Hyaluronic Acid

How To Double Cleanse Your Face

The double cleanse is not about making your skincare routine bigger. It’s about making your skin clean. Clean skin absorbs whatever you put on after it much better. So you’re not wasting your money on potentially expensive serums that can’t get to your skin.

How To Double Cleanse Your Face.

Double cleansing is a way of cleaning your face twice. You apply an oil, balm or milk cleanser first. Next, you apply a gel or water-based cleanser to remove everything the oil has dislodged. The idea is to get deeply cleansed skin not stripped of essential moister.

Why Would You Double Cleanse Your Face?

If you wear makeup and or sunscreen then you probably want to double cleanse your face. Why? Because makeup and sunscreen are basically made from oils, waxes, fats and pigments.

  Oil and water don’t mix, the repel each other.

If you try to remove your makeup and sunscreen at the end of the day with a gel cleanser, you’ll probably find that your skin doesn’t look and feel clean afterwards.

You might wash your face again with a foaming cleanser trying to finish the job of getting clean skin. Your skin may now look cleaner but it probably also feels tight and dry.

You shouldn’t use a gel-based or foaming cleanser to double cleanse.

Even for the oiliest of skin, they strip out too much of your skins natural moister barrier. They can cause dryness, redness and irritation.

Mascara, liquid eyeliner, sebum (the natural oil your skin produces) and sunscreen are hard to remove with water-based cleanser alone. The reason that mascara and lipsticks etc are hard to remove with water-based cleanser are that they are made with oils.

This is where the oil, balm or milk cleanser comes into play. Oil and milk-based cleansers blend into the oil and your face from your skin and your makeup and gently dislodge it. Good oil, balm and milk cleansers will loosen even the most stubborn mascara, eye makeup and lipstick from your skin.

It’s important to remember that these cleansers will dislodge your makeup and sunscreen but they won’t remove it. You need a  foaming cleanser to remove the debris the oil has dissolved.

Oil and milk cleansers don’t strip the skin’s barrier of its own protective oils. Instead, they loosen everything off your skin so the water-based cleanser to whisk everything easily and effectively away.


Can I Double Cleanse With Just an Oil, Balm or Milk Cleanser?

Oil-based cleaning is perfect for dry skin, and if your skin is dry and sensitive or your suffer from rosacea or are going through a skin purging moment, then a double oil or milk cleanse may be appropriate.

You will need to choose an oil, milk or balm that emulsifies completely.

What does emulsify mean?

When you use a good quality oil or balm you will notice that when they mix with water they turn ‘milky’ and rinse easily off the skin. That’s because they have mixed with the water rather than separating from it. In this case what emulsifying means is it allows two substances that normally don’t like to mix (Oil and water) to become one cohesive liquid.

If you are going to double cleanse with oil or balm it’s really important that you rinse your skin thoroughly with water and a soft damp face cloth.

You must remove the oil-based cleanser properly you can actually make your skin breakout. Oil cleanser leaves a residue on your skin if it’s not removed properly. Oil is an occlusive which means it forms a seal on your skin and can block your pores and cause acne.

Can I Use Olive Or Coconut Oil As An Oil Cleanser?

You can,  we recommend using plain a cold-pressed organic olive or coconut oil as a cleansing oil.

Cold-pressed virgin oil men’s that the oil has been extracted with a press and not by harsh industrial chemicals. You definitely do want to put those anywhere near your skin.

The only other possible issue with olive and coconut oil is that unlike cosmetic grade oils they have not altered to emulsify fully in water.

Instead, they repel water and as a result, can become much harder to remove.

These means you’ll have to use more foaming cleanser to get the oil off. This kind of defeats the purpose of using an oil cleanser in the first place.

These oils can also leave a dense occlusive barrier on your skin than can easily cause breakouts. Also if you have acne, rosacea or sensitive skin you should be cautious with using these as a cleanser or a moisturizer.

However, there are plenty of people all around the world who swear by olive and coconut oil as both a cleanser and a moisturizer. By all means, give it a go.


How Often Should I Double Cleanse?

At least daily, and definitely if you have makeup or sunscreen on. Makeup and sunscreen are occlusive to your skin, so they should be thoroughly removed before going to bed.

Double cleansing at night is a great idea. You may want to double cleanse in the morning, those of you who love skincare might choose to do so. It’s not as important to double cleanse in the morning unless you have very oily skin. You can opt for just oil, milk, balm or foam cleanser in the morning. Some people like to use lukewarm water on a halo or face cloth as a morning cleansing step.

We recommend cleaning your face in the morning to prep your skin for serum, treatments and moisturisers, sunscreen and/or makeup.

Everything you do for your skin works better on clean skin.


What Is The Best Way To Double Cleanse?

Ok here is how you double cleanse your face step by step.

