You may not have heard of double cleansing before, I hadn't until six months ago, but now I'm in love with it!
I've always loved a good oil cleanse, the idea of using oil is that "like dissolves like". Oil is amazing at dissolving all the dirt and impurities that build up in pores throughout the day. Makeup, sunscreen, sweat, general existing-in-the-world-grub, oil just melts it away. Even waterproof eye makeup! I've been an actor most of my life and when you're on stage you really have to cake that makeup on. I honestly don't know what I did before I discovered oil cleansing. I wince to think of all the scrubbing it did, the red soapy eyes it must have caused, trying to get it all off. Oil cleansing is a dream!
So that's what I've been doing for years now, then recently I heard about double cleansing and thought I'd give it a go.
The idea of double cleansing is starting with an oil cleanser, then following with a water based cleanser, be it gel, foam or cream, to really finish the job. You can use a water based cleanser that addresses specific skin issues and it thoroughly removes anything that the oil cleanser might have left behind, leaving your skin primed and ready to receive the nourishment of your favourite serums, oils and/or creams in the rest of your routine.
There are loads of different options for oil cleansers, liquids, balms, some can be quite complex with added ingredients which help it to wash off. I like to keep it extremely simple. I use one carrier oil, something neutral - no colour or smell, and (most importantly) something cheap! I really want to be able to slather it on without counting the dollars I'm pouring into my palm. Camellia oil is my go-to favourite for a cleansing oil but almond, apricot kernel, peach kernel, sunflower and milk thistle are all great, inexpensive ones. If I'm being completely honest, I use whatever I have on hand. If I have an oil or oil blend which I just want to use up, using it as a cleanser is a great way to make sure it doesn't go to waste at the same time as not spending any more money. I will say be careful with anything with essential oils, as you're going to be using it to take off eye makeup and you don't want anything too heavily scented around such a delicate area.
Water based cleansers
Again there are so many options here and you may already have your favourite so I'll just tell you about what I've been using. Recently my skin was looking a bit red and uneven, with a few spots, so I made this cleanser - Clarifying Cream Cleanser - to try and address some of these issues. I used tamanu oil and copaiba resin oil as they are both said to help reduce the appearance of acne and speed up healing, teatree hydrosol and teatree essential oil to deep clean pores and alpha-bisabolol to soothe irritated skin. You could use the recipe and tweak it by changing the oils and hydrosol to suit your skin.
How to do it
Step one - oil cleanse
Using dry, clean hands, pour about a coin's worth of oil into your palm. Apply to a dry face, covering your whole face, and really massage it in. Concentrate on areas which have a particularly high build up of makeup, sunscreen or other skincare products. You can add more oil for stubborn areas like lipstick and eye makeup.
Step two - remove oil
With a warm face cloth (not too hot or you can strip away too much of your skin's natural oils) gently remove the oil with all the dirt and impurities along with it. This also acts as a gentle exfoliation, just don't rub too hard!
Step three - water based cleanser
Apply your gel, foam or cream cleanser to damp skin and... y'know what, I'm not going to tell you how to wash your face. You're an adult, wash your face like you already know how to do!
Rinse off your second cleanser and tah-dah! You just double cleansed! Too easy right?
Your skin should feel soft and supple and ready for the next steps in your skincare routine.
This can be done both morning and night, though if you're anything like me, you're just splashing cold water on your face in the morning (while you try to make a coffee with your other hand) before you run out the door. So the double cleanse really comes into its own in the evening.
Check out the recipe for the Clarifying Cream Cleanser
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