Korean Double Cleanse Guide

sioris cleanser

Starting your Korean skincare journey? You’ve likely heard of the double cleanse!

A staple of the Korean skincare routine, double cleansing is an integral part of getting your skincare routine off to the right start.

When you first hear about the double cleanse, you might be thinking “surely one cleanser should get the job done?!”. This guide to the Korean double cleanse should help to clear up your queries and confusions!

What is Double Cleansing?

Double cleansing is the method of using two steps to wash your face, using two different types of cleanser. This should be an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser. It more thoroughly cleanses the skin, prepping the skin for the next skincare steps and reducing the likelihood of developing breakouts.

Korean Double Cleanse

Korean Double Cleanse Step One – Oil

The first cleanser you use will help to remove anything you’ve got on the surface of your skin, like makeup, sunscreen or sebum. It is best to choose an oil-based cleanser for this, as it is better at breaking down the makeup or sunscreen on your skin to remove it!

While it is recommended to use a cleansing oil or balm, some choose to use a makeup remover or micellar water for this step. However, it must be said that these are often less efficient and effective at removing makeup and sunscreen.

Will Oil Cleansers Make My Skin More Oily?

As a chronically oily-skinned gal, I avoided oil cleansers like the plague for a long time. But, there was no need for this – oil cleansers do not add more oil to your face, in fact they do the opposite! Oil cleansers remove the excess oil from your face without damaging the moisture levels of your skin. This reduces your chances of causing a breakout!

Oil-based Cleanser Recommendations

  • Dear Klairs Gentle Black Fresh Cleansing Oil
  • Purito From Green Cleansing Oil
  • iUNIK Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil

Cleansing Balm Recommendations

  • Heimish All Clean Balm
  • Banila Co Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm

Korean Double Cleanse Step Two – Water

The second step of the double cleanse uses a water-based cleanser to wash away any sweat, dirt and dead skin. The type of product you choose for this step will depend on your skin type and the needs of your skin.

Cleansing gels and foaming face washes make the best water-based cleanser options for most skin types, especially oily and combination. If you have particularly dry or sensitive skin, you may prefer a cleansing milk.

You can find water-based cleansers that contain active ingredients, such as glycolic acid to brighten or salicylic acid to cleanse pores and reduce sebum. This can give you some added exfoliation and skincare issue resolutions from your cleanser too!

Water-based Cleanser Recommendations

  • Sioris Day By Day Cleansing Gel
  • COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
  • Rovectin Skin Essentials Conditioning Cleanser
  • The Plant Base AC Clear Magic Foam

How Often Should I Double Cleanse?

You are meant to double cleanse twice a day – morning and evening. In the morning you are removing the sweat and oil your skin has produced overnight, as well as washing off the products you used the evening before.

In the evening, you are removing any makeup or sunscreen on your skin, as well as all of the dirt and grime your skin has picked up throughout the day.

If I’m honest, I don’t always double cleanse in the morning, as I find my skin does find with just a gel or foam cleanser to remove the sweat. I also sometimes choose not to double cleanse in the evening if I haven’t worn makeup or SPF because I’ve just been lounging around the house! So even the biggest skincare enthusiasts don’t always follow the rules!


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