Cleansing is the first and arguably the most important step in any skincare routine. At the end of a long day, there is no better feeling than removing your makeup and knowing that you are cleansing away the pollution and bacteria that has accumulated on your skin throughout the day. It is these environmental aggressors that contribute towards a number of skin complaints including breakouts, premature ageing and hyperpigmentation. To help you put together your perfect purifying double act, the experts at Elemis answer all your questions on double cleansing.
What is double cleansing?
"Double cleansing is an especially beneficial technique for days when you have been wearing heavy makeup, sunscreen or have been battling pollution in the city" says Elemis education manager, Charlotte Dermott-Smith. "It is the act of cleansing the skin twice, with best results choosing 2 different cleansing textures. The first step involves using a cleansing oil, butter or balm to dissolve makeup, dirt and grime. The second step involves applying a treatment cleanser to the skin–a wash cleanser, usually a gel, milk or foam that targets specific skin concerns, whether acne, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, dryness, etc" she explains, adding that it is a suitable and advised method for every skin type.
What are the benefits of double cleansing?
"Double cleansing removes your make-up and SPF, excess sebum and dead skin until all signs of grime and build-up are removed, before then actually getting down to treating the skin with the second cleanse which is focused on a particular skin goal you may have" says Charlotte. "This is to ensure that your skin is really clean, clear of any barriers, and prepped and primed for receiving all the benefits of your products" she adds.
Do you need to prep the skin before double cleansing?
"If you’re wearing eye make-up and lipstick, it’s best to address this first before cleaning your whole face, unless your chosen first cleanse can do this too" advises Charlotte. Use a micellar water or eye makeup remover to take off stubborn eye makeup before targeting the skin with your doublecleanse.
When it comes to base makeup, double cleansing can be used as a removal technique on its own. "For your first cleanse, ideally, you should use a cleansing oil, butter or balm to help break down makeup pigments that can sit deep within the skin" says Charlotte. "Remember to take it below the jawline and around the ears where you may have blended in foundation".
How often should you double cleanse?
"Double cleanse your face both morning and night, every day, even if you haven’t been wearing any makeup" instructs Charlotte. Cleansing in the morning removes any dead skin, dirt or sweat that has built up overnight, allowing your skincare to perform better, and double cleansing at night helps to shed all of the grime, pollution and makeup from the day.
Which cleansers are best for the first cleanse in double cleansing?
"For your first cleanse, ideally, you should use a cleansing oil, butter or balm as this will remove make-up more effectively, massaging it into your skin to dislodge dirt and make-up" says Charlotte.
Which cleansers are best for the second cleanse in double cleansing?
"Follow a first cleanse with a facial gel, foam or a cleansing milk to remove water-based dirt. This is when you get down to really cleansing the skin and preparing it for your serum and moisturiser" explains Charlotte. For your second cleanse, choose a cleanser that targets your specific skin concern which can fully treat the complexion after the first cleanse has cleared the way.
The best double cleanse routine for oily and acne-prone skin
"A mix of hair, oil, dirt and dead skin cells plugging the skin can provide the right environment for bacteria to grow" explains Charlotte. "Effectively cleansing the skin in the morning and at night can help to prevent plugged follicles, melting away and removing the build-up within the skin" she adds. For blemish-prone skin, she recommends starting with a nourishing omega-rich cleansing oil, followed by the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash.
The enzyme-enriched gel cleanser gently exfoliates the surface level of the skin, buffing away dead skin and dirt and rehydrating with a blend of moringa and white truffle which helps to smooth the skin's texture.
The best double cleanse routine for sensitive skin
For sensitive and irritation-prone skin, Charlotte suggests the Pro-Collagen Naked Cleansing Balm, followed by a gentle foaming wash.
Made without any artificial fragrances, the award-winning Pro-Collagen Naked Cleansing Balm boasts the same 3-in-1 formula as the original Pro-Collagen Balm, helping to nourish and support skin. The velvety texture glides across the skin, dissolving any impurities and nourishing with fatty acids.
The best double cleanse routine for dry skin
If you suffer from dry skin, Charlotte recommends using cleansers that support hydration levels, such as the Superfood AHA Glow Cleansing Butter for your first cleanse, followed by the Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser.
Blended with omega fatty acids, mango butter and chia seed oil, the Superfood AHA Glow Cleansing Butter provides intense moisture for the skin, helping to give it a softer finish and a more comfortable feel.
The best double cleanse routine for mature skin
If you're main concern is fine lines and wrinkles, Charlotte recommends using the Pro-Collagen range, including an initial cleanse with the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, followed by the Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser.
Starting as a nourishing balm, before transforming into a hydrating oil and then nourishing milk, the 3-in-1 Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm by Elemis is an award-winning, multi-purpose formula that helps to improve skin elasticity and glow. Blended with 9 essential oils, the balm creates an aesthetic cleansing ritual, helping to plump and soften the complexion.
How to care for the skin after double cleansing
After gently patting your face dry, Charlotte advises following with your normal skincare routine, including a toner "to complete your skin prep and ensure that skin is balanced and perfectly purified", a skin essence to prepare the skin for following products, a targeted serum, as well as your usual day or night moisturiser. To keep the skin protected from burning, pollution and the visible signs of ageing, Charlotte stresses the importance of SPF as the final step in your skincare routine.