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what is double cleansing

What is Double Cleansing & How to Double Cleanse

Gently cleansing is the opening step of a quality skincare routine. The reason cleansing is so important is not only because it helps purify our skin, but it also supports the absorption of any following skincare formulas. Double cleansing improves your skincare regimen by removing all traces of makeup and SPF, working in harmony to make sure all traces of product are gone. To help you experience the best benefits, we will be answering what is double cleansing and outlining how to double cleanse.

first cleanse of a double cleanse


Double cleansing means cleansing your face twice. The first cleanse involves using an oil-based cleanser or micellar water to help remove makeup residue, sunscreen, oil and external impurities. The second cleanse is a gel or cream-based cleanser to remove remaining grime and prepare your complexion for the rest of your skincare routine. Below, we will be exploring how to double cleanse, double cleansing methods for different skin types and double cleansing products to try.

To help you understand what double cleansing is and double cleansing methods, keep reading below.


For your first cleanse, an oil-based cleanser or micellar water is recommended. This is because these cleansers are designed to easily grip onto and remove makeup and SPF residue. However, if all you have on hand is your normal, everyday cleanser, you can use this twice for a double cleanse.

Lather a small amount of your first cleanser into your hand and massage gently into the skin. Rinse with warm water, using your hands or a washcloth – unless you’re using a micellar water, as these don’t need to be rinsed away.

hyaluronic acid serum


For your second cleanse, opt for a gel or cream-based cleanser. These cleansers help remove any remaining product residue and deliver a light and clean base to continue with your skincare regimen. Lather a small amount of your chosen cleanser into your hand and apply to the face. Massage softly using circular motions, being careful of the area around your eyes. Rinse for the final time, then pat skin dry in preparation for your following skincare steps.

Double cleansing is an optimal start to your skincare routine. To learn about more about your skin type, read our skincare routine for sensitive skin or our anti-blemish regime for clearer skin.

double cleansing


Just like how different skincare products help specific skin types, double cleansing products also need to be used with the right skin type. For most skin types, the steps for double cleansing methods remain the same – but the type of cleanser you use might change. Let’s explore what to use for double cleansing by skin type.

Oily skin

We suggest using a water-based cleanser first and follow up with a gel-based cleanser. Beginning with a water-based cleanser helps remove excess sebum (skin oil) and makeup or product residue, while a gel-based cleanser helps to unclog pores and remove any remaining impurities.

Dry skin

Use a water-based cleanser followed by a cream cleanser. If you have dry skin, make sure any cleansing formulas you’re applying are gentle and contain ingredients that support hydration, like glycerin.

lipikar cleanser

Sensitive skin

Use a water-based cleanser followed by a cream or gel-based cleanser. Water-based cleansers can comfortably support makeup and sunscreen removal during the first cleanse while a cream or gel-based cleanser works to remove all traces and gently refresh the skin. All La Roche-Posay cleansers have been designed with sensitive skin in mind, so even sensitive skin types can browse our face cleansers with confidence.

Combination skin

Use a water-based cleanser followed by a gel or cream-based cleanser. Choosing double cleansing products for combination skin may depend on what your combination skin is currently like. Are you experiencing more oiliness or more dryness? If you’re experiencing dryness, you may want to go with a gentle cream-based cleanser for your second cleanse. If you’re experiencing more oily patches, opt for a gel-based cleanser.

Normal skin

Use a water-based cleanser and then a gel or cream-based cleanser. With normal skin you have the luxury of choice for double cleansing methods. Use a water-based cleanser for the first cleanse, and a quality cleanser in your preferred formulation to finish.

micellar foaming cleanser


The range of cleansers at La Roche-Posay can be tailored to your double cleansing needs. Quality cleansers visibly reduce product residue, oil, impurities and prepare the skin to absorb effective ingredients from toners, serums and moisturisers. We have a variety of cleansers that can help target specific skin concerns. To help you in your choice, we’ll highlight different double cleansing products below.


Water-based cleansers are a reliable way to start your double cleansing routine. This is because they’re gentle, lightweight and can visibly reduce impurities such as dirt and sweat. Our Micellar Foaming Water Cleanser softly purifies the skin and helps maintain its natural physiological balance. If you’re using a water-based cleanser for your first cleanse, opt for our Micellar Water Sensitive Makeup Remover.

double cleansing duo +m


When learning what to use for double cleansing, consider gel-based cleansers to support oily, sensitive, or mild acne-prone skin. Our Effaclar + M Foaming Gel Cleanser is infused with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water to deliver comfort and protection when cleansing. If you’re experiencing blemishes, we recommend Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel Cleanser. This cleanser is suitable for use on the body and is formulated with salicylic acid to deeply unclog pores and visibly reduce excess sebum.


Its important cleansers are comfortable to apply and maintain the skin’s natural balance as they remove debris. Cream-based cleansers wash and hydrate the face simultaneously, which is why they’re recommended for those with dry, sensitive or combination skin. Our Toleriane Gentle Cream Demo-Cleanser helps reduce makeup while imparting glycerin into the skin to help hydrate. To enjoy the benefits of a cream-based double cleansing method, see our full Toleriane skincare range.

Now that you’ve learned what double cleansing is, discover how to get rid of blackheads on your nose.
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