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The Best Double Cleansing Duo for Your Skin Type

by Hannah Smith

Double cleansing is all the rage at the moment, and with good reason. Even with my oily skin, I’m now a huge proponent of a double cleanse, consisting of an oil cleanser and a gel cleanser, each and every day, twice a day. Truthfully, I saw a huge turnaround in my skin when I began double cleansing – decreased oil production, more natural glow, and overall, I looked much more hydrated. We all have different skin, though, and some formulations work better for certain skin types than others. If you’re looking to try a double cleanse, get to know more about it and check out our recommendations per skin type.

What is Double Cleansing?

Double cleansing in and of itself is pretty straightforward: it means you cleanse twice when you wash your face. However, washing your face twice in a row with an astringent, drying cleanser has no benefits. Rather, double cleansing uses an oil cleanser first, followed by a gel or water based cleanser. “Why do I need both,” you might ask? Oil attracts oil, making an oil cleanser the most efficient way to break down dirt, oil, sunscreen, and makeup in one fell swoop. Following up with a traditional cleanser allows you to remove remaining impurities and any oil residue left on the skin, without drying your skin out. For me, double cleansing has been a godsend I didn’t know I needed, but now that I’ve started, I’m never going back. Want to give it a try? Read up on our favorites below. 

If You’re Oily

If you have oily, acne-prone skin, I understand why you might feel hesitant to put oil on your face – I mean, oil has been made out to be the enemy, right? Wrong. Using oil on oily skin helps balance your oil production, thus ensuring you produce less oil. I can attest to that, too! Using this set from Dermalogica, my skin has seen a drastic turnaround. The Precleanse oil is lightweight when applied unlike some heavy options out there, as it’s formulated with light oils such as apricot kernel oil, sunflower seed oil, and grapefruit oil, to name a few. I often allow it to sit for about 30 seconds to let my skin absorb all of the benefits the oil has to offer. When washing it off with water, you’ll notice how milky this formula turns as it emulsifies. For your final cleansing step, follow it up with their Special Cleansing Gel, an extremely gentle foaming cleanser, that leaves your skin feeling clean, but not dry or stripped.

If You’re Dry

Sorry to burst your bubble, dry skin folks, but the best double cleanser for you is actually a 2-in-1, not a two-step process. Meet WonderFeel Double Cleanser by Ole Henriksen, an elevated version of the age-old cold cream, designed to take off makeup, dirt, and oil, while simultaneously leaving the skin hydrated. The thick olive oil used in the formulation is perfect for dry skin, but pair it with other ingredients like borage seed oil (an anti-inflammatory oil that fights redness), black currant extract (to nourish the skin), niacinamide (a form of Vitamin B that helps with breakouts and achieving an even tone), as well as Vitamin C (to kickstart collagen production and even out skin tone), your skin will look refreshed in no time.

If You’re Sensitive

I personally have both oily and sensitive skin, so I’ve played around quite a bit with cleansers. This duo from Then I Met You was my first introduction to double cleansing, and there’s a reason I still rotate it into my routine. The Living Cleansing Balm is a winner all on its own, combining powerful ingredients for an incredibly nourishing first step. With grape seed oil, olive oil, and a personal favorite of mine, seabuckthorn oil, the balm delivers deep hydration, high levels of antioxidants, and powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Add to that Vitamin E, which helps prevent premature aging, as well as persimmon extract, which aids in anti-aging, skin brightening, and sebum production, and you’ve got yourself an incredibly powerful yet gentle balm. The cleanser is also jam-packed with all type of goodness, such as green tea, tea tree leaf, and licorice root, all of which are potent antioxidants that will help reduce signs of age. In addition, it contains a PHA (polyhyrdroxy acid – a gentle chemical exfoliant), to help remove dead skin cells without sensitizing the skin. If you’re acne prone but also sensitive, this duo is a must have.

If You’re Combo

Combination skin can be some of the hardest to treat – what’s a gal to do when one part of the face feels like the Sahara and one is like a slip-n-slide of oil? Enter: Farmacy Beauty’s double cleanser. Their Green Clean cleansing balm is a perfect first step to soothe dry, aching skin with bergamot, lime, and orange oil, while delivering powerful anti-inflammatory benefits via turmeric extract to calm irritation. The Clean Bee gel cleanser makes the perfect follow up, formulated with a proprietary honey blend that aims to keep breakouts at bay while simultaneously providing long-term moisture and nourishment.

Feature Image via Emma Craft

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