A couple of years ago, the idea of cleansing your face twice would be laughed at by many. Of all the extravagances of the beauty industry, this one was widely regarded as too ridiculous. Now everybody and their aunt double cleanses, in fact not double cleansing is seen as downright neglectful.

It’s time to take things further.

Let’s talk about the triple cleanse.

Let me preface this with an acknowledgement of how silly this seems. Yes, two cleanses is more or less required, but three cleanses? Pishposh. I’m not saying you have to do this daily, morning and night. Consider it a treatment. It’s like doing a mask – maybe you can’t lay about in a drippy sheet mask every night, but once a week is reasonable.

The idea of triple cleansing hadn’t even entered my periphery until I was invited to a Tata Harper masterclass for the local beauty press. It was quite the luxurious experience with huge globs of product slathered onto your face, one after the other. Tata is known for her cleansers, so I understand the idea of having us use three of them in one sitting so we got the lay of the land so to speak. I admit I rolled my eyes a little. Then, as I went from oil to cream to exfoliating gel formula, I felt really grand. My face was reeeally liking it.

And so, I’ve continued the tradition – in moderation – with my own set of cleansers at home. (It doesn’t hurt that I happen to have a lot of cleansers to use up)

Here’s the first step of my triple cleanse, the balm. This one is the Pixi double cleanse balm.

So here’s what I do. Once a week, or twice if I’m feeling really grimy, I start off with a balm or oil cleanse that I really take my time with. The idea is for this cleanse to feel like a little facial at your bathroom sink, so I massage this first cleanser in thoroughly to make sure all the sunscreen and makeup I have on dissolves into a grey goo. Then I wipe off with a damp towel, and go on to the cream cleanser.

With the second step I do the same thing – a thorough massage, focusing on areas that congest easily like my t-zone and hairline. Then we rinse. Lastly, a gel cleanser (though a gentle one!) to really loosen up those last dregs of dirt and product residue before I go on with my regular routine. Toner, essence, serum, et cetera et cetera.

Note that your skin shouldn’t feel dry or stripped after the triple cleanse (it never should!) so if you’re getting any discomfort you may be using a cleanser that’s too harsh – we all have different skin needs and gel cleansers in particular can be drying. The one I’m currently using, the Cicamed ASD Active Cleansing Gel, contains salicylic acid but is still very gentle and doesn’t dry me out at all.