Everything You Need to Know about Double Cleansing & The Best Products for Your Skin Type

If you want to take your skincare to the next level, it's time to start double cleansing.

By Marenah Dobin Jul 29, 2021 1:23 AMTags
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When talking about your skin, the word "oil" is probably the last one you want to hear, but if you want to effectively cleanse and take your skincare to the next level, it's essential to incorporate an oil or a balm into your routine. More specifically, you should be double cleansing, which is "at the very heart of the Korean skincare philosophy," per Soko Glam, the online skincare store that completely changed up my way of thinking.

I totally get it, the words "double cleanse" sound like something that could be harsh and possibly strip your skin, but that's really not what it's about. It sounds complicated, but the premise is actually pretty simple: use an oil-based cleanser or balm (that formula choice is just a matter of your personal preference) followed by a water-based cleanser.

The double cleanse starts with oil because a water-based cleanser alone cannot effectively remove oil-based impurities from the skin, like makeup, sunblock, and pore-clogging sebum. After you get rid of all that, wash your face with a water-based cleanser, which removes dirt and sweat. This one-two punch is the most effective way to clean your skin because, well, it is just so logical. Different kinds of debris need different cleansers to remove, it's just that simple.

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Let's get into some specifics. First, you can decide if you want to use a balm or an oil to start your cleanse (that's your call, but if you travel a lot, a balm is very easy to transport). Apply the product directly onto your dry face, massaging in for about a minute. Again, do not wet your face yet. You'll see oils and makeups dissolve and then you can incorporate some water, massaging your face to emulsify the product. After a thorough rinse, use your water-based cleanser and get to the rest of your routine.

If this sounds intriguing to you, keep on scrolling to see some effective combinations for a double cleanse based on your skin type. For each skin type, I included suggestions for a cleansing oil and a balm (again that's totally your choice) and a water-based cleanser for dry, oily, combination, sensitive, and normal skin types that are all available at Soko Glam.

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Dry Skin

If you prefer a balm, you can use Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Revitalizing.

If you want to try an oil instead of a balm, go for the Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [AHA].

A great water-based cleanser is the Good (Skin) Days A New Leaf Cream Cleanser.

For more great options that work well with dry skin, click here.

Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Revitalizing

This balm melts off stubborn makeup without stripping your skin of its natural oils. The formula has resveratrol, which is a natural antioxidant that combats free radical damage. One shopper raved, "It does what it is supposed to, it really takes off all of my makeup!" Another declared, "This brand of cleansing balm is my holy grail. Highly recommended."

Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [AHA]

The Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [AHA] uses alpha-hydroxy acids to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells to brighten your complexion. Lactic acid and glycolic acid dissolve dirt deep within the pores. There's also a protective moisture layer that preserves the hydration all day long.

One satisfied customer shared, "I have tried so many cleansing oils and have never been completely happy with any of them. This cleansing oil feels light and hydrating, while also managing to take off layers of foundation, waterproof mascara and liner. I also attribute it to clearing up my pesky forehead bumps. I'll definitely continue to purchase."

Good (Skin) Days A New Leaf Cream Cleanser

The Good (Skin) Days A New Leaf Cream Cleanser is a bestseller that's exclusively sold at Soko Glam. The creamy cleanser's formula has fermented green tea, spinach, celery, and broccoli, which are ingredients that help hydrate and protect your skin in addition to reducing inflammation and calming redness. Your skin will feel soft and clean after using this. 

"This is by far the best second-step cleanser (after cleansing balm) I've ever used. It foams up the perfect amount but doesn't feel stripping. I look forward to using it every night," a Soko Glam customer shared in a product review. Someone else wrote, "I love this so much. After washing this, it makes my face feel so clean but at the same time my face doesn't feel like it was dried out."

Oily Skin

If you prefer a balm, the Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm is a great one. 

If you want to try an oil instead of a balm, the Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [AHA] could be great if you have oily skin. 

A great water-based cleanser is the MediHeal Intensive Pore Clean Cleansing Foam (Charcoal). Oh, and it's only $8.

If you have oily skin and want to see other cleansers, check these out

Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm

This is such a beloved cleansing balm, which isn't surprising since it was created by Soko Glam founder Charlotte Cho. The award-winning product melts away makeup, sebum, and sunscreen without leaving an oily residue.

One Soko Glam shopper shared, "Charlotte has done it: created the best cleansing balm out there. Love this. Everything from the texture to the smell to the way it removes impurities, it is just incredible." Another customer reviewed, "I am a skin care fanatic. I love trying new 'hyped' products but this is by far the best. Yes, it's pricey but it is all worth the investment."


Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [AHA]

Including the Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [AHA] in the lists of recommendations for dry and oily skin wasn't a typo. This product just does a great job of catering to both of those skin types. One shopper even called it the "Holy Grail for Oily Skin!" Yes, that exclamation point was included. She elaborated, "I have super oily skin and I like to double cleanse when I was my face. The hanksin cleanser does wonders for my pores and stubborn blackheads."

MediHeal Intensive Pore Clean Cleansing Foam (Charcoal)

The charcoal in this water-based cleanser removes excess oil and dirt, preventing blackheads from forming while keeping the skin's moisture levels intact. It also has zinc and mushroom extract, which soothe the skin and protect the skin barrier.

So how great can an $8 cleanser be? One fan gushed, "I love the way this cleanser foams up when it comes in contact with water. I feel like it gets 97% of my makeup off after my pre-cleanse of course. A little of this goes a long way and it's less than $10 bucks. Can't beat that!" Another wrote, "Was afraid it might be too drying or harsh for daily use, but it's been great! I use it nightly and feel squeaky clean after! The texture and foam is amazing."