  • Apply your chosen oil balm or milk cleanser to your dry hands and dry face. It’s important that your hands and your face are dry when you apply your oil cleanser. Don’t splash your face with water first. This is because oil and water don’t mix, remember. If you wet your skin first the oil will emulsify straight away and not have enough time to break down your makeup etc.


  • Massage the cleanser gently into your face and take it over your lips and your eyelids to remove lipstick, mascara and eyeliner. Run it through your eyebrows to remove eyebrow products and down your neck. Take your time, spend at least one minute really smoothing and working the oil over your skin.


  • Next rinse your hands with water and then splash your face. We recommend splashing your face at least twice.


  • Now go in with your gel or water-based cleanser. Apply a small amount to your wet fingers and work the cleanser over your face in circular motions. Spend 15 to 20 seconds on this step. Rinse your hands and face again to remove the gel cleanser.


  • If you don’t have super dry or sensitive skin now is a good time to do a very gentle exfoliation to your face with a soft damp cloth. Wet your face cloth and lay it over your face. Use your fingers the carefully push the fibres of the cloth against your skin to remove the last traces of any cleanser. The fibres of the cloth will provide a gentle ‘physical’ exfoliation to your skin.


  • Gently pat your skin dry with a soft cloth or towel. You’re done and ready for your next step in your skincare routine.


5 Benefits Of Double Cleansing Your Face


1.To get the most out of your serums and treatments apply them to clean skin. Clean skin uptakes whatever you put on it better. There is no real point in putting serums or treatments onto the skin that has not been properly cleansed. The serums will try their best to get through the leftover waxy oily residue but you’ll make their job much harder.


2. Double cleansing is gentle to the skin. The more gently you treat your skin the better. This doesn’t mean you can’t use retinol or AHA’s. What it means is not scrubbing your skin harshly to remove makeup. Cleansing can be one of the most damaging things we put our face through so the more gently you do this step the better.

3. Your skincare routine is self-care. Life can be hectic and trying to fit in everything is exhausting. When you come onto the sanctuary of your home you need to pull in and take these few moments to reconnect with your self. The double cleanse believe it is not a great place to add a little mindfulness to your day. Treat this 1-2 minutes as a break from screens, noise, rushing, judging. It’s just you are your skincare having a moment.


4. Double cleansing stimulates your lymph and can reduce puffiness. We are not joking. Any time you massage your skin you stimulate circulation via the lymph glands. This can reduce puffiness and swelling and also increase glow.


5. It improves acne and breakouts. Removing excess sebum, waxy makeup and pollution from your face prevent a build-up of pore-clogging bacteria. Acne happens when your pores get blocked by gently lifting off the surface build-up you help to keep the pores clean and clear.


What is the difference between an oil balm and milk cleanser?

Essentially an oil and blam cleanser are the same thing just in a different state. An oil cleanser is a liquid and usually comes in a pump bottle for easy dispensing.

A balm on the other hand is a soft solid. A good quality balm will very quickly and easily melt into an oil when applied to your skin. Balms come in pots or jars which you then scoop the balm out of.

The experience of using oil and blam is almost identical. They both feel nourishing and soothing to the skin. Both of them provide a good slip which allows them to be massaged into the skin without being absorbed or evaporating.

What one is best is up to the user. Some people prefer balms because they like the sensory feel of them melting and they can be slightly less messy than oils.

Some prefer oil because they don’t like putting their fingers into a product repeatedly, from a hygiene viewpoint.

We love both, but if you have never tried either we would recommend you start with an oil and if you like the experience then try a balm.

Milk cleanser is a hybrid between an oil and a water-based cleanser. They are called ‘milk’ cleansers because of their colour.

Unlike a gel cleanser, milk cleansers don’t foam. Like an oil cleanser, they gently dissolve the oils and build up on your skin.

Because they don’t foam the need to be removed by a gel-based cleanser. You can absolutely use a milk cleanser instead of an oil or balm in your first step of the double cleanse.

Like all things ‘skincare routine’ comes down to what you prefer, enjoy using and what gives you the best results.

Who shouldn’t do a double cleanse

There are very few people who shouldn’t do a double cleanse if they want to. Very severe cystic acne, infected dermatitis, and extreme rosacea shouldn’t do a double cleanse.

But if you have any of these skin conditions you should be under the care of a dermatologist.

If you have these conditions and are not under medical care then you should seek out a qualified dermatologist before trying to treat these conditions with advice from anyone on the internet.

Some people do not like the feel of oi or l balm cleansers on their fingers and that is completely understandable. That doesn’t mean you should abandon all hope of having clean skin. Try using a milk cleanser instead.

If you don’t like the textural feeling of milk cleanser either then you can use a cotton pad to apply the milk cleanser to your face and then remove it with water and a soft cloth.


If you would like to read more about the oil, balm and milk cleansers we love and recommend for your first step of a double cleanse you can read more about them here.

You can read more about the second step gel and foaming cleansers we love and recommend here.

If your not double cleansing we hope this article inspires you to give it a try.