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The Double Cleansing Method, Explained

Everyone knows they should wash their face before going to bed. What few people know is that they should wash their face twice. The secret strategy to healthy, youthful-looking skin, double cleansing takes up two important steps in the fabled Korean 10-step skin care routine. “Cleansing your skin is important because it helps to remove surface impurities such as dirt, oil, makeup, debris, pollution and is beneficial for reducing the look of aging too,” says Alana Henrikson, Eminence Organics Product Support Representative. Forego cleansing a little too often and you run the risk of clogged pores, irritation, dryness and breakouts. This prevents your skin from being able to renew itself overnight or properly absorb skin care products.

The Double Cleansing Method

Double cleansing, however, doesn’t mean washing your face twice. Rather, the routine is very specific. Here are our recommended steps:

  • Apply a small amount of an oil cleanser to the skin. If desired, emulsify with water
  • Massage with fingertips in a circular motion covering the face and neck areas, focusing especially on the breakdown of any residual makeup
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Follow the same steps again with your cleanser of choice before drying the face and continuing with your skin care routine

Double Cleansing In Depth

The science is in the oil cleanser. While traditional water-based cleansers deal with impurities by breaking down their oil components, oil cleansers attract and draw out oil from things like makeup, sunscreen lotion, sweat and just the general layer of pollutants that builds up on the surface of your skin over the day. It’s also effective in drawing out the oily sebum that is overproduced by acne because, as Washington DC-based dermatologist Ellinor Quay Coyne puts it, “like dissolves like.” 

Begin with a liquid or balm cleanser made from oil such as grapeseed, sesame or almond on your skin. For a balm, massage it in your hands until it dissolves into an oil. Gently and in a circular motion, massage the oil into your face and neck to work away impurities. Depending on your preference, you can emulsify with water while you massage before rinsing away cleanly with lukewarm water. Don’t forget your eye area and hairline.

Repeat cleansing while your face is still damp but this time, with a traditional gel or cream cleanser. This second cleansing does a clean sweep of any remaining impurities and penetrates into pores to unclog them. This preempts acne and enlarged pores. It also leaves your skin dewy, soft and fresh with that dull layer of oil and city grime thoroughly removed. Your skin is now primed and ready for the next steps in your skin care routine.

How To Double Cleanse: Perfect Pairings

We recommend avoiding cleansers that have harsh sulfates that strip away your natural skin barrier, and staying away from irritating ingredients like fragrance or alcohol.

When it comes to pairings, which two cleansers should you use together? We recommend avoiding cleansers that have harsh sulfates that strip away your natural skin barrier, and staying away from irritating ingredients like fragrance or alcohol. Lastly, the ideal pairing also depends on your skin type. Here are our two-step recommendations:

Normal Skin

Stone Crop Cleansing Oil + Stone Crop Gel Wash

Infused with sunflower and jojoba oils, and nourishing microgreens, our Stone Crop Cleansing Oil is the perfect first-step deep cleanser. Follow it up with the naturally oil-free Stone Crop Gel Wash.

Product Picks

Eminence Organics Stone Crop Cleansing Oil

Stone Crop Cleansing Oil


Eminence Organics Stone Crop Gel Wash

Stone Crop Gel Wash


Oily Skin

Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam + Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser

Formulated with time-release encapsulated salicylic acid and a natural herb blend, Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam unblocks pores and stops breakouts for those with acne-prone skin. It preps the skin for our Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser, which deploys cucumber, tea tree oil, sweet almond milk and yogurt for gentle, balancing action.

Stone Crop Cleansing Oil + Citrus Exfoliating Wash

Another good oily skin care cleansing regime is to start out with our Stone Crop Cleansing Oil and finish with the Citrus Exfoliating Wash, formulated with grapefruit seed, silica and fresh lime juice.

Product Picks

Eminence Organics Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam

Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam


Eminence Organics Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser

Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser


Also consider this product: Citrus Exfoliating Wash

Combination Skin

Stone Crop Cleansing Oil + Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser

If your skin suffers from both excessive oiliness and dryness, begin with our Stone Crop Cleansing Oil, rinse and continue with the soothing milky gel lather of our Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser.

Product Picks

Eminence Organics Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser

Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser


Dry Skin

Wildflower Cleansing Balm + Coconut Milk Cleanser

Gently massaged into your skin, our Wildflower Cleansing Balm transforms into either a natural botanical oil cleanser or an emulsifying milk when mixed with water. Rinse and finish with the rich, luxuriant Coconut Milk Cleanser for a dewy, fresh complexion.

Product Picks

Eminence Organics Wildflower Cleansing Balm

Wildflower Cleansing Balm


Eminence Organics Coconut Milk Cleanser

Coconut Milk Cleanser


Does Double Cleansing = Overcleansing? 

Is double cleansing overdoing things a bit? Possibly, if you’re using products that are not suitable for your skin. Or, if it’s winter and your skin is already dry. The telltale signs of overcleansing is tightness after you dry your skin. Overcleansing not only strips the topmost layer of dead skin cells but also lipids, which can cause imbalance in your skin. Stick to the right combination of double cleansing products for your skin type, and you’ll likely avoid the pitfall of overcleansing your skin. 

If you’re looking to leave your complexion fully cleansed and prepped for the rest of your skin care routine, a double hit of the cleansing step is the best method for fresh and supple skin, free of impurities. Which perfect pairing works best for your skin type? Let us know in the comments below or on social media. To find out more about what double cleansing can do for you and your skin, get in touch with your favorite Eminence Organics spa partner.