Do I Need to Double Cleanse?
Double Cleansing is arguably the step that introduced the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine to the rest of the world. After the initial "WOAH TOO MANY STEPS" reaction came the "WHY WOULD YOU CLEANSE TWICE" reaction. I admit, I was one of the first reactions (I still don't quite reach 10 steps at this point- I'm sitting on a solid 7 or 8 myself) but double cleansing always sounded logical. Most of my friends were already doing this, they just didn't give it a name. So let's get into it!
What is double cleansing?
Double cleansing is a two step method, in which you use an oil cleanser followed by a water based cleanser. The oil cleanser comes in a two main variants- a solid/balm or a liquid. The main idea behind the oil cleanse is to breakdown the excess sebum, makeup and SPF on your skin. The water cleanser is usually a gel or a foam, and is used to double check that the oil cleanser got rid of all the nasties, and to clean your skin of dirt, pollutants and bacteria. Chances are you are already using a water-based cleanser in your skincare routine.
Do I need to double cleanse?
Well my friend, double cleansing isn't necessary all of the time and largely depends on your lifestyle. For example, if you had a relaxing day at home and didn't apply SPF or makeup then you can probably forgo your oil cleanser that night. However, oil and water don't work together. If you've ever done the dishes and tried to clean off an oily pan with water, you'll have noticed that oil slips of the water. Oil and water simply don't combine or mix. The same process happens on your skin- sebum, makeup and SPF have oil in them so when you are washing your face, a water based cleanser won't be able to successfully remove the oils. This is where the oil cleanser comes in. If you wear makeup on the daily, then oil cleansing is about to be your best friend.
How do I know which cleanser is best for my skin?
As with all skincare it can a period of trial and error- but that's half the fun! The main thing to look for when finding a cleanser is the ingredient list. As a general rule, if you have sensitive skin make sure to stay away from fragrances which can irritate your skin. As mentioned by Peach & Lily, it is also best to avoid super alkaline cleansers (high school chemistry finally coming in handy) which can strip your skin of its natural oils instead of to work with it. Most online Korean skincare retailers give the pH level of the cleanser on their website so don't stress!
There are hundreds of cleansers in the market, each tailored to a different skin type or concern.
THE First Step: Oil Cleansing:
I have oily skin so I was a little worried about applying an oil cleanser to my skin. I thought that it would only make my skin oiler and thus lead to more breakouts. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. If you have oily skin, then do not be scared to use an oil cleanser- they actually help to breakdown the oil your skin build up during the day. As mentioned above, oil cleansers come in two forms- solid and liquid. The solid oil cleanser is generally a sorbet/balm texture which you dig out with a spatula and apply to your face. It is perfect for travel because it is a lot less messy than its liquid counterpart. When the balm makes contact with your skin (keeping in mind that your body temperature is warm) it melts and is able to be worked into your face. The result is a fun one, your makeup and SPF literally melt off! This can create some pretty interesting artworks on your face, particularly if you had bright eyeshadow on that day. Simply wash off the oil with warm water and pat dry! The liquid oil cleanser is a messier but just as great alternative, in which you pump out the oil and apply to your face straight away. I have found liquid oil cleansers to feel slightly thicker and might be a better option if you frequent a full face of makeup.
Some popular oil cleansers include:
- Banila Co. Clean It Zero Classic 100ml (29NZD,21USD) is a popular oil balm that has reached cult status in Korea in recent years. It does an amazing job of melting off your makeup without stripping your skin of its natural oils. Read my full review here. Available for purchase through NZ stockists Nashi Lab and Hikoco, and international stockists SOKOGLAM and Amazon. If you have sensitive skin, check out the Purity line.
- Heimish All Clean Balm 120ml (25NZD, 19USD) is a recent addition to the oil balm market but has taken the world by storm. It does a very similar job to the Clean It Zero but it is slightly bigger. Heimish uses natural ingredients and is free of parabens which is a pretty big tick from me. Available for purchase through NZ stockist Hikoco, and international stockists Jolse and Amazon.
