What Is Double Cleansing? Do I Need It?

Whether you're a quick wash and moisturise or a full 10-step routine kind of person, there's one thing we can all agree on when it comes to skin rituals; the double cleanse.

Double cleansing has become revered — both with professional make-up artists and within the K-beauty world. 

To achieve a super clean face before bedtime, it is extremely important to remove makeup, dirt, and pollutants that have accumulated on your skin during the day.

But, are we doing it right?

According to Jordan Samuel, a leading skin therapist and former professional ballet dancer, it's more simple than you think. 

"Take double cleansing at face value. The name simply means “cleansing twice.” You can use whatever cleansers you like, just as long as you do it twice.

"The idea is that the first cleanse will help remove dirt and makeup at the end of the day. With that first layer of surface grime out of the way, the second cleanse is able to more effectively cleanse your skin. Most people consider the traditional double-cleansing method to include an oil or balm cleanser followed by a water-soluble cleanser, such as a gel or milk cleanser. This is just one option to consider. There are several different interpretations of double cleansing that you can tailor to suit your individual needs."

For those who have oily and congested skin, Samuel recommends a water-soluble cleanser over an oil or balm.

Likewise, for dry and dehydrated skin that feels uncomfortably tight after gel cleansing, he suggests using two balm or cream cleansers instead. 

A big concern for the double-cleaner curious is that of over-cleansing and stripping away of the protective acid mantle.

For those of us with a compromised skin barrier (cystic acne, rosacea, easily-irritated skin) he recommends only double cleansing one or two nights a week with an oil cleanser or gentle cleansing milk. 

The simplest skincare rule to learn is to figure out what agrees with you and go from there. Everyone is different. 

For those looking to change their cleansing game, check out the Irish Tatler team's favourites – featuring something for every budget. 

Main image by @jourdandunn

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