Let’s face it, not everyone has time for a 10-step skincare routine. But does that mean skipping the basics of ensuring you’re keeping your skin healthy? A good face wash, a moisturiser, and the uncompromisable sunscreen. And, a cleansing balm or oil to double cleanse. Even David Beckham digs into his wife’s vanity case every now and then to add a step to his basic skincare routine.

Double cleansing is essentially a two-step method to wash your face. The first is usually an oil-based cleanser, which is followed up by a water-based one. This technique first became popular in Korea and Japan, and as India adapted to the Korean skincare routine as well as the many brands, double cleansing came to be known as an important step in keeping your skin squeaky clean.

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To understand the how’s and why’s of double cleansing, we spoke to three brands who explained everything you need to know about double cleansing. Fumi Manabe, Senior Manager Overseas Retail of DHC, a Japanese cult brand known for its cleansing oils, says that men need to double cleanse as they tend to have oilier skin than women, along with larger pores and sebaceous glands. “The oil in an oil-based cleanser goes deep into pores, and draws out all the trapped gunk, and sweeps away any excess sebum. It also hydrates and softens skin, and it won’t strip the skin of the beneficial oils that keep it healthy and sebum production balanced,” she says.

Double cleanse oil

Shraddha Mutha, co-founder of Hivado, a men’s skincare brand, adds that double cleansing is for removing pigments that don’t get washed off with face washes, cleansers, or scrubs. “If men are using physical sunscreens or make-up, they need to double cleanse. Men who like to use foundation or a heavier, coloured, or tinted moisturiser might find that it’s a good idea to cleanse twice at the end of the day in order to ensure everything is removed properly,” she says.

Prachi Bhandari, co-founder of Aminu Skincare, a new brand in the market that has a comforting cleansing balm as a part of its range, explains that double cleansing breaks down oil soluble impurities (like sunscreen, make-up, excess sebum) and rebalances the skin, which is then potentially less prone to breakouts, and it also helps fight the ageing process. “Double cleansing for men is based on several lifestyle factors. If you work outside, if you are wearing heavy sunscreen or make-up regularly, if you are using a lot of skincare products in your regimen, then you need to do double cleansing,” she explains.

And how often do men need to double cleanse? Bhandari says that it can be done both in the morning and at night. “If you decide a double cleanse is right for you, then it’s mostly beneficial before bed, when you have make-up, pollutants, and sunscreen to remove. In the morning, you can wash your face with your regular cleanser. 

Why do you need double cleansing during the day? Because during nighttime, your face regenerates and produces oil-based impurities that accumulate on the skin, hence your skin needs to get rid of all that in the morning too,” she says, while Fumi says once a day, at night, is fine. 

The amount of cleansing oil or balm to use, Bhandari says, is always a small amount. Fumi explains, “In the case of oil cleansers like the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, a little goes a long way. 1-2 pumps should suffice to melt away sunscreen, sebum, and impurities, without stripping the skin of moisture. Start with one pump, and build it up as you go, by adding more oil as you think is needed.”

Double Cleanse Balm


See, guys, it’s really not that hectic. But if you want a quick cheat sheet, here are some tips to keep in mind for double cleansing:

  1. Always use dry hands to apply the cleansing oil to your dry face. Gently massage (not rub) the cleansing oil on your face to dissolve the day’s sebum and sunscreen.
  2. Always follow with a foaming cleanser for a deeper cleanse that will remove sweat, dust, and grime that is not removed by the cleansing oil.
  3. Use a light yet highly effective and easy-to-use oil cleanser.

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