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What is the Double Cleanse Method for Eyes?

What is the double cleanse method for eyes?
The word double implies two steps. The first step is always going to be the oil cleansing. Oil cleansing can be used to clean the eye. It can also be used to clean the eye if you happen to wear eye makeup.
The second step
is going to be primarily a water based cleanser. That's the final wash off. I prefer foaming style cleansers.

I'm gonna break this up into two parts. 
First, the positives and then the negatives. I'm a firm believer that a healthy eyelid skin barrier is going to be an eyelid that's going to be less prone to flare ups. Eyes are so unique. The tears inside the eye like to be a pH of 7 which is a neutral pH. The eyelid skin that actually interfaces right next to the tear film, that pH tends to float around closer to a pH of 5. Skin likes to be more acidic.


NUMBER 1. You can use a cleansing oil to clean the eye area. It doesn't contain any surfactants. This means that the cleansing action will not change that pH and that is vital when the tears want a ph of 7 and the eyelid skin wants a pH around 5.

Take a bar of soap – that pH tends to float around 9 or 10, quite a basic pH number. Even take baby shampoo.  Baby shampoo pH tends to float around 6 or 7 which helps it be more "tear less" but ultimately too basic in pH to keep the eyelid skin happy over time. That's why cleansing oils are ideal. It allows the eye area to be cleansed without fussing or messing with the pH that it prefers: tears at 7 and eyelid skin around 5.
NUMBER 2. Cleansing oil is a rock star. When it comes to cleaning the eye area, there's sebum, oils, dirt, debris and also eye makeup. 

Let me show you. I'm a total fan of oil cleanse oil. You add cleansing oil. Here, this is waterproof eyeliner and here we are instantly breaking molecular bonds. This is the cleansing oil step. If you wear a lot of eye makeup, you'll just need to add more cleansing oil. So let's rub that in. Get that nice and clean
The second step that foaming cleanser. What's magical about this? Your eyelid skin barrier has a top surface of lipids. It likes lipids because that is what helps to protect that eyelid skin barrier. Remember, a healthy eyelid skin barrier has a full and intact lipid layer. 

Now, we've added the foaming cleanser as the second step. The foaming cleanser is water based and contains surfactants. It will remove lipids, but it's actually removing the lipids of the cleansing oil and not the lipids of that eyelid area. And then you do your final wash off, and there you go. That's how the double cleanse method is done.


ONE. Some of my patients really can't tolerate that greasy sensation of oil cleansing. So double cleanse method is not for them.

Cleansing oils can clog oil glands, especially if they are 100% of one ingredient. To solve this, always use a blended formulation for your cleansing oil. 100% coconut oil is trending for oil cleansing. 100% coconut oil works for some of my patients, and 100% coconut oil also doesn't work for most of my patients. 
So just keep that in mind.

The double cleanse method is definitely not more convenient. The two steps for the more thorough clean always takes more time. Something to keep in mind because life can get busy. For the super busy and the occasional super lazy patients like this – it's always good to have micellar water available as the next best thing.


Love + Healthy Eyes,
Dr. Tanya Gill, OD