Somewhere along the line, I became that guy who will text you “just left my apartment!” when I’m just stepping into the shower. It’s not that I’m perpetually late, it’s just that I always juggling like three things at once and never know when to set them down and actually, I don’t know, have a life. Sometimes, it’s all I can do to get myself in and out of the shower and out the door on time.
That’s why, whenever a new beauty product or trend necessitates an extra step in the mornings, I avoid it at all costs. I know that, more than anything, it probably speaks to how deluded I am in thinking that I can’t spare one extra minute in the mornings but, chances are, I’m not alone in this.
Still, every few months, I see someone singing the praises of the double-cleansing method. Even the name even puts me off — double-cleansing. Okay, my face isn’t that dirty, I think one round of cleansing will suffice, thank you very much.
When bareMinerals sent me their new Skinsorials collection, which I can’t stop talking about, they included the OIL OBSESSED Total Cleansing Oil, and I figured I might as well try it out. If it ended up doing good things for my skin, it would be worth the precious extra one minute per day.
Oh, that’s another thing: my skin. If I haven’t already seared it into your memory (and if I have not, I've failed) I have pretty decent skin. Not perfect, but, you know, pretty perfect. Lately, however, my skin has been fighting me. I take pretty good care of it, but I think it’s some weird combination of this winter weather that can’t really make up its mind, makeup, stress, you know, everything that makes your skin act a fool. I figured maybe double-cleansing might calm my skin and help balance things out.
Why? Because, as you may have guessed, double-cleansing is done in two parts. First, with an oil cleanser, to break down makeup and oil, and then with a foaming cleanser of your choice.
Double-cleansing works because the normal water-based cleansers tend to not be as effective at eradicating oil that has clogged, oxidized, and hardened up in your pores. It's not that they don't dissolve oil, it's just that oil dissolves oil much better because, as you will all know if you took chemistry (which I did not) like dissolves like. SO, it would make sense that an oil cleanser would be a great first step in ridding your skin of the oil-based grime hiding deep in your pores that your normal cleanser has missed thus far, before going back in with a foaming cleanser to deep clean.
I have to keep my oil cleanser in my shower with my regular cleanser or else I’ll forget to do it. If you want to try out double-cleansing, keep in mind that oil cleansers are best used on dry skin, meaning both your face and your hands. It’s not the end of the world if your skin is damp, but, it’s best not to emulsify the oil too soon.
I usually squirt a quarter-sized amount into my hand, distribute it into both palms, and massage it onto my face in circular motions from the center out for about a minute. The massage part of all of this is important because it not only helps to gently loosen all that shit that’s packed into your pores, but it also stimulates blood flow in your skin, which is an easy way to make skin look brighter, more awake, and healthier from the jump.
I’ll usually quickly remove most of my makeup before I start double-cleansing, and let the oil cleanser remove the last remnants of everything that I missed. If I was wearing mascara, I won’t even touch that, I’ll just break it down with the oil and hit it again with Glossier’s Milky Jelly to completely remove it without irritating my eyes.
After I’ve massaged the oil in for a minute or two, I’ll work at rinsing off the oil until I feel it’s completely gone. I was chatting with Claire Lower about this, because she actually does know a thing or two about chemistry, and she recommends physically removing the oil, i.e. wiping it off with a wash cloth over just rinsing it, because oil and water don't love each other. Oil cleansers rise off better than, say, straight olive oil, but she has a point, and I do whatever she tells me.
Then, I’ll use whatever cleanser I’m feeling that day paired with my Clarisonic to finish up. I’ve been gravitating toward cleansers with charcoal to really suck all the nastiness out of my skin, or, like I said, Milky Jelly if had been wearing a lot of makeup. This step is really up to you.
After two weeks of double-cleansing, what have I noticed?
It felt weird to me at first, massaging an oil all over my face to cleanse. I wear face oils all the time, but I use a lot less of them without the intention of immediately rinsing them off. So there’s that.
My face didn’t necessarily feel cleaner after double-cleansing, it wasn’t an immediate life changing thing, but after a while, I did notice my skin looked more balanced. I’m constantly going at my skin with different cleansers and masks to keep everything unclogged and fresh and for the most part, it all works great. I had been noticing some clogged pores lately and some blemishes that had been surfacing and becoming unsightly problems, but when I added an oil to the mix first, everything seemed to calm down and clear up. Plus, cleansing oils, especially the one I used, are great to hydrate and nourish the skin, which left it feeling more moisturized and bouncier after continued use.
I was working at the bar on Friday night, and two people told me how good my skin looked, one of them even said it was glowing. Anything that gets people to tell me that my skin is glowing, even in bar light, is something that I'm going to stick with.
Double-cleansing may not become a part of my every-damn-day routine, but I'm definitely going to incorporate it more often because my skin looks healthier and better all around. It's such a simple step that even I can do it even in my busiest mornings.
Tynan's face is clean on Twitter @TynanBuck