by Sarah Kinonen
view feature on Allure.com
Double-cleansing, while novel, isn’t exactly new. The travel-friendly Erno Laszlo Double Cleansing Sets are the latest versions to cross our desk, but a story on Vogue.com from 2015 suggested the technique dates back to the fourteenth century Korea or Japan, where women would smooth on both botanical oils and diluted starches to moisturize and exfoliate.
Now that your history lesson is complete, how about a quick beauty lesson on double-cleansing? What is it? Simply put, double-cleansing is washing your face twice—first with an oil-based cleanser and then a water-based wash, Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist in New York City, explains to Allure. The idea is that the oil grabs onto peskier impurities on the skin—like say, the silicones in many foundations, or even oils in our face creams—and then the water-based product cleans up any leftover residue. And in the case of the Erno Laszlo Double Cleansing Sets, the water-based bar also leaves behind gentle moisturizers. And because this one-two punch is less harsh than stripping everything away with a nuclear grade face wash, toner or wipe, “double-cleansing can preserve collagen,” says Bowe.
Collagen preserving? Sounds good to me. Which is why I’m so into the Erno Laszlo Double Cleansing Sets. Each tiny, made-for-travel set comes with two products—a cleansing oil (2 fl. oz.) and a water-based cleansing bar (1.7 oz.)—to remove makeup, dirt, oil, and whatever else is clogging up your pores. And yes, they’re both well under that magic three ounces mark, so you can pop them in any carry-on.
Before this year, the brand offered four sets to tackle every skin concern—Soothe & Calm for sensitive types, Hydrate & Nourish for dry, dehydrated complexions, charcoal-based Exfoliate & Detox for acneic skin with large pores, and Firm & Lift to target sagginess. But now, Erno Laszlo is launching its newest set, Whiten & Brighten, which promises to brighten dull and discolored tones. This most recent launch is ideal if your skin feels and looks dull from overly happy happy hours, or if you suffer from dark marks, scars, or sun spots.
I’m personally partial to the pink Soothe & Calm pack because, as you know, I have sensitive skin and steer clear of anything that might cause irritation. Here’s how I use it: Before hitting the shower, I start massaging the oil onto my dry skin and then step under the steam. Once inside, I grab the bar, let it suds up, and then massage the foamy formula onto my already-damp face. The result? Smooth, slightly pink (and not my normal red) skin. And unlike other foaming cleansers I’ve tried, I never feel tightness after washing, which is probably the result of the plant-based anti-inflammatories contained in the duo.
If you’re looking for a deep clean—and have like, one extra minute to kill (because cleansing twice does take a little more time)—I’d highly recommend giving double-cleansing a try. Every time I double-cleanse, it feels as if I scraped off an extra layer of dirt off my face I might not have removed had I used a traditional one-step cleanser. Gross? Totally, but I promise the extra few seconds of sink time is worth it.
The Erno Laszlo Double Cleansing Sets retail for $28 per set at sephora.com.