What is Double Cleansing? Find out the best Tips & Tricks to Master It

Double cleansing is as simple as it sounds—it means to wash your face with two cleansers.

Typically, you use an oil-based cleanser first, followed by a water-based formula. Don’t have an oil-based cleanser?  No problem! You can also use two regular ones.

A double cleansing method is typically used to remove your makeup and sunscreen first to clear the way for your regular cleanser to cleanse skin, instead of having to work its way through layers of heavy makeup and sunscreen.

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Fun Fact: The double cleansing technique first became popular in South Korea and Japan before catching on in Europe and then North America.


We recommend starting with an oil, oil-based liquid cleanser, cleansing balm (we love Isa Knox LXNEW Clean 2-In-1 Exfoliating Cleansing Balm) or a gentle face scrub. Be sure to pick one that suits your skin type.

Follow with your regular water-based cream or gel cleanser, then finish the rest of your skin care routine as usual. A great water-based cleanser is belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb Jelly Cleanser, a jelly-to-foam formula that contains amino acids and glycerin-based cleansing agents to gently remove makeup and impurities without stripping skin of moisture.

Generally, you’ll want to double cleanse at night to remove the sunscreen and makeup from the day.

In the morning, one cleanse usually does the trick, however, if you have very oily skin, you may want to double cleanse. Double cleansing can also be helpful if your regular cleanser isn’t removing enough excess oil, but using a stronger cleanser leaves your skin feeling dry and tight.   

If you have normal-to-oily skin, are prone to breakouts or wear heavy makeup, double cleansing is perfect for you.

If none of the above applies to you, think of double cleansing like a face mask or a targeted treatment and add to your routine as needed—like a day that you wear caked-on makeup or experience especially oily skin.

If you have sensitive skin, you can still double cleanse, but we recommend you use gentle products. Try an oil-based cleanser or balm paired with a cleanser formulated for sensitive skin, like Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser. This gentle cleanser features a whipped cream-like texture that softly glides onto the skin to effectively remove makeup residue while moisturizing.


Cleansing with oil is beneficial as it helps dissolve all types of makeup and helps remove sunscreen. Every oil works differently and some might argue they work more efficiently than ingredients found in cleansers.

Cleansing oils designed for your face have an edge over pure oils because they contain an ingredient known as an emulsifier. This allows oil to mix with water and form a milky emulsion, making it easy to rinse off instead of leaving a greasy residue like pure oils can. 


  1. Add cleansing oil to palm of hand or balm to your fingertips.  
  2. Use fingers from opposite hand to apply to dry skin.
  3. Gently massage in circular motions, including your eyes for about 30 seconds or until you feel the makeup melting. 
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water or gently remove the cleanser with a soft, warm washcloth.
  5. Follow with your regular cleanser and apply to damp skin.
  6. Gently massage in circular motions, avoiding the eye area if not intended for the eyes.
  7. Rinse.
  8. Pat your skin dry.
  9. Finish your skin care routine!

Have you tried double cleansing before? What do you think of the process?

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