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Do I really need to be double cleansing?

WORDS BY MAGGIE ZHOU

The two-step regime you need to know.

The skincare world can be a scary place. There seem to be secret unwritten rules that dictate what’s right and what’s wrong. Making sense of long-winded ingredient lists, confusing marketing phrases and buzzwords can be tricky business.

That’s why I asked Hannah English, a digital creator with a background in research science, to help make sense of all the noise. She’s held my hand through retinol and chemical exfoliants and has now answered my questions about double-cleansing. 

What is double cleansing?

“I think everyone should be wearing sunscreen every day, right? So double cleansing is where you start with an oil-based [or balm] cleanser and then you’d use a water-based, [milky or gel] cleanser as a follow-up,” explains Hannah.

“The idea is that the oil cleanser dissolves the makeup and sunscreen that you’re wearing. Because of the ‘like dissolves like’ principle, oil is better at dissolving the oil on your skin. Also, air pollution tends to be oily molecules as well. Once that’s all off then you actually cleanse the skin with a gentler cleanser. It means you don’t have to go in with one harsh and stripping cleanser, you can just use two gentler steps.”

If you have dry skin, should you be skipping the morning cleanse?

“I used to only cleanse in the morning in summer,” says Hannah. “But in winter I’m drier so I was finding that not cleansing in the morning was fine. I think it’s very individual but I’m pro skipping morning cleanser, especially if you’re feeling lazy.

“If you have oily skin and want to take that oil back, then definitely cleanse in the morning. If you’re sensitive or dry, maybe you can skip the morning cleanse.”

Arm your double cleanse routine with a flannel, making sure you use a new one each day. 

Product recommendations?

“I always recommend Frank Body’s Anti-makeup Cleansing Oil. That one’s really nice because it’s affordable and doesn’t have perfume in it which I love because I’m sensitive. It just destroys makeup,” enthuses Hannah. “For cream cleansers, I really like the Kate Somerville one. For a gel cleanser, I like the Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser.

“I feel like anyone who is finding that they’ve got clogged pores, my go-to [question] is, ‘Okay, so how are you cleansing?’” says Hannah. It might be an extra two minutes added to your daily routine, but it’s worth it to feel properly clean.

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