The Art of Double Cleansing

Cleansing twice, is twice as nice.

If you are yet to jump on the double cleansing train, I am here today to tell you why double cleansing is the most crucial step in your skincare ritual. 
It has always baffled why people often prioritise purchasing quality serums, facial oils and moisturisers over investing in a high-performance, quality cleanser - both as just as important. Cleansing to me has always been a significant step in my skincare ritual and for as long as I can remember I have never, not ever, gone to sleep without having first cleansed my skin. Being someone who has dealt with acne prone skin for most of my teenage and adult life, it was instilled in me from a very young age that cleansing is crucial… but not only this… choosing the right cleanser and or cleansers is paramount. 

So what is double cleansing?
Double cleansing is just as it sounds… you wash your face, but you do it twice. Simple. 

Why should it be done twice? 
Some of you may be asking yourself, “but why cleanse twice? All that extra effort”... but consider this: each step following your daily cleanse will be rendered redundant if you do not first thoroughly remove dead skin cells, dirt, makeup, excess sebum and SPF from your skin. You need to thoroughly cleanse your skin so that all of the following products in your daily skincare ritual can work their magic. The second cleanse sets the foundation for the rest of your skincare ritual. 

Choosing the right cleanser
You will find plenty of articles on the internet which explain that in order to double cleanse effectively, you need two different cleansers for the job. Although, you can indeed use two separate cleansers in your double cleansing ritual, it is perfectly fine to use the same one twice, as long as the ingredients in the cleanser formula have the ability to perform the cleansing task of each step. 

The first cleanse
The first cleanse is often conducted using an oil based cleanser such as a cleansing oil or a cleansing balm. The oil soluble ingredients attach themselves to excess sebum, any dirt, grime and makeup and lift off once you rinse the skin or use a warm water or by using a warm, wet facial cloth.

The second cleanse 
Now that excess oil, dirt, grime and makeup have all been removed, the second cleanse is where we actually treat the skin. People often reach for cleansers that are water based and astringent in nature for their second cleanse, with the thought that in order for the skin to be thoroughly cleansed, it must feel squeaky clean… this is not necessarily true. When cleansing with heavy duty products you can disrupt the skin natural barrier function, resulting in dehydration, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and excess sebum production. Instead of using harsh sulphate laden cleansers, we recommend using a nourishing cleanser, that is soothing, calming and contains some added active ingredients such as antioxidants, natural salicylic acid or AHA’s. 
The most important thing here is that you thoroughly cleanse the skin without completely stripping it and disrupting barrier function, all whilst feeding the skin with some extra goodness. 

What cleanser do we recommend?
You may have guessed it, but of course we love our award winning Calming Cleansing Balm. This product is so versatile and effective that it can be used as both the first and second cleanse in your cleansing ritual. 

 Award winning cleanser calming cleansing balm by d'still


As my first cleanse, I like to take a garden pea size of the Calming Cleansing Balm (oil based) and massage it into dry skin. I like to continue massaging it in for a good minute or so, taking moments to breathe deep the healing and calming aromatic compounds of this beautiful balm. I also use it to break down and remove any eye makeup, whilst really taking my time to give myself a mini face massage, focussing on areas of congestion and dullness. I remove it with a warm, wet face cloth before following with the Calming Cleansing Balm again as my second cleanse. 

The Calming Cleansing Balm works wonders as a second cleanse as it works to treat the skin whilst effectively cleansing and nourishing the complexion. It contains a plethora of antioxidants which feed the skin with protection, whilst the natural salicin present in white willow bark (a star ingredient of the formula) promotes anti-microbial activity, enhances cellular renewal and boosts collagen production. 

Pro tip: Leave the Calming Cleansing Balm on the skin for 20-30 minutes as a mask for an extra soothed, soft and happy complexion. 

Is it possible to over wash the skin?
Yes absolutely, especially when using hard stripping cleansers. Whilst your skin needs to be cleansed twice a day (morning and night) it is not always necessary. We recommend cleansing your skin twice in the evening and once in the morning. Over washing the skin can lead to sensitivity, excess sebum production, acne, dehydration and irritation. This is why it is very important to find a cleanser that cleanses effectively but is also gentle and nourishing. 

Ultimately, double cleansing can work wonders for your skin and can have a positive impact on many different skin concerns. It is about finding the right balance and cleansing correctly for your skin needs. Have you tried our Calming Cleansing Balm yet?