This Product Makes Your Skin Care Work Better

At the end of a long night, removing your makeup with anything but a wipe can sound like a tall task, so the thought of double cleansing might be daunting enough to convince you to stop reading this altogether. But did you know that your face-washing method of choice has a huge effect on the overall health and gleam of your skin? Hear us out.

The idea of “double cleansing” has been a popular one as of late—it consists of using an oil-based cleanser on dry skin to dissolve superficial dirt and makeup before following with a water-based cleanser that suits your complexion (a gel, foam, milky emulsion all work here)—and the logic behind it makes total sense. New York dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, says that while double cleansing is the only way to penetrate the layer of pollutants and makeup that coats the surface of your skin throughout the day, most of us still don’t spend more than 20 seconds washing our faces. When you don’t cleanse for long enough (or with the right formulas), the layer of oil, gunk and cosmetic debris you’re trying to remove actually stays put on your skin, leading to a congested, dull-looking complexion—not to mention preventing the products you layer onto your skin from doing their job as well because they are unable to fully absorb.

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So, what is right way to wash, and how do you get it right? Dermalogica is making double cleansing totally user-friendly with the unveiling of its newest product, PreCleanse Balm ($45), which launches in stores September 7. The oil-based balm completely dissolves makeup and the layer of buildup that’s blocking your cleanser from thoroughly purifying skin, and the double-sided mitt helps to massage the product in while exfoliating to ensure the balm (and the rest of your skin care routine) is working at its maximum potential.

Skin care benefits aside, using PreCleanse is foolproof, which gives it a permanent spot in my nightly routine (it also acts as a mini at-home facial, which is always a great way to wind down). Beth Bialko, associate director, global curriculum at Dermalogica’s International Dermal Institute, says to apply the Balm to dry skin across the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin using the pad. “Work this all over the skin and then add water to emulsify the formula into a lightweight, milky emulsion,” she explains. Next, rinse your skin and pad and follow with cleanser to remove any leftover impurities. “This second cleanse can now reach deeper into skin, removing additional trapped debris and allowing for a professional level of clean.”

The result? Your cleanest, softest complexion yet that’s now ready to receive the benefits of your regular skin care regimen. It might sound like a choreographed wash, but once you see the difference in your skin (because trust me, you will), those extra few minutes will be way worth it. 

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