What is Double Cleansing and How to Do It Right?

man double cleansing face in front of mirror
Photo by Lumin on Unsplash
We feature products that we think will be helpful to you, our readers, and these are selected based on our careful research. As an Amazon Associate, Skintellect Daily earns from qualifying purchases.

Do you remember the time when we washed our faces with soap and enjoyed the squeaky skin after that? It seemed to us that we had finally cleansed our skin properly and that we could confidently continue with the rest of the skincare.

We hope that those days are behind you and that you have realized that soap can be very stripping for the skin. And that it’s not the proper way on how to cleanse your face — that squeaky sound and feeling comes from a damaged skin barrier. Not cute. If we use too aggressive cleansers we can do more harm than good to the skin.

On the other hand, insufficiently thorough cleansing of the skin (for example, with makeup wipes or when using micellar water only) can lead to the accumulation of impurities on the face and breakouts.

Luckily, in 2021, there is something called double cleansing and it is a method that is becoming increasingly popular when it comes to cleansing the skin. Let’s find out more about what is this double cleansing method, and how to do it right.

What is double cleansing?

Double cleansing in skincare is exactly what it sounds like – skin cleansing in two steps (similar to how some would like to combine facial oils and moisturizers). What the name does not say is that it is ideal to use two different products that will help you with removing makeup and cleansing the skin.

The first one should be an oil-based product that has the task of starting the skin cleansing process. You should continue with the water-based product. This step will allow you to dissolve all the substances that are soluble in water, and sit on the surface and in the pores of the skin.

During the second step, you will remove all the impurities that remained after the first step, as well as oil residues that the water failed to eliminate. After properly doing the double cleansing method, you can be sure that the skin is clean and ready for further care.

The double cleansing method: how to cleanse your face

Now that you know what is double cleansing, let’s take a closer look at what this entails.  What are the steps to remember on how to cleanse your face properly?

First, you should start the process of double cleansing by using an oil-based product. It can be cleansing oil, balm, or something else you like and find works for you. Remember, only products that you enjoy will do a good job. Also, be warned that makeup wipes may not be sufficient in completely removing makeup.

This first product has a role to dissolve sebum, makeup, and impurities that are soluble in oil. These products are mostly intended for being applied to dry skin. After gently rubbing it into the skin (for around 30 seconds, or longer, if you have nerves), rinse it with warm water and move on to the next product.

The next product in the double cleansing method should be water-based. You can choose a gel or foam, depending on what skin type you have and which products suit you. You can even use micellar water in case you adore this type of product and consider it your holy grail. This second step enables all the remains of impurities to be removed from the skin and after that, the skin is ready for hydration and care. Be gentle on the skin and do not rush. Enjoy the process and try to cover all parts of the face to make sure you clean it thoroughly. It is vital to use those products that suit you, instead of following general recommendations that might not fit you. Skincare should be sustainable and enjoyable in the first place.

Who should do the double cleansing method?

All people who wear makeup daily should apply the double cleansing method in their skincare routine. In doing so, you can remove all layers of make-up and impurities from the skin. By understanding what is double cleansing, you now know that one product by itself does not have the power to achieve that. However, even if you do not wear makeup, you wear sunscreen (or at least you should!), which can be thoroughly removed from the skin with only a double cleansing method.

If you do not use makeup or SPF, keep in mind that during the day, impurities and air pollutants accumulate on the surface of the skin, which can adversely affect different skin structures. If you do not remove them from the skin in time, they can decrease collagen levels, lead to breakouts, and much more. We could say that double cleansing is not necessary only if you are at home most of the day, so you do not wear makeup and sunscreen and do not expose your skin to pollutants. The double cleansing method should not burden you — it should be your best friend that leads you to clean and beautiful skin.


Double cleansing has become a common method of cleansing facial skin for most people who take care of their skin, which is great news. Only by using two products (one of which is oil-based and the other is water-based), you can remove all layers of makeup, SPF, excess sebum, and other impurities that accumulate on your skin during the day. 

Find the products that suit you and enjoy the double cleansing method that will help you get that beautiful and radiant skin that you have always dreamed of (which you could not reach because soaps and makeup wipes stood in your way). Now that you know and fully understand what is double cleansing and how to cleanse your face properly, it’s time to do what is best for your skin!