Dipping your toe into skincare? Odds are, you’ve probably scrolled past images on Instagram of Asian celebrities with impossibly-clear, glowing skin. Well, those glossy complexions don’t just happen – they take commitment to a great routine. It’s not a fluke that K-beauty routines are gaining popularity in the West.
Adding 10 steps at once to your routine might seem overwhelming, but every product has a specific purpose to help you reach your skin goals.
The first step is the double cleanse, a gentle and thorough way to ensure your skin is fully clear of all impurities. Let’s demystify double cleansing, so you can dive into Korean skincare headfirst and get the cleanest skin of your life, while you’re at it.
What is Double Cleansing?
Double cleansing is essentially washing your face twice with 2 different face washes to get as thorough a cleanse as possible.
First, start with an oil-based cleanser, which can take the form of a liquid or balm. Next, a water-based cleanser will remove all the remaining gunk in your pores.The reason for this extra step is actually really practical – your skin can be contaminated with both oil-based and water-based grime. So, you need oil and water to pull it out again. These 2 cleansers work together to melt away makeup, sweat, and any pollution you accumulated throughout the day.
The best oil cleansers won’t clog your pores, won’t leave oily residue and are good for all skin types. They wash off excess sebum without stripping your skin. However, the key is to find one that emulsifies well when you add water. When an oil cleanser emulsifies, it turns into milky-white that washes off easily without leaving a film.
Now, onto water cleansers. These can be a pumpable foaming cleanser or a gel cleanser, but the pH is what matters. Different pH’s determine how drying a cleanser will be, but a good rule of thumb is that a pH of 6 works well with most skin types.
Even if you don’t wear makeup, double cleansing still has benefits. Dead skin cells, sunscreen, sebum and dust from the air can all clog pores, leading to acne and dull skin. Double cleansing, while a gentle method, is tough on the contaminants in your skin, leaving you fresh-faced.
How to Double Cleanse Properly
Double cleansing is the start of your routine and can be done morning and night. Like the rest of the Korean skincare routine, you’re encouraged to take your time and massage your skin for longer than you normally might. Washing your skin longer will result in a better clean. And it only makes sense because you invest a lot of time putting makeup and other products on to your face.
Personally, I double cleanse morning and night, and love getting that super-clean feeling. But if you find that only double cleansing at night is less drying, then do you!
So, start with the oil cleanser (applying with dry hands) and massage your face until all traces of makeup melt away. Use gentle, circular motions to cleanse your face, then add a little water, massaging until the cleanser looks milky. Once you wash that off, you’re ready for your water cleanser.
Pump some out and gently massage your skin for roughly 60 seconds. This additional time ensures your skin gets crazy-clean, so go ahead and treat yourself! Make sure to rinse off with luke-warm water. Scalding water can irritate your face, encouraging inflammation and even breakouts. (That’s a big no from me.)
Using your hands for the whole cleansing routine eliminates wipes and cotton pads from the equation. Not only is this more environmentally friendly, (woop, woop!) but it’s less abrasive on delicate skin like your eyes.
Lastly, in a Korean skincare routine, double cleansing is typically followed by exfoliation. If you battle skin sensitivity or only exfoliate once or twice a week, you can jump right to the next step – toning! Toning will sweep away dead skin cells, remove any additional pesky debris, and prep your skin for the other products in your routine.
Final Thoughts on Double Cleansing
Today, it’s hard to escape the onslaught of pollution, cosmetics and contaminants in the air. Lucky for us, the Koreans have already found the perfect solution to keep your skin clear and glowing.
And voila! With just a couple extra seconds of effort, you can achieve smooth, clean skin and potentially eliminate many of your skin concerns.