To double cleanse, or not? How to do it? Let’s talk about the importance of cleansing, why the double cleanse may be for your skin, and how to know if it is.
Why Cleansing is Important
If you had 40,000 dust bunnies show up at your house every day, you would definitely get rid of them.
Like scrubbing your house, the best way to get rid of all those skin cells is by cleansing. When the skin cells remain on the surface of your skin, they mix with makeup, oil, and SPF. This build-up leads to breakouts and even acne.
20,000 More Reasons
Your face has 20,000 skin pores. When they get filled up and plugged with that mix of makeup, oils, and SPFs, they stretch out. These plugged stretched pores look much larger. And no one wants big pores. Just look at all the products aimed at “shrinking pores”.
Complete nonse by the way – pores don’t have muscle contraction so they cannot physically shrink. Cleansing is the easiest way to keep your pores small by getting rid of the build up inside.
But is the double cleanse necessary to keep pores healthy?
How to Double Cleanse
The double cleanse is a two-part process.
The First Step
You begin with an oil cleanser. The oil cleansers melt both water-based and oil-based stuff on your skin – from makeup, to skincare and even waterproof SPF. Oil cleansers are applied to dry skin. The oil is massaged into your face, and you can see the makeup and SPF melt. Then water is added to the face. You’ll see the cleansing oil turn a milky color as you continue to massage the skin. A thorough rinse washes away the cleanser and the all impurities – skincare products, makeup, SPF, and skin oil (aka sebum).
The Second Step
A foaming cleanser follows the oil cleanser. Some people use the foaming cleanser because they like the squeaky-clean feeling it leaves on the skin. And having become accustomed to that squeaky-clean feeling, it’s how they now define “clean”.
Instead of using a foaming cleanser as the second step, you can use a foaming or gel cleaning product with exfoliating ingredients. For example, a glycolic acid-based cleanser.
What Gets Washed Away in the Double Cleanse
The double cleanse is thorough. Besides washing away daily buildup, makeup and SPF – sebum, your natural oil gets washed away too.
Sebum is necessary for healthy skin. It provides a protective moisture barrier that keeps bacteria from penetrating the skin. Keeping the barrier intact is essential for healthy skin, which means all cleansing should be done in moderation, so you do not strip the skin from too much sebum.
Warning: Signs of Over-Cleansing
There IS such a thing as over-cleansing. When you over-cleanse, you will notice the following signs.
Super tight dry skin
After washing, your face feels really tight, dry, and almost papery. This means over-cleansing is drying out your skin. You may start to compromis the natural barrier the sebum provides against bacteria.
Extremely oily skin
If your skin becomes oilier, shinier, after cleansing, it also means you are stripping away too much of the natural oil, sebum. In this case, your body responded by increasing the production of oil to make up for the loss. This increase in oil leads to acne and other skin problems.
The answer to over-cleansing is to back off. Try using a smaller amount of cleanser or cleanse less frequently. You may only need to cleanse in the evening to wash off makeup and SPF.
Should You Double Cleanse or Not
The answer to double cleansing is individual based on each person. It isn’t right or wrong to double cleanse. The important thing to know is that your skin will tell you. No matter what cleansing method you choose, always pay attention to signs of over cleansing. That’s the real danger. Your skin will always be your best guide to which products and methods to use.
Check out this related article: How to Exfoliate and How Often