The Double-Cleansing Trick that Will Change Your Skin

I’ve been double cleansing since my early 20s. From mother to daughter, rigorous cleansing is something you learn from an early age in Korea, so I simply incorporated it into my daily routine without question.

When I visited a derm office several years back in Korea for a bout of skin irritation, he carefully inspected my skin underneath a magnifying glass. Testing so many skincare products and ingredients for my job meant that I was prone to episodes of redness and sensitivity. I went to him barefaced for my consultation, and I was shocked to hear that he could see microscopic bits of makeup and grime in the crevices between my nose and cheeks, embedded in the fine lines around my eyes, and underneath my jawbone. (TMI, I know, but bear with me as I get to my critical point here.)

“I’m in the beauty industry! I’ve been double cleansing for ages with the best cleansers in the market,” I protested.

He smiled and said that it was actually quite common. We discussed the cleansers I’d been using and how I’d been using them, and I made the below tweaks to my cleansing routine and haven’t looked back since.

The One Plus One (1+1) Method

This was the biggest learning for me. Sure, I was using both an oil cleanser and foam cleanser for double cleansing, but I didn’t take more than 15 seconds to massage my face with each step. Since I was doing double duty, I assumed that it was enough to cover my bases. It wasn’t.

The doctor compared it doing the dishes — did I just carelessly give dirty dishes a quick wipe or two with a sponge and call it a day? Or did I really scrub the dishes with a sponge to dislodge everything before rinsing off?

I started doing one full minute of gently massaging in the oil cleanser, then following up with a full minute of massaging in the foam cleanser in circular motions around the face. At first, this felt surprisingly long but I got used to it quickly. Now I can say that this double cleansing method is the best few minutes that I invest in my skin every day. My skin feels brighter, more even, less oily, and less prone to blackheads.

The lesson here is that it’s not only about the products you use — it’s truly the right application method that will get you to your skin goals faster, such as patting your skincare in and layering certain products multiple times for increased efficacy.


The Right Cleansers

We say this often at Glow Recipe, but ingredients are king when we develop new products. I’ve tested my fair share of cleansers over the years and I’ve consistently seen better results when I use the following types of products:

Mineral-Free Cleansers

Cleansers that are a blend of skin beneficial oils with high-skin affinity, such as papaya seed oil and camellia japonica seed oil, are a great option. I also find that oil cleansers without heavy mineral oils also tend to emulsify better after massaging it into the skin — a must when you are using a daily oil cleansing step. Our Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm efficiently takes off makeup but leaves skin soft and hydrated afterwards. Plus, it’s safe to use on the eyes!

SLS-Free Cleansers

SLSs are a great ingredient to get the fluffy, rich lather in cleansers, but can also throw skin off balance with potential for irritation and breakouts. Our Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser uses microfoaming bubbles for a deep yet gentle clean — I love how my skin feels afterwards.


After the 1+1 cleansing method!

Ready to get your 1+1 on? Don’t forget to check out some of our most popular articles on cleansing:


Glow Recipe

Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser


Glow Recipe

Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm