If you’re serious about your skincare routine, following each step in the correct order is essential – whether applying cleansers, toners, face masks, serums, oils or moisturisers.
Explore our guide to using face masks to find out whether you should apply them before or after showering for the best results.
The benefits of using face masks
You can find face masks for different skin types and concerns, making them a valuable product in your routine. However, choosing the correct type for your skin is vital if you want to benefit from this additional step, and you should only use them once a week (or as directed). For example, hydrating face masks nourish dry skin while exfoliating clay masks draw out impurities to prevent breakouts.
How to apply a face mask
Wondering whether to apply your face mask before or after a shower? Either way is acceptable, but both options have pros and cons. Discover our application tips to get the most out of your skincare.
When applying a face mask before showering, cleanse your skin and dry it with a towel first. This ensures the face mask adheres to your skin and can penetrate through. Then, follow these steps for the best results:
- Spread a thin, even layer all over your face, avoiding the eyes and lips. You can also cover the neck and décolletage. Liquid masks can be applied with your hands, while powder masks must be mixed with water and are easier to apply with a brush.
- Leave the product on for the time specified on the packaging (usually 5-20 minutes).
- For exfoliating or clay masks, rinse with warm water (never hot) and pat the skin dry with a towel.
- Then enjoy your shower, remembering to apply any serums, oils, moisturisers and SPFs afterwards.
Although you can apply a face mask before showering, we recommend doing it afterwards, as the warm water from the shower will open your pores, letting the product penetrate deeper into the skin. Plus, you can cleanse your face while in the shower, meaning fewer steps (and less water required).
Follow steps 1-3 outlined above if you want to apply your face mask after showering, apart from hydrating and anti-ageing masks (follow steps 1 and 2 only). These masks should always be applied after showering as the product is left on the skin. However, clay or exfoliating masks must be rinsed off, so you can use them before or after showering to suit your preference.
Questions about face masks
Find answers to frequently asked questions about face masks, including when to use them, whether washing your face in the shower is advisable, and what shower temperature is best for your skin.
When is the best time to use a face mask?
Although most people apply face masks in the evening, in some cases, it may be better to use them in the morning. For example, hydrating masks can provide a much-needed moisture boost throughout the day while prepping the skin for any makeup. Exfoliating or clay masks are best used in the evening, as they often have more potent ingredients or mildly abrasive particles that may cause redness.
Chemical peels or resurfacing masks should never be used in the morning, as they make your skin sun sensitive. If you’re using a peel at night, always apply SPF the following morning.
Is it bad to wash your face in the shower?
Alongside when you should apply face masks, one of the most debated skincare queries is should you wash your face before or after a shower? Providing you don’t use scalding hot water, washing your face in the shower is fine. It can even save time and water compared to washing your face in the sink before or after showering. Discover our guide to the best shower temperature to learn how to protect your skin.
If you wash your face in the shower, remember to remove makeup or SPF beforehand. Steam opens your pores, so this step helps prevent dirt and pollutants on the skin’s surface from seeping in before cleansing.
What shower temperature is best for your skin?
Keep your shower temperature between 37˚C and 38˚C to protect your skin. Higher temperatures can cause dryness and sensitivity. You may want to use lower temperatures in the summer as seasonal weather can affect your shower.