Here at MDC, we would love to think that we have all the answers for you. However, there are certain issues that require the insight of a pro. Today we asked skincare guru Stacy Cox to help us get to the bottom of a much talked about subject: double-cleansing. Take it away, Stacy!
Oftentimes, at the top of a facial treatment, a client will turn to me and say,"Yowza! It feels like there's a lot of cleansing going on right now! Stacy, what are your opinions on double- cleansing? Is it necessary? Are there added benefits that come with the extra time, products and effort? How does it work? And what's best for my skin?" Have you ever stopped a moment to ponder this too? If so, allow me to break down the reasons for the double-cleanse.
Why You Should Do It
Although double-cleansing has recently been popping up as a hot skincare trend, this technique is nothing new. Some sources claim the method originated in European spas, while others maintain double-cleansing has been a staple of Japanese skincare rituals for a very long time. No matter where it comes from, this technique can make a world of difference if correctly used and customized to your skin’s needs and current condition.
One of the main reasons behind double-cleansing is that many makeup and skincare products require a heavier lift that can’t be done with just one type of cleanser. For instance, products like waterproof mascara, mineral makeup and sunscreen often leave remnants after a single wash. These remains can clog up your pores and result in acne or irritated skin. Double-cleansing is like an insurance plan to make sure your skin is covered, or rather, uncovered.
How You Should Do it
Here’s the breakdown of the double-cleansing process and what each step means for your skin. The first pass in a double-cleanse is all about removing the surface dirt. To this end, I'm referring to airborne particles, makeup, dried sweat, bacteria and residue from sunscreen and moisturizers. My recommendation for a first cleanse is opting for an oil-based formula. The reason for this is it's perfect to breakdown waterproof sunscreens, creamy foundations, mascara and lipstick. Simply massage the oil into your dry skin with your dry fingertips to dissolve the makeup gently. Remove the oil with a damp cloth. Muslin cloths are terrific tools for removing an oil cleanser and you can often find them at health food stores.
If you’re a mineral makeup enthusiast like me, I find that many cleansing oils and creams do not effectively tackle the task of removing mineral-based products well. You are far better off with a plain bar of natural soap comprised of non-pore-clogging ingredients such as coconut, jojoba or hemp oil (try The Body Shop Coconut Soap).
Once you have melted the dirt and makeup using oil or a natural-based soap, rinse your face and apply the second cleanser. If you were using oil in the first phase, you should now switch to a gentle foaming cleanser to remove the oil residue. If you were using soap initially, choose a milky, non-foaming cleanser to remove the soap residue and soften your skin. The second cleanser may contain additional benefits, such as oil-absorbing clay, herbal astringents or exfoliating particles that cleanse your pores and deliver a targeted treatment of choice deep down where it’s needed. Use cool tap, filtered or mineral water to rinse the skin. Pat the skin dry with a towel and you’re done!
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About the Author: Stacy Cox is a Los Angeles-based esthetician and owner of day spa Pampered People in Studio City, California.