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Double Cleansing, the Skincare Method Korean Women Swear By

Is this the solution to clear skin?
Double Cleansing, the Skincare Method Korean Women Swear By

It can be tempting to skip, rush or skimp on the most obvious skincare step, cleansing. But, a little cheat here and a little neglect there leaves you with a semi-cleansed face and clogged pores filled with dirt and grime. While it may not be the most glamorous or exciting step in your routine, if it’s clear and glowing skin you want, cleansing will always be the most important! Makeup, pollutants and dust particles penetrate below the surface of the skin and a quick wash can rarely rise to the occasion of a deep, effective clean.

Double cleansing, a K-Beauty cleansing staple, is a two-step technique that ensures your face is squeaky clean but never dry or tight. It starts with an oil-based cleanser, followed by a gel or cream cleanser. Using a cleanser that’s right for your specific skin type ensures that you nourish yourself with the proper ingredients and avoid stripping or irritating your skin. For those who struggle with oily and breakout-prone conditions, the right cleansing method can help heal existing irritation and prevent future flare-ups.

Far from being a silly trend of a flimsy fad, double cleansing has been praised by top dermatologists like New York City based Dendy Engleman. She tells Allure, “I recommend a double cleansing ritual to my patients to first lift dirt and grime and then to wash them away”.

Cleansing Steps

Step 1

Massage an oil cleanser gently into the skin. An oil cleanser will remove impurities such as makeup and sebum. Additionally, massaging increases circulation and boosts lymphatic drainage. Contrary to popular belief, the right oil cleanser will heal and prevent breakouts, not aggravate them. Don’t be afraid to try an oil cleanser if you have oily or acne prone skin! Remember: oil attracts oil, so an oil cleanser is able to lift excess sebum from your skin. 

Unfortunately, picking the nearest kitchen oil just won’t do when it comes to skincare. Coconut oil, olive oil, and any plant-based oils can clog pores. The key to a successful oil cleanse is finding an oil that emulsifies and rinses off, ensuring that impurities are effectively drawn out and removed. This doesn’t mean that your cleanser can’t contain some plant-based oils, it simply means that the formulation will be carefully and specifically designed to cleanse your skin type.

Step 2

Use a water-based cleanser. This is your typical cleanser and will be applied after your oil based wash. A water cleanser ensures that sweat, dirt and any water based impurities are lifted from the skin. 

Product Picks By Skin type

Acne Prone Skin 

Step One:


Vered Organic Botanicals Herbal Balancing Oil Cleanser $64

This oil cleanser balances and nourishes skin while performing a gentle but thorough cleanse. Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal oils and herbs work together to remove makeup and other impurities without stripping the skin. Made with organic botanicals, all-natural non-toxic ingredients. 

Step Two:


Detox Clarifying Facial Wash - Dr. Goldfaden $35

Specially formulated for blemish prone skin, this detoxifying cleanser penetrates deep into the pores to draw out unwanted oil and dirt. Plant cells and fruit extracts dissolve the buildup of dead skin and oil on the skin’s surface. Silicone-free, mineral oil-free, and no parabens or alcohol in this formulation. This cleanser that won't aggravate acne and will encourage healing.

Dry, Mature, Anti-Aging

Step One & Two:


In Fiore Cleansing Duo Treate + Lustra $195

Intended for use with the 4-2-4 cleansing method, this duo includes the Lustra Illuminating Cleansing Essence and the Treate Gentle Cleansing Emulsion. 4-2-4 consists of the following: 4 minutes with the Cleansing Essence, 2 minutes with the Cleansing Emulsion and 4 minutes of alternating warm and cold rinses. Deeply penetrates to detoxify impurities, buildup, and pollutants. Castor oil stimulates collagen production and arnica flower extract soothes and conditions skin.

Sensitive skin

Step one:

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From the Organic Authority Files


Marie Veronique Pure + E.O Free Oil $40 

Omega-6 rich oils go deep within the follicle where much congestion occurs to dissolve and eliminate sunscreen, makeup, and other debris. Your skin’s surface protective oils are left undisturbed and the lipid barrier is protected by antioxidants. Essential oil free and cruelty-free.

Step Two:


Marie Veronique Gentle Gel Cleanser $35

Ideal for those with sensitive skin, this gel cleanser contains non-irritating sugar surfactants to keep moisture levels balanced and gently cleanse. Made with all natural non-toxic ingredients. 

All Skin Types

Step One:


Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser $76

Melt away makeup and environmental grime and goo with this nourishing oil cleanser. Jojoba Esters gently remove buildup while Elderberry, Meadowsweet, and Arnica deliver much-needed vitamins, nutrients and essential fatty acids. 100% natural and non-toxic. 

Step Two:


Go-To Properly Clean $24

This gentle mousse cleanser is perfect for all skin types. Willow Bark extract tones and refreshes without drying, leaving skin nourished and moisturized. Vegan, cruelty-free and GMO-free.

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