What Is Triple Cleansing And Is It Safe?

There's much ado about cleansing.

Cleansing is the first step of any skincare regimen, as it eliminates all the grime and bacteria that your skin has accumulated throughout the day. Some opt to use micellar water and a cotton pad to get rid of dirt, while some use a combination of a foam or gel cleanser and a cleansing tool to achieve a deeper, more effective clean. Those with drier skin types often reach for oil cleansers since they help retain moisture after you've stripped your skin of all the dirt.


Double cleansing is also a thing, and many stand by its ability to effectively remove all impurities. It involves using an oil-based cleanser first to remove makeup residue, sunscreen, and dirt, and then followed by a water-based cleanser for pulling stubborn gunk that gets stuck in your pores. To some, double cleansing is considered overkill, but little do they know that there is also a thing called triple cleansing. This elaborate method may seem excessive, but some experts note that it washing your face three separate times does have benefits.

Inside the so-called triple cleansing

According to Allure, triple cleansing was inspired by the Korean beauty trend of double cleansing, and it also involves pretty much the same type of cleansers. You first use either micellar water or oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and grime, but before moving on to a water-based cleanser, some use a cream-based cleanser for another round of cleaning. You then finish with a gel or foaming cleanser for the last round.


Of course, this isn't the only way to triple cleanse. In a viral Tik Tok video about triple cleansing, an influencer used a different assortment of products and a different order in which she used them. She first used a cleansing balm, followed by micellar water, and finished off with a gel cleanser and a cleansing tool. There's really no one way of triple cleansing, but the idea is to thoroughly clean your face in three different ways to eliminate as much dirt as you can.

Now on to the most important question: is triple cleansing really necessary? Well, the answer largely depends on your skin type, what you put on your face, and your daily activities. "If you have relatively 'normal' skin and wear lots of product, SPF, and make-up daily, and are more exposed to environmental damage, then a third cleanse isn't going to hurt," Dr. Ross Perry, medical director of Cosmedics skin clinics told Stylist UK. "But make sure you're using a gentle cleanser and it's used sparingly."


How much cleansing is too much?

Overwashing your face can happen, especially if you're not being careful. It's important to pay close attention to what's happening on your skin so you can gauge whether or not it needs additional cleansing. Dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto shared with the Evening Standard that it's only you who can tell if you need to wash only once, twice, or thrice. "Your skin should be cleansed twice a day, but if you feel that more is needed on occasion then that is up to you," she shared. "We need to be sensible about cleansing as over-washing can lead to dryness, sensitivity, and irritation."


Meanwhile, Athena Hewett, aesthetician and founder of Monastery skin care, explained to Allure that the telltale signs of overwashing are having a "tight and dry feeling," extra sensitivity, and "reddish, dry patches." More often than not, your choice of cleanser is the culprit, too.

"Overwashing usually results from using a cleanser that's too harsh for your skin," board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo told the outlet. "I see this a lot with acne cleansers." If you're doing multiple rounds of cleansing, make sure that you're not using products that mess with your moisture barrier. Otherwise, you only risk damaging your skin.