Double Cleansing

Double-cleansing: the key to your best skin yet

It’s long been the cornerstone of Asian skincare, Caroline Hirons is evangelical about it, and it’s the quickest — and perhaps cheapest — route to well-behaved, glowy skin.

Keep your makeup wipes for quick refreshes, and get reacquainted with the flannels at the back of your airing cupboard: double cleansing will almost certainly do more for your skin than the most expensive moisturer and serum and all it takes is five minutes and  two cleansers at the end of the day. Your skin will thank you for it, and so will your pocket.

For your first cleanse, pick something that is greasy enough to get to work on makeup, sunscreen and the assorted grime of modern life. This step preps your skin for your second cleanse, so there is no need to spend the earth. If your skin tends towards the dry, mature or sensitive, a balm is a good choice: apply a small amount to dry skin, work in well to lift makeup and sunscreen (you may also need a separate makeup remover) and take off with a flannel rinsed out in warm water.

Clinique’s Take the Day Off Balm (£22, stockists nationwide) is a good choice for dry, sensitive and mature skin types as it is fragrance-free and won’t strip the skin, while the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (£21, stockists nationwide) is quick, effective and non-drying.

For a slightly more indulgent cleanse, Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm is a beauty blogger’s favourite with a beautiful citrusy fragrance that leaves skin soft, clean and conditioned (£38, stockists nationwide) while the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£29.50, Space NK) has the scent of Turkish delight and will brighten and soothe upset and sensitive skin.

On the high street, the Body Shop’s Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter will remove every scrap of makeup without over-cleansing and, at £13 is an excellent introduction to what a balm can do as a first cleansing step for drier or more mature skin types.

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil

For oiler, more congested skin, a cleansing oil makes a good first cleanser. Work a small amount into dry skin, then take off with a flannel and warm water.

The Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing oil is as good as the balm for less dry skin types (£22, available nationwide), hoovering up makeup and sunscreen and leaving skin clean and prepped for a second cleanse.

DHC’s Deep Cleansing oil, a Japanese favourite, is renowned for its ability to lift the heaviest makeup (£21.50, DHC UK). Slightly more expensive, Aesop’s Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil (£39, Space NK) smells fresh and leaves combination and oily skin clean and comfortable, while the Nude Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Oil (£28, Space NK) is as gentle as it is effective.

Finally, the Una Brennan Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil available from Boots is a cost-conscious oil cleanser (£10.99) that offers effective, non-drying cleansing for combination and oiler skin types.

Ren Evercalm Cleansing Gel

Nude Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Oil


Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser

Once makeup and sunscreen is removed, your second cleansing step should comprise a product that meets the particular needs of your skin.

This is the step where it is worth spending to treat and prep your skin for what comes next. (For all skin types: don’t dry the face between cleanses, as it disturbs the acid mantle per Caroline Hirons. Instead apply to damp skin, removing with a flannel and warm water).

Drier, sensitive or more mature skins will do well with Tammy Fender’s Cleansing Milk with Lavender and Fo-Ti, a beautifully-scented, rich-textured cleanser that soothes skin, leaving it smooth and comfortable (Cult Beauty, £40), while Tata Harper’s Refreshing Cleanser (Cult Beauty, £62) has a light, creamy texture that refreshes and calms sensitive skin.

Ren’s Evercalm Cleansing Milk (£16, Space NK) is another good option for drier or reactive skin skin types. For combination or oiler skins, Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser (£32, Cult Beauty) has a gentle resurfacing action that helps to bring skin back into balance without stripping, and Ren’s Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Gel (£16, Space NK) will purify congested or blemish-prone skin without over-cleansing.

Finally, irrespective of the cleanser that you choose, be sure to change your flannel at the end of every day: effective cleansing means effective products, and a clean flannel is just as important as the product it removes!


Rhian Williams