File this under “things I learned from instagram.” I had no idea what double cleansing was until i saw some of my favorite fellow bloggers talk about it. It’s been a K Beauty secret for years but once I gave it a go, it’s personally helped my skin breathe–no more buildup, more effective routines and clearer skin. We’ve all had skin issues at one time or another, so learn a little more about my journey and why double cleansing is working for me.
Here’s some background on my skin: I’ve always had oily/combination skin. I didn’t have acne as a teenager but had my fair share of breakouts growing up. I went on birth control in college and the summer after I graduated and my skin was PERFECT–it was blissful; but a few years in, my OBGYN wanted to test me for blood clotting disorders as they’d discovered that my sister had one (she’s fine and has three healthy kids). It turns out that I have two blood clotting disorders: two genes of MTHFR (which I’ve recently read that half the population has) and also one gene of Factor V Leiden. It sounds like a lot but luckily I never had complications on birth control like clots or a stroke or issues with my pregnancies–but I do take a daily baby aspirin and extra folate…even when pregnant. ANYWAY, I had to get off birth control immediately at 22 and my skin freaked the F out. It was like nothing my skin had ever known; I knew it was hormonal but I was getting these cyst-like pimples and I’d break out every single day–seriously–every day a major zit erupted (my cycle was also so out of whack–I think I got my period once in the year after I got off birth control). It made me re-evaluate my skincare, my makeup, everything. I knew deep down that a lot of my issues were hormonal and that it was just going to take time for my hormones to readjust. I went to a dermatologist and I didn’t think the answer was super harsh creams. A facialist in the city helped me with a solid skincare routine and told me the worst thing I could do was go to bed with make up on (oops–I did that a lot in college). Eventually, my hormones readjusted, I found makeup and skincare that worked for me and the breakouts subsided–it took a couple years, though. And I’m lucky I didn’t have any scarring because I have a tendency to go after a pimple once it appears.
My skincare has obviously evolved a lot since my early 20s but I’ve made some much better habits over the years. My skin is still on the oily side, but it’s normalized and isn’t quite as slick; although, at my most recent facial the esthetician said, “Wow, you have zero dryness which is really rare for this time of year.” I guess that’s the only plus of having excess sebum on your face–it stays hydrated during a polar vortex. I don’t wear that much makeup day to day (I still stand by my 5-minute makeup routine here) but I noticed that after I washed my face at night, I’d still wake up with makeup remnants on my pillow case. Now, I double-cleanse at night and all remnants are gone; my face can now better absorb all the serum-y goodness I slap on it.
How I double cleanse:
- I balm it up first and foremost onto dry skin with bare, dry hands (it’s important to be dry). Rub it in and maybe even let it soak in for 30 seconds. These balms leave my skin feeling so soft (my current favorite is Beautycounter) and really get rid of the city grime, stubborn makeup–everything. I sometimes use a cleansing oil, too (this is a great one). Once I rub the balm or oil in really well, I use a cleansing cloth and warm water to remove (if I don’t have a cloth handy, I will just remove with water and my hands). Prepare to see tons of gunk on that cloth–and your face will feel amazing.
- I wash my face with a gentle cleanser–my skin has always reacted best to something simple. I use something that won’t strip my face of natural oils and so many cleansers will do here.
- I only double cleanse at night. In the morning, I only wash my face with cool water.
Why double cleanse?
- I gave you the history of my skin above–and I bet double cleansing would have really helped me back in my hormonal acne days. At its worst, i was living in NYC and nI bet the city grime was just sitting on my skin with my makeup.
- My pores seems smaller; I get blackheads like everyone else–especially i the t-zone and they really seem less visible these days.
- My skin seems brighter–probably because it is! Double cleansing is almost like a mini-facial every night and really helps the products I use get deep into my skin.
- It’s not just for my oily sisters–it can be truly tailored for any skin type. Have dry skin? Use an oil and a moisturizing face wash.
- It only adds a minute to your nighttime routine…if that.
What I use:
- Beautycounter Cleansing Balm
- Elemis Cleansing Balm
- Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm
- DHC Cleansing Oil
- Fresh Soy Cleanser
- Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip
- Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser
- Tula Purifying Cleanser
- Cleansing cloths