The Importance of Double Cleansing Explained by a Doc

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As any good plastic surgeon will tell you, it’s not just what happens in their office that makes a difference—it’s also the products you use on a regular basis. To keep her dry, sensitive skin looking its best, there’s one step Michelle Koo, MD, a plastic surgeon and founder of skin-care line Private Practice by Dr. Koo never misses: double-cleansing.

“Cleansing at night is extremely important to remove sebum, dead skin cells and environmental debris lodged inside pores,” says Dr. Koo. “Double cleansing may be important if you do not use a separate makeup remover. I personally use a very gentle cream makeup remover followed by my Dr. Koo Private Practice Exfoliating Cleanser. The first cleansing removes makeup, the second the dead cells and debris from the day.”

The importance of double-cleansing is simple. Dr. Koo says it gets her face nice and clean and ready to accept her other skin-care products. “It allows for the rest of my routine to really do their job,” she explains. And when she skips it, she notices that her skin “doesn’t feel as clean, and there tends to be a very slight residue.”

Generally, pros will recommend starting your double-cleansing routine with a gentle makeup remover, then going back in with an active cleanser to help clear away dead skin cells (when those build up, it can prevent the rest of your products from properly penetrating) and stimulates cell turnover.

Below, the two products Dr. Koo swears by to get the job done.

Private Practice by Dr. Koo Anti-Toxin Cleanse — Gentle, importance of double cleansing

Private Practice by Dr. Koo Anti-Toxin Cleanse — Gentle — $75.00

Next, Dr. Koo uses this cleanser to deeply clean her pores without stripping her skin. It contains glycerides to calm sensitivity, sugar beets to balance moisture, and low-level AHAs to delicately clean. “The AHAs in my cleansers are blended and buffered specifically to be gentle to preserve the skin’s ceramide layer to prevent stripping,” she says.

Want more expert routines? Learn a dermatologist’s shower routine:

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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