How To Get Glowy Skin

From our K-beauty columnists, Glow Recipe’s Sarah Lee and Christine Chang. 

Perhaps the most important part of skincare throughout Asia, double cleansing is a beauty ritual that’s starting to become increasingly adopted in the Western beauty scene – and with good reason! Double cleansing is simply the best way to remove all traces of makeup, grime, and SPF from the skin for a thoroughly clean canvas that is ready to be pampered with skincare.

In the summer, when temperatures are elevated and your patience for your nightly routine is dwindling after a long day at the beach, taking the time to double cleanse could be one of the best ways to keep skin clear and healthy in the summer. As temps rise, oil and sweat can build up beneath your layers of SPF and makeup, causing irritation and breakouts that become exacerbated by the higher temperature of the skin. This is actually one of the no-brainer reasons that breakouts can be especially troublesome during the warmer months.

Our K-beauty rule of thumb is that whenever SPF or makeup is worn, you should be using a cleansing oil, and this is especially key in the summer months. Our favorite cleansing oils contain emulsifiers, which cause the oil to turn milky when rinsed with water. The milkiness cuts the oil, and allows it to rinse cleanly from the skin. This means you’re never left with an oil slick or a greasy feeling after using one.

The idea behind using a cleansing oil is simple, and has its roots in Chem 101: like dissolves like. Sebum, makeup and sweat are oily substances that can only be completely dissolved by another oily counterpart. Sunscreen is also best dissolved by a cleansing oil. Traditional foaming cleansers simply don’t have the power to remove a whole day’s worth of skincare, suncare and makeup. The beauty of the double cleanse is that it’s actually really simple to integrate – pair a cleansing oil of your choice with your favorite foaming cleanser and you’ve got all your bases covered, including the removal of stubborn eye makeup.

All skin types can benefit from using one – even those of us who are acne prone. Sebum, for all the woes it causes, is actually trying to protect the skin, keeping it buttoned up from bacteria and pollutants. Oil cleansing promises nourishing benefits for all skin types, and can help to reduce patchiness while deep-cleansing pores. Oils are amazingly beneficial for the skin, because they’re close to the natural moisturizing factors that that are naturally present in our skin. The beauty of cleansing oils is that they aren’t in contact with the skin for long enough to clog pores, and many of them are formulated exclusively with non-comedogenic oils that are instead super nourishing and actually very hydrating for all skin types. Examples of mineral-oil free cleansing oils that we love are Blossom Jeju Camellia Cleansing Oil, formulated with pure camellia oils from the pristine Jeju islands of Korea or Whamisa Organic Flowers Cleansing Oil made with lightweight fermented botanical oils.

Our favorite no-mess, summer-friendly way to implement a double cleanse is to massage with your cleansing oil sink side before hopping into the shower, where you can emulsify and rinse it off before using your foaming cleanser to remove excess oil and debris. We always recommend using a foaming cleanser after your cleansing oil to ensure that skin is deep cleansed of any residual oil, grime or makeup and fully refreshed. When choosing a foaming cleanser, look for one that is free of SLSs (Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates) which is a foaming agent that can irritate and imbalance the skin, such as Primary Raw’s DoYouganic Cleansing Soap or Blossom Jeju Pink Blooming Cleanser.  

After you’ve completed your nightly double cleanse, simply continue with your normal skincare. Warmer weather lends itself to lighter textured creams that sink into the skin and don’t trap sweat and sebum overnight. If you have a drier skin type add a few drops of a dry oil to your moisturizer to combat dryness while keeping skin hydrated and summer-ready.

For more K-Beauty tips, see these tips on how to make your skin glow, or check out these great sheet masks.