and why it's a must!
By now if you are reading this, you are probably well aware of the fact that not only is skincare my career but it is very much an often times excessive passion of mine. Before I catapulted myself into the big leagues I had a pathetic and minimalistic regimen of cleansing.. and well, that's really all there was to it since I had been under the impression (as many are) that moisturizers and acne don't go well together. Eventually it evolved into the crazy 6 step process often followed by an evening of in depth skincare treatments at least once a week but the double cleanse took a while to make it into the final cut. Sure I used it in the treatment room, it was a treatment after all, but nightly? No, that seemed excessive. So I am well aware of what you're thinking- are you kidding? That sounds redundant. Wouldn't you only need one cleanse if you're using a good cleanser!? Well let me address these trains of thought one by one and hopefully break down the art of the double cleanse and get you on board this skincare party train.
Are you kidding?
Nope, good skincare can often times be a royal pain in the butt.
That sounds redundant.
I completely agree but so do 3 meals a day in my opinion. When you clean your face are you ever really sure about how clean it is? Have you ever used toner on a cotton round and noticed some dirt and grime still coming off? Maybe you're breaking out despite having a great skincare regimen and just can't figure it out. Double cleansing is absolutely a necessary tool for good skin which brings me to the next question I often get...
Wouldn't you only need one cleanse if you are using a good cleanser?
The issue with the idea that a good cleanser would do the job in one go is completely born out of convenience, but what about quality? When you have used a cleanser that does completely "cleanse the skin" in one quick wash, how does your skin feel afterwards? Normally the answer to that question is "clean" but lets take a little bit of a deeper look at this. The main qualities of these instant gratification cleansers is their foaming ability, yep, good ol' harsh and bubbly surfactants. The same ones that remove dirt and grime from your kitchen counter and stuck on food from your dishes. They truly work great in those situations! The difference with using them on your face however is that your kitchen and the utensils living in it don't need anything left on them to function properly. The idea is to strip everything from their surface because that is what gets them clean. Apply that same thought process to your skin however and that is what gets us in trouble. Your skin has it's own little microbiome, it is an organ that functions through cell to cell communication and while sure you want to remove dirt, makeup and even environmental pollutants that make their way onto your skin over the course of a day, you want to do so in a way that does not disrupt the delicate skin barrier. You want to regulate oil production not strip it completely. Using harsh one-stop-shop cleansers may make your skin feel clean but that scrubbed clean feeling comes at a price.
So what is a double cleanse?
So in comparison, a double cleanse is done with cleansers that do not dry out the skin or disrupt the barrier. Your first cleanse, or pre cleanse is done with an oil based cleanser. A well formulated oil based cleanser will change your life. Okay, maybe not your life but your skin will be the happiest it has ever been. The tough part is finding the right formula or a good one for that matter. There is always a complicated part which you know I will drag out into the open... here are a few things to consider when making the jump to an oil cleanser:
Many oil cleansers out there do not contain the proper proportions of lipids. Did you know certain oils can be bad for your skin and even break you out? If you've read my previous blog post on coconut oil then you know what I'm talking about. Most oils have a vastly different chemical composition than our skin and using an oil without the correct qualities can do more harm than good as well as be ineffective at sufficiently cleansing the skin.
Surfactants, also known as foaming agents. I mentioned them earlier but there are actually many different kinds of surfactants. The harsh ones that create the fun foaming bubbles of childhood bathtubs (that are a pretty big contributor to skin issues in children as it turns out) and less harsh surfactants that are still able to achieve a level of clean without the irritating and compromising side effects. An effective cleansing oil needs a surfactant to remove the oil once you have massaged the product into your skin so that you are not left feeling greasy.