Beauty News

What is double cleansing?

The cornerstone of every good {skin care} regimen, careful cleansing is essential (back away from those wipes) – not only for ridding your face of residual make up and grime (gross), but also preparing your skin to make the very most of your {serum} and {moisturiser}. The more cynical amongst us might think double cleansing was conveniently dreamed up by the beauty industry, to make us use more product – and therefore spend more money. But with the likes of Caroline Hirons – skin care know-it-all (in a nice way) and none too-easily deceived – an ardent ambassador of ‘double cleansing’, there must be more than marketing behind this latest skin care craze?

Most of us understand the importance of washing our faces – even if this habit of a lifetime was only borne out of avoidance (why do mother’s insist on besmearing kids’ faces with spit?)! For the vast majority (teenage boys excluded) cleansing is instinctive – an essential part of our beauty routine, to keep skin clear, calm and collected. But are we doing enough? A quick go-over with the hand soap no longer quite cuts it, especially given that things such as sunscreen and foundation are formulated to resist sweat, torrents and tantrums – I present Ms. Hiron’s mantra ‘if you’ve spent time putting it on, then take time taking it off’ – which sounds a lot like common sense to us.

You need two different {cleansers} – something oily to attract ‘oily dirt’ (make-up and sebum), and something water-based to eliminate ‘watery dirt’ (technical term), such as sweat and environmental muck. Oil cleansers are cropping up right left and centre, and are generally gentle enough to be used ’round the eyes (but you may choose to take your mascara off first, ideally with Bio-Essence’s {Jelly Make Up Remover} – the ‘holy grail’ of grime dissolvers). Whether you opt for an oil or a balm will depend on your skin type, as well as how much make up you usually wear. Same applies to your second step cleanser – which could be a milk, gel, foaming or clay-based formula, depending on skin sensitivity, and the needs of your complexion.

{Step 1} If you’ve had a full-on make up day, or you skin errs towards dry then try a cleansing balm. Generally quite thick and oily, these can actually help to re-balance combination skin types (oil attracts oil, remember), so don’t be deterred if your face is confused. Oskia’s {Perfect Cleanser}, Omorovicza’s {Thermal Cleansing Balm} (currently available alongside {Cleansing Foam}, as part of an exclusive, limited edition {Day & Night Cleansing Duo}) and The Organic Pharmacy’s {Carrot Butter Cleanser} are all simultaneously cleansing and nourishing – eliminating residue without leaving skin over-exposed. Just massage a small amount straight onto dry skin, working with your fingertips to melt all the make up before emulsifying with warm water and rinsing – you might choose to lightly buff skin with a flannel or muslin, to remove any excess balm as you gently exfoliate.

Oil-wise, we rate Aesop’s {Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil}, MV Organic Skincare’s {Energizing 9-Oil Skin Tonic} and Erno Laszlo’s {Phelityl Pre-Cleansing Oil} – which all work in a similar way to balms, but are a little more refreshing if your skin is mixed up, over-oily or congested.

Work out from the centre of your face, and don’t neglect your neck and jawline. And use running water when rinsing. Otherwise you risk recycling murky water when you carry out the second stage…

{Step 2} Choose a milk, gel, blemish-busting, exfoliating or clay-based formula, to target the needs of your complexion. If it’s sensitive – use something soothing such as MV Organic Skincare’s {Gentle Cream Cleanser}. If you’re prone to dryness and/or dullness, then both Oskia’s {Renaissance Cleansing Gel} and Peter Thomas Roth’s {Rose Stem Cell Cleansing Gel} leave skin feeling soft and looking luminous. If you’re suffering a breakout, try something with an A/BHA to combat excess sebum and work to unclog pores; Alpha-H’s {Micro Cleanse} contains glycolic acid and exfoliating rice bran, to polish skin both chemically and physically. And if your skin is a bit bewildered, something like Sunday Riley’s {Ceramic Slip Cleanser}, or Erno Laszlo’s {Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar} will work to purge pores, clarify and normalise.

You can supplement this second step with a cleansing gizmo like Foreo’s {LUNA} – which drives the product deeper into pores (and does a lot more besides) to maximise its efficacy, and get your skin glowing.


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…