How To Get Beautiful Skin By Double Cleansing

Written by Eunoia House

Image @taramilktea

Have you ever wondered how to create a simple skin care routine that will get you beautiful skin? The kind that brings health and vitality back to your complexion and at the same time, doesn’t clog pores?

Most of us have.

We’ve also all read about multi-step cleanses, moisturizing regimens, and trips to the aesthetician. Those are important for sure, but what if you can simplify your routine by focusing on what’s most important?

Introducing double cleansing.


What Is Double Cleansing?

Double cleansing is essentially cleaning your face twice. You can do it in many ways depending what’s on your skin for that day. But for this article, we’ll keep it simple and focus on two.

Renowned beauty influencer and author Caroline Hirons identified two looks (out of many) which will need double cleansing:

  • If you’re wearing make-up and SPF

  • If you’re wearing either by itself.

So how do you go about double cleansing?

A simple double cleansing routine involves only two-steps.

First, take off your make-up & SPF by using an oil-based cleanser. Then, give your skin a refreshing wash with a water-based cleanser.

Sounds basic, doesn’t it? Yes it does, and it’s never been more essential.

Why Do I Need To Double Cleanse My Skin?

Let’s break it down by answering the question why through asking how. 

How does double cleansing benefit my skin that makes it so important? How does this simplify my skincare routine?

Double cleansing takes care of your skin by letting your skin breathe as it removes make-up and SPF (and all the other products) and primes it to receive all the nutrition from your carefully-curated products suited for your skin type.

Double cleansing also simplifies your skin care routine by taking care of your skin. Because the healthier it is, the less products you need for repairing and healing.

Unhealthy skin needs more steps and products to meet your skin’s needs. This makes skin care stressful and costly to be a routine. Such is the case when skin is troubled by acne and other skin problems.

Are you now ready to begin double cleansing?


How To Do Double Cleansing & Why It Will Change Your Life

Let’s start at step one: the oil-based cleanser

Oil-based cleansers like the Farmacy Cleansing Balm gently takes away the make-up and SPF on your skin. This step primes your skin to be properly cleansed in the next one because the pores are now free from the first layer of beauty products.

Unclogged pores are more able to receive the good nutrition coming from the skin care products you’ll be applying after. They will be at their most effective because your skin is now better able to absorb it. When you don’t take your make-up and SPF off, or if residues are still left behind, everything else you lather on won’t be effective.


Because they won’t be able to penetrate the layers of blush, eyeshadow, and sunscreen still on your skin.

Not only that, your skin will also be more prone to problems like acne that is caused by sebum build-up from clogged pores. Oil-based cleansers or any other one that’s neutral and doesn’t foam systematically breaks down that sebum, leaving only the healthy oils behind. They are also highly effective compared to common face cleansers and make-up wipes.

So, not doing an initial cleanse will be counterproductive because skin problems decrease your skin’s health and adds another step to your regimen. Remember, it is clean healthy skin that leads to beautiful skin.

Before we move on to the next step though, you may be wondering what’s the difference between cleansing oils and balms. Liquids first come to mind when we hear the word “cleanser”, with balms being completely out of the picture. But cleansing oils and balms serve the same purpose of removing the products you’ve put on your skin, they’re just in different forms.

Then I Met You shared a story on The Klog, a Soko Glam project, and distinguished the two by their consistency and container. Cleansing oils are in liquid form inside a pump bottle while balms are in solid form inside a tub accompanied by a spatula for scooping the product. 

Beauty maven Hyram Yarbro loves how a cleansing balm like Then I Met You effectively dissolves the products he’s put on and how it hydrates his skin at the same time. 

Furthermore, since these wash off easily, oily and acne prone beauties should have no fear. The Klog debunks the myth that using oily cleansers will aggravate oily skin. They actually won’t because the oil in the oil cleanser is the best product to break down impurities that are from oil as well. Like attracts like in this case and they wash all your oily impurities away.

Now that you’ve got your oil-based cleansing product, how do you use it?

How To Apply

1.   Dispense the cleansing oil or balm onto clean hands and gently massage onto your skin using non-uniform circular motions. Make sure to massage around the eyes and other areas that may also need special attention.

2.   Then, lightly wipe the skin with a soft damp washcloth or rinse with water. You can do this with an excellent product formula like Farmacy Cleansing Balm’s.

Our recommendation: Farmacy’s Green Clean Make-up Meltaway Cleansing Balm

We recommend Farmacy’s cleansing balm because it has four special benefits in one jar that completely meets our make-up removing needs.  This cult-favorite, best seller, and award winner does the following which you can also read more about at Farmacy Beauty’s website:

  • Effectively removes your make-up and sunblock with the two special oils of sunflower and ginger root. These oils are so effective that no amount of thickness from eyeshadow, eyeliner, and foundation can resist them. All these products are effectively removed, leaving no residue behind.

  • Gently sloughs off dead skin cells using papaya extract that aids in cell turnover. This helps new skin cells come to the surface whose newness will give you that healthy dewy skin you’ve always wanted to glow with.

