Makeover Momma
clay face mask on face

Do You Wash Your Face After A Face Mask? Should You?

Seems like such a silly question to be asking, don’t you think? I mean, after you put something on your face, you should rinse it off, right?

Well, that depends on what face mask you use? You see, there are two basic face masks types: non-setting and setting. A non-setting mask is the one you just apply to your face and let it sit, allowing your skin to absorb it fully. A setting mask (such as a cleansing clay mask) is a mask that requires some time to “harden” on your face and do its magic. This is the mask you HAVE to rinse off. Leaving it on for longer than it was intended may dry out or irritate your skin.

Masks That Require A Faces Wash And The Ones That Don’t

If you are using a store-bought face mask, it will come with a set of instructions for you to follow. So basically, it will be pretty self-explanatory as to whether you should wash the mask off or not. However, sometimes these instructions are written on a tiny piece of paper stuffed in the box that you won’t have access to until you open it. And unless you want to get charged for property damage, I wouldn’t advise you do that in a store before buying it! So to save you the hassle, I’ve answered the question for you.

Sheet Mask: The main aim of a sheet mask is to make the skin super hydrated. To add additional moisture, they are soaked in essence or serum. You will need to wash and dry your face before applying it but not after. Leave the sheet mask on for 15 to 20 minutes, remove it and massage what’s left of the serum into your skin. For additional hydration, you can apply a moisturizer.

Clay Masks: Unless you want to walk around looking like something out of a horror movie, you are definitely going to have to wash off a clay mask. They are thick and creamy, and when left to dry become caked and encrusted. You will need to wash your clay face mask off with a muslin or flannel cloth; there’s no need to use a cleanser because clay masks get rid of dirt and impurities. Once you’ve washed your face, use a skin toner and then a hydrating moisturizer to lock in the benefits of the face mask.

Mud Mask: Even though mud masks don’t dry hard, they are more or less the same as a clay mask, and you will need to wash it off once it's been applied and worked its magic. You can then apply a moisturizer for the finishing touches.

Magnetic Masks: You just know I have to try out every new skin care trend that hits the streets, and magnetic masks are AWESOME! Honestly, they are like a dream come true; you don’t need to wash it off your face, the magnet attached to the mask does that for you. Light moisture is left on the skin which you can massage into your face for the perfect hydrated finish.

Overnight Masks: In case you hadn’t guessed, overnight masks are left on overnight! They are excellent for people with really dry skin, and it performs a miracle while you sleep. In the morning, wash your face as you normally would, and your skin will feel refreshed and hydrated.

Eye Mask: Even though an eye mask is only for the eyes, it's still a part of the face, so I thought they were worth mentioning. Eye masks are loaded with serum, and it doesn’t need washing off. You can rub the residue around your eye area to gain additional benefits.

Should You Wash You Face Before Applying Face Mask?

should you wash your face after a face mask

Absolutely! I find it totally disturbing that people think it’s ok not to wash your face because the mask will do the cleansing on your behalf! The main aim of a face mask is to get rid of any impurities and cleanse the skin, not to mush more grime into it! And that’s exactly what you would be doing if you don’t wash your face before applying a face mask.

To prep your skin before application, wash and cleanse your skin (get rid of any makeup you have on). There is no need to apply moisturizer.

When was the last time you exfoliated? If it’s been a while, it’s a good idea to do so before applying your face mask. Not only does exfoliation get rid of any dead skin, but it also amplifies the effects of the mask. Either you can buy an exfoliator from the store, or you can make your own by mixing sugar or ground coffee with a few drops of water, massaging it into your skin and then rinsing.

Your mask will work even better if you open your pores. You can do this by taking a warm shower or soaking a washcloth in hot water (as hot as you can manage, wringing it out and laying it over your face until it cools off.  Another option is to position your face over a bowl of boiling water, put a towel over your head and allow the steam to soak into your skin and open your pores.

Should You Use Moisturizer After A Face Mask?

Once you’ve rinsed a face mask off, your skin is going to be sensitive, so you will need to treat it even more gently than you normally would. As you have read, some face masks like the magnetic and sheet masks leave a residue that you can rub into the skin. However, if you really want to lock in the benefits of a face mask, then it’s a good idea to apply a moisturizer afterward.

A good moisturizer creates a protective barrier on the skin to seal in the active ingredients from the face mask and keep the skin hydrated. However, the key here is a ‘good moisturizer,’ you can’t slather Vaseline on your face and expect to get results. If you don’t have one already, or you are in the Vaseline slathering category, you will need to find a moisturizer that agrees with your skin type. Please note, if you want radiant, glowing skin, it only makes sense to dig deep into your pockets and invest in something worthwhile.

Once you’ve treated yourself to some well-deserved TLC, you will need to wait a while before applying any other products. Half an hour is good enough to make sure all the ingredients from the face mask are fully absorbed into your skin. You can then rub some moisturizer between your fingers and massage it into your skin in an upwards direction, never downwards – unless you want to speed up the aging process!

Image source:

Igor Marcikic

I've struggled with acne and oily skin for the better part of my life. Along the way, I've picked up some valuable information, tips, and tricks, which helped me manage my "situation." This website is a way of giving back and trying to help others like me! Enjoy your stay, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.