I sometimes think Korean women add new steps to their skincare routine just for the sake of it.
Like, it wasn’t enough to double cleanse their skin every night. Now, they have to triple cleanse it.
No wonder they have to apply 12 hydrating products afterwards. There’s cleansing your skin and there’s stripping it bare.
I’m sure they don’t see it that way. They’ll tell you triple cleansing is the gentlest cleansing method ever. 🙄
I think it’s just a ploy to get you to buy cleansing wipes (because who would ever turn to them otherwise?).
What The Heck Is Triple Cleansing?
A 3-step cleansing routine.
First cleanse: use a cleansing wipe (they call it cleansing tissue to make it sound more effective + gentler) to remove stubborn impurities on the skin, like waterproof mascara and longlasting foundation.
Second cleanse: massage an oil-based cleanser to remove oil-based impurities, such as makeup and excess sebum. Rinse off.
Third cleanse: when your face is still wet, massage a water-based cleansing foam to remove water-based impurities. Rinse it off.
Pay your face dry.
In a nutshell, triple cleansing is double cleansing with a twist: you use a cleansing wipe first to dislodge some of the most stubborn impurities.
The Problem With Triple Cleansing
My problem with triple cleansing? It’s the same as with cleansing wipes. They don’t work that well.
We’ve all been there, ladies. You’ve just come home at 3:00 am after a night of partying with your girlfriends. You’re too tired to remove your makeup, so you grab a cleansing wipe instead. Ten minutes and 3 wipes later, you’re wondering why you’ve bothered. Using your usual cleanser would have been faster.
The worst part? All that rubbing has irritated your eyes. Now they’re all red and sore.
It’s true triple cleansing is a bit different. You don’t use the wipe to remove ALL your makeup. You just rub it over your eyes and face to remove some of it and then finish the job with the other two cleansers.
But, why not get a couple of cleansers that do a better job in the first place? Oil-based cleansers are the most powerful, yet gentlest, type of cleanser out there. If yours needs the extra help, then you’re stuck with a dud, my friend.
I just don’t see the point of rubbing something that doesn’t work that well all over my eyes and face to remove a bit of extra makeup when my usual cleanser takes everything off in one go. Do you?
The Problem With Double Cleansing
Double cleansing works.
There’s nothing better than an oil to remove another oil. It’s the “like attracts like” principle. The oils in your makeup remover attach to the oils in your makeup, sunscreen and skin and rinse them all away.
The catch? They can leave a greasy film on your skin. A water-based cleanser gets rid of that, plus any other water-based impurities, such as sweat, that are left on your skin.
But, you don’t need to use two separate cleansers. Very few cleansers are either oil- or water-based. Most are either oil-in water or water-in-oil emulsions.
Take The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash:
Aqua/Water, Glycine Soja Oil/Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco-Glucoside, Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil/Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum/Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate, Hydroxycitronellal, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Geraniol, Tocopherol, Linalool, Citronellol, Cinnamyl Alcohol, CI 17200/Red 33, CI 14700/Red 4.
A quick look shows it’s both oil AND water based. Sure, you can keep using two separate cleansers if you want to, but why go to all that trouble when one is more than enough?
Related: Do You Really Need To Double Cleanse?
The Bottom Line
Double cleanse may sometimes make sense. Triple cleansing is just a silly fad created to sell more cleansing wipes. Save yourself precious time and money and get just ONE cleanser that does the job (click here for my fave cleansers for all skin types).
Have you ever tried double cleansing? Share your experience in the comments below.