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What is the 4-2-4 Cleansing Method?

What is the 4-2-4 Cleansing Method?
Team LF
Writer and expert6 years ago
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Yet another trend has emerged from the East and is due to change the way we think about cleansing. The 4-2-4 cleansing method is an ideology based on massaging cleansing oil into the skin for 4 minutes, then a cream cleanser for 2, then rinsing for 4. Yes, you read that right.

Before you cast this method aside though (we know, splashing water on our skin for 4 minutes sounds slightly absurd), the reasoning behind it is actually pretty tight.

Similar to double cleansing, which is where you use 2 differently formulated cleansers to effectively remove all manner of makeup, dirt and oil, the 4-2-4 cleansing method just sets a timer on things. By attributing a number of minutes to each step, you can ensure you are actually using your cleansers to the best of their abilities.

First 4 Minutes: Oil Cleanse

You know how this one works. Take an oil cleanser and massage it in for 4 minutes.

We know this sounds overly time-consuming, but just think how good it feels when you come out of a facial; that is all down to timings and not products. In a facial, therapists use the same products you can buy at home, they just spend a little longer, you guessed it, using them.

You can use any cleansing oil for this step, just make sure you use one for your skin type, as you're spending a long time massaging it in. These are 3 of our favourites...

  • Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil - Jasmine Flower and Kukui Nut Oil make up this gentle formulation. We love it.
  • DHC Cleansing Oil - The main ingredient here is Olive Oil, which isn't ranked highly on the comedogenic scale, meaning it won't break you out.
  • Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil - A vibrant blend of Grapefruit, Orange and Lemon uplifts and energises; perfect for combatting the winter blues.

Whatever cleansing oil you decide to use, don't forget 4 minutes. Oh, and don't rinse off afterwards. Keep with us...

Second 2 Minutes: Cream Cleanse

To be applied right on top of the oil cleanser, the cream cleanse step helps to soothe and hydrated parched skin types.

The 4-2-4 cleansing method is ideal for the winter months when skin can be severely dehydrated, as luxurious oils and nourishing creams are used.

Whichever cream cleanser you decide to use, make sure you massage straight on top of the oil for an additional 2 minutes.

  • Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser - Made with Hungarian Moor Mud, this cleanser will both purify and nourish.
  • Antipodes Gentle Cream Cleanser - Perfect for sensitive skin types thanks to its fragrance-free formula.
  • Aurelia Miracle Cleanser - Made with Probiotics and Omega Fatty Acids, this is great for skin that needs an energising boost.

Choose a gentle cream formula here as you are layering over an oil, so don't want to use anything too active.

Third 4 Minutes: Rinse

Spend 2 minutes rinsing your skin with warm water to help remove both cleansers, and all the dirt and impurities, and then the last 2 minutes splashing with cold water to encourage circulation and energise the complexion.

Finish with your regular serum, eye cream and moisturiser steps. Trust us, your skin will thank you.

Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.