Everything You Need To Know About Double Cleansing

double cleansing gc skin

Life is busy, messy, and non-stop, and none of that is good for your skin. When you are on your phone 24/7, or catch public transport, or pass someone smoking on the street, you’re getting a face-full of pollutants that can irritate your skin, generate free radicals, clog your pores, and cause you to age a lot faster. On top of that, your face is producing oils throughout the day to stay hydrated and moisturised. It’s not a welcomed thought, but there is a decent layer of bacteria, oil and dirt on your face by the end of the day.

If you’ve ever come home and looked in the mirror to find your makeup greasy, patchy and separated, it’s not always your makeup’s fault. Sometimes it’s just the hustle and bustle of the day that breaks your makeup down extra fast.

Having all that dirt and oil sitting on your face is not good for your skin, and in general, it doesn’t feel too good either. That’s why a cleansing routine is important. Although there’s no guideline on how many times you should wash your face daily, many dermatologists agree that over-washing is bad. Excess cleansing can dry out your skin and make it irritated, and in the long-term, lead to premature aging. Cleansing in the morning and night is suitable for oily skin types, and cleansing only at night might be preferable for dry skin.

If you’re one to wear makeup then you’ll know sometimes a cleanser just doesn’t cut it. Ever taken your makeup off to find more keeps wiping off later? We’ve all been there. If you’re looking for a good way to ensure your skin is properly clean, then double cleansing is for you.

I know, we just told you not to over-cleanse and now we’re telling you to double cleanse. It might not make sense right now but bear with us.

Double cleansing is the use of two cleansers, one oil-based and one water-based (in that exact order), to clean impurities from your face. The oil cleanser is usually a light ‘watery’ oil (no, I’m afraid coconut oil won’t do, or your vegetable oil from the pantry) that cleanses your face by breaking down oil (yep, oil dissolves oil) and draws out oil-based debris. Water-based cleansers remove excess oil and water-based impurities. In combination, they work to balance the oil on your face, so you don’t strip too much off while cleaning away dirt and makeup.

Double cleansing does meaning adding an extra step to your routine; however, unless your face is subjected to heavy pollutants at all times, you don’t have to double cleanse twice a day, or even every day. Consider double cleansing a deep clean for your face when you’ve been wearing makeup, or sweating heavily, or get extra grime on your face.

If you’ve got an extensive skincare routine following your cleansing, then double cleansing primes your skin perfectly to absorb all of those powerful (and I’m sure, expensive) ingredients.

double cleansing

So, where did it all begin?

The double cleansing routine originated in Asia in the 14th century. In Japan and Korea, where traditional makeup consisted of a white paint-like mixture, oil was necessary to remove the substance from the face. After removing the base, a foaming wash was used to remove the oil and ensure the face was clean.

Since then, the process has stayed within Asian countries and has spilled over into Western countries. Although, the process isn’t too dissimilar to using a face wipe before cleansing, or micellar water, a cleansing oil can work a lot harder to breakdown layers of dirt and oil. Plus, if you use extra tools while cleaning, this can help your cleanser penetrate a lot deeper. For example, brushes like the Clarisonic Mia 2 are great for reaching deep to remove impurities and helping the surface texture, without drying out and irritating your skin.

Now that we’ve established what’s involved in the routine, let’s get to the essential part of the process: the products. Thankfully, adding this extra step to your skincare routine doesn’t mean shelling out your weekly pay (unless you want?). There are many affordable to mid range products on the market. So, let’s make like an oil cleaner and break it down!

The Best Oil-based Cleansers

Budget: Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil

simple cleansing oil

As their name would suggest, Simple is known for their uncomplicated formulations of product. Their products typically contain few ingredients that are pure and gentle on the skin. They typically leave out harsh ingredients, such as alcohol, which dry and irritate the skin. As an added bonus, their products are also filled with skin loving vitamins and minerals. As vitamins are the basis of any good skin care routine, it’s a good idea to try and incorporate these into your routine when you can. 

Simple’s Hydrating Cleansing Oil contains vitamins A and E which are powerful antioxidants. These vitamins protect the skin from UV damage and free radicals that damage cells and age skin. Vitamin A also works to clear up blemishes and acne, promote cell renewal, soften wrinkles, and keep the skin glowing. To add that hydrating element, grapeseed oil is used to balance and moisturise the skin. So many skin benefits and for only A$6.99! You can grab some from Priceline - thank us later.


