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What is double cleansing?

What the heck is double cleansing? Do I need to do it every day? We’ve got your answers.

Prepping skin for your skincare routine is important. Without proper cleansing, a barrier of built up oils, dirt, and environmental pollutants sit between your products and your skin. Double cleansing is one of the best ways to ensure your skin is properly readied for skincare. Try out these cleansing tips and help your skincare do the most work for you.

The Goal

The cleansing step should remove all dirt, pollutants, makeup, SPF, and other residues from the surface of skin without disrupting its natural balance. How you accomplish this may vary slightly for everyone, but the general rules are:

  1. Use a gentle gel or cream water-based cleanser every morning, or simply rinse with lukewarm water if you are feeling sensitive or dry.
  2. Double cleanse every night with an oil-based followed by a gentle gel or cream water-based cleanser.
The First Cleanse

Double cleansing step one: the gunk-demolisher.

If we’re wearing makeup or sunscreen (and we know we’re wearing sunscreen every day), we need to remove it. Use an oil-based or balm cleanser to dissolve everything easily without tugging on the skin. We recommend this pre-cleansing step every evening, makeup or not, to avoid leaving built up residues and potential irritants from the day on our skin.

Apply your cleansing balm or oil cleanser of choice to dry skin to maximize its impurity dissolving powers. Indulge in a relaxing facial massage for 30-60 seconds, focusing on stubborn makeup or congested areas, before adding a touch of water to emulsify and lift the residues from your skin. Depending on your cleanser, your mileage may vary—some oil cleansers are not built to emulsify (turn milky when you add water) so they must be removed with a damp facial cloth. If using a cloth, be careful not to scrub and over-exfoliate. Oil cleansers that emulsify well can simply be rinsed clean with warm water if you prefer.

The Second Cleanse

Double cleansing step two: the finisher + perfector.

The second cleanse can make all the difference. It’s what takes you from ‘clean-ish’ to ‘perfectly clean’ as water-based formulas help rinse everything off more completely. Most of us will use the same product for both our second and morning cleanse. This step will remove any oily or surfactant residue left behind from your first cleanse or simply freshen and prep your skin for your skincare routine in the morning.

Most prefer a cream or gel version for this step but choose any water-based formula that suits you. This staple cleanser should respect the skin barrier and ideally have a pH near or below 5.5, the pH of our skin. Massage your cleanser into skin for about 30 seconds to properly dissolve impurities, then rinse clean.

Cleansing Tips

Look out for your skin barrier. If your skin is feeling tight after cleansing, you likely would do better with a gentler option. Think fewer/milder surfactants, ensuring your cleanser has a proper pH (put down the soap! we see you ?), less scrubbing, and adding skin-nourishing ingredients (ahem, Cloud Melt).

Listen to your skin. If your skin is feeling sensitive or dry, then you may want to skip the morning cleanse and opt for a splash of water or spritz of facial mist. If you have a balm cleanser that destroys makeup, emulsifies well and rinses completely clean, then you may be able to skip a second cleanse some nights. Patience, consistency and a gentle hand are key to seeing results.

Now you are prepped and ready to get the most out of your cipher products!

Bonus tip: go in with your skincare immediately after cleansing. Not in 5 minutes. We’re talking 15 seconds, here. Do not let your skin dry out! Most products, especially serums, are best applied to slightly damp skin. They will sink in more quickly and effectively, plus it gives your hydrating products extra water to grab onto and deliver deeply into skins surface. If your skin does dry, be sure to give it a splash of water or spritz of facial mist before applying your skincare. This is the trick to achieving the plump, smooth, bouncy finish we’re after.

So, I can use Cloud Melt twice in a row?


Cloud Melt is a hybrid cleanser; part nourishing cleansing balm, part clean rinsing milky-gel cleanser. It can be used for your morning cleanse, first cleanse, second cleanse—or all the above!

First cleanse: Cloud Melt’s high oil content (near 25%!) makes it the perfect candidate for demolishing grime, SPF and makeup. It quickly and completely dissolves residues and emulsifies beautifully, so there is no cloth required for removal. Massage into dry skin for 30-60 seconds, add a touch of lukewarm water to emulsify and finally rinse the day away.

Second/morning cleanse: Cloud Melt’s soft, emollient texture is pH balanced, gentle on the skin, and rinses completely clean. Use it immediately after your first cleanse for a next-level-clean finish that never feels stripped or dry. It’s also the perfect pick-me-up in the morning! For this cleanse, Cloud Melt can be applied to damp skin. Massage for 30 seconds, rinse clean, and try not to touch your silky-smooth skin.