What Is Double Cleansing And How To Do It?

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What is double cleansing

Double cleansing is one of the many beauty solutions introduced to the world by K-Beauty and it’s also a common practice in Japanese skincare routines. If you know anything about K-Beauty it is a multi-step, personalized AM and PM skincare routine. Here is everything you need to know to get started with this effective cleansing method.

What Is Double Cleansing?

Just as the name sounds it’s a 2-step process in which you cleanse first with an ultra-gentle oil-based cleanser and second with a foam or water-based cleanser.

Step 1 Oil Cleansing—Oil breaks down the chemicals we apply to our skin, such as makeup and the SPF in your daily moisturizer. It also dissolves sweat, oil, and some of the toxins that find its way to our skin’s surface during the day. You can use a dedicated oil cleanser such as DHC Deep Cleansing Oil or Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil. These are shown below.

Step 2 Pore Cleansing—now you use a gentle foam or water-based cleanser to penetrate your pores. Something like La Roche-Posay Toleriane Face Wash Cleanser will work but you can also use a double cleanser set such as The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Set. These are shown below.

Can I Oil Cleanse If I Have Oily Or Acne-Prone Skin?

It’s a common question, but yes you can oil cleanse if you have oily or acne-prone skin! In fact, this cleansing method is what Japanese and Korean women turn to for clear skin. While it might sound counterproductive to use oil when oil is already a problem, but oil dissolves oil. Oil cleansing will also help to control oil production in a manner that is far more gentle than most oil-control and acne products.

Can I Double Cleanse If I Have Sensitive Skin?

All double cleansing products are gentle cleansers that even with 2-steps, won’t strip or irritate your sensitive skin. That being said, the cleansing products you select should be designed for your skin type, Normal, Oily, Dry, Sensitive, or Combo. This means that you may need to switch your products depending on the weather. For example, your skin may be dry in the cooler winter months but normal the rest of the year. Or you may only struggle with oil when it’s hot or humid.

What is double cleansing

Should I Double Cleanse In Both The AM And PM?

Double cleansing is designed to be done twice per day, but if you only want to do it at night you can skip the oil cleanser in the morning. However, it takes 60 seconds or less to do the second step so you should have time to squeeze both in. There are a few exceptions to this rule though. If you workout in the morning your face will be sweaty and oily so you should stick to your new 2-step routine. We’ve all been there before, but if you didn’t remove your makeup the night before don’t skip the AM oil cleanse.

Should I Use My Cleansing Brush?

If you use a silicone face brush or other deep cleansing brush you can use it during either cleansing step, but not both. Using it on both steps may irritate your skin. If you feel extra oily or are wearing heavy makeup, use it during your first cleanse. If you want to focus more on cleaning your pores use it with your foam or water-based cleanser. Or you can alternate daily as you like. However, you may find that with oil cleansing you don’t need your cleansing brush more than once a week before you apply a face mask.

Double Cleansing

What Do I Do After I Double Cleanse?

You have a few different options after double cleansing as it’s all about creating a personalized approach:

  1. Buy a full K-Beauty multi-step product line and use as directed. However, just like most skincare brands, a mix of products is typically required for personalized skincare. Some K-Beauty websites provide skin type product suggestions.
  2. Instead of adopting a full K-Beauty routine, you can just stick with your regular routine. This might include toning, eye cream, serum, and an AM or PM night cream. As you can see, it’s multi-step either way. But this way you don’t have to swap out your current products. And no, not all of your skincare products need to be K-Beauty brands.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.


  • Didn’t know about double cleansing! This is new to me 🙂 Thanks for sharing this information. I should try double cleansing!

    • I found out about it recently and thought it would be a good cleansing method to share.

  • I’ve actually never done double cleansing, so it’s good to know about this beforehand.

  • Thank you for the post. I learnt quite a good deal today. I’ve always had trouble with double cleansing since I have combination skin type which tend to break out at the slightest change of product, routine, diet, sleep pattern etc. I’m going to incorporate some of your tips and see what happens.

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