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Double Cleansing: Why. What. When. How?

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Doubles are great, aren’t they? Double dating (most of the time), doubles tennis (only half the pressure of hitting the ball over the net is down to you), double helpings of dessert (self explanatory). Here at Sönd, we love doubling up on our facial cleansing. But why? What’s the point of cleansing twice? Why cleanse twice? When should we double cleanse, and how?

In celebration of our (amazing)Clean Slate Cream Cleanser finally coming back into stock, today we’re going all out on the cleansing. (Our creamy, hydrating freshening cleanser was such a hit with you lovely lot, you quite literally cleared our shelves of it!)

So here’s the lowdown on double cleansing, how it will benefit your skin and how to do it…

Why should I bother with double cleansing?

Because cleansing my face once, is enough, right? I’m just going to be using double the products, with no actual point? Hmm, well, actually, not always, especially if we’ve been wearing particularly heavy makeup.

And if you’re in the “one quick wipe with a makeup wipe is enough” camp, then one single cleanse most definitely isn’t enough!

Makeup wipes might be practical, especially after a long day or a night out, but really, they’re not great for our skin. Or the environment. They don’t cleanse our skin anywhere near enough and leave much of the dirt and makeup behind.

Most of them are also non biodegradable and will languish in landfill for years since surprisingly, they contain plastic. For this reason, they should never be flushed down the toilet as they can cause gruesome blockages that you definitely won’t want to deal with…

So, down to the why of double cleansing. Here’s a challenge. Tonight, when you’re taking your makeup off or cleansing away the daily dirt and grime that accumulates on our skin, take a moment to think about it.

Use your usual method, be thatcleanser vs face wash vs face wipe. Job done. But then, get a piece of clean cotton wool and some cleanser (or a face wipe) and cleanse your face again before moisturising.

What do you see? We’re willing to bet you’ll probably be quite shocked by the amount of makeup and/or dirt left on your skin.

Our skinaccumulates an awful lot of dirt during the day. This dirt mixes with the oils that are naturally produced by our skin and the grime and environmental pollutants that we face (literally) each day. Add in a layer or two of makeup, and our pores are taking on a lot.

The pores can then become clogged, trapping dirt, makeup, oil and dead skin cells. This can then lead to acne spots and breakouts.

And that’s the ‘why’ behind double cleansing. Itensures that our skin is clean and free from pore clogging debris to help reduce the risk of blemishes and spots.

(Did we mention that so many of you were so keen to get your hands on our creamy cleanser, that we sold out? We did? Oh.But we thought it was worth another mention that it’s back in now. So if you’re a die hard fan, or you’re keen to see what all the fuss is about, why notgive it a try today?!

What exactly is double cleansing then?

So now we appreciate the why of double cleansing (and understand that it’s not just a marketing gimmick set out by skin care brands like us), what’s the ‘what’? What is double cleansing?

As it says on the tin, double cleansing is cleansing the skin twice. But it’s not simply using the same product twice. The concept of double cleansing means cleansing with two different products. We’ll go into more detail on that shortly. 

When should I double cleanse?

Ideally, we should all double cleanse at the end of every day.

That way, we’ll go to bed with skin that’s super clean and clear of dirt, oil, makeup and grime that will sit there (more than likely trapped in my a layer ofnight time moisturiser that’s heavier than ourday time moisturiser) for eight hours, causing skin related havoc.

If we don’t wear makeup, we should still double cleanse to get the best from our skin. Makeup free skin is still bombarded by pollution and toxins from the environment.

Even if we haven’t left the house, our skin is still producing oil and our skin cells are still renewing, causing a build up of old, dead skin cells. These need to be removed to give our skin the best chance of remaining trouble free. 

OK, you’ve convinced me! How do I double cleanse?

Double cleansing, as we mentioned, is best done using two different products. This means two products that work differently. 

Ideally, the first product should be an oil based cleanser. This helps to dissolve oil based impurities in the skin in the way that water based cleansers can’t. Most makeup, dirt and sweat are oil based, meaning that an oily cleanser starts to lift them from the skin.

Natural, plant based oil cleansers are best and should be used on dry skin that you haven’t added water to. Gently rub the oily cleanser into the entire face for a minute or two. If you’re wearing eye makeup, it’s best to remove this first.

If your skin is very oily, a gentle oil based balm, such as an avocado balm is a great choice for this first step.

Our Clean Slate Cream Cleanser is ideal for all skin types, from oily to dry and acne prone to super sensitive. It’s also ideal as an oil based cleanser (we only use kind, plant based oils such as shea oil and cocoa butter that are gentle on the skin) for this first step.

Next, this oily cleanser needs to be ‘emulsified’. This meansadding water to turn it into a milky substance that can then be wiped away using a clean, damp facial cloth.

Then, whilst your skin is still damp, use a water based cleanser to wash away the remaining dirt such as that caused by pollution and environmental toxins. This stage doesn’t need an emulsifying step, and your chosen watery cleanser can then be washed away as normal.

This step can be with a water gel cleanser, a milky cleanser or soap and water, If you do use soap and water, just keep in mind that it can be quite drying, and to only use natural soaps free from harsh ingredients.

Our ever popular creamy cleanser is back in stock now, and makes an ideal first step in your double cleanse regime!


Hannah de Gruchy BSc(Hons)

About Author

Hannah de Gruchy is a freelancer writer who specialises in health and wellness. She has a keen interest in the biology of skin and loves using her words to help separate the real science of skincare from the pseudoscience of some skincare brands. Hannah has a degree in Human Biology and many years’ experience working in laboratories around London. Using this experience, Hannah enjoys turning complex science into interesting, engaging and easy to digest pieces to read. In her spare time, Hannah runs, practices yoga and loves cooking plant based foods.

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