Why a ‘Double Cleanse’ Is the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Skin

For those who think ‘adult acne’ is something you’re stuck with, this could change everything

washing your face.

Waterfalls optional—but, whatever you do, don’t use wonderful, costly cleansers as your first cleanse.

One of the most transformative things I’ve done for my skin in the past two years is introduce a double cleanse. Ever since doing so, I’ve had no breakouts whatsoever.

If you wear makeup or sunscreen, as most of us do, you have to wash those off before you can properly cleanse your skin. No, a wipe that just pushes the filth around your face won’t cut it. And unless you want to use 30 cotton pads a night, with a risk of drying out and pulling your skin out of shape, a micellar water isn’t the way to go.

What does work well for removing makeup and SPF is an oil or balm cleanser. As someone who’s had a lifetime of oily and sometimes problematic skin, the idea of using anything greasy on my face made me recoil. Wouldn’t it make me break out? As it turns out, nope: I haven’t had any more shine since adopting this routine, and my blemishes have reduced by something like 700 percent. Why? Like attracts like, so slap an oil or balm on a dry face and they will easily carry away that top layer of accumulated grime when wiped off with a warm, damp washcloth.

If you’re on a tight budget, you could execute your first cleanse with a pot of semi-solid coconut oil from the supermarket. But not all oils are created equal. RMS Beauty’s Raw Coconut Cream ($18) is a beautifully refined, organic coconut oil that makes quick work of even heavy eye makeup. Another product I keep repurchasing is Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm ($29), which is fragrance-free and satisfyingly effective.

If you find a balm too much work, what with all that taking off the lid and scooping it out of the container, consider a liquid alternative. Simple Skincare Hydrating Cleansing Oil ($9.99) is as good and affordable as they get, with pure grape seed oil. To splurge on something a bit more special, Jurlique Purely Age Defying Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($38) is a very light blend of beneficial plant oils—no nasty petroleum products here—and comes with a handy pump dispenser.

Whatever you do, don’t use wonderful, costly cleansers as your first cleanse. Save those extra-good ingredients for morning, when you’ll only wash once, or to cleanse skin after you’ve removed your cosmetics with an oil or balm. Once you’ve gotten that stuff off your face, then cleansed with something fantastic, your main skincare investments—serums and moisturizers—can really penetrate and do their jobs.

Jackie Danicki created one of the first and most popular beauty blogs in 2004, and has consulted some of the world’s most iconic brands on digital content strategy and innovation. Jackie blogs at http://burnedoutbeauty.com, and you can find her onTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat as @burnedoutbeauty.