin, along with makeup, excess oil and dead skin, Shays says. Are you wondering, Doesn't my normal cleanser already do that? Not necessarily. Shays says you really need to double cleanse if you live in a polluted climate—yes, your city can be wreaking havoc on your skin—or if you wear a lot of sunscreen (that's everyone, right?), as these can leave deposits that are hard to get off. If you wear makeup every day, a double cleanse will also help get all of your makeup off. "It makes sense that if your skin is thoroughly cleansed, it’s easier for moisturising serums and creams to be absorbed," Shays adds.
Start the process with a cleansing oil to melt away makeup. "I don't want to see any preservatives, mineral oil or silicone in my cleansing oil," Shays says. She likes natural cleansers like Nuxe Cleansing Oil (£15). Choose something gentle that's made to take off makeup—Shays swears that Bobbi Brown's Soothing Cleansing Oil (£33) is amazing for this. Want the added benefit of gentle exfoliation and more efficient makeup removal? Use a muslin cloth too.
"My second cleanser is my favourite because I really feel as though it finishes the job," Shays says. Try Jurlique Replenishing Foaming Cleanser (£28)—it's designed to rebalance any dryness you might get from cleansing twice. Make sure to find a cleanser that's compatible with your skin type, Shays says. However, you don't have to rush out and buy a completely new face wash for step two if you don't want to. If you've already found your holy grail of cleansers, you can still use it in this step.
Gently apply your cleansing oil to moist skin. Shays says she likes to either let her skin sit over steam or apply a warm washcloth over her skin. After rinsing away your cleansing oil, move onto your second cleanser and wash as normal. Shays notes that if she's been on holiday or if her skin is looking dull, she'll add a little face scrub to her second cleanser and gently massage it in before rinsing it off with water.
If you have ultra-sensitive skin, be aware that there can be too much of a good thing. For instance, Shays says she'll never double-cleanse if she's suffering from a rosacea outbreak—instead, she'll opt for only an oil cleanser or gentle cleansing milk [Ed. note: We love Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk (£17).] If she's treating a client with cystic acne, she'll stick to one cleanse, as double-cleansing can overstimulate the skin and aggravate it further.
Next up, have you heard of carbonated cleansing?