Is Double Cleansing Bad For Your Skin?

As water splashes on your skin, awakening your first thing in the morning and then wiping away the day at night, you have a moment of ‘ahh!’ Washing your face is the kindest — and easiest — thing you can do for your skin. And if you ask us, one of the best forms of self-care. But with so much information out there, choosing the right routines and products can be extremely overwhelming. 

And not to mention: there’s endless advice to be found on the internet if you search for it. Like using weird stuff to cure zits. Or going through a 15-step skincare routine. Or scrubbing your face all the time. But is double cleansing bad for your skin? And what’s the right amount of steps for success? 

Let’s face it; your skin experiences a lot of dirt and grime throughout the day. From surviving through sweaty summer months, crushing an intense workout, or even sitting with the hundreds of riders on the subway, there is constant exposure to your daily activities. In fact, research has even shown that we can touch our faces an average of 16 times per hour. This transfers germs without us even realizing it. But does that mean we should wash it all the time? 

One thing that most can agree on: your skin loves a nice wash, and you must wash your face twice a day with a cleanser that works for you. Recently, the term “double cleansing” has exploded on the beauty and skincare scene. Skincare fanatics swear by it. So much so, it has been the hottest tip from YouTube stars. Before you add this to your daily ritual, however, learn more about what it means for you and your pores:

What is double cleansing?

Double cleansing is exactly how it sounds: the process of cleansing your face twice. This means after you lather up, rinse and dry your face, you start over and do it again. The concept hails from the coveted Korean 10-step skin regime that has become mainstream in the last few years. You may not use the same product for your double cleansing tango, but you do give your pores a once-over twice. 

First, it is recommended to cleanse with an oil-based product. Then, you follow up with a water or foam-based cleanser. While there may be benefits (more on that later), it could be a clever marketing tactic too. The double-cleansing routine has captivated social media aficionados, encouraging viewers to stock up on more products than needed for a flawless face. 

Is double cleansing right for you?

For heavy makeup wearers, double cleansing could be helpful but it isn’t for everyone. It can also depend on your skin type, as it may not be the best choice for very sensitive skin types. As with any skincare concern, it’s essential to chat with your trusted dermatologist before adding or changing your routine. 

After all, with so many companies investing in sustainable and quality beauty products, today’s top cleansers should easily be able to break through most dirt, makeup, sunscreen and other pollutants occupying the surface. Washing your face for 60 seconds should wipe the grime off right away. 

Is double cleansing bad for your skin?

And, is double cleansing the best thing for your regime? It may not be. It turns out that most people probably don’t need half of the things they’re using. According to dermatologist Dr. Heather Rogers, 95 percent of people are using way too many products. In fact, this leads to irritation and even affects aging. 

These major downsides include: 

  • Complication: There has been a significant shift toward a lifestyle that is full of simplicity and minimalism, and it is changing the way we view skincare. With busy schedules and long days, double cleansing can be time-consuming for short on time. With a one-step cleanser, it is easy to wash your face in under a minute, which is great, since sometimes, that’s all you have!
  • Expense: On top of doubling the time to wash your face, double cleansing also requires — you guessed it — double the money you spend on products! With so many influencers suggesting products, it is easy to try many products for your face. But this comes at a pretty penny. A one-step cleanser is much more cost-efficient. 
  • Irritation: Having too many steps in your moments of facial self-care can irritate your skin. In fact, many dermatologists often warn that over-washing and scrubbing can flare up the condition for blemishes and acne. Again, simplicity is critical, and most times, it is the exact thing that our skin needs to flourish the most. 

Is double cleansing really necessary?

The bottom line is that double cleansing is not necessary with a cleanser that gets the job done to make your face clean. In fact, according to Syril Keena Que, MD, MPH, clinical dermatology assistant professor at Indiana University, many non-oil cleansers are already formulated in a way that removes makeup and dirt in one good swoop without being dehydrating. 

What you should commit to more than anything is consistency and mindful habits. Consider adding these into your daily rituals:

  • Conduct the same skincare routine day and night, with slight changes. Your skin will appreciate knowing what to expect and repeating the benefits of the right ingredients.
  • Try not to touch your face throughout the day. Sure, easier said than done, but it can significantly cut down on adding oil to your pores.
  • Frequently wash your pillows, which carry a lot of dirt over time. Also, consider using silk pillowcases for sensitive skin. 
  • Try not to get food on your face when you eat. And if you do, wipe it quickly — and wash the area if the grub was particularly oily or greasy.
  • Pay attention when you do wash to ensure every last bit of makeup is gone from your face. Washing doesn’t do much if you aren’t thorough enough. 

The Covey simplified routine

Instead of double-cleaning, be more purposeful when you shop. When thinking about what products you want to add to your regime, it is essential to choose a cleanser that can fit your needs to remove your makeup and cleanse your skin. Try unique products like Covey’s First of All cleanser, a one-step facial product that doesn't require double cleansing and features ingredients to remove waterproof makeup without stripping your skin. Sounds like heaven, right? 


You deserve a routine that is quick, effective and gentle to your face. Find a one-step cleanser that makes you glow and stick with it. You won’t regret it!

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