Daily exposure to shockingly poor skincare advice via social media is a hyper-connected, occupational hazard for me. The most troubling is bad facial cleansing advice, from cider vinegar and baking soda to toothpaste. No exaggeration, better and healthier skin begins with clean skin.
Facial cleansing is a balancing act. The efficient elimination of dead skin cells, grime, sweat, sebum, bacteria, pollution, makeup, and sunscreen without irritation or skin microbiome disruption. In short, gentle but effective cleansing.
Layering performance skincare over dirty skin is like trying paint a masterpiece on an ill-prepared canvas – it’s completely unproductive. On the opposite end of the spectrum, over-stripping or aggressive scrubbing can introduce a host of new skin woes – enlarged pores, inflammation, or premature aging.
Popularized by the Korean Skincare trend, the double cleanse method is a highly effective two-step process employing an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser. This cleansing technique outperforms any single cleanser by gently removing both hydrophobic and hydrophilic impurities.
It offers an unparalleled foundation for your skincare to perform at its absolute best.
Oil-based cleansers do a better job removing excess, than water-based cleansers. As with all skin types and all skincare, the secret is finding a the product best suited for your skin - ingredient benefits, comedogenic ratings, and sensitizing scale.
Employing the double cleanse method in the evening helps to minimize the damaging effects of pollution. Those living in more heavily polluted regions or with acne-prone skin benefit from a cleansing oil twice daily. Ironically, I find that the most staunchly oil-phobic folks stand to gain the most from a cleansing oil.
With most doubling as a makeup remover, a cleansing oil formulated for sensitive eyes can actually help to streamline your beauty routine.
Cleansing Wipes, Micellar Waters and Toners?
While unnecessary with an effective cleansing system, most are fine as additional step to a cleansing routine – not a replacement. As Archana Sangha, board-certified PA at Anne Arundel Dermatology, explains to HuffPost, “There’s that residue that’s left on the skin still.” Makeup wipes remove some of the dirt and grime, but not all of it, increasing the risk of clogged pores and breakouts. “If you have the choice between using the wipe or going to the sink, go to the sink,” Sangha said. “It’s way better.”
Like cleansing wipes, micellar waters are handy for travel, but not an ideal cleansing replacement. Molecular-sized cleansing oil suspended in soft water, micellar water created to combat subpar water quality by avoiding it altogether. Better than no cleansing, but not perfect.
Cleanse First, Skincare Second, and Sunscreen Always
Skincare minimalists and obsessed alike, rely on competent cleansing. The double cleanse is efficient, economical and suited to nearly all skin types.
Your best skin always starts with clean skin.