Dr Yalda

Skin Health

Double Cleansing - Explained

If you have ever been in to see me about your skin you probably would have heard my lecture on double cleansing, so here is a little something to remind you on how to cleanse your skin effectively.

3 min read

Dr Yalda

Dr Yalda

April 28, 2020

Caucasian woman with clear skin splashes face with water

Why double cleanse?

Cleansing is an essential step in any skin regime. During the day, our skin comes into contact with not only makeup and sunscreen, but bacteria and pollution. If we don't clean our skin correctly, this can contribute to worsening of skin pathology, clogged up pores, ageing and pigmentation.

Step 1: This step will start to break down any makeup, sunscreen and excess oil that may be present on your skin.

Step 2: This step continues to clean away remaining impurities such makeup traces, dirt and sweat.

How to double cleanse

Step 1: You will need a cleansing oil or micellar water to break the products and oils on your face. Use a few cotton pads to ensure you have completed this step effectively.

[Psst!] You don't need fancy micellar water, the Garnier one from your local Boots will suffice.

Step 2: Using your chosen cleanser and luke-warm water create a lather and thoroughly clean your skin, washing away the remaining traces of dirt.


  • Avoid using makeup wipes as they don't cleanse your skin, they smear the dirt across your face, increasing your risk of breakouts.
  • Avoid using a cleansing device as they can irritate your skin, and keeping them clean can be a job of its own.
  • Avoid using soaps and stick to facial cleansers. This is because soaps are alkaline and too harsh for our skin's pH. They can remove all our natural essential skin oils giving the appearance to a dry, flaky and inflamed skin. If you continuously use soaps, you may suffer from clogged pores and breakouts as your skin may start compensating by overproducing oils.
  • Make sure your hands are clean before cleansing your face.
  • Pat your face dry with a clean, soft cloth, and change this cloth daily.
  • Consider using a chemical or a mechanical exfoliator to help clear the dead, dull skin cells. However, make sure you don’t exfoliate before you have thoroughly cleaned your skin.

When should we double cleanse?

You should double cleanse morning and night. Some may incorrectly skip this in the morning, however, while we sleep, our skin produces sebum (skin oil) and therefore essential to carry out the double cleanse routine in the morning too.

Am I at risk of over-washing my skin/drying out my skin?

This is a common question asked, and the simple answer to this is, no.

Double cleansing does not over-wash your face but merely ensures you have thoroughly cleansed your skin. The best way to avoid drying your skin is to choose your cleanser appropriately, and if you already suffer from dry skin, to use medical-grade skincare to improve your skin barrier function.

My recommendations for a facial cleanser for your double cleanse routine:

  • For oily skin - ZO Exfoliating Cleanser
  • For dry skin- ZO Hydrating Cleanser
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