This is a question I get every now and then, which I answer privately. Whenever the subject of double-cleansing comes up, I am bound to be asked this – If I don’t wear makeup, must I still double-cleanse in the evening?
It’s only natural to wonder, because many people do find cleansing a chore. It shouldn’t be, because it really is the start of your skincare routine. A good skincare routine starts with a good cleanse and a good cleanser, because you should ensure that your skin is clean and ready for the rest of your skincare. There isn’t much point in spending a ton of money on the most expensive serum only to stint on your cleanser!
As to the question above, my answer, from the first day, has always been the same. Yes you do.
Why double-cleanse your skin?
The process of double-cleansing was taught to me years before it became popular in the mainstream, by Kanebo, a Japanese brand of skincare. I used to go to their salons for facials, and I learnt firsthand the proper way to double-cleanse – first with a cleansing oil (and how to properly emulsify and rinse off) and then with a foaming cleanser.
The cleansing oil (or cleansing balm), massaged into your dry skin first, will help to lift and dislodge the dirt, debris, oil, grime etc from your skin. You then emulsify it, and rinse off. The process of emulsifying is important, to ensure that you get it all off, so it doesn’t hang around and clog your pores.
How to properly use your cleansing oil or cleansing balm
If you are not already doing so, here’s what you should do to properly emulsify your cleansing oil, and derive the most benefit out of it:
- Ensure you are using dry hands on dry face
- Pump at least 3 pumps of cleansing oil into the palm of your dry hands. This is important as using too little product will not work as well. I learnt this the hard way.
- If using cleansing balm, place a generous amount in the palm of your dry hand.
- Rub your dry palms together, and spread on your dry face. Massage.
- Take a little warm water, pat on your face (do not splash) and massage over skin. You will notice your cleansing oil or emulsifying balm turning white.
- Repeat a few times, do not splash water on your skin. Just pat some water on and massage until you feel the oil lighten and stop feeling oily.
- Splash water to rinse.
If you have heavy makeup on, I recommend removing most of it first. Some oil cleansers remove makeup better than others, but I don’t like to run the risk.
A point to note is that not all cleansing balms or oil cleansers will emulsify. If they do not emulsify (you will know this because it will not turn white, and will remain oily) then the best way to remove in my experience is with a face cloth and warm water.
Another point to note is that if you choose to use a face cloth in your skincare routine, you could even skip the emulsifying part because it will help remove most of the oil or balm cleanser.
From personal experience, I’ve found that when I don’t properly emulsify the cleansing oil or balm before rinsing, I would usually run the risk of breakouts.
Follow up with a second cleanser
Double-cleansing entails you following up the first cleanser with a second, to be sure that your skin is properly cleaned of all residue.
When I was first introduced to the concept, I was told to use a foaming cleanser, because it will remove any residue. But I eventually found it too drying for my skin. So these days, I opt for a light low-foam gel-type cleanser for my second cleanse. Incidentally, my latest find, the Geek & Gorgeous 101 Gentle Cleanser works very well as a second cleanser!
If you wear makeup, this process should make sense. But what if you don’t?
Well, you wear sunscreen don’t you? You don’t? You might want to take this as a sign to start NOW! 😀 After all, sunscreen is your first step in an anti-aging skincare routine, and if you aren’t going to bother with sunscreen, then really, all your other expensive anti-aging serums are fighting a losing battle. This more so if you live in the Tropics where we are usually very exposed to the sun and its UV rays.
The thing about effective sunscreen is that it is usually waterproof, or at least, water-resistant. It is important to choose one that is, because you will sweat in the heat, and when you do, you don’t want your sweat to remove your sunscreen. If you wear sunscreen when pursuing outdoor activities or in the pool or by the beach, you’d want one that will stay on despite the water exposure.
Remove waterproof sunscreen with an oil cleanser
The best and easiest way to remove waterproof makeup and sunscreen from your skin is a cleansing oil or balm. These products are made of oils, and oils help break down and lift sunscreen from your skin.
It is for this reason that I hold the view that even if you do not wear makeup, you should still double-cleanse your skin at the end of each day. It helps remove your sunscreen and the dirt and grime of the day, leaving your skin feeling fresh and clean.
Now, you have a clean canvas on which to layer the rest of your skincare, for best results – now don’t we all want that? 😀
Do you double-cleanse your skin everyday?
Needless to say, I do. I’ve found that it keeps my skin cleaner and clearer, and I get the best out of my expensive serums that go on thereafter. I do cleanse in the shower, so it’s not too much trouble for me – might be something to think about if you find it too troublesome 😉