Should I wash my face before using a facial clay mask?
To Wash or Not To Wash . . .
that is the question!
Most of the time the directions included with a clay mask state, "begin with a clean face," but does that mean you need to actually "wash" your face first?
Whether or not to wash your face before using a facial clay is up for debate and you are likely to find a lot of conflicting information online.
There are those who say you should "absolutely" wash your face in to order remove the surface layer of dirt, oil and makeup.
This surface grime can hinder the ability of the active clay ingredients to get into the pores and do their job. Some also believe that when you apply a clay mask onto unclean skin, you may be trapping all sorts of dirt, bacteria and other impurities and possibly driving them deeper into the facial pores.
Not To Wash
Some believe that washing before applying a clay mask may be too drying for those with dry or sensitive skin types.
After washing pores are open and anything you apply will be more rapidly absorbed which may cause more irritation with sensitive skin. If you think about it, moisturizing is best done immediately after washing for that same reason.
In my opinion, the answer to this question really depends on the type or purpose of the mask you are using and your skin type. For example, if you are using a deep cleansing mask for oily or problem combination skin, a fresh wash with warm water opens your pores which prepares your skin for a deeper cleansing experience.
Basically, the same logic holds true for whether or not to shower before or after a clay mask treatment.
Showering Before: Again this method works well with deep cleansing masks for oily and combination skin. The warm water and steam from the shower open your pores.
Showering After: If you have drier skin, you want to apply the mask before taking a shower. The warm shower will actually his help seal in the moisture.
To be honest, I do not wash my face before applying a clay mask. However, I do not wear make-up or use heavy creams and basically, my face simply gets dirty from normal exposure to everyday dirt and pollutants. I have aging dryish skin and washing before applying the face mask makes my skin feel too dry afterward. I just use the clay mask and then after rinsing, I moisturize.
Now, all that being said, if your skin is oily, your face feels quite dirty or is loaded with make-up you may choose to do a quick wash before applying the clay.