Combination Skin

If you prefer a balm, Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm works well with combination skin. 

If you want to try an oil instead of a balm, the Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil is worth checking out.

A great water-based cleanser is the D'Alba Piedmont Peptide No-Sebum Mild Gel Cleanser.

If you're curious about other cleansers that work well for combination skin, here are some more

Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm

This is another product that works well with multiple skin types. One customer with combination skin declared, "This Balm is the bomb," writing, "This Balm is the bomb!I've used many balms and all are very good, however, with this entire line starting with the balm, I've seen a big difference. My skins feels smoother, clearer, cleaner and more hydrated. I'm very impressed with Charlotte's products. For me, a hands down winner!"

A different shopper shared, "I wear mascara and water resistant sunscreen every day and as such I have to do a double cleanse every evening. I use this Balm as the first step of my double cleanse and I absolutely love it. It liquifies almost instantly and easily removes makeup and water resistant sunscreen and waterproof mascara."


Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

This cleansing oil is mild, yet very effective, cleaning the skin in addition to moisturizing and protecting the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory ingredients.

"I have used this cleanser for more than a year now and it does such a good job of removing heavy makeup and making my skin feel nice and soft. I love this cleanser paired with the NEOGEN Green Tea Foaming Cleanser," a customer shared. Another reviewer said, "This is a great cleansing oil! It feels amazing on the skin and fully removes my makeup."


D'Alba Piedmont Peptide No-Sebum Mild Gel Cleanser

This cleanser deeply cleans your pores without being harsh on your skin. It clears out excess sebum and blackheads while balancing the skin at the same time. Why is it such a great product. One person shared, "I received a small sample of this with my first order. I was able to use it twice and absolutely loved it, made my face feel so soft. I honestly didn't wanna stop touching my face lol we all know that's a big no no. I ended up ordering a bottle of it and have been using it for about a week now, give it take and I love it. It's so gentle and does the job."

Someone else wrote, "Great cleanser for combo or oily skin. Love this cleanser! My face feels so clean and refreshed after using this. Have not had any bad reactions and you receive a pretty good amount of product for the price paid. Will purchase again."

Normal Skin

If you prefer a balm, add the Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original to your routine.

If you want to try an oil instead of a balm, the Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [PHA] could be a good addition to your skincare regimen.

A great water-based cleanser if you have normal skin is the Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel.

If you want to look into other cleaners for normal skin, check out these options.

Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original

This balm melts your makeup right off.... even waterproof makeup, without stripping your skin of its natural oils. 

One cleansing balm user wrote, "A must-have for double cleansing. I have made friends try this product and they also have added it to their holy grails list." Another described it as "the best makeup remover out there."

Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [PHA]

This cleansing oil lightly exfoliates to keep blackheads and dead skin under control. It is made with jojoba oil and other extracts that hydrate the skin in addition to removing impurities and makeup.

"I love this product, it is one of my favorites because it truly cleans your pores and removes any gunk in them and it is actually noticeable. If there is any sebum it just melts it away. Love it," a Soko Glam shopper reviewed. Another said, "This cleansing oil really helps keeps my large T-zone pores clear. I wear lots of sunscreen daily, and this is a great first step to get my skin really clean without leaving it too oily. I follow it up with a gentle water cleanser and my skin has been very happy with this."


Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel

The Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel is a soothing and hydrating water-based cleanser. It gets rid of dirt and sweat, calms the skin, prevents signs of aging, and brightens your complexion.

One customer shared, "This face wash doesn't strip my skin of its natural oils and it doesn't dry it out. It also helps soothe my rosacea and doesn't cause acne flair ups. I love the formula and am so glad I found this face wash!" Another person gushed, "This goes really well with the cleansing balm. It also doesn't dry your face out and makes your skin bouncy."


Sensitive Skin

If you prefer a balm, add the Enature Moringa Cleansing Balm to your cart (and click "check out"). 

If you want to try an oil instead of a balm, the Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [PHA] is a great choice for sensitive skin.

A great water-based cleanser is Good (Skin) Days A New Leaf Cream Cleanser.

If you want to look at some other sensitive skin cleansers, these are great too.

Enature Moringa Cleansing Balm

Massage this balm into your dry skin to break down sebum, pollution, dirt, and makeup from your skin's surface. It also helps fight the signs of aging and makes your skin feel softer.

One customer with sensitive skin shared, "A little goes a long way with this balm. The texture feels great on my skin and melts into it, cleaning it but not stripping it. It also feels hydrating after use. Love this cleansing balm." Another reviewed, "I like this cleansing balm as it does its job in getting rid of all the makeup in my face. It's simple and it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin."

Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [PHA]

A Soko Glam customer said this cleansing oil is "incredible," sharing, "I had never tried an oil cleanser before and I have to say that this one felt so nice and gentle against my skin, which is surprising because my skin can be very sensitive. Love it 10/10!! Definitely recommend." Another reviewed, "I absolutely LOVE this cleanser. It's perfect for my skin and really cleans it well. I have very sensitive skin and this one is perfect with no negative reactions."

Good (Skin) Days A New Leaf Cream Cleanser

This is a great water-based cleanser for dry skin, but it has also done wonders for people with sensitive skin. So what have they said about it? One fan wrote, "I find most cleansers, even when they're marketed for sensitive or dry skin to be stripping and irritating but not this one! I use it after my oil cleanse nightly and it leaves my skin feeling clean and bright but not stripped or tight in the least, and I actually love the little bits of leaves in the formula!"

Another shopper said, "I have acne prone, sensitive skin. I was pleasantly surprised how well my skin did with this cleanser! I really felt like it cleansed my skin but didn't seem to strip anything from it. I also never reacted and it is just an A+ product all around."

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