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What is double cleansing and how does it benefit your skin?

What is double cleansing and how does it benefit your skin?

Double cleansing has been a key focus in skincare over the past little while, but if you’re not familiar with it, it probably sounds more involved than it is.

It might be something you’re already doing, you just didn’t know there was a term for it.

It simply means cleansing your face twice, generally at night, using  two different types of cleansers.

It’s purpose? The first cleanse is to remove surface debris accumulated during the day – including makeup, SPF and environmental pollution.

The second cleanse is designed to go deeper, to clean out pores properly in preparation for serum and moisturiser without having all of your makeup and spf to cut through. 

Proponents of a double cleanse say it does a world of good for your skin ensuring there is no residue or leftover gunk, and also improves  the effectiveness of the skincare you apply afterwards. 

The double cleanse is intended to be done at night, to remove when you’ve had more products on your face. When you wake in the morning, one simple cleanse r using a gel or cream cleanser is enough to refresh your face.

Like a facialist would if you were going for a treatment, the important part is to use products that are gentle and wont strip you skin, which is why the first step is usually undertaken with an oil-based cleansing balm or cleansing oil as they nourish skin’s natural protective barrier.


Best for first cleanse: Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm, $54; Clinique Take The Day off Cleansing Balm, $72; Emma Lewisham Illuminating Cleanser, $79; Pure Fiji Vitamin C Foaming Oil Cleanser, $55; Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil, $37.99

STEP ONE – First cleanse : The first step is to use an oil-based cleanser as it’s lipophilic, so it binds with, and gently helps remove surface oil-based products as well as excess build up of your skin’s natural oils. Massage over dry skin – yes, over the top of your makeup! – and emulsify with warm water before rinsing away, encouraging the last traces with a damp flannel if required.

Best for second cleanse: Mecca Max FOAM-O Gentle Gel Cleanser, $17; Jeuneora Oh My Days Foaming Cloud Cleanser, $49; Fenty Skin Total Cleans’R Remove-It-All Cleanser, $43Dermalogica Daily Glycolic Cleanser, $71;  Elemis Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser, $105

STEP TWO: The second step is to use a water-based cream, gel, foam or milk cleanser to actually clean and condition skin without having to battle through product. You’ll need much less product for this step, the hard work is done with the first step. Simply spread over damp skin, massage gently and rinse away. 

After these steps, apply your serums and moisturiser as normal.


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