Your Guide To Double Cleansing
“So often we think our face is clean when it is not,” says Tata Harper, founder of her namesake brand. “If you wear makeup, or even just sunscreen, it is especially important to include a double cleanse in your evening ritual to ensure your skin is properly clean before bed,” she tells us. Even without these added layers, we need to consider daily build up, especially when looking to get the true skincare benefits from our cleansers.
As Victoria Evans, UK education manager at Dermalogica, puts it, “Environmental pollutants in the air combine daily with the skin's naturally-sticky sebum (oil) secretions to form a thick, slick, waxy coating by the middle of the day. If you're like most people, you only spend about 20 seconds cleansing with standard face washes or makeup removal wipes. That's not enough to penetrate those layers of debris. You're left with excess sebum, pollutants and grime that give your skin a dull, congested appearance and prevent your skin care from doing its best work.” But, before you just go in with a double dose of your regular face cleanser, know this “cleansing twice with the same cleanser won't do the trick either,” adds Victoria.
In fact, there’s a very specific combination of products we need to use to get the best out of our double-cleansing experience. To find out more, and finally answer the questions, what is double cleansing, and why should you double cleanse (plus more), we speak to the experts.
What is double cleansing?
“Double cleansing is the ultimate secret to radiant, healthy-looking skin,” Tata tells us. “It involves using two different cleansers to effectively rid the skin of any dirt and grime that accumulated throughout the day.” To put it simply, “if you aren’t double cleansing, it’s like taking a shower with your clothes on - you’re going through the motions, but not getting clean,” says Tata.
Where did the double cleansing method come from?
Contrary to what you might think, double cleansing is nothing new. “The double cleansing method dates back as far as the 14th century and originated in Asia,” Tata tells us. In this Korean skincare routine, “Women would use a cleansing oil to remove their heavy makeup and follow with a foaming cleanser,” says Tata, and the K-beauty rule for giving skin a full cleanse has followed through to today.
Why double cleanse?
SPF, longwear or waterproof makeup, and even layers of foundation create a barrier that needs to be removed at the end of the day. But before this, “You have a first layer of dirt and debris on your skin that accumulates throughout the day and needs to be removed before you can really clean your skin,” says Tata. “Whether or not you wash your face day and night, you might be surprised at what's left on your skin after a single cleanse,” Victoria adds.
What are the benefits of double cleansing?
Double cleansing is all about effectively removing daily build-up of product and grime. If left on the skin, these can contribute to blocked pores and breakouts. Beyond that, “Toxins and pollution are absorbed into our skin every day, and if not treated properly, lead to increased visible signs of ageing,” says Tata. It’s just one of the reasons everyone should look to double cleanse.
Anything we should be wary of? “Double cleansing is safe and effective for all skin types, confirms Tata. “Just make sure you don’t abuse exfoliators or acids which can irritate your skin if used too frequently,” she tells us. There’s also something to be said for skipping the double cleanse on indoor days when both makeup and SPF aren't necessary. “Modern cleansers are very effective so unless you have a full face of makeup you need to remove, double cleansing every day isn't always necessary,” says dermatologist and brand founder, Dr Dennis Gross. On regular days when you are facing daily build-up however, here’s how to get the best out of your double cleansing products.
How to double cleanse
Always start with an oil-based cleanser to dissolve any dirt and grime,” says Tata. After that, “adjust your second cleanser based on what your skin is craving,” directs Tata. “We offer cleansers for every skin type so it’s easy to adapt to what your skin needs that day. For oily skin, I suggest using the Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser, £79. Blemish prone skin would benefit from Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser, £79, while more sensitive or reactive skin would love a gentle softening cleanser. If a gentle exfoliant is what you’re looking for, use the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser, £41 following the nourishing oil cleanser for a radiant glow,” Tata advises. Looking to try other brands? Apply this same approach of a cleansing oil for face, or oil-based cleansing balm followed by a water-based cleanser (foaming cleanser, cleansing gel or cream cleanser can all work here), choosing one that reflects your skin needs, and you’re sure to see the difference.
Double cleansing for experts
For those really devoted to double cleansing the right way, Tata has some tips. “Always use cleansers on dry skin. Also, make sure to pat your skin dry between cleanses to get the most out of your double cleanse routine,” she tells us. “Our cleansers are not detergents, but real skin treatments that are most effective when applied directly to the skin and then rinsed with water or removed with a flannel or towelette. I like to wet our green beauty towelette with warm water and use gentle circular motions to remove my cleansers.”
Ready to dive into your own best double cleanse yet? These products are ready and waiting to leave skin both clean and comfortable.
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