Double Cleansing Complete Guide

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If you thought that the name suggests cleansing your face twice, then you’re mistaken. It is so much more than that and the benefits are plentiful.

This method is a very popular method of cleansing, especially as part of the K-beauty skincare routine, because it removes all the makeup, dirt, and bacteria that are on the surface of your skin without stripping the natural oils and drying it.

In this article, I will be going into the deets and benefits of the double cleansing method.

What is Double Cleansing?

As I have mentioned above, this method of cleansing skin is not about cleansing your face twice in a row. It is about using different types of cleansers to wash your face.

The first step is to use an oil-based cleanser.

This will remove sunscreen and makeup from your skin, including waterproof mascara.

Using an oil-based cleanser as a first step is highly effective for people with oily skin types as well as people who wear heavy makeup, for the reason that makeup and sebum dissolve in oil (lipophilic).

The second step is to use a water-based face wash to remove any remaining traces of makeup, sebum, and debris. It is important to make sure that you are using face cleansing products in order to avoid any irritation or damage to your skin.

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How to double-cleanse?

  1. Apply the oil-based cleanser to dry skin.
  2. Use your fingers or a cotton pad to massage the cleanser into your skin to help dissolve all the sebum, debris, and makeup.
  3. Wet your face with water.
  4. Apply the water-based facial cleanser by massaging it into the skin using your fingertips.
  5. Rinse with lukewarm water, pat dry, and follow with a moisturizer.

What are the benefits of double cleansing?

Having healthy skin always starts with a clean face. That is why face cleansers are a very important first step in any skincare routine. To add to that, it is crucial to choose the proper face cleanser that suits your skin type so you could actually benefit from it.

Applying the rest of your skincare routine products on a face with remaining sebum and debris is not as effective as applying them to a clean face.

Having a clean face with no debris or sebum left behind makes it better for your skincare products to be absorbed and benefit your skin.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from

How often should I double cleanse?

This depends on the type of skin you have and whether you wear makeup on a daily basis or not. But in any case, applying a proper moisturizer afterward is a must.

The double cleansing method should only be done at night when you want to remove all your makeup and sign off for the day.

It is possible to double cleanse your skin daily, but you should always choose the right products that suit your skin type because you don’t want to over-dry and over-wash your skin.

Is double cleansing for everyone?

Double cleansing is highly recommended for people who wear makeup daily and people with oily skin.

However, if you have sensitive or dry skin, double cleansing may not be the way to go, as it can strip the skin of its oils, unless you use face cleansers with skincare ingredients that are hydrating and moisturizing.

Photo by Harper Sunday from

Products for dry skin

Products for oily skin

Products for sensitive skin