Is Double Cleansing Really Necessary? (Plus Three Cleansers I’m Loving For Beautiful Skin)

We’re exposed to hundreds of thousands of bacteria every single day which are easily transferred to the face through touching; these bacteria can cling to makeup, skincare and SPF to clog pores and cause irritation if they’re not effectively removed morning and night. In the last few years cleansing balms, oils and creams have become increasingly popular as we seek to improve our overall regime and take that first vital step towards a healthier complexion – and many of us are choosing to switch out the face wipes and micellar waters (hoorah!) in favour of more targeted and effective solutions that involve double cleansing.

My cleansing cupboard is bursting at the seams with so many beautiful textures, because for me this is probably the most important step in my entire beauty regime. Much has been said about the introduction of the ‘double cleansing’ trend (from it being a marketing spin to sell more product, to it actually having a detrimental impact on the skin’s own ability to lubricate) but it’s undoubtedly a common practice in millions of bathrooms across the world. But do you really need to double cleanse?

In my opinion (for the majority of people in the majority of situations) it’s an absolute yes.

It’s worth nothing that double cleansing is only really necessary at the end of the day, and a quick wash is more than sufficient in the morning (to remove any sweat, dirt and night cream residue.) But if you’ve always wondered what the point of double cleansing is, and whether or not it’s for you, then let me enlighten you! 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; this is the superficial dirt that’s seen by the naked eye and you often feel on the surface of skin. The second cleanse aims to penetrate into the skin to deep clean, hydrate and soften to skin – as well as getting rid of any residue left on the surface. It’s that second cleanse that can really make a long-term difference to your overall complexion.

It’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. Rather worryingly, makeup clings onto free radicals and bacteria to cause the breakdown of healthy collagen and irritation, the result of which can be fine lines and pimples; that second cleanse can help to minimise the potential damage your environment can have on your skin and leave you looking fresher for longer.

I’ve so many firm favourites when it comes to cleansers, but more often than not I focus on the balms and oils that I use for the first cleanse – and skip over those lesser celebrated lighter products that help to leave skin feeling super clean and fresh. If you’re in the market for a powerful, reliable and all round fab cleanser to use after your favourite balm or oil, then these are three of my current faves that are perfect for double cleansing…

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (£34.00)
Known as a best seller, cult icon and staple in many a beauty expert’s bathroom, this gel-based cleanser doesn’t look like much but it really does leave skin feeling beautifully clean and soft. It’s bursting with goodness, but still feels very stipped back and simple – so those averse to rich balms or oil will love this. Ingredients including amino acid-rich Soy Proteins help maintain elasticity and healthy skin, Rose Water helps to calm and balance, Borage Seed Oil nourishes and replenishes skin, while Cucumber Extract helps to soothe skin and leave a fresh sensation (as well as a notable scent.) Admittedly I didn’t really understand the fuss around this until I tried it, but as a second cleanse it’s really all I could ask for.

Elizabeth Arden Probiotic Whip To Clay Cleanser (£22.00)
I do love an innovative texture, and this whipped clay cleanser provides just the right amount of unexpected luxury to make it interesting. Formulated with a Probiotic Complex (probiotics are *the* buzz word in beauty right now!) and a blend of Pink and Green Clays, the cleanser lifts away dirt while replenishing vital moisture and nutrients; the result is a deep cleanse that doesn’t dry the skin or leave it compromised. They claim the skin’s natural protective barrier is strengthened, which is hard to prove from a user point of view, but I certainly love the creamy light texture on the skin and the silky soft sensation it leaves behind.

The Organic Pharmacy Rose Cleanser (£55.00)
A lightweight cleansing gel that contains real diamond powder (I can only assume to help slough away dull skin and residue!) this is one of those totally unnecessary luxuries that sometimes we just want to treat ourselves to. It combines a gentle cleans with a ‘daily skin peel’ thanks to bio-fermented enzymes that dissolve dead skin cells to reveal brighter, smoother and even toned skin; additionally Shea Butter and Coconut Oil hydrate, while Rose helps to calm and provide a deliciously delicate scent. The result is a cleanse that feels beautiful morning and night, and skin that really does feel so much smoother. It may be super pricey, but you need only a single pump to do the job – so this is a long-term investment in your skin.

The only instance it may not be a great idea to regularly double cleanse is if your skin is (medically) sensitive, you have a skin condition (such as rosacea) or you suffer from adult acne; cleansing too much or too harshly can remove much needed natural oils and irritate the skin further, leading to more problems than it solves. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or dermatologist if you’re concerned – but most importantly it’s important to listen to your skin.

