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Cleansing is the foundation of any effective skincare routine, especially for those of us who wear a full face of make-up and sunscreen (so that's all of us, right?!) For the city-dwellers among us, it is not just essential for avoiding blemishes but also for removing bacteria and pollutants which can potentially accelerate ageing. Enter double-cleansing, which has become a bit of a buzzword recently, especially with the rise of the Korean 10-step skincare routine.

What is double cleansing?

So what exactly is double cleansing? Put simply, it is cleansing twice; first with an oil-based cleanser or balm, prior to cleansing a second time with a water-based traditional cleanser, such as a cleansing gel or foam. That may sound rather excessive however the idea behind it makes sense; make-up, sunscreen and pore-clogging sebum are most effectively broken down and dissolved by oils, rather than detergents, as 'like' mixes with 'like'. An oil or balm suitable for cleansing must be used to ensure that the oil emulsifies when it is ready to be rinsed off, and it should be massaged into dry skin in order to avoid it emulsifying too quickly to allow it to break down oils effectively. Once the grime has been loosened and broken down, the second cleanse can get to work on properly cleansing your pores of any residual bacteria, dead skin cells and surface debris. We recommend a foaming, gel or clay-based cleanser, gently massaged into the skin, and always rinsing with lukewarm water afterwards to avoid irritation.

Should you be double cleansing?

For the most part, absolutely. Although massaging oil into your skin may sound counter-intuitive if you are naturally oily and blemish-prone, it actually makes for a deeper, more effective cleanse. Not only does that lead to clear and radiant skin, it leaves the skin better prepared for absorbing any serums or skincare actives which follow. The dangers of over-cleansing are very real, however, and can lead to stripped and dehydrated skin, so we only recommend double-cleansing in the evenings. Those with rosacea-prone skin should also approach with caution, and the acne-prone should watch out for oils known to irritate and clog pores. Happy cleansing!