Forget the ten-step routines, scary-sounding treatments, and skincare fads – snail slime, anyone? – because there’s a simpler and faster way to get beautiful skin. In fact, it has long been a part of the routines followed by celebrities and specialists alike. It’s also one of the most important aspects of K-beauty rituals. The secret? Double cleansing.
Yes, it’s just what it says on the tin – cleansing your skin not once, but twice, every night. But the key word here is ‘night’ because, even if you haven’t worn makeup all day, your skin has been subject to pollutants, dirt, grime, and toxins that have to be removed before you hit the hay if you want to wake up looking fresh-faced and fabulous. Not only are pollutants known to speed up the aging process, but they also block skin and make it look dull and dreary. A double cleanse really ensures your skin is squeaky clean and free from harmful debris. This way, it allows active ingredients and the proceeding skincare products – be it serum, essence, face oil, or moisturizer – to penetrate deeper and work more effectively. Win-win.
“I really recommend double cleansing, especially in the evenings,” explains Rebecca Treston, Founder of Rebecca Treston Aesthetics at Euromed Clinic Center. “By doing this two-step regimen, you’re removing dirt and grime from the skin before using another cleanser that should have the active ingredients to target the skin’s individual concerns. Although you can use a two-step cleansing routine both morning and evening, it’s not as necessary in the morning. Night-time is best for stronger cleansers.”
But double cleansing is nothing new and can even be tracked back to Ancient Rome, where double-cleansing immersions were all the rage. This involved moving between hot and cold baths before using a strigil (a giant scraper, essentially) to deeply cleanse and detoxify. In Ancient Egypt, cleansing routines started with decadent oils and rich ingredients, such as honey and milk, before charcoal was applied to purify skin.
Inspired by these rituals, Charlotte Tilbury has just launched ‘Goddess Cleansing Ritual’, a clever cleansing duo of her own, which consists of an oil-based cleanser followed by a charcoal-based cleanser to boost your complexion. “Think of your skin like a pavement… to properly resurface, you need to clear away any surface level rubbish and then you can remove the old cement that holds the paving stones together, a.k.a. that daily build-up that gets stuck in the gaps,” explains the beauty queen.
Charlotte Tilbury ‘Goddess Cleansing Ritual’
Over on Instagram, celebrity facialist Georgia Louise revealed her love of the ritual, saying, “As a professional facialist in Los Angeles, London, and New York, I’ve always found that double cleansing is key and fundamental for good skin health and good skincare. It is a ritual!”
And considering her client list boasting the likes of Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Katy Perry – all of whom admittedly have amazing skin – we took note. And on that note, here’s how do master the art of double cleansing so you can wash your way to superstar skin sans stress.
First things first, and that’s picking a cleanser that breaks down and melts off oil-based impurities such as makeup, pollutants, sunblock, and surface grease. Oil cleansers and balms are perfect for this as they attract greasy particles and dissolve them without stripping skin of its own hydrating oils. This also means they won’t make oily skins oilier – that’s a big beauty myth, by the way. Products that strip your skin of oils stimulate sebum production, which in turn means oilier skin!
Boscia’s ‘MakeUp-BreakUp’ cleansing oil is amazing at dissolving makeup whilst giving skin a refreshing boost. For more sensitive skin, try By Terry’s ‘Cellularose Cleansing Oil’, which uses soothing rose extracts and nourishing olive and jojoba oils to calm and clean. When it comes to balms, Rodial’s ‘Bee Venom’ offering is beautifully decadent and brimming with anti-aging ingredients, while Omorovicza’s ‘Thermal Cleansing Balm’ is enriched with Hungarian moor mud and thermal waters to really get deep down into pores.
Always apply your oil or balm cleanser to dry skin and gently massage in before mixing with water and rinsing off.
Now it’s time to remove water-based impurities such as sweat and environmental pollutants. As surface dirt has been dislodged and removed in Step 1, Step 2 ensures a really deep-down cleanse to make sure there’s no bad stuff left behind.
Here’s when you can get a bit more creative, as the specific cleanser you use really depends on your skin’s needs. If you’re in need of a brightening boost and diminishing dryness, Sisley’s ‘Phyto-Blanc’ lightening cleanser uses lemon, white mulberry, and scutellaria extracts to lighten and brighten. Banish blemishes and fight off future breakouts with Murad’s clarifying cleanser, or balance oil levels while preventing dryness with the Origins ‘Checks and Balances’ foaming wash.
Whichever product you choose for Step 2, take your time to gently work it into skin before rinsing it off thoroughly to reveal a perfectly clean and clear complexion.