The majority of us, however, shoudn’t overlook the power of a second cleanse – because it really could make all the difference.

Are you a fan of double cleansing? Do you have any favourite cleansers you use for either a first or second cleanse?




  1. September 10, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    I used to just cleanse my face with a cleanser and that’s it. But I started doing the triple cleanse(eye makeup remover, Boscia oil cleanser and then Soy Fresh Face Cleanser) and noticed a big difference in improvement of my skin. Interesting thing is after triple cleansing and I use a cotton pad with toner and still there is makeup residue.

    • hayleyhalluk
      September 10, 2018 / 6:22 pm

      Yeah sometimes even after my 2nd cleanse a toner picks up little bits – it depends how much you massage and lift away the grime, in my experience. But it does make a huge difference!

  2. September 10, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    I always double cleanse at night! I feel like it’s the only way to truly get every last bit of dirt/makeup off! Then in the morning I do a quick cleanse. My skincare routine is by far the most important routine I have!

    • hayleyhalluk
      September 10, 2018 / 6:23 pm

      I definitely feel it if I’m lazy and don’t double cleanse – my skin never feels as supple and I’m more prone to imperfections. Cleansing is so important!

  3. Erin
    September 10, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    I LOVE the fresh cleanse. It’s so good, and I typically always double cleanse at night. I find an oil works best first then a cream/water. I find now my skin isn’t clean until it’s been done twice 🙂

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  4. September 11, 2018 / 9:11 am

    I have always been a double cleanser. It was something I got taught in beauty collage however I have been using the Dr Sam Bunting Cleaners for the past couple of months and she doesn’t believe in double cleansing…. I still do it to be honest but It was interesting hearing that from a dermatologist!

    Leanne |

    • hayleyhalluk
      September 16, 2018 / 8:31 pm

      I’ve met Sam quite a few times – and she doesn’t recommend it if you suffer with acne or a skin condition, not across the board. And it definitely depends on the quality of your cleanser too. I do need to try her range actually!

  5. Shannon
    September 16, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    I always triple cleanse in the evening personally! I use an oil balm first (botanicals one) for make up removal, cetaphil gentle skin cleanser for the deep cleanse the I follow with lush ultrabland because it stops my skin drying out too quickly after washing and my eczema flaring!!

    • hayleyhalluk
      September 16, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      Sounds like you’ve got your routine nailed!

  6. September 20, 2018 / 10:27 am

    Okay, I definitely need all these three cleansers, I have a habit for double cleansing, and exfoliating afterwards with a scrub that contains exfoliating acids. Thank you for sharing your favorites with me. John ?

  7. Sophie
    September 20, 2018 / 10:47 am

    Oh yes I am definitely a double cleanser (most of the time). Honestly, if I haven’t worn makeup that day I may only cleanse once, sometimes twice. But if I’ve been wearing makeup, even just a little bit, I will remove the majority before getting into the shower and then I will double cleanse in the shower just to make sure I got it all off.

    I haven’t tried any of the cleansers you mentioned in this post so these are new to me and I always enjoy discovering new products!

    -Sophie xx
    Cherries & Perfume 

  8. Marianne
    October 26, 2018 / 10:57 am

    I started recently to double cleanse and it had such an impact on my skin. I used to get clogged pores and little whiteheads all the time and now that I’m double cleansing it is almost completely gone. I only do it at night and in the morning I’ll just do a quick wash.

  9. Meagan
    October 29, 2018 / 11:25 pm

    U don’t double-cleanse per se, but I use a Sephora makeup-removing cloth to remove my makeup and then follow up with my regular cleanser.

    • hayleyhalluk
      October 31, 2018 / 10:57 am

      That’s double cleansing in my book 😉

  10. October 31, 2018 / 10:40 am

    I’m absolutely obsessed with cleansing and double cleansing in particular, as it has changed my skin so dramatically over the years. I really want to try the Fresh soy cleanser as it counds like something my skin would totally enjoy. My current favourite is the Origins Cleansing Jelly, I can’t recommend it enough tbh. x

    Beatrice | Strawberry Makeup bag

    • hayleyhalluk
      October 31, 2018 / 10:57 am

      Oh, I haven’t tried that but it sounds lovely!

  11. December 4, 2018 / 3:11 pm

    These all look gorgeous!

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