Cleansing is always a hot topic within beauty; the discussion evolves beyond not only about what should you be using and how you should be using it, but how many times you should undertake the process. Every day your skin is exposed to hundreds of thousands of germs and bacteria; each time you touch your face you're cross-contaminating an estimated 100,000 different nasties that you've unwillingly picked up from touching door knobs, holding a hand rail on the tube or even standing near someone that sneezes. If these nasties are left on the skin for an extensive amount of time they can lead to blocked pores and infected follicles - one of the many reasons cleansing your skin morning and night is so beneficial. On top of that we're wearing increasing layers of makeup, SPF and fragrance, all of which sit on the skin and can suffocate it if not removed effectively. Effective cleansing has never been more important (which is why cleansing balms, oils, gels and creams are becoming some of the most sought after products,) but do we really need to double cleanse?

The answer to that question starts with understanding how our skin works. Experts claim the skin 'replenishes' itself between the hours of 6pm and 4am, when our skin cells are free to get to work renewing, hydrating and revitalising - rather than protecting themselves from damaging free radicals. For skin replenishment to happen effectively, the skin should be free from makeup, SPF, dirt, grime and excess oil; anything that's still present on the skin will result in this process slowing down (hence dull, dehydrated looking skin the next morning.) Cleansing balms are an effective way of lifting this from the surface, while a flannel or muslin cloth will help to lift and remove residue while gently exfoliating, leaving skin feeling fresh. However, completing the process only once may not actually remove everything you need it to. 

Think of cleansing your face like washing your clothes... Would you put a shirt covered in red wine on a quick wash? I didn't think so. The first facial cleanse aims to lift make up and SPF from the surface, as well as removing dirt and grime from the top layer of skin; the second cleanse (or 'deep cleanse') aims to penetrate into the skin to deep clean, hydrate and soften to skin - this stage is where you'll benefit the most and notice a visible difference. It's advised that if you wear makeup and/or SPF daily that you should always double cleanse in the evening before bed; however, as makeup and dirt is (theoretically) effectively removed before you sleep, there's actually no need to double cleanse in the morning. A single cleanse in the shower or at the sink is more than sufficient.

What's also important to remember is that having freshly cleansed skin will also ensure your night creams, serums and oils can easily penetrate beyond the surface and get to work whilst you sleep. There's little point in investing in an expensive skincare regime if you don't remove your makeup effectively and give it the best chance of working. Applying creams over a thick layer of foundation, dirt and grime will limit how much can actually penetrate down and start doing some good. In addition, free radicals can cause the breakdown of healthy collagen, which results in fine lines on the skin. Makeup clings onto free radicals in the same way that it clings onto bacteria (causing spots and irritation,) having a negative effect on the skin and speeding up the ageing process; taking off your makeup effectively with a great double cleanse is the first step in the battle against ageing, as well as ensuring you minimise breakouts.

The next time you're faced with the decision of choosing a face wipe or double cleanse with an effective balm, always choose the balm. Your skin will thank you for it, both immediately and in the future. For the sake of a few minutes, it's really worth the effort.

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  1. Finally, a proper explanation why we should double cleanse! Thanks Hayley for such a great article. I never quite understood the double cleansing before but I do now!

  2. I only cleanse once, think I need to up my skincare game a little

    Lauren x | www.laurenapowers.blogspot.com

  3. Learning to double cleanse a couple of years ago (using an oil or balm as my first cleanse, rather than a makeup wipe) has dramatically improved my skin! I would never go back to a single cleanse routine. And the logic behind it makes absolute sense, so I just wonder why I didn't think to start doing it years ago!

  4. I would absolutely double cleanse with a balm as their 'makeup' means that your skin absolutely won't be stripped of its natural protection. It just can't 'go there'. It knows the rules ;) Harsher products like soap based face washes, foaming washes or washes with SLS, would start to 'eat away' at your skin's natural protection. You are spot on here!! :)


  5. I always double cleanse! It doesnt feel like my skin is clean if I dont!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  6. Oo really need to start getting on the cleansing bandwagon :/
    Jabeen x

  7. I have quite oily skin - I would love a recommendation of a good first cleanser to use which is not too rich, please?


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