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How to Double Cleanse Your Face

The most important step in any skincare routine, no matter how simple or elaborate, is to double cleanse at night.

Double cleansing, while popular in Western culture today, is a centuries-old tenant of Asian skincare. The process ensures that your skin is properly cleaned and prepped, so the products you follow up with are effective. 

What’s great is that it is easy to do, takes almost no extra time, and you can use the products of your liking. 

Today, we’re continuing our annual Beauty Week by breaking down the simple 2-step process and sharing some of my favorite products. Plus, we’ll talk about the one popular product you NEVER want to use on your face. 

How to Double Cleanse Your Face

How to Double Cleanse Your Skin

How to Double Cleanse Your Face

The goal of the double-cleanse is to remove all the makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and oil that builds up on your skin during the day and prepare your skin for the rest of your routine. There is no point in using expensive serums and creams if they are going on dirty skin. They won’t be effective and will just clog your pores.

To do this, you need an oil-based and a gel-based cleanser.

Step One: Oil Cleanse

This is the first step in your nighttime routine, designed to remove sunscreen and makeup.

Start with an oil-based cleanse of your choice. I am loyal to the Tatcha Camellia Oil Cleanser. It’s a gentle formula that works as both a first cleanse and a makeup remover. You can slather it all over your face, including around your eyes, to remove even stubborn waterproof mascara. 

I’m also a big fan of the Eve Lom Cleansing Balm

Use a warm washcloth and gently wipe it off, taking care not to pull or tug at your skin.

Step Two: Gel Cleanse

Next, use your regular cleanser. I prefer a gel-based cleanser for this step and use the Drunk Elephant Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser. It’s clean, fragrance-free, and doesn’t irritate my extra-sensitive skin. 

That’s it! From here, you can move on to your next steps. 

I follow up with this AHA Toner from REN. It works to both exfoliate and hydrate your skin. Then I move to serums and night cream. 

Avoid Face Wipes

One of the worst things you can use in your skincare routine is face wipes. They are loaded with harsh chemicals (no matter how “clean” they are marketed), that strip your skin of its natural oils. They cause irritation and do nothing to prevent wrinkles. In fact, they can make them even worse because you have to pull and tug at the delicate skin around your eyes. 

They do nothing to remove make-up, instead you’re just pushing all the build up from the day around on your skin, while irritating your face, stripping it of moisture and breaking down the protective layer of your skin. 

So toss the wipes and pick up an oil-based cleanser instead. You’ll see and feel a difference right away. 

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Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

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How to Double Cleanse Your Face

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Lauren is a mother to a sweet and sassy toddler and cuddly baby, wife to a soccer fanatic, mobile app designer, fashion-lover, and avid reader.

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Tracy Gray

Thursday 26th of August 2021

Love this!! Great information!!

Megan Kristel

Thursday 26th of August 2021

Thanks Tracy!!!


Wednesday 25th of August 2021

Love my oil cleanser! I use this one :

It cleans all of my mineral sunscreen and emulsifies into a milky substance when you rinse, which just washes away. Love it enough to have stuck with it for three years now. Wonderful to find the thing that works for you. Thank you for the cleanser recommendation. I sometimes skip that step, especially the days when I don’t wear makeup. And I rarely wear makeup :-)

Nupur Jain

Wednesday 2nd of May 2018

Very helpful post! I started using a hot washcloth to clean my face and it made a huge difference, thank you! Another new product I discovered today is Smoothie Beauty face masks (link below) for my daily skin care and I immediately loved the idea because its all natural and organic plus made purely from food based products so technically you can even eat them. You can of course make these masks at home but seriously, who has the time! :) I just placed my starter kit order and can't wait to use them! Let me know if you have tried them.


Tuesday 20th of February 2018

I’ve been doing this for a long time....turning 70 in May and I think it really helps keep your skin glowing. However, any and all products I use in my house for on my body or cleaning are free from harmful carcinogens. I won’t go near a list of nasty chemicals.......Will have to check out the products you mentioned to see if the ingredient list is ok for my personal use. I’m such a picky person when it comes to this topic. Great article. Thanks!


Tuesday 20th of February 2018

I agree with you! I am also working hard to "clean up" my products. I discovered Lavera in Germany, where the regulations are much more strict. Lavera is an organic company and is even more affordable in Germany than it is here. Same with Dr. Hauschka - I believe that their products are low in carcinogens and reproductive toxicity, but they do score higher on potential allergens, which are not an issue for me personally. Cattier-Paris is another brand I love, though at the moment I am only using their miceller water, night cream, and clay mask. Are you currently using a tool or website to vet your products? Perhaps I can explore this further in a future post!

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 20th of February 2018

Thanks for the comment Jill. We would love to know the beauty products you use! I've been cleaning up my products for the last few years, and while I'm not 100% clean, I'm getting there. I find to be a great resource of curated, good-for-you products that give high-end results. My favorite is the goop label facial mask, eye cream and Vintner's Daughter Botanical Serum.


Tuesday 20th of February 2018

Love this... great tips. I never thought to do both! I run an either/or on most days. And I will be stocking up on washcloths, since I am (and my counter is) soaked by the time I’m done.


Tuesday 20th of February 2018

I was shocked at how such a simple thing made such a difference!

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 20th of February 2018

Right?! Me neither until I read Lauren's post. So smart.