Which comes first: mask or cleanser?
[ Edited ]


The mask direction usually say apply to a clean face and rinse off. However, since I usually don't wear make up and am not physically active, clean for me = rinse+wipe with towel... or should I wash my face before masks? If I apply after the cleanser, it says to rinse off, so am I not suppose to use a toner and go straight to moisturizer? Does the process differs whether it's a mud/clay/charcoal mask or hydration mask?


p.s. also, moisturizer is a definite, but do you apply toner or serum afterward?

Answers: 5

Personally I do cleanser first because I figure it helps to clean out and open my pores. I figure the masks will have more of an effect if my pores are open. Then I will usually do the mask and then any moisturizer after so it stays on to hydrate my skin instead of coming off with the mask.


I usually cleanse before using a mask. After removing the mask, I apply toner, treatment, and moisturizer. A toner, by the way, is meant to remove excess dead skin or product leftover, so it is best to use a toner after rinsing off a mask to remove any mud/clay/charcoal. However, if you're using a mask that doesn't require you to rinse off, like a lot of those Asian cloth masks, I would still cleanse before using a mask, but skip the toner, treatment, and/or moisturizer depending on the purpose of the mask. I hope this helps and good luck!


I have used masks with cleansing before and without cleansing before and what I have noticed with some masks is that they don't adhere right when you haven't cleansed first. It is probably the oil on the skin that is probably causing my problem, but I like to cleanse before using masks anyway because then my face is already wet if the mask is to be applied to wet skin or if it is to be applied to dry skin I find that they apply a bit better when my skin is just slightly damp from cleansing. Hope this helps!

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Hi BeautyTester,


I agree, I like to use a cleanser first and then use any masks or peels. I feel like it puts the active ingredients in an more effective position to really do their job and absorb better into the skin and pores. If my skin isn't too sensitive after, I'll follow up with a toner just to kill any extra bacteria or remove buildup left on the skin, but I think using a toner after is more of an optional choice. Same thing with a serum or moisturizer, but a serum can also help to absorb into the skin too. Smiley Happy



Luv&Lipgloss, Diana
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I usually cleanse before and after a mask.  My routine consists of cleansing skin thoroughly, using a gentle scrub to exfoliate, resting a warm/hot washcloth on my face for a few minutes to open up pores, then applying the mask.  I evenly distribute a thin layer of mask all over my face for about 10-15 minutes (sometimes much longer when I do DIY deep clean facials) then rinse off with cool water.  After rinsing, I cleanse my face again (just to make sure all the mask is off my face), apply toner if necessary, and load up on moisturizer, in my case Josie Maran's Argan Oil, since the mask, in combination with a toner and scrub can be a bit drying.   Hope this helps!

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