Double cleansing… do you do it? Do you even know what it is?

Well, truth is a mere 10 months ago I wasn’t even aware of the term and neither did I realise that using micellar water to remove my makeup and then cleansing was technically a double cleanse! You may already be double cleansing like I was but not be aware of the term or your double cleanse options.

Since then I’ve come a long way and tried many different types of cleansers in the pursuit of finding my perfect double cleanse combination but I often wondered if it would be helpful to you guys for me to really dive deep into what double cleansing actually is. So, here we go!

What Is Double Cleansing?

Double Cleansing is basically where you cleanse twice with 2 different cleansers to remove your SPF and makeup. It’s usually done once a day, in the evening. It’s not required to double cleanse in the morning as you don’t wear makeup or SPF to bed (or at least you shouldn’t be!)

The First Cleanse

Your first cleanse is the one that is going to cut through the SPF/makeup/daily grime that you’ve got on your face before you then go in with another cleanser to actually cleanse your face. Make sense?

For a first cleanse you may choose to use:

Micellar water e.g. Bioderma micellar water
An oil cleanser e.g. Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Oil
A balm cleanser e.g. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
A cleansing cream e.g. Kate Somerville Cold Cream Moisturising Cleanser + Makeup Remover

It is these types of cleansers that are up to the job of cutting through SPF, makeup and daily grime to cleanse the skin. You usually apply these cleansers on to dry skin to begin with, loosen all the grime with your fingers and then add water at the end to emulsify and remove the cleanser (along with all the grime!) from your face. You may find it helpful to use a damp, warm flannel to remove your first cleanse (I do!).

These cleansers are usually fine to use on your eyes to remove makeup as well but just make sure you close your eyes properly and only open them once you’re confident that all the cleanser has been removed from your face, otherwise you risk getting an annoying milky film in your eyes! You could also use micellar water to remove your eye makeup first – I sometimes do this if I have very heavy eye makeup on (rare these days to be honest!).

After you have done this, you are ready for step 2!

The Second Cleanse

Go straight in with your second cleanse on to your already damp skin (from your first cleanse). It is this step where you’re actually cleaning your skin, as you have now removed the SPF/makeup/grease that were coating the skin’s surface. So, if you would like, this is where you want to spend your money as it’s this step that will clean and balance your skin before moving on to the rest of your routine.

For a second cleanse you may choose to use:

Cleansing milks e.g. REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk
Cleansing gels e.g. is clinical cleansing complex
Cleansing creams e.g. Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cleanser
Cleansing balms e.g. Emma Hardie Moringa Balm
Cleansing oils e.g Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser

As I’ve mentioned, your second cleanser should be used on damp skin, not dry skin like you would with your first cleanser. Massage in, rinse and use your warm, damp flannel again to gently exfoliate and wipe off any remaining residue.

After this you are then ready to do the rest of your routine!

Some Tips…

If you’re short on money, it’s not ideal, but you can use the same cleanser twice to double cleanse. Spend wisely and buy the best cleanser you can sensibly afford. Use less in the first cleanse and slightly more in the second cleanse as that is your cleaning stage.

You don’t need to double cleanse in the evening if you’ve been in the house all day and not wearing SPF or makeup but it is a good habit to get into, especially when you consider that you should be wearing SPF every day regardless of whether or not you leave your house! 

Likewise you don’t need to double cleanse in the morning as you’ve only been sleeping and not wearing makeup or SPF to bed. Usually you would use the product that you use for your second cleanse, in the evening, as your morning cleanser as well. For example, if you use The Ordinary Squalane cleanser as your second cleanser in the evening, you would also use that one in the morning.

Some people find flannels too harsh on their skin, so you could try using a muslin cloth instead or a microfibre towel. You can get both of these off amazon for a very reasonable price!

My Personal Favourites?

I personally love using a balm cleanser for my first cleanse and a cream or gel based cleanser for my second cleanse. I did give cleansing oils a go but my acne-prone skin reacted with horror and I haven’t since tried them again but I’m sure I will do in time!

So for a balm cleanser, I’ve been loving:

– Farmacy Green Clean Balm (reviewed HERE)
– Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm (review coming)

For a gel or milk cleanser, I’ve been loving:

– CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
– Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cleanser
– iS Clinical Cleansing Complex (reviewed HERE)
– Gallinee Foaming Facial Cleanser (reviewed HERE)

I hope you’ve found this 101 on Double Cleansing helpful and as always, if you have any questions, drop me a comment below! I’ll always get back to you!

Love & Knowledge



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