High End: Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil

aesop cleansing oil

Aesop is another brand that is committed to producing products free of harsh chemicals and irritants. Their core philosophy revolves around utilising natural and lab-formulated ingredients, promoting sustainability, and applying ethical practices to the cosmetic industry, hence the heftier price tag. At least with Aesop, you know your purchase is funding responsible environmental and social practices, and that you’re going to get a   product with potent skin-loving ingredients that really work, and of course, that beautiful packaging. It’s really worth the investment.

Aesop’s Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil contains parsley seed (of course), macadamia seed, tocopherol and beta-carotene. Parsley seed oil is known to have antiseptic qualities, as well as therapeutic properties that boost the body’s and skin’s healing. Macadamia seed is a powerful antioxidant that boosts anti-aging efforts and hydrates the skin. Tocopherol is a form of vitamin E, adding extra antioxidants to the formula. Finally, beta-carotene is vitamin A in its natural form. As we know, this has many exciting benefits in skincare. With all those high doses of antioxidants and moisture, this cleanser is sure to keep your skin youthful, clean and balanced. Aesop can be purchased from Aesop retailers around Australia and Myer. This cleanser is currently available for A$63. 

The Best of: Water-based Cleansers

Budget: Essano Rosehip Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser

essano cleanser

While we’re on the topic of socially and environmentally responsible brands, Essano is one of the largest organically certified brands from New Zealand, and they’re available at your local Priceline (so you know their products won’t break the bank). Essano prides themselves on using organic ingredients that are plant-based and proven to work. They also are 100% against animal testing - very much with the times in 2019. To ensure responsible practices are implemented, they also oversee their entire manufacturing process “from plant to product”.

Essano’s rosehip cleanser, which you can purchase for yourself for A$14.99 at Priceline, contains rosehip oil and aloe vera to hydrate the skin. Rosehip oil took off when we all heard Miranda Kerr was smothering her face in it, and it’s stuck around thanks to its moisturising, brightening, collagen-boosting, inflammation-reducing, and repairing qualities. Rosehip oil is a solid all-rounder in skincare. Then there’s aloe vera; aloe vera contains vitamin A and C, plus anti-inflammatory properties. In unison, these ingredients soothe, moisturise and protect the skin.


High End: Environ Skin EssentiA Mild Cleansing Lotion

environ cleanser 2

Having been founded by an actual plastic and cosmetic surgeon, you can be assured that Environ knows skin. Environ’s core philosophy is based on modern science and a deep passion for healthy skin and beauty. Their core focus is for their customers to experience “beautiful skin for a lifetime” - how nice would that be?

Environ’s Skin EssentiA range is perfect for everyday incorporation into your skincare routine. The mild cleansing lotion (retailing for A$72.99) is gentle on the skin but effective in removing excess oil and impurities which may still be leftover on the skin. Some of the benefits of this product include maintaining the skin’s natural pH balance and boosting radiance. This cleanser contains Jojoba Oil to repair and calm the skin, Olive Oil derivatives to moisturise, Panthenol to hydrate and protect the skin’s barrier, and Hydrolysed oats to also deeply hydrate and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. GC Skin is currently a retailer of Environ products - have a browse with your next treatment for some effective and trusted skincare products.

Skincare Tips

To ensure you are doing the most for your skin to keep it in prime condition and to make it look as youthful as possible for as long as possible, then follow these simple and realistic steps, realistic being the keyword. We know not everyone has hours in the morning to layer their face with products and wait for them to settle in. Sometimes you just want to slap things on and walk out the door - we understand. So, here are your basics for maintaining healthy, glowing skin.

  • Wear broad-spectrum SPF during the day to protect against free radicals and sun damage - antioxidants in your skincare can only do so much.

  • Don’t neglect your ears, neck and decolletage - smother these with moisturiser and SPF too.

  • Wash your face for at least a minute with your water-based cleanser to let the ingredients absorb and do their thing - when you wash for 10 seconds you never fully utilise the power of all those good ingredients!

  • Replace towels and pillowcase regularly - we know, it’s a chore. We’re not giving you a timeframe. Just do it when you can, please?

  • Drink water regularly to help your products work their best - obviously a no-brainer. 

  • Opt for face washes that are gentle - these are harsh enough as it is.


Need something a little stronger than a double cleanse? CG Skin specialises in all kinds of cosmetic treatments, from facials to filler. We want to get you looking your best and most youthful! Book an appointment to speak to one of our consultants.