Cleansing your face is the first step to any good skincare routine. But these days, everyone’s double cleansing, because once doesn’t seem enough. Hailey Bieber apparently does it on the daily. Kim Kardashian, too. And in a recent interview with The Zoe Report, Sydney Sweeney said: “At night, I always double cleanse because all of the elements of the environment are on your skin [and] you touch your face during the day… I’ve been really loving it.”

Of course, it’s a trend that’s gone viral on TikTok. The #DoubleCleansing hashtag currently has millions of views, with some users calling it the “greatest skincare hack of all-time”. Some users have even gone as far to say it’s “life-changing.”

But, as with all things faddy like face icing and detoxing, it doesn’t automatically mean that it works. So, we sat down with some of London’s leading skincare experts to find out if double cleansing is truly as miraculous as TikTok would have you believe, or if the benefits are just skin deep.

What is double cleansing?

Double cleansing has been a thing in South Korea for many years now, and it’s one of the most important steps in any K-beauty routine. While it sounds like you’re just washing your face two times in a row, there’s actually a lot more to it than just that.

Most methods consist of two main steps (duh). Firstly, you remove anything that’s on the skin like sun cream, dirt, and oil. Afterwards, you wash the actual skin itself so that it’s all nice and clean. On paper, it makes a lot of sense, but recently, some TikTokers have suggested that it can get rid of acne altogether and even prevent wrinkles, which almost sounds a bit too good to be true…

What are the benefits?

“Generally speaking, substances are either oil or water soluble,” says Dr Christine Hall, NHS general practitioner and aesthetics doctor. “Sebum, makeup, and SPF are lipophilic, which means that they dissolve in oil. Whilst sweat, pollutants, and other impurities dissolve in water. So, the only way to get a really deep clean and completely remove all of the build-up from the day is to double cleanse using an oil cleanser, followed by a water-based one.”

Even though you might not be able to see it with a naked eye, it’s important to properly remove all of these things. That’s because when impurities and debris begin to pile up, it can cause your skin to become inflamed. This build-up also prevents your skin from “breathing,” which it needs to fully rest and recover.

“Double cleansing is also extremely effective for those who have oily skin types and acne prone skin,” says Dr Leah Totton, cosmetic doctor and medical director at Dr Leah Clinic. “It can help to remove bacteria and excess oil from the skin, and also unclog your pores.”

“However, while double cleansing can prevent breakouts caused by impurities, it’s worth noting that acne has various causes including hormones and genetics that double cleansing can’t fully address,” says Alexandra Mills, skincare expert at AM Aesthetics. “Some claims also suggest that it can reduce signs of ageing, but its benefits in this area are more about creating a clean base for anti-ageing products rather than a direct effect.”

On top of that, many TikTokers have started doing double cleansing in place of exfoliating. In ways, it does make sense. But while double cleansing cleans the surface of the skin, exfoliation is still an essential step to any grooming regimen if you want to really get rid of all the bad stuff.

What’s the best way to do it?

“Double cleansing involves the use of an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based one,” says Hall. “The first thing to consider is the oil-based cleanser and whether you would prefer a liquid, a balm or a gel formulation. Take a small amount of product and warm it in the palm of your hand before applying to your dry face. Massage the product into the skin for 30 to 60 seconds before removing it with lukewarm water.”

“As you do this, you should see the product ‘emulsify’ as it turns to a white colour on contact with water. With your skin still damp, you then apply your water-based cleanser, massaging it into the skin before washing it all away.”

Once you’ve done all of this, get yourself a soft, clean towel (preferably dry) and gently pat your face to rinse off any excess water. Afterwards, apply your eye cream, moisturiser, toner, and all that good, good stuff, and you’ll be sweet.

How often should you do it?

“Double cleansing is typically recommended in the evening to remove the day’s build-up of sunscreen, makeup, and pollutants,” says Mills. “Doing it once a day is sufficient for most skin types. Over-cleansing can lead to irritation, so it’s essential to listen to your skin and adjust as needed.”

Who should avoid double cleansing?

“Those with rosacea, eczema, or sensitive skin should probably avoid double cleansing as it may remove the skin’s natural moisture, leaving it flakey, tight, and irritated,” says Totton. “You may also look to avoid double cleansing if you have dry skin. However, if you find your skin is becoming dry due to double cleansing, you may be using a cleanser that is far too harsh.”

As with all new skincare techniques and products, introduce it slowly and see how your skin reacts to it. If you’re not entirely sure if it’s suitable for you and you need some further advice, contact your GP or a healthcare professional.

Are there any side effects?

“Generally speaking, double cleansing is a very safe and risk-free skincare technique, but it’s important that you are using the right products,” says Hall. “Those with drier or more sensitive skin should avoid lighter oils or stronger water-based cleansers to avoid stripping the skin of moisture and compromising the skin barrier.”

Source –

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