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Should I Wash My Face After a Face Mask?


Should I Wash My Face After a Face Mask?


Photographer: Benjamin StoneRestrictions: Internal use only. No advertising or print.

Face masks are an effective (and often luxurious) part of any skin-care routine, but there can be confusion around exactly how to use them. And we get it, face masks come in many, many forms. You can count on a clay mask to pull grime from your pores, a sheet mask to instantly hydrate for special occasions, and an overnight mask to deeply moisturise thirsty skin. With all of that choice you might be wondering “do I need to wash my face mask off?” There is no clear answer because it all depends on the type of mask you’re using. To help clear up the confusion, we listed the most popular types of face masks and whether they require a face rinse afterwards or not.

Clay Masks

Yes, clay masks do need to be washed off. They are a thick cream-like consistency when applied and often left to dry for 10-15 minutes. They aren’t always the easiest of formulas to remove so washing off with a flannel or muslin cloth is recommended. Using a cleanser after a clay mask is entirely personal. Typically, you would remove all of your makeup with a double cleanse prior to using a clay mask, then simply remove gently with warm water and a cloth and apply your favourite moisturiser. Clay masks are usually used at nighttime and are advised not to be used the night before a big event or occasion as the aim here is to draw out impurities.

Sheet masks

Unlike clay masks, the main purpose of sheet masks is to hydrate the skin. Sheet masks are soaked in a serum or essence that packs a punch of moisture for the skin. You should apply to a clean, freshly-cleansed face and left to work its magic for 15-20 minutes. Once you’ve removed the mask, you simply rub the rest of the serum into the skin and add some moisturiser over the top if you want to. There’s absolutely no need to rinse your face after using a sheet mask; in fact, that actually defeats the whole point of one. Unfortunately, sheet masks are incredibly wasteful, which is why we recommend using them on special occasions only, or using a reusable sheet mask with your favourite serum.

Mud mask

A mud mask is similar to a clay mask but has slightly different properties — a clay mask is drying to remove impurities and a mud mask is skin healing. A mud mask is pretty messy in nature and definitely needs to be washed off completely after using. Using a flannel or muslin cloth can help with this removal and you should always top off with a moisturiser.

Overnight masks

Overnight masks are basically thicker, richer moisturisers. They are designed to work while we sleep and can either be rubbed in in the morning or washing off in the morning. We would recommend washing an overnight mask off in the morning gently with water and then topping up hydration with your day moisturiser and an SPF.

Cream Mask

OK, cream masks is where it can get a bit tricky and depends on the specific product and its instructions and also your skin type and preference. Cream masks are typically designed to be washed off gently after 15-20 minutes, it will have had enough time to work and give your skin many hydrating benefits. However, if you have really dry skin or just want to give your complexion some TLC, you can leave a thin layer on for hours and even overnight. We would recommend testing the product out for a shorter amount of time before committing to leaving it on overnight as some masks can be a little pore-clogging on certain skin types.

Eye mask

Similar to a sheet mask, eye masks are full of serum goodness and do not need to be washed off. They can be used in the morning before makeup, in the evening, or even at the same time as a face mask. Again, single-use eye patches can be really wasteful (even if they’re biodegradable) so we recommend using reusable eye masks like these from Dieux Skin (£22)

Magnetic mask

Magnetic face masks aren’t exactly your everyday product but they really had a moment a few years back. Magnetic masks do not need to be washed off with water after using as they should be completely removed using the magnet provided. The mask is designed to leave moisture behind that is massaged into the skin. Magnetic masks are a little on the gimmick side but they’re perfect for people with stubble; forget having to scrub clay off, you just magically lift away all the dirt and grime.


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