Washing your face once and then moving on to toning? Beauty expert Elizabeth Best thinks you’re missing an important step.

You know how your bottle of cleanser says “lather, rinse, repeat”? And how none of us really get to the repeating part? Well, the same should go for your face. Except, you know, GET TO THE REPEATING PART.

“But my routine’s been working fine, Elizabeth,” I hear you say. But for the best results, with the longest lasting effects, then a double cleanse should be an essential step in your routine.

In our time-poor world, it’s hard enough to make sure you’re cleansing your face once a day let alone twice each time. But think about how much time you spend putting on your makeup and how many layers you put on. Primer, sunscreen, foundation, concealer, setting powder, bronzer… and you think one measly wash is going to get that off? Nuh-uh.

Think about it. After you’ve washed your face once, you put your toner on a swab only to find there’s still dirt visible on the cotton swab, and then you’re gonna sleep on that? Gross.

The double (and sometimes triple) cleanse crazy has been made popular by Korean beauty bloggers and their elaborate, multi-step beauty regimes. Truth is, many Asian cultures have recommended double cleansing with both an oil and a foaming wash for centuries.

So how do you do it?

Remove eye makeup first

If you’re wearing makeup, it’s best to make sure you remove this first. A good eye and lip makeup remover will do the trick. Make sure you do this step delicately and trust that the formula itself will dissolve your makeup. The skin around the eyes is very easily damaged and excess pulling can lead to wrinkles, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Cleanse… the first part

Now for the first cleanse. Your best bet here is to go with a gentle oil cleanser or balm, as these nifty products will get rid of your makeup traces so the REAL cleansing process can begin. Remember to concentrate on all the areas you applied makeup including as far down as you blended your foundation and right up to your hairline. Nothing worse than the telling discoloured ring under your chin that makes it look like you don’t clean yourself properly.

Massage the product in small circles to really get all that makeup dissolved, and give yourself a nice massage at the same time because you’re pretty darn fantastic and you goddamn well deserve it. This step will require using a damp, warm washcloth to properly remove all traces of the product for the next bit.

Again, you want to use gentle circular motions, paying attention to the T-zone to ensure stubborn product is targeted.

Oils and balms are super moisturising for soft, bouncy skin, but if you’d rather not use oil for this part of the cleanse, then go with a micellar water.

Double cleanse AKA business time

If you’d just stopped at the earlier step, your makeup might be gone but your skin won’t have actually had a cleanse yet. Just think of the gross implications of that… if you just stop at a makeup wipe or micellar water, you NEVER really clean your face. Ew, dude.

Now you’ve bumped the stubborn makeup gunk off your visage, you can actually get to the real cleaning. This is the time to pick a product to address your individual skin concerns. There are all sorts on the market, from ones that address dry skin, to oily skin, to pigmentation or even issues with chronic breakouts.

One of the best things I ever did was book a consultation with a skin care professional to actually tell me what my skin needed, so that’s something I would definitely recommend.

There are no hard and fast rules though, with this cleansing step, other than pick the cleanser you want and make sure that it’s scrubbed all over that gorgeous face and neck of yours.

THEN you can start the serums and moisturisers and whatever else you want to give a whirl.

The finished product

Your skin got a proper clean, you know it’s breathing through the night. And you can go to sleep knowing that you’ve cleared all the pore-clogging, pimple-causing, nasty-bringing yuck off your super-cute face and filled it full of good, helpful stuff!