  • Gives your skin a fresh scent along with your new fresh look. Hello to the young and beautiful you! This cleansing balm has essential oils such as bergamot, lime, and orange to give that uplifting scent that can only come from a fresh cleanse. 

It’s good to be mindful though, that essential oils and fragrances aren’t good in skincare. But in an instant wash off treatment, these are okay. 

  • It stays put when not in use, making it portable and ready to go wherever you go. How? Its firm consistency enables it to remain solid which makes it a great addition to your travel kit essentials. Saving you from a possible mess that comes from cleansers that remain liquid all the time. This balm only turns into a smooth velvety oil when it touches your skin.

Farmacy’s Green Clean Make-up Meltaway Cleansing Balm freshly cleans your skin without the harsh consequences of peeling and dehydration associated with other cleansers. It also cleanses with only the freshest and most potent ingredients that are expertly and sustainably produced by the company.  No wonder it’s a cult favorite! You get to stay beautiful and sustain the planet too.

Now, on to step two: the water-based cleanser

This step involves giving your skin a refreshing wash using water and a cleanser based on H20. It’s basically now, washing your face but with a nuance.

Using a water-based cleanser as the second step is important because this takes the oils off from the first cleanser.

To really emphasize its importance, the Elle Beauty Team quotes dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto of Cadogan Clinic, “This removes sweat, bacteria and old skin cells,”. They further go on to quote the doctor’s advice about this second step, “A second round of cleansing will clean much deeper into the pores to remove any impurities”. Remember, it’s clean healthy skin that makes for beautiful skin.

To summarize, oil-based cleansers from step one are mainly for removing your make-up and sunblock. While water-based cleansers in step two are for cleansing your skin from residue from the first step and from the dirt and sweat still in your pores. Dirt and sweat are water-based impurities which are more easily removed by water itself than oil.

So, step one cleans the surface while step two cleans the pores.

This is also where you should consider your skin type as using this will determine what product will be most suitable for your skin. Dry skin will always have different needs from oily skin, and so will be sensitive from normal. It’s recommended then to choose a cleanser with your skin type in mind.

You’ll also know if it’s water-based by checking the ingredients for water when choosing a cleanser.

How To Apply

Let’s get into some action. How should you apply your water-based cleanser?

1.   First, gently wipe off the oil-based cleanser from step one.

2.   Moisten your face and neck with water, then use a moderate amount of cleanser to moisten both hands.

3.   Rub your hands together and afterwards, massage the cleanser onto your face and neck in gentle circular motions. 

Dr. Dendy Engelman, a dermatologist at New York city, gives Macaela Mackenzie’s Allure advice on how to wash the face. She was interviewed by Mackenzie for Allure’s story on double cleansing.

Dr. Engelman advised to wash in an upward direction, outwards your facial contour for a really deep cleanse. This is to wash dirt and grime away from the pores of your face rather pushing them deeper inside by washing inwards.

4.   Lastly, rinse your skin and pat dry with a soft clean towel.

You can also check out Dermstore’s step-by-step guide on double cleansing and how to do it according to your skin type here.

Our recommendation: iS Clinical Cleansing Gel

iS Clinical Cleansing Gel washes over your face like a river. Their cleansing gel is like a river whose water on the surface is gentle enough to touch and with an undercurrent strong enough to wash all the debris of your face away. Get ready for clearly beautiful skin with iS Clinical Cleansing Gel.

Get to know what it does for you:

  • iS Clinical Cleansing Gel takes care of your skin through its natural ingredients that are gentle and safe even for hypersensitive skin. It has a science-based blend of the following to deeply cleanse without over-drying skin’s surface nor its pores, giving you only soft beautiful skin:

      • Exfoliants: White Willow Bark Extract, Sugarcane Extract

        • White will bark extract sloughs off dead skin cells which encourages cellular renewal for glowing skin. The exfoliating action of of this extract also unblocks pores, letting out trapped sebum which prevents whiteheads and blackheads from occurring. Unblocking pores sets them free to seal in essential skin nutrients and add to your overall glow.

        •  Sugarcane extract tag teams with the white willow bark extract in skin renewal with its gentle exfoliating action.

      • Antioxidants: Chamomile Flower Extract, Centella Asiatica

        • These two powerful antioxidants protect and nourish as they work together. How? As you go out and get exposed to the sun, chamomile flower extract protects your skin from its photo-damaging effects such as wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation. This extract also provides a healing effect on damaged skin.

        • Centella Asiatica on the other hand, nourishes your skin to health for a youthful glow.

      • Vitamins A, C, and E acetate

      • Skin-conditioning agents that prime your skin to receive health-boosting nutrients: PEG-30 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, green tea plant extract, Matricaria Flower Extract, Madecassic Acid, Phospholipids, Asiaticoside

  • This reforming gel foam packs so many skin-caring benefits in one package. Instead of purchasing different products for each benefit, iS Clinical Cleansing Gel provides it all in one powerful cleansing complex.


To give you a little more reason to include double cleansing in your daily life, let’s talk about the importance of washing our face. Step two is essentially that but it’s become so mechanical that we’ve forgotten why it’s so important in the first place. Adding purpose to action establishes our convictions, so here are key reasons why we should wash our face.

