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Why double cleansing needs to be part of every skincare routine

Twice is truly better than once

By Naaila Khan  May 6th, 2020

Now that you’ve got the extra hours to compute just how extensive your lipstick collection is, thanks to the continuous lockdown extensions (well, at least one of us already has), you also probably have a few extra minutes to dedicate towards amending an unfortunately underrated daily activity….


We’re talking about getting the first and most basic skincare step right: Cleansing. ‘But why now?’, you’re wondering. Most of our skins are loving the welcome breather from pollution and everyday make-up. Point made. But being locked at home 24/7 comes with its own set of problems: dry, flakey skin thanks to constant air-conditioning or sticky, greasy skin from all the time spent experimenting in the kitchen.


Either way, all roads point in one direction: adopting a slightly more indulgent and rewarding cleansing routine, aka double cleansing. For those who just joined the party, this two-step technique includes using a cleansing oil followed by a water-based cleanser, and has been a hit with beauty girls for a while now–especially for how well it melts off make-up and grime.


For my own little test, I picked my duo from homegrown brand, Dr Sheth’s: the Vitamin C & Moringa Cleansing Oil, which is a coconut oil-based cleanser, coupled with the Basic Brightening Gentle Cleanser that blends rosehip seed extracts and vitamin E in purified water.


First impression: how does an oil cleanser manage to be non-oily while doing the job of oil? Let me explain: while it looks like oil and feels like oil, it starts to turn into foam as you massage it into skin, expertly melting away grime, sweat and make-up—that’s the cleanser bit in oil cleanser kicking in. It’s also all very satisfying if I may add.


Then, on goes the brightening cleanser with the cheerful little crimson flecks—milliglobules of vitamin E and almond oil that vanish as you massage it in, working up a lather for a deep cleanse. Then you wash it off.


Ahead, we round up some winning cleansing oils and water-based cleansers to create your own double cleansing duos. On a side note: while a cleansing oil is a blend of pure oil and emulsifiers, you can DIY with any cold-pressed, organic oil you have at hand (rosehip to coconut) and follow it up with your regular water- or gel-based cleanser.


Step 1: Cleansing Oils


belif Cleansing Gel Oil Enriched

An oil-gel hybrid formulated with sweet flag herb and hydrating macadamia nut oil, this one’s got a unique lightweight texture you’ll love.


Innisfree Apple Seed Cleansing Oil

This luscious smelling apple extract and apple seed oil smoothes out flaky dead skin while drawing out impurities from your pores.


Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil

A bonafide hit, this one from Clinique is great to balance out oily, combination skin, and sensitive skin, since it’s totally fragrance-free.


Step 2: Water-based Cleansers



Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Rich, luxurious and creamy, this jelly doesn’t foam or lather, it just gently rinses, maintaining the pH balance of your skin. Fun fact: the cleansing agents used in this are the same ones in contact lens solution, so bye, bye eye sting.


Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

This cream-to-foam formula is super gentle foaming and diminishes the appearance of enlarged, congested pores, quite instantly.


Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Clean Foaming Face Wash

Calendula and glycerin make this creamy gel to dense foam formula a delight to use. It washes clean, and is perfect for oily skin and normal skin.