If you’ve wondered whether it’s better to skincare routine before or after shower, you’ve likely seen conflicting information online. The key to this answer depends on the type of mask you use, as well as your skin type — it’s not necessarily based on timing.

I’m definitely someone who loves squeezing as much multitasking as humanly possible into my morning routine. It’s not strange for my toothbrush and facial cleanser to both end up in the shower after a rushed morning routine.

I had to stop myself and think, is it better to apply skincare before or after showering? Or on the other hand, can you get away with actually doing your skincare inside the shower?

skincare-routine-after-shower

skincare routine after shower

Yes, you can do almost all of your skincare routine in the shower! But there are some skincare steps that should be left until after you have dried off. Let’s break it down step by step so you can save as much time as possible during your daily skin routine.

Should You Apply skincare routine before or after shower?

skin-care-routine-in-shower

skin care routine in shower

You can use almost any rinse-off skincare product before or during your shower. I personally use all my rinse off steps during my shower while I wait for my conditioner and shampoo to work their magic. The one exception to this is with chemical peels and chemical exfoliants that need to be rinsed off.

Chemical exfoliants like glycolic or lactic acid are rinsed off with cold water to neutralize the formula and stop the exfoliating process. When used carefully, these products will not cause irritation to normal skin types. But if you were to rinse them off using hot water during a steamy shower it could seriously irritate your skin.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

You can use these products in the shower:

  • Mud masks
  • Rinse off face masks
  • Cleansers and cleansing balms

But, do NOT use these skincare products inside the shower:

  • Chemical exfoliants/peels
  • Sheet masks + overnight masks
  • Serum, essence, ampoules
  • Moisturizer/eye cream

Don’t Land Yourself In Hot Water

can-you-do-your-skincare-routine-in-the-shower

can you do your skincare routine in the shower

A long scalding shower may be tempting on a chilly day but extremely hot water can actually dry out your skin! This scientific study monitored patients’ skin after cleansing with different temperatures of water and proved that skin can easily be damaged when washed with overly hot water. It strips away the healthy fats and oils in your skin barrier and actually causes your skin to lose hydration through Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL).

If you take intensely hot showers it would be best to save the skincare for afterward. These high temps can also affect the rest of your body, it’s not just your face that can be damaged. It’s especially tempting to relax with a steamy shower during the dry winter months but this is when we need to really watch out!

Lengthy hot showers can worsen eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, and even cause otherwise healthy skin to become irritated and dehydrated. But hey, your water/electric bills will also be glad if you turn down the temperature and shorten those 45-minute long shower sessions!

Should You Cleanse During or After Showering?

Your cleansing step can easily be done in the shower. Washing your face in the shower is actually a great opportunity to make sure your hairline and jawline get thoroughly cleansed as it can be tough to get those areas cleansed without soaking yourself at the sink.

Save your cleanser until the very tail end of your shower as this will ensure that any residue from your hair products is also removed from your skin. Products like conditioner or other waxy formulas can drip onto your face leaving a thin residue on the skin which causes clogged pores and other forms of breakouts. If you have very long hair and struggle with back acne you might actually be able to trace it back to your conditioner!

Removing Makeup In The Shower

If you have a double cleansing routine feel free to take it into the shower with you! But be aware that oil-based products break down quickly in hot water so keep an eye on those temps. As long as you face away from the water stream you can easily use cleansing balms to tackle makeup removal in your shower.

In this step you should use a facial cleanser that works after entering the pores to get dirt like lumispa.

Let's see what she has to say about her experience using the lumispa machine

Skincare products order guild

  1. Check the LUMISPA retail price in your market.
  2. Register yourself as distributor or preferred customer.
  3. When you sign in Nuskin finish, you can login and order nuskin products online at nuskin.com.
  4. Decide which deput kit set to go with, know your skin type.
  5. Place your order and finish.

You can then follow up your oil-based cleanser/balm with your normal cleanser while still in the shower. Just be sure to save that second cleanser until after you’ve used all other beauty products. This will prevent any unwanted shampoo/body wash residues from getting left behind onto your face or neck. And this goes without saying, but make sure your hands are thoroughly rinsed from any previous soaps before you move onto washing your face.