Research has shown that it’s important to clean our faces with or without make-up at the end of the day. Why? Because washing not only erases your eyeliner, but it also gets rid of any dirt and any source of infection that may have settled on your face throughout the day. These things cause skin damage when left there overnight and especially if you also don’t wash the next day.

Clear beautiful skin can only be achieved by a disciplined skin care routine that meets your skin's needs. Taking care of your skin by washing your face helps prevent the following too:

  • Breakouts

  • Skin discoloration

  • Facial tissue breakdown

  • Wrinkles

  • Sun spots

  • Painful acne cysts

Whatever your skin goals may be, whether it be dewy skin, dumpling skin, or glass skin, washing your face will take you a long way.

Just be reminded to use gentle cleansing products as you wash because not all that lathers is beneficial for facial skin. The common practice of using any plain bar soap has proven to be a misconception. These plain bar soaps usually contain harsh ingredients that aren’t safe for the face’s delicate skin, leading to acne breakouts and painful cysts.

Lastly, always also remember to choose products according to your skin type as we mentioned earlier. Because what may work on your friend, doesn’t mean it will work on you. Each skin type is unique in its own beauty and consequently, its own needs. So always choose what’s best for you.

More Reasons Why Double Cleansing Will Change Your Life

You may still be thinking, why should I still double cleanse when one facial cleanser can perfectly remove the make-up and dirt off my face?

Here are more reasons to convince you.

  • Double cleansing allows you to worry less about over-drying or over-moisturizing the skin. This is important because draining too many natural oils from the body can result in producing more oil that can then lead to skin breakouts or irritation.

  • The routine is also helpful for skin types that are highly prone to acne or oiliness. Double cleansing takes off everything that needs to go to let in everything that your skin needs to stay. Oily and acne-prone skin requires that kind of cleansing.

  • Unlike wipes and other measures, this method guarantees the effectiveness of every other skincare product that comes on afterward. This will also ensure that moisturization and every other treatment does not go to waste.


FAQ: Can Make-Up Wipes Replace Double Cleansing?

How about make-up wipes? Can they substitute for a good cleanse?

Make-up wipes are convenient, they take less steps to finish (just wipe off and you’re done), and they’re also more affordable. But, they can’t substitute for a good cleanse that can give you good skin.

Ironically, make-up wipes do not take off any makeup. It just looks like it did because it dissolves the color. But in reality, the makeup is still on your face clogging your skin. Also, wipes have extremely harsh ingredients that should never be used on the skin. 

Byrdie’s Lindsey Metrus used only make-up wipes as a two-week experiment and her findings show that they aren’t beneficial long term. Her skin broke out as early as day 2!

Here are more reasons to explain why you should break-up with make-up wipes:

  • Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a doctor and director for dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, spoke with Amber Rambharose for Glamour’s story about make-up wipes and shared the side effects of its usage with her. 

Make-up wipes aren’t recommended to include in your routine because they’re concentrated on rubbing the face with the wipe. According to Dr. Zeichner, this rubbing irritates the skin and leads to low-grade inflammation. Consequently, inflammation can lead to problems like skin pigmentation, irritation, breakouts, and even early wrinkling.

In the same article, Amber Rambharose says that make-up wipes don’t effectively remove the product from your skin. Some product still gets left behind which contributes to the tired skin you wake up to because the pores weren’t able to breathe and regenerate.

  • Using make-up wipes is equivalent to a mechanical exfoliation due to the rubbing motions used for it. And because the wipes are unable to effectively remove all products on the skin, the tendency is to keep on rubbing until you clean it. This excessive rubbing can lead to over exfoliation which leads to damaging the skin.

  • According to Lisa Boehm, beauty influencer and writer, these wipes are designed to cleanse the skin. They’re basically just for removing make-up which it doesn’t effectively do as well. So it’s recommended to wash your face right after using a make-up wipe to make sure your skin is truly clean.

  •  Make-up wipes also break down your skin barrier, most especially, the acid mantle. This acid mantle serves as your skin’s defensive wall against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses both of which harm you and your skin.

So when this wall is broken down, your skin loses water, suppleness, and elasticity leading to a tired, dull, and dehydrated complexion. Not to mention that you’re now more prone to infection. Yikes!

Double cleansing really is the way to clean beautiful skin. No matter how many wipes you do, those make-up wipes won’t give you that fresh dewy look.

Woman skin

Final Thoughts

The road to beautiful skin isn’t easy but it’s possible. As you make informed choices about your skin care routine, you’ll surely get to where you want to go. And as we’ve shared here, double cleansing will be walking alongside you until you reach your goal.

Double cleansing has proven to be effective as an all-in-one method to moisturize, wipe off and remove make-up, treat your skin from the harsh effects of the sun, prevent the early signs of wrinkles, remove blackheads, prevent acne and your pores from clogging.

The journey of a thousand miles, they say, begins with a single step. Why not take a double step? Take your skin on a double cleanse and see how that’s already one double step ahead for cleansing and one giant leap for beautiful skin.