The Double Cleanse.


Lately, everywhere I look I am hearing about the double-cleanse (washing your skin twice, with two different cleansers.) I knew it was becoming a real trend when Garance wrote about it here, but first heard the term about a year ago when I visited Susan Ciminelli for a facial and she explained the importance of cleansing twice… first removing makeup with a gentle milk cleanser and then using her signature Algae Deep Cleanse to exfoliate and really cleanse the skin.. Then, a few weeks ago I had a facial at Erno Laszlo and it was the same thing… my aesthetician started with a cleansing oil and then used a bar soap after to remove both the cleansing oil and any makeup that the oil had swept up. So if my aesthetician is doing it, I wanted to do it too.

The idea is that the first step (ideally a gentle milk or oil) removes makeup, and the second step (something a little stronger) really cleanses the skin, giving it a true deep clean. If there’s a layer of makeup (or grime from running around the city for that matter) on your face, then it’s hard for your cleanser to penetrate the skin.

While I loved the idea in theory, I still wasn’t really sold on the concept (my skin is naturally pretty dry and hello, I can be really lazy) of double-washing my skin. I’d do it now and then when I had free time, but most nights stuck to my cleansing wipes. Then, I attended a breakfast with Tata Harper a few weeks ago. I should note that when Tata speaks, you listen. At age 38, her skin is flawless and she barely wears any makeup. She presented the brand’s new Fall launches and the cleansers really stole the show.

How to Double Cleanse

Tata starts with her new Nourishing Oil Cleanser, massaging it into dry skin to simultaneously hydrate skin and lift makeup, dirt, and oil out of the pores. She emphasized the massaging process. I know that sometimes I just want to get my skin clean with minimal effort… but the massaging action goes a long way. From there, you slowly add just a splash of warm water, emulsifying the cleanser into a milky consistency. The formula contains Beta Carotene, Vitamins A, C, E, Lycopene and Omega 3 which nourish and soften the skin… perfect during this weird transitional time when my skin tends to get really dehydrated + dry.

Once you’ve cleansed with the oil, use a warm wash cloth to wipe off, and then apply the Purifying Cleanser. The purifying cleanser is amazing as it deep cleanses + detoxifies the skin but isn’t the least bit drying. At the presentation Tata talked about all the damage living in a city can do to your skin… this helps to really purify the skin and undo some of the wear + tear caused by environmental exposure + pollution. The ingredient list sounds like a detox juice. Broccoli extract + fruit enzymes clean the skin; while clove, fennel + ginger helps to promote microcirculation and lymphatic drainage, flushing away impurities. If you have a little bit of extra time, massage the cleanser into the skin and then leave it on for a few minutes like a mask to enhance the detoxification benefits. (Always the multi-tasker, I leave this on while I brush my teeth for extra detoxification)

My Experience with Double Cleansing

After a long flight home from San Francisco, I decided to give the double cleanse a try. It was exactly what my skin needed. My skin had been tight, dry and (gross) a little bit rough. On top of that, I had a weird break out in the middle of my cheek (and I never break out). I followed the above routine and my skin felt completely amazing afterward. Immediately smoother, refreshed, and with time… more hydrated.

To continue the cleanser’s detoxification benefits, I applied Sisley’s Botanical D-Tox afterward (you can read my full review of that product right here) I’ve been doing this every night after work for the past two weeks and have noticed a huge difference in the way my skin looks and feels.

Leave a Comment


  1. Jessica Rose says 10.1.14

    I do keep reading about this as well….so thanks for this…I tend to cleanse twice with the same cleanser!!

  2. My skin is in desperate need of something…anything! So, I’ll definitely give the double cleanse process a try. Despite my laziness, I think I can handle it, and I hope it works as well on my skin as it has on yours.

  3. dupuisn says 10.1.14

    I never really tried a cleaner before! These look awesome

  4. whitney campeau says 10.1.14

    I’ve been hearing about this lately too. I realized that it made sense when I would use a makeup wipe after I’d washed (once) and see that I still had some makeup on!

  5. This is just adding more products to buy. I usually use a cleanser and toner and have had good results but maybe double washing isn’t such a bad idea. I will definitely keep it in mind.

  6. A Million Pinks says 10.2.14

    totally sold on this! Especially because my skin is doing all sorts of weird stuff atm!