By Gritty Pretty

Listen up! If you think ‘double cleansing’ is just a new-age trend or mumbo jumbo, think again.

Au contraire, double cleansing has been practiced for centuries in Japan. Yes, hundreds of years, people.

Double cleansing is a very real — and very effective — way to wash your face. And, the method is exactly as it sounds: cleansing the face once to remove makeup and a second time to truly purify the skin. It’s not hard and it’s not complicated – it’s just the addition of one step that may take 60 seconds or less.

In Japan, double-cleansing was born of necessity, as cleansing oils were the only means of removing the white paint-like base that women traditionally wore as a sign of beauty; they followed with a cream or foaming cleanser to refresh the skin and remove oil residue.

To the lo-fi lady, the idea of cleansing twice might strike you as particularly implausible. That is, until the night you finally muster up some motivation and give it a go, waking up with skin that’s softer, brighter, and just plain cleaner than you’ve ever seen it before.

And, just to be clear, it’s not just a matter of a second go ’round with your normal cleanser. To really reap the benefits of double-cleansing, it’s important to use an oil-based formula before your regular face wash. An oil-based cleanser will dissolve sebum and remove surface impurities.

After noticing a change in my skin’s texture (most likely due to the change in seasons), I embarked on a mission: to double cleanse every day for a month and document the effects. Here’s a recap on the month that was…


I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. I know I’ve really got to stop looking at Instagram at 10PM but I can’t help but see what Rebecca Jobson’s ridiculously cute kid got up to that day or what artwork Vicki Lee has just completed… This morning, I wake up feeling tired and (shock! horror!) my skin looks it too. Sure, it’s clear of acne (I know I’m very blessed to rarely suffer from bad blemishes except for the hormone-induced volcano that likes to visit my right jawline every couple of months) but this morning my complexion is looking, well, dull. A bit lack lustre.

It’s the first day of my double cleanse challenge. This month, I’m committing myself to my favourite skincare brand SK-II and its Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil and Facial Treatment Gentle Cleansing Cream. After washing my skin with cleansing oil and lukewarm water first, my skin seems deeply hydrated but not oily. I pat my skin dry. Next, I massage a cleansing cream that lathers beautifully. “This is quite luxurious, isn’t it?” I think to myself. For me, my morning and night skincare regimen is my ‘me time’. It’s those few moments at the beginning and end of the day where I can just spoil myself. After taking a good 60 seconds to cleanse for the second time, I don’t just feel more awake – hot damn, I look it too. My skin appears somewhat brighter and I’m ready to apply my morning serum, eye cream, moisturiser and SPF sunscreen and face my frenetically busy day head on.


Man, this week was A BIG ONE. At work, it seems I’m never not on deadline and my hours have stretched from 8:30AM – 8:30PM (#businessownerlife). Being that it’s a Friday, my fiancé and I celebrate with Friday night drinks. I pop on a little extra eyeliner, mascara and my favourite powder (CHANEL Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder). Once we arrive home – albeit a couple of frozen margaritas later – and are ready to crash, I take to the bathroom sink. “It’s double cleansing time!”  I’ve been at it every day this week and decided to double cleanse only at nights from now on. Why? My skin doesn’t produce that much oil while I sleep and after wearing makeup, being in air conditioning and exposing my skin to the elements of UV and pollution during the day, it makes sense to double cleanse of an evening. True devotees practice double-cleansing in the morning and at night but beginners should go easy on their skin for the first few weeks. Try it just at night first so you don’t risk too much dryness. “Hey, my forehead looks a bit more… even,” I think to myself before passing out from exhaustion.

DAY 16

Sydney weather doesn’t know what’s going on. One day it’s 9 degrees and freezing; the next it’s sunny and a balmy 23°. As we move into winter Down Under (or summer if you’re above the equator), it’s the perfect opportunity to target your biggest skin concerns head on. By incorporating a (second) cleanser like SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleansing Cream, you can address a specific skin concern like dryness, dullness, or acne. The purpose of this second wash is to truly cleanse the skin after your oil-based product has rinsed away dirt and grime.

DAY 30

“I think my usual 3pm oil slick has lessened,” I think to myself when it’s time for my usual afternoon coffee and touch up. After double cleansing every evening for a month (FYI – our skin operates on a 28-day cell cycle), I have noticed my skin appears brighter. The texture and tone looks smoother and my complexion feels naturally hydrated. I look healthy and more awake. Heck, people might even think I sleep an actual 8 hours!

So, it’s decided: even if you stick to nighttime double cleansing only, you’ll see a huge difference in the tone, clarity, and overall oomph of your complexion within a matter of days.