Is It OK To Store Skincare In The Shower?

Many skincare products contain active ingredients like Vitamin C or chemical exfoliants like AHA/BHAS. These active ingredients are easily damaged by heat and your steamy shower stall is not a safe storage location.

“Anything containing active ingredients will degrade under the bright lights and warm, damp conditions in the shower. Not only does that mean that your AHAs and BHAs won’t do their job as effectively, but it also means that bacteria within the product can multiply and cause breakouts and potential infection.”

Dr. Justine Hextall Consultant Dermatologist

Basic skincare like simple facial cleansers can be left in the shower but make sure that you’re keeping their lids shut tight after each use. Even if there are no active ingredients the warm environment of the shower can create a smorgasbord for bacteria so it’s very important to keep things sealed tight.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to store all of your skincare check out my guide on How to Organize Your Skincare Stash.

Face Masks skincare routine before or after shower?

Mud masks can be a major pain in the neck to rinse off over a sink without making a huge mess! I recommend applying the mask while your shower is heating up. This will give the masks a few minutes to absorb into the skin and you can get your other shower products together while waiting as well. You can give it even more time to work its magic by focusing on other areas of your body and keeping your face out of the water stream.

Use-Scrubs-and-Masks-for-Acne

Exfoliating or moisturizing face masks can also be rinsed off in the shower, just be sure that you’re not accidentally rinsing them off too early. If you have a spendier skincare product that you’re worried about prematurely going down the drain you’d be better off waiting until after the shower. Alternatively, you would just need to make sure that you gave the mask ample time to work before stepping in the shower.

What about sheet masks or sleeping masks?

Sheet masks are designed as leave-on products and any leftover essence from the cloth is massaged into the skin after you remove the mask. Sleeping masks are only meant to be rinsed off in the morning after having many hours to nourish the skin. These kinds of treatments should always be applied after showering, otherwise, you will lose out on most if not all of their nourishing benefits!

Cleanser: should you use a skincare routine before or after shower?

When do you like to wash your face? Some people love to cleanse while they are in the shower. Others keep their cleansing routines categorically separate. There are lots of arguments for and against either side, and the decision comes down to personal preference. We’re looking at some arguments from both sides to help you make a decision on which way is right for you.

Cleansing In The Shower

Pros

  • Speed: When you cleanse in the shower you’re killing two birds with one stone. This is especially important in the morning when you’re pressed for time but still want to clean your face. Cleansing in the shower certainly cuts down on extra time, plus you don’t have to do any additional prep work such as tying up your hair or prepping your sink area.
  • Opens Pores: Showers produce steam and steam can gently open your pores. There’s a reason why every spa uses a steamer! Steam can help dirt, oil or excess sebum release from your pores so when you are cleansing you are really getting a deep cleanse.
  • Ease of Use: In the shower you have lots of space and don’t have to worry about your cleanser getting on the floor or in your hair.

Cons

  • Hot Water: Hot water is the enemy of healthy skin as it dries it out and can interfere with its barrier function. Avoid splashing very hot water on your face if you want to avoid stripping it or unnecessarily dehydrating skin.
  • Duration: You probably wouldn’t wash your face for more than a few minutes standing by a sink but in the shower your skin could be in constant contact with warm water for several minutes. This could remove necessary oils and harm your skin’s barrier function as you are removing too much moisture from your skin.

Cleansing After Shower

Pros

  • Shampoo and Conditioner won’t touch your face: Multitasking can be good but cleansing your face and using shampoo/conditioner at the same time can allow some crossover between products. This might make your skin oilier particularly if you use deep conditioning hair products. Keeping products separate ensures that you aren’t accidentally irritating your skin with fragrant shampoos or conditioners.
  • Can Moisturize Immediately After: If you cleanse your skin over a sink you can rinse off and immediately apply moisturizer thereafter. The best practice is to apply moisturizer when skin is still damp.

Cons

  • Time-consuming: Separating your shower and cleansing routine doubles the time spent in your regimen. If you’re really pressed for time you may end up skipping washing your face which is a big no no if you want to keep your skin happy and healthy-looking.
  • Don’t get the steam effect of open pores: You only get the steam room effect in the shower. Your pores may not open with your sink routine so you’re missing out on the deep clean your skin may otherwise get in the shower.

