So, turns out the whole double cleansing thing might be a myth.

Do you do that whole double cleansing thing where you wash your skin with an oil first and then go in with a foam, cream or gel cleanser? Yes? Well, we have a wee bit of bad news. 

Apparently you could be wasting your time and money.

How awkward.

Watch: Now that you're getting your cleansing on point, how about your masking routine? Check out our top tips on how to multi-mask and nix different skin issues in one. Post continues below. 

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Fun tip: With a zillion different products on the market, there is a tendency for skincare ranges to push this whole idea of double cleansing being a necessity. Sadly, a lot of this is just marketing fluff. 

And it's not just us saying this, we promise! A lot of dermatologists agree that most skin types do not need to double cleanse.

"As dermatologists, we are certainly more concerned about over-cleansing the skin, as opposed to the need for a double-cleansing routine," said dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald from Complete Skin Specialists.

Listen: Worried you're over-cleansing? We got you. Listen to Mamamia's podcast for your face, You Beauty, where we talk about how often you should *actually* wash your face. Post continues below.


The fact is that over-washing the skin can really mess with your skin barrier (your skin needs this guy. Great mates with it), meaning you might end up experiencing something trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). 

It sounds super complicated, but TEWL basically means your skin can't hold on to that sweet moisture - water pretty much just passes through the epidermis and evaporates into the air. 


"Excess cleansing, harsh cleansers and exfoliation are all known to cause a breakdown in the skin’s barrier system and disrupt the skin’s natural defences and microbiome," said McDonald. 

If you're over-cleansing your skin you might start to notice things like dryness, flakiness, dullness and itchiness. Your skin might also start to feel a little rough and uneven. 

"Stripping the skin of its oils and natural barrier protection causes irritation, sensitivity and inflammation; and can flare rosacea or acne."

Image: Giphy.


How s**t.

B-Bu-But... I love double-cleansing!

If double cleansing your skin is just something that brings you joy every evening - well, you do you, mate.

All we're saying is that you need to be careful about over-stripping your skin, especially if you're on the dry, pissed off, sensitive side of things. "If you enjoy the process, then double cleansing should not cause a problem for those with robust skin," said Dr McDonald. 

So long as you're using the right kind of cleanser, you shouldn't experience too many issues. "I would suggest the use of fragrance-free, gentle cleansers with replenishing ingredients such as ceramides," she adds.

But! If double cleansing is just something you do because you heard it was a thing that everyone is suddenly doing and OMG YOU NEED TO DO IT! - we reckon you could save yourself the hassle. "The extra time and expense associated with a double cleanse is an unnecessary step for most people," said McDonald.

If you fall into this category (same), Dr McDonald said a good primary cleanser is sufficient for the average person - it just needs to be a smart one. Gentle! Fragrance-free! Non-Drying! Great at algebra!


While there are some variations about how often we need to cleanse, most dermatologists will agree that washing your face for around 20 to 30 seconds is enough to clean, but not dry out the skin.

"A gentle cream cleanser massaged into the skin and rinsed off should be perfectly adequate to remove makeup, toxins and debris from the skin surface and has a lower risk of causing irritation or over-drying the skin."

If you're looking for a good option, these cleansers fit the bill quite nicely - they're super gentle and won't make your skin feel dry and tight post-wash: 

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $12.99.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $12.99.


La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, $27.95.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, $27.95.

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser, $31.99.

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser, $31.99.


So, lemme get this straight. It's not worth it?

Okay, here's the thing. While it's not necessary for everyone, Dr McDonald said there are people who might find double-cleansing to be helpful in some situations.

"Double cleansing isn’t a necessity, but certain skin types may find it to be more worthwhile than others," she said.

What kind of ~certain~ skin types are we talking about?

"Take people with oily skin. Two gentle formulas are generally a better way to combat excess oil than one strong formula that could leave skin feeling too dry."

If it works for you and you aren't experiencing any issues, go forth and cleanse!

Feature image: Getty

Do you double-cleanse? Share your routine with us in the comment section below.