I truly believe that if I had spent money on a proper second cleanse instead of on that orange cream blush that was perfect for summer, I would’ve avoided my giant breakout of the summer of 2012*. No amount of honey was going to clean off the sweat and dirt of summer classes in Baltimore, especially after I used coconut oil to melt off my melted makeup. (Do not recommend!)
Since then, I’ve used a variety of cleansers in the nightly double cleanse routine after a day of makeup (when I don’t wear makeup, I skip the makeup removal cleanse of course). I’ve gone budget for the first step—just using a basic jojoba oil with a warm cloth. I’ve gone luxury—May Lindstrom Pendulum Potion, de Mamiel Restorative Cleansing balm (review). Most of all, I love the ones that rinse off with water sans cloth (with varying success)—OG One Love Organics oil cleanser (review), Tata Harper oil cleanser (review), Kahina, Pai, Tatcha. These days, I prefer to skip that extra exfoliating factor of removing an oil cleanser with a cloth.
The second cleanse spot has been a little less experimental. Most recently I’ve had YÜLI Halcyon on repeat, with guest appearances of the special rose edition which is just. Heavenly. Period stops, necessary. I recently finished and enjoyed a grittier Strange Bird Botanicals Inner Clarity Cleanser (gifted) which can remove makeup, but I only used it as a second cleanse. Looking back in my post archive, I’m reminded how I loved the MV Organics Cream Cleanser (review), but again, over the cloth.
Today is about the Marie Veronique x Kristina Holey Pure and EO Free Oil Cleanser, We Love Eyes Tea Tree Foaming Eye Cleanser, and the Peach and Lily Power Calm Cleanser. Okay, I know I just listed three products for a double cleanse, but one of them is just for the eye area and I skip the eye area with the gel cleanser. (So technically each part of my face is getting two cleanses.)
The MV x KH cleanser has no discernible scent, which I don’t mind. I do mind that you have to shake the product strategically side-to-side rather than the typical up-and-down, otherwise little droplets of the oil leak out everywhere. It has a pretty thick oil texture, and one pump is the perfect amount to massage over the whole face to break up makeup and sunscreen. When I massage long enough, my foundation and sunscreen start pilling off into those little eraser marks and it’s pretty satisfying.
Important tip: before rinsing, wet your hands and massage your face again. Doing this step of emulsifying the oil cleanser makes the rinse-off way easier for me while minimizing any leftover oil residue.
Now the liquid eyeliner I’m using from Em Cosmetics is really long-lasting—it sets really quickly and isn’t forgiving when you make a mistake, and it really takes some convincing to be removed at night. So I like to follow up with the We Love Eyes tea tree foaming eyelid and eyelash cleanser because there’s sometimes still product around my eyes leftover even after rinsing off my oil cleanser.
I got this on recommendation from my lash lift person, who likes it for its lash-lift friendliness. I know foaming is a really bad word these days, but I really like this eye cleanser and my eyes don’t hate it either (read: no adverse effects noticed, no dryness or itchiness, etc). I actually used this at first as my only eye makeup remover which was a tall order, which it did succeed with careful rinsing and lots of massaging, but I think it works better as my eye’s “second cleanse” to get whatever my oil cleanser missed and get rid of leftover residue, which I’m kind of surprised that it’s taken me this long to start doing. How many times have you finished double cleansing but you still have oily residue around your eye? Ugh.
Last step: a gel cleanser. I’ve just finished up this Peach and Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel cleanser which I really enjoyed (and my husband also said he liked). It’s a clear gel that leaves your skin feeling clean, but not stripped. I was sold on purchasing it after 1) listening to the Peach and Lily founder Alicia Yoon talk about the brand journey on a podcast and 2) listening to Gothamista on YouTube say how it calmed down her redness during a Peach and Lily facial. Also it’s affordable ($28!) and accessible at Ulta, so winning all around.
I’ve already opened a new YÜLI Halcyon Rose to fill up the second cleanse spot, and I probably won’t repurchase the MV x KH oil cleanser—it’s good, but a quick rinse is important to me. And also being about to shake my product without fear of oil everywhere. I appreciate that it was formulated with minimizing irritation in mind (hence no EOs) but that’s not a problem for me.
What are you using to cleanse your face at the moment?
*I am probably exaggerating, and there are other frivolous things I spent my money on as a college student and other things that could’ve helped my acnexplosion 2012, but I really didn’t need that orange blush.
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