WHAT?? I hear you say! Let me start by saying that I have a long history of double cleansing, prompted by my use of Dermalogica pre cleanse many years ago! Up until a few months ago double cleansing was a core part of my skincare routine and I saw no reason to veer away from it. However, over the summer I was on holiday in Spain for around 10 days and by chance, took only one cleanser with me (my rebalancing oil cleanser). It was at that point that I started single cleansing every night. This would seem counterintuitive given it was really hot there and I was reapplying SPF more frequently than I do here. But I was really surprised with the impact. My skin felt softer and more balanced than usual, and no new breakouts appeared. I continued to single cleanse when I got home and have been doing so ever since: it’s been nearly 4 months now. My skin shows no signs of adverse reactions to single cleansing. Admittedly, I am a little more diligent with that single cleanse: I massage the (emulsifying) cleansing oil around my face for at least a minute (usually longer) before rinsing off with water and a soft washcloth. My skin is prone to dehydration and I suspect that exposing it to less water through single cleansing is helping. I also think the amount of time you spend cleansing is key to ensuring your skin is properly clean, as is using the right cleanser for your skin.
I recently saw a post by Dr Sam Bunting on cleansing last month and it confirmed my experience – double cleansing isn’t a necessity. I’m not saying single cleansing is either. I’m just sharing my experience of both and concluding that single cleansing seems to be working better for my skin, at least for now. As with most things in skincare, you need to find what works best for your skin - and that will be different for different people. The only common rule is that everyone needs to cleanse their skin daily! If your skin isn't feeling balanced, and particularly if it's dry or sensitive, and you are double cleansing currently, it may be worth revisiting how you cleanse your skin. Equally single cleansing with a non-emulsifying oil cleanser for example might not be the right solution for you if you have skin that becomes easily clogged / prone to breakouts. I’m not ruling out double cleansing altogether. I’d probably be tempted to double cleanse if I still worked in London, as my face feels so grimy after a day there! Or if I was wearing heavy make up (very rare for me these days), I'm more inclined to double cleanse.
So how wedded to double cleansing are you?