- Skinfood Brown Rice Oil Cleansing Tissue 40 sheets (14NZD,10USD) for is perfect for all those lazy guys and gals out there. They are super travel friendly, even more perfect for that gym cleanse but can also be used in your daily skincare routine. The tissues are soaked in brown rice extracts (super rich in antioxidants) which remove stubborn makeup and oils. Available for purchase through international stockists SOKOGLAM and Amazon.
- The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil 150ml (14NZD,10USD) is versed in melting off your makeup until there is nothing left. It is a lightweight oil so doesn't feel as though it clogs your pores and affordable for the size! Available for purchase through NZ stockist Hikoco and international stockists Jolse and Amazon.
- Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil 150ml (32NZD,23USD) is on the more expensive side for the mainstream oil cleansers however it is made entirely out of natural ingredients so that your skin is as nourished, moisturised and protected as it can be Available for purchase through international stockists SOKOGLAM, Wishtrend and Amazon.
The Second Step: Water Cleanser:
This step is where the options for cleansers is almost endless. Every skincare company in Korea has it's own cleanser, the fun is finding which one is best! The main forms of water-based cleansers are foaming or non foaming. The foaming cleanser is exactly what it sounds like, a liquid that turns into a foam when pumped out. Foaming cleansers are super economical as a little product goes a very long way (even more so when you apply to a damp face). The non-foaming water cleansers are often times gels, which feel more creamy as they lather on the skin. These feel super luxurious and like a mini facial! Another type which is increasingly in popularity is the stick cleanser. These are non-foaming cleansers that come in solid or waxy form which you apply to your face with water. They are perfect for travelling due to their non-messy factor and are usually super compact. Both forms of water-based cleansers are equal in their ability to remove dirt, pollutants and bacteria that build up on your skin over the day or night so choosing one all comes down to personal preference. Some have found that the foaming is best for oily skin types whilst the dry skin types lean towards non-foaming and gels!
Some popular water cleansers include:
- NEOGEN Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser (28NZD,19USD) won the SOKOGLAM Best of Beauty Award in 2016 and for good reason. It is a foaming cleanser that that uses green tea to help fight acne, brighten and hydrate your skin. The best part about this cleanser is that you can see the main ingredient (green tea leaves) swirling around at the bottom of the bottle so you know your getting nutrients straight from the source. Available for purchase through NZ stockist Hikoco and international stockists SOKOGLAM and Amazon.
- COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser 100ml (13NZD,11USD) is one of my favourite gel cleansers. It is super soft and cleans your skin without stripping it of its natural oils. It feels amazing in the morning and the refreshing scent is the perfect AM pick me up. Available for purchase through NZ stockist Hikoco and Nashi Lab and international stockists SOKOGLAM and Amazon.
- Sum:37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick 40ml (38NZD,28USD) is another very popular cleanser. This is a soap cleanser that twists up and reveals the product. This twist-up tube makes it very convenient and perfect to throw in your travel case. There is over 90% of natural ingredients in there, and is well known to be a very pleasant experience. Available for purchase through NZ stockists Nashi Lab and Hikoco and international stockists SOKOGLAM, and Amazon.
Benton Honest Cleansing Foam 150ml (12NZD,11USD) is a foaming cleanser that delivers a rosy floral scent. It feels super soft on the skin, does a solid job at cleansing and builds up into a really lather-able foam. It has quite a high pH (7-8) so would be best for oily skin types. Available for purchase through NZ stockist Hikoco and international stockists SOKOGLAM and Amazon.
Skinfood Egg White Pore Foam 150ml (12NZD,11USD) is a gentle foaming cleanser that is ideal for sensitive skin. Egg is well known for its pore-refining properties and its ability to cleanse deeply into the skin. It is very good at cleansing and does an expert job at lathering up. Available for purchase through international stockists SOKOGLAM and Amazon.
Moral of the story is that cleansing is a really great time because the possibilities really are endless!
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