Cleanse. Rinse. Repeat.

A two-step cleansing process to prep the skin for the ultimate facial!

Cleansing is simple yet extremely important and effective when performed. It is often overlooked due to its simplicity. It is crucial that you double-cleanse every client that walks through your doors and train your staff to do the same. Not only because it effectively cleanses the skin, but it helps your clients relax and sets the tone for the treatment.

It is imperative to prep the skin for the desired treatment or service. Performing a facial without properly cleansing the skin is a disservice to your client. No esthetician should apply products to non-prepped skin. Whether you are performing a 90-minute facial, a chemical peel, or any other service, a double cleanse is a MUST.

Double cleansing is as simple as it sounds. Cleansing the skin twice with two different cleansers. This not only gives the skin a more thorough cleanse but gets the skin ready to allow for other skincare products to penetrate more easily. Here are a few tips to give your clients the best cleanse of their lives. It will have them hooked, and you BOOKED as they come back for more.

You really need to pay close attention by using your hands and eyes to get a true feel for your client’s skin.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”2,4,5,6,7″ ihc_mb_template=”3″ ]


Let’s get to work. It is best to go for an oil cleanser or some type of gentle cleanser for the first cleanse. This removes makeup, dirt, and oil while allowing you to let the skin start speaking to you by feeling the skin’s health hydration, texture, and elasticity. You will also begin to get a feel as to how your client’s skin will react. Are they becoming sensitized or reactive quickly? Are they dehydrated? You really need to pay close attention by using your hands and eyes to get a true feel for your client’s skin.

Once you’ve chosen your cleanser, you will thoroughly apply and massage it to the face, neck, and decollete for 60 to 90 seconds. It is best to apply the cleanser first to the skin without any water. Next is time to get the steam rolling, unless your client has extremely sensitive skin or rosacea, which should be determined in your evaluation.

You will want to add water to emulsify the cleanser for another 60 to 90 seconds to begin pulling dirt, oil, and product from the skin. Think of this as the time to get to know your client’s skin and get them in the mood to relax and enjoy their facial. Once you feel you have thoroughly cleansed the skin, remove ALL of the cleanser. My personal preference is to use sponges for this step, but you can also use a warm towel or wet 4×4.


The skin should be clean of any product or residue before starting the second cleanse. Now, you are going to select your second cleanser. Again, this is dependent on the skin type of your client. For the second cleanse, if they are inflamed or sensitized, I will stick with a gentle cleanser. If not, I prefer to use a gentle exfoliating cleanser to start removing any build-up on the client’s skin.

You are going to generously apply the cleanser to the face, neck, and decollete. Thoroughly massage and manipulate for at least 60 to 90 seconds. Next, add water to emulsify and continue to cleanse the skin. Be sure to take the time to focus on each area of the face, neck, and decollete, for another 60 to 90 seconds minimum. Think light to medium pressure, working up from the decollete with long and circular motions and then up to the neck.

Let me emphasize UP on all areas to fight gravity and help keep the skin lifted. Lastly, it is the face where you will focus thoroughly on each area, including the chin, jawline, cheeks, nose, and forehead. Taking time, care, and a little love in each area. At this point, your client should be melting into the facial bed and falling in love with you. There is a reason my clients say I have “magic hands,” and I have had my books full for many years because of it.

Now that your client’s skin has been thoroughly doubled cleansed be sure to remove all of the product completely. Please don’t leave a soapy residue; this can feel uncomfortable to the client, irritate the skin, and could negatively affect the next steps of your treatment.

Now that you have thoroughly double cleansed your client’s skin, you have removed all dirt, oil, product, makeup, and residue, as well as evaluated their skin and determined their skin type, it is time to treat the skin. You are ready to create the best facial plan or treatment for your client.

I highly encourage you to double cleanse every client thoroughly. I cannot stress enough about prepping the skin and not overlooking this simple yet extremely effective part of a facial. I can say this with confidence, because I have seen a difference in my skin as well as my client’s skin when the double-cleanse method is performed properly.


Try this method on your skin at home. Not only will you see and feel a difference in your own skin's health but you will be confident in understanding the importance and benefits of double cleansing. Plus, after 13+ years as a licensed esthetician, I believe so strongly that you should practice what you preach. This benefits you, your skin's health and grows the confidence to help and treat your client's skin in the treatment room.


Read More…