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10 Face Mask Mistakes You're Probably Making

Should you moisturize before or after?
10 Face Mask Mistakes You're Probably Making
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Should you moisturize before or after?

Face masks can do our skin no wrong. They're formualted with all the good stuff for pretty much every skin issue out there, making our skincare (and our lives) easier by default.

That said, if you love masking as much as we do, you do have to master masking 101 to achieve the best results. Below, we list 10 mask no-no's you're probably doing, so you can break the habit ASAP:

1. Applying non-eye masks to your eye area.

Peel-off masks are designed to physically lift impurities from the skin—meaning, it's like a mini waxing session for your pores. Therefore, it's not recommended to apply one where you have hair, such as your eyebrows, eyes, and maybe your upper lip unless you want a free wax.

Meanwhile, some mask ingredients like alcohol aren't safe for the eyes, so always avoid that area to prevent irritation.

2. Doing your entire skincare routine before the mask.

In a way, it makes sense to seal in all your hard work with a face mask. It seems like it could keep everything you put on your skin from evaporating and actually lock everything in better. But that's unfortunately not the case.

In fact, sheet masks fall in the middle of the 10-step Korean skincare routine, right after toner, essence, and ampoule but before serum and moisturizer. That's because it's skincare protocol to use products from the thinnest to thickest consistency so your skin can absorb everything more efficiently.

3. Forgetting to remove the backing paper.

Backing papers keep your sheet masks sterile and easy to use. While many brands don't use them, it's become a common practice especially for hydrogel masks. Since these pieces of paper aren't meant to go on your skin, always double check if your mask has one before putting it on.

4. Leaving it on for too long.

We get it—you want to get your money's worth, but the instructions say to leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes for a reason. Sheet masks tend to dry out after the 20-minute mark, so if you don't remove it then, the hydration you were supposed to get would've already evaporated.

For wash-off and peel-off masks, try your best to follow the time instructions as well. Clay masks, for example, should stay on your skin for less than 30 minutes to prevent it from completely stripping your skin of its natural oils.

5. Washing your face after sheet masking.


The hydrating layer that a sheet mask leaves after a session definitely makes rinsing seem like a good option. However, washing off the excess means rinsing the benefits away, so try your best to wait for your skin to absorb the essence instead. Don't worry, this usually takes no longer than 10 minutes, depending on how much essence your skin has.

6. Rubbing the essence into your skin.

If you don't have time to wait for the mask's essence to absorb, you can speed up the process by gently tapping it into your skin with your fingers like a normal essence. This also works when you've accidentally applied too much of the liquid after masking to thin out the layer of product on your skin.

7. Throwing out the extra essence.

Every sheet mask pack contains more essence than the mask actually needs, which means you have a lot of excess liquid to use everywhere else. You can either squeeze the essence out of the packet and transfer it to the sheet mask, or spread the liquid all over your neck and the rest of your body. 

8. Skipping the rest of your skincare.

Masking can do wonders for your skin, but it's still only one part of a holistic routine. If you still need extra moisture after your mask session, always follow up with a good moisturizer to help keep your skin supple.

9. Not using toner at the right time.

For sheet and sleeping masks, it's best to tone your skin beforehand. This gives you a chance to clear your skin of excess gunk before introducing more moisture back into it. On the other hand, toner should be used after wash-off and peel-off masks to remove any kind of residue the product might've left behind.

10. Falling asleep while wearing one.

As mentioned above, leaving masks on for too long can dry your skin out and give you the reverse of its benefits. So whenever you're tempted to sleep while masking, take the time to peel off the sheet or run to the sink for a quick rinse. If you don't, you'll wake up with intensely dehydrated skin that you definitely didn't ask for.