The Double Cleanse


What is double cleansing?


Double cleansing is the two-step method popular in Korea to achieve clear skin.  The first step involves using an oil-based cleanser to draw out oil-based impurities such as makeup, sunscreen and sebum. The second step is to use a water-based cleanser to wash away such as sweat and dirt.


Double cleansing will prep your skin for your toner, essences, serums and moisturisers and is therefore the foundation for clear and healthy skin.  Your skin will be the best base possible for makeup and be beautifully clean in the evenings.  If you’re not already doing it, join the party!  It will become second nature in no time and your skin will thank you for it.



First Step: Oil Cleanse

Cleansing oils and cleansing balms are both oil-based cleansers.  It is purely down to personal preference as to which to use. 


A common misconception is that people with oily skin should not be adding oil-based products to their skin.  However, oil cleansers gently remove excess oil and sebum, helping prevent excess sebum production.  This is because when your skin is dry, it will produce sebum – which causes oily skin! When you have balanced and hydrated skin, it will not over-produce the sebum which causes oily skin. 


Those with oily skin can definitely (and should!) use oil-based cleansers as their first step; you should notice your skin become less oily over time!


Cleansing balms have become super popular over the last few years.  One of the Cult Korean cleansing balms is the Banila Co Clean It Zero which we absolutely love here at Seoul Glow HQ.



Second Step: Water Cleanse

Foams, bars and gels are examples of water-based cleaners.  Again, it is purely down to personal choice (and what’s best for your skin type) as to which to use.


Your water-based cleanser will wash away the dirt and pollutants, and will completely remove the make-up and sebum that you will have “lifted” from the oil cleanse step.


Look for a cleanser which has a low pH level if you’re worried about drying out your skin, such as the Neogen Green Tea Foam Cleanser or the Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser.




How to double cleanse

Double cleansing is not as time consuming as you might think, and you will quickly wonder why this hasn't always been part of your routine!

  • Pump some cleansing oil or scoop some cleansing balm onto your palm and gently massage into your wet or dry skin, including around the eyes.  You can use a separate eye make up remover prior to this step but you do not need to if your oil cleanser is fragrance free.
  • Gently remove with soft, wet washcloth or simply rinse off your face with lukewarm water.
  • Massage your water-based cleanser onto your damp skin and then rinse your face with lukewarm water.
  • Gently pat your skin dry with a clean face towel.  Now you’re ready for the rest of your skincare routine!


Remember, you should still double cleanse in the mornings as your skin still produces oil and sweat whilst you are sleeping. Plus, it helps prep your skin for the rest of your skincare routine!


We are always here to help if you need any further information or advice about double cleansing.  Get in touch at, or contact us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.