How to properly apply a face mask

The purpose of a face mask depends on its type. Some masks are designed for drying out excess sebum (oil) in combination and oily skin types, while others replenish lost moisture in dry skin. Some face masks treat uneven skin tone and others may contain exfoliants that help remove dead skin cells.

Regardless of the type of mask, there are some key steps to applying it properly:

  1. First, clean your face with your usual cleanser.
  2. Apply the mask in a thin, even layer around your entire face. Be careful to avoid your eyes and lips. You can also extend the layer to your neck and décolletage.
  3. Some masks require that you massage the product into your skin for a few seconds — these mostly apply to exfoliating products. Read the product instructions beforehand if you’re unsure.
  4. Wait 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the product instructions. In general, drying masks for oily skin are left on for a shorter amount of time, while hydrating and anti aging masks are left on longer — sometimes overnight.
  5. Rinse with warm, not hot, water. Use a soft washcloth for easier removal.
  6. Follow up with your normal toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen before and after shower.

How often you apply your face mask depends on your skin type. Anti-aging masks may be used a few times per week, while masks for oily skin are used two to three times. Hydrating masks may also be used a few times per week. If you have sensitive skin, you may only need to use a face mask once per week.

Should a face mask skincare routine before or after shower?

While a weekly-plus face mask can be important to your overall skin care routine, adding it as an extra step can seem time-consuming. You might have heard that you can cut down on time by incorporating your mask into your shower routine, especially with a liquid or mud mask. This is certainly a viable way to get your face mask in — however, there are a few catches.

First, you still need to make sure you cleanse your face before applying the mask to remove surface dirt, oil, and makeup. This can be done a couple of different ways. You can wash your face at the sink and apply your mask before getting in the shower. Or, you can wash your face in the shower and apply your mask there and keep it on while you do the rest of your showering routine. The caveat with the second approach, though, is that you won’t be able to see how evenly you’ve applied the mask in the shower, and water may run through it before it’s finished setting.

Another option is to take a shower and then wash your face and apply your mask. This method works particularly well with deep cleansing masks for oily and combination skin, such as those made from mud and charcoal. Showering first allows your pores to open up from the warm water and steam, prepping your skin for a deeper cleansing experience.

toner-before-or-after-shower

Toner before or after shower

If you have drier skin, you may be better off applying your mask before taking a shower. This helps to seal in the moisture from your mask and the shower. Be sure to follow up with an emollient-rich moisturizer immediately after getting out of the shower.

When you want to apply a mask without showering, simply follow the product instructions as well as the steps above.

Sheet masks are used a bit differently. These should always be applied before the rest of your skin care routine. However, the product that remains after you remove the mask is intended to be massaged into your skin, so you’ll need to do this after your shower so you don’t accidentally rinse it away.

Another exception is an overnight treatment mask. True to their name, these masks are intended to be left on overnight and rinsed off with your morning face cleansing. To use this type of mask, you can do your normal skin routine and then apply the mask last. Sometimes an overnight mask is used in place of your nightly moisturizer — this depends on how dry your skin is. Overnight masks are thicker and creamier and usually designed for dry to normal skin types.

Know your skin type

Using a face mask before or after your shower depends on your skin type and your time constraints. The answer also has a lot to do with the type of mask you’re using. By knowing a few rules of thumb, you’ll be better able to add your mask to your skin care and shower routine and gain all the skin-brightening benefits.

How to Finish Your Skincare Routine After Showering

lumispa-before-after

Lumispa before after

There is a very short window between getting out of the shower while your skin is still moist and steamed and when it starts to dry out and start losing hydration. It’s important to quickly apply serum and moisturizer before your skin has a chance to completely dry.

Serums and moisturizers are more effectively absorbed when applied to damp skin and it will also help to seal in extra moisture. Applying these products should be the very first thing you do after getting out, your hair routine can wait! ? Ideally, you should have your moisturizer on within 3 minutes of getting out of the shower.

Finally, toners, essences, ampoules, and serums should all be applied after showering because they are meant to remain on the skin and do not require a rinse after application.

Skincare Routine Before or After Shower: When You Should?

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