The Double Cleanse

If you’re among the many who like to squeeze in a good sweat session during the work day, chances are a thorough and relaxing shower after your work isn’t in the cards. So if time is of the essence and you can’t hit a proper shower, then what can you do?

Like many beauty products and processes widely adopted by Americans (think BB Creams, glass skin, and sheet masks), the soaring popularity of the double-cleansing method can be squarely credited to K-Beauty.

What exactly does it involve? “You cleanse the skin twice with two types of cleansers,” explains skincare formulator Mary Allan. “The first one is an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup, debris, and sunscreen, and the second is an emulsifying cleanser with a gentle surfactant to remove remaining residue.” 

 And why is it necessary? Allan says, “Oil-based ingredients found in sunscreens and makeup require oil-based cleansers to break down their oil molecules, and many foam-based cleansers do not contain oil.” This is why it’s even more important to double cleanse during summer months, when our skin has a tendency to produce more oil than usual.

 As for how to do it: Allan says to apply a few pumps of your favorite oil-based cleanser – her Purifying Cleansing Oil easily melts away most residue and makeup – to dry skin, and massage in circular motions for 20 to 30 seconds. Rinse off with warm water (and a face cloth, if necessary), then follow with “a tiny amount of a surfactant-based cleanser, such as her Rosehip & Vitamin C Cleansing Gel.” Massage in, and rinse off with warm water.

 While the obvious benefit to double-cleansing is having pristine, super-clean skin, the process also allows for any products you apply afterwards (like serums, moisturizers, masks) to penetrate deeper and be more effective. Just remember: you only need to double-cleanse after wearing SPF or cosmetics. Otherwise, you can stick with a thorough, but gentle cleanser for regular use.