Double Cleansing 101: Should You Try It?

Every great skincare routine begins with cleansing. It’s important for keeping the skin healthy, clear, and luminous. But, if you want to elevate your routine, we suggest double cleansing. This method will leave your skin looking and feeling twice as nice! To learn more about double cleansing and how it can benefit your skin, keep reading below.


What is double cleansing?
It’s a simple two-step process that involves washing the face twice. This method originally gained popularity in Korea, as part of a traditional 10-step skincare regimen. Today, double cleansing is practiced worldwide. Double cleansing starts with using an oil-based facial cleanser and then following up with a water-based cleanser. Since oil attracts oil, the oil-based cleanser works first to draw out and dissolve oil-based impurities. From there, a water-based cleanser helps eliminate any remaining water-based impurities, such as grime or sweat. Cleansing twice can remove those stubborn impurities that remain on the skin after just one wash. With both of these steps, you’re achieving a much deeper, more thorough cleanse.

Why is double cleansing important?
Many people consider double cleansing to be the most crucial step in a skincare routine thanks to its incredible benefits. New York board-certified dermatologist Dr. Craig Austin explains, “the benefit of double cleansing is that the first cleanser will break down any makeup, remove dirt, and excess oils from the day and clean your skin. The second cleanser will address your particular skin type or concern and should have ingredients to hydrate, smooth, or exfoliate and treat acne. Doing both steps will assure that any treatment and moisturizing is not done in vain.” By double cleansing, skincare products like serums or moisturizers are able to penetrate deeper into the skin — tackling both impurities on and below the surface. This helps the skin better absorb nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants found in the product.

Another one of the benefits of double cleansing is that it prevents sebum buildup and bacteria which can cause acne-related flare-ups. Manhattan Beach board-certified dermatologist Dr. Annie Chiu notes, “sebum buildup causes infections that lead to acne. Oil-based cleansers are great at removing oil-based dirt, residue, cosmetics, and most importantly sebum, which is overproduced when someone has acne.” 

According to Dr. Chiu, double cleansing can specifically help those with dry skin, too. She says, “you’ll find that two gentle steps work better than one strong formula to combat sensitivity or overdrying…dry skin particularly benefits because of the non-stripping makeup cleansing step that can leave a little moisture behind.”


Step 1: Apply an oil-based cleanser
Start off your double cleansing routine with an oil-based cleanser that removes makeup, SPF, and excess oils. A non-stripping cleansing balm, like our glowoasis makeupmelt cleansing balm, works great for this step. To use makeupmelt, begin by taking the included spatula and scoop out a dime-sized amount of the balm. Then, use your fingertips to gently massage the balm-to-emulsion formula into the skin. We recommend focusing extra attention on areas with heavier makeup. Finish up by rinsing the product off thoroughly with warm water, or wipe it off with a damp washcloth.

Step 2: Apply a water-based cleanser
For the second step, choose a water-based face cleanser that lifts away dirt and impurities without leaving behind a tight or stripped feeling. Our NewBeauty award-winning gentle foam cleanser, cloudcleanse, pairs great with makeupmelt for double cleansing. To use cloudcleanse, apply 1-2 pumps of foam onto wet skin and gently massage. Then, rinse off the foamy mixture with warm water, and pat dry.

To make your double cleansing experience easier, we’ve bundled up these two cleansers in one must-have kit! Shop our double cleanse kit here.

When to double cleanse
There’s no right or wrong time to double cleanse your skin. Healthline explains, “it’s common to only double cleanse at night. After all, this is the time when skin is likely to be covered in makeup and grime. But you can adopt the technique in the mornings, too, as sebum can be produced while you sleep. Pick a frequency that suits your lifestyle, and try to stick to it daily for the best results.” 

Who should double cleanse?
Everyone! We feel all skin types can (and should) double cleanse. But, according to Healthline, “certain skin types may find it to be more worthwhile than others. Take people with oily skin. Two gentle formulas are generally a better way to combat excess oil than one strong formula that could leave skin feeling too dry.” Healthline also believes “acne-prone individuals may also want to gently double cleanse to help remove the bacteria that can lead to breakouts.”

Start double cleansing today
Now that you know the basics of double cleansing, it’s time to incorporate it into your skincare regimen. This method may add a few extra minutes to your everyday routine, but we promise your skin will thank you!

Back to blog