Why You Need to Start Double Cleansing

Winter is almost here and it’s time to wash your face twice

I get it. Sometimes we don’t have the energy or time to wash our faces thoroughly.

Sure, facial wipes have made it even easier—and more excusable—to be lazy, but lately I’ve ditched the short cut and have fallen for an age-old secret revered by the Japanese geishas: double cleansing.

Add another cleanser? Another step? I get it. The thought of buying another product for your overloaded vanity table may seem more like a marketing push made by overzealous Sephora salesgirls, but the concept behind double cleansing makes sense on so many levels. 

Geishas considered this centuries-old beauty secret to be the most effective way to deeply and thoroughly clean their delicately painted white faces and vermillion lips. No matter how many layers of skincare and makeup these women wear, the Japanese have long been admired for their exquisite complexions. But, double cleansing is the trick to maintaining their pristine skin.

I spoke to Julie Elliott, founder of In Fiore (the person who, in some in beauty inner circles, is considered to be the grand dame of botanical oils), to find out about the benefits of double cleansing.

Julie told me that, “The Japanese have been known for their breathtakingly pure skin for centuries and have an actual name for it. They call it ‘mochi hada,’ which refers to the glistening, pure, petal-soft quality of a baby’s skin. Cleansing oils would help the geishas remove those performance-level, metallic-looking foundations. But they also removed the grime that sits on top of your skin, even when women went makeup free.”

The method is as simple as it sounds; you cleanse the face once with an oil-based cleanser to remove stay-put foundations and tenacious sunscreens and a second time with a purifying cleanser to deep clean the skin. Julie adds: “One wash doesn’t do the trick. Most folks don’t know that environmental pollutions and sweat also work their way deep into pores.” The bonus: “…it makes sense that if your skin is thoroughly cleansed, your potent serums and moisturizing creams will penetrate far deeper and work better,” Julie says.

If you’re wary about the fact that over cleansing can dry skin, pair Fiore’s Lustra Illuminating Cleansing Essence with Chantecaille’s Rice and Geranium Foaming Cleanser, a duo that’s truly unique in both texture and form. The former is crafted from 100% nutrient-rich organic oils and has no pore-clogging ingredients, making it a fantastic choice for both oily and dry skins. The latter uses rice bran to gently exfoliate while rose, geranium, and orange blossom essences purify the skin in a frothy foam that doesn’t leave your skin feeling stripped. The combo left my skin blemish-free, and has helped decrease my milia population, which I now suspect was due to product build up.

I get it. Beauty never gets boring.