When I first heard about double cleansing, I was straight-up skeptical. Sure, there are plenty of great things that come in pairs: double rainbows, double patties, double yolks, double scoops…
But on the surface this just sounded OTT—and perhaps a sneaky beauty company ploy to have me part with some more of my dosh. Plus, adding another step to my already laborious daily beauty routine? Not my idea of convenience.
Then again, I’ve left an identical imprint of my face on too many crisp white towels (after washing just once); I know better than most that the current system could use an overhaul.
So, with my bullshit meter set to high, I set out with the mission to find out what the double cleansing fuss was all about without disrupting my lazy-girl routine too much.
Double cleansing is the process of lifting grime from your face and deep cleansing with two-steps, that originated in Japan. Step one: apply cleansing oil (yes, slathering oil on your face is a thing); Step two: use foaming cleanser to remove the oily residue and get right up in the business of your pores.
First a disclaimer: As someone who rocks a combination skin sitch, and lives in a
delightfully sub-tropical stupidly humid climate, I was supremely reluctant to start slopping oil all over my face. But the beauty writer curiosity wins out every time, so here I am.
The Double Up
So why the double down? Rather than using cotton pads and makeup removers—which can irritate and strip the skin of natural oils—the oil acts as an emulsifying agent, gently sloughing away the day’s makeup and beauty products, lifting them gently for removal at the wash stage.
So with clean dry hands (important otherwise the oil won’t apply properly) a generous amount of oil goes on first.
I massage the oil thoroughly into my skin using circular motions, paying careful attention to my eye area. My usual battle with waterproof mascara is gone—I know this because I now have panda eyes the size of China itself staring back at me. No one promised this would all be glamour, I guess.
The swirly hot-mess sitting atop my skin doesn’t last long; I splash some water on it, then apply a couple of pumps of foaming cleanser, making sure to work it into all the areas that I applied oil. Once I’ve finished, I rinse, before patting dry.
The result? Smooth, squeaky clean skin without the tightness that usually comes from a rigorous face cleanse. There’s a suppleness to my skin that I haven’t experienced since before I knew what the heck skin elasticity was (ah, the folly of youth), and I know that any night-time serums and creams are going to be extra potent with this perfectly primed base.
After a week, I’m still no less impressed, and the extra step is barely noticeable because I’ve managed to convince myself that I’m actually having a little mini facial every evening. Whatever it takes, right?
Because I’m a bit of a purist (and a sucker for that holiday-vibe, tropical scent), I used cold-pressed coconut oil and this foaming cleanser. If you’re feeling fancy, I’m a huge fan of the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil range; harder to get your mitts on but well worth it.
Finally, while we wholeheartedly stand by double cleansing for the beauty-adventurous, if you are prone to breakouts, suffer from acne, or possess especially sensitive skin, we recommend talking to a dermatologist or facialist before changing up your regular routine.
Image credit: Trend Space