Should You Cleanse After a Face Mask? Here's the Answer
Make no mistake: Face masks are an effective (and often luxurious) part of any skin-care routine, but there can be a lot of confusion around exactly how to use them. This is especially true given the fact that there are so many variations of masks on the market to choose from, from clay formulas to exfoliating treatments and more.
The first question that often comes to mind is whether you should cleanse or wash your face after using a face mask. Does that undo all the work, rinsing all the progress you've made to your complexion down the drain? Or, is it a necessary step to get rid of any gunk that might be lingering after you towel off the treatment?
It turns out, the answer has a lot to do with what type of mask you're using. If that sounds confusing, don't worry, we're here to give you the lowdown on exactly what you can expect when using every type of formula — from mud masks and paper sheets to overnight treatments and beyond. Check out our answers to whether you should wash your face after each type of face mask (and why), ahead.
Yes, clay masks like the Innisfree formula above do need to be washed off. They are a thick cream-like consistency when applied, but most are then left to dry, and washed off using a face cloth or muslin cloth. You don't need to use a cleanser, though. Clay masks are designed to draw out impurities and grime from the skin and once washed off, they're best topped with a hydrating moisturizer to hydrate the skin.
Unlike clay masks, the main purpose of sheet masks is to hydrate the skin. Sheet masks are soaked on a serum or essence that adds a big punch of moisture to the skin. You should apply to a clean, freshly-cleansed face, and once the mask has been left on for 15-20 minutes and removed, you simply rub the rest of the serum into the skin. There's no need to rinse, but for even more hydration you may want to finish with a night cream.
Though it may not dry hard, meaning it could be wiped off, a mud mask is similar to a clay mask in that it needs to be washed off completely after use. Mud masks give the skin much more hydration than clay masks, but should still be topped with a moisturizer.
Magnetic face masks are a fairly new thing, and spoiler alert: they're really cool. Magnetic masks do not need to be washed off with water as they should be completely removed using the magnet provided. The mask will leave moisture behind that is smoothed into the skin. They are also perfect for men with stubble. Forget having to scrub clay off: you just magically lift away all the dirt and grime.
These should be washed off, but only in the morning. Overnight masks are perfect for those who have dehydrated, thirsty skin. This type of mask is designed to repair the skin while you sleep, leaving a nourished and supple feeling in the morning. Cleanse your face as you would normally each morning.