The 3-Step Cleansing Routine I Swear By

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Considering I’m technically a beauty blogger, I’m actually quite lazy with my skincare routines. Often I slap on a moisturizer and call it a day. I don’t always have the patience to layer on multiple products. Honestly, my skin seems fine without them. However, when it comes to the cleansing part of my routine I get a little bit crazy. You might have heard about double cleansing but what about triple cleansing?! Whereas most people are fine settling for one or two cleanses, I swear by three. Overkill? Perhaps but I consistently see better results when I spend more time cleansing. I used to only do one or two steps but switched to three last year. My skin’s health noticeably improved. Clearer skin, fewer blackheads, and less texture. You may be asking yourself right now, “What in the world is a 3-step cleansing routine?” Well, I’m here to hash it out for you today!

Before I begin let me emphasize one tiny detail. I don’t always triple cleanse. I would never recommend that for anyone! It is possible to over-cleanse, an issue that can lead to irritated, dry skin and even acne. This extensive cleansing routine is reserved for my makeup days. This may seem obvious to some but I’ll mention it anyway: I only do these three steps during my evening skincare routine. On no makeup days, I do a simple, quick cleanse with a hydrating cleanser at night. In the mornings I always opt for a basic water-only cleanse instead of using a regular cleanser.

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STEP 1: Cleansing Oil

First things first, take that makeup off! For this initial step, I always grab a cleansing oil or, if I feel like it, a cleansing balm. Oils and balms are great for melting off your makeup. I also enjoy using them for a mini face massage. Now, in case you were wondering, oils and balms are similar but not quite the same. Oils, I find, are much thinner in consistency. They come out of the bottle already an oil. Balms, on the other hand, start off as a sort of waxy solid but once they make contact with warm skin they melt into a thick oil. Both work about the same. Massage each into your skin in a circular motion with your fingertips to break down your makeup. I take my time with this to give my face a massage. I then like to wet my hands and continue massaging the oil into my skin. With water, balms and oils go from clear to milky. Finally, I wash it off with the help of a damp washcloth.

As of right now, I’m enjoying using my DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. Both are great ones that remove almost all of my makeup. They also don’t irritate or sting my eyes. That being said, I haven’t found a cleansing oil or balm that removes all of my mascara or stubborn waterproof eye makeup, which is why I reach for a micellar water right after this first cleansing step.

There’s some debate online as to which skin type is best suited for different types of balms and oils. Personally, I think it’s down to your own preference. I have dehydrated combo skin but I find that both balms and oils work just fine for my skin. However, I prefer oils over balms because I find balms to be too thick and heavy. I just prefer the texture of cleansing oils. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, I’d suggest testing out samples or travel-size minis before you invest in a full-size product.

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STEP 2: Micellar Water

To get rid of remaining makeup, especially my eye makeup, I always go in with micellar water after cleansing with an oil or balm. I haven’t found a cleansing oil that’ll remove eye makeup so micellar water is what I grab. You do need a cotton pad or two for this step! (By the way, if you’re looking for a more sustainable cotton pad alternative, there are reusable ones available!) I don’t just concentrate on my eyes. I also run a soaked cotton pad all over my face and neck. This gets rid of oily residue left over from the cleansing oil or balm and any lingering makeup. When it comes to removing my eye makeup, I always leave a soaked cotton pad over my closed eyes and let it sit for a few seconds just to break down the mascara. Then I gently pull it down while moving the cotton pad from side to side. Again, be gentle with this motion! I have thin, weak eyelashes so it’s best to be gentle with them to avoid breakage.

My holy grail micellar water is the Bioderma Sensibio H2O. It’s a staple in my skincare collection. The Bioderma is one of the few items I’ve repurchased countless times and will continue to repurchase for years to come. I’ve tried some other drugstore dupes like Garnier or Simple. While they are perfectly fine, they don’t remove makeup as effectively as the Bioderma. They also tend to be a bit too soapy for my preference.

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STEP 3: Hydrating Cleanser

While micellar water doesn’t require you to rinse it off with water, personally I don’t like the feeling of it on my skin so I do a final cleanse with a gentle hydrating or, at the very least, non-stripping cleanser. I also find that finishing off with a quick gentle cleanse leaves my skin residue free and soft as can be! It’s all about adding extra moisture to my skin! I’m not a fan of foaming cleansers because I find that they tend to strip my skin of much-needed moisture and many leave that annoying soapy residue or a squeaky clean feeling. Obviously, if you do love those then feel free to use them at this stage! Instead, I prefer milky gel-cream cleansers that leave my skin nourished and supple. My favorites at the moment are the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, the La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser, and the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. Out of those three picks, the CeraVe is the most hydrating while the Glossier Milky Jelly is the least. What I do love about the Milky Jelly is that you can use it on your eyes, unlike the other two! I also enjoy that extra thick gel texture. It’s so unique! The other two are milky, nourishing creams.

There you have it! An intense 3-step cleansing routine that suits my sensitive, dehydrated combo skin. If this is too much for your skin, just stick to a double cleanse. Of course, this would be too much to do twice a day so I’d recommend only pulling this multi-step regimen out when you really need it! How do you approach cleansing in your skincare routine? What products do you swear by? Let me know in comment section below!

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