Skincare Routine Before Or After Shower?

You may already have your skincare routine all figured out, but understanding where a shower fits into everything is a little trickier. Should you be applying some of your products before you shower? If so, which ones should be saved for after? How about those days where you’re short on time and need to multitask – can you carry out your skincare routine while you’re in the shower? 

Here are the answers to all of your questions…

Pre-Shower Skincare Routine

Here’s what you need to be doing to your skin before you shower: 

Dry Brushing

If you haven’t heard of dry brushing before, listen up because it could be transformational. It’s an ancient exfoliating technique that makes use of a special brush with soft bristles to gently dislodge dead skin cells while giving blood circulation a boost.

Dry brushing is most commonly done on the body, but there are dry brushes available for the face too. Either way, it’s something that should always be done before you shower, so that you can wash all of those dead cells away.

Makeup Removal 

A shower is all about cleansing your skin, but you won’t be able to properly do this with makeup running down your face. Plus, the steam from your shower will soften your pores and make them more pliable – you don’t want makeup residue to end up inside.

So, use a makeup remover to clear away any product before stepping into the shower.

Pre-Shower Skincare Routine

In-Shower Skincare Routine

Once you’re done washing your body and your hair, it’s time to focus on your face: 


Many will say that you should never cleanse your face in the shower, but that really all depends on how you go about doing so. Hot water is usually why in-shower face cleansing isn’t recommended – those high temperatures will strip away your skin’s natural protective oils, leaving it dry. This is why cool to lukewarm water is advised for cleansing.

However, turn your shower temperature down and there’s nothing with giving your face a cleanse while you’re in there. That said, always save the face cleansing after you’ve used all of your other shower products. This way, you’ll be able to remove any residue that they may have left behind.

If you’ve been investing in eye care products lately because you’ve been looking into how to get rid of dark circles under eyes, turn the water pressure down and then give your eye area a gentle shower too. This will help to push excess fluid away from your eyes, reducing the appearance of puffiness and dark shadows.


The shower is a great place to exfoliate your skin, so long as you keep the temperature turned down. As mentioned, the steam will make your pores more pliable, meaning that it’ll be easier than ever to clear out any debris or blockages.

Whether you’re using a face scrub or a chemical exfoliant, simply follow the instructions as normal.

Post-Shower Skincare Routine

Since the majority of the skincare products in your routine will be designed to remain on your face, rather than be washed off, they’re best applied once you’re done showering. However, don’t wait too long – get started with your skincare routine while your skin is still damp.

Time for a Toner 

If you’ve already cleansed your face in the shower, you can now move on to toning. Many skip this step but a toner really does have its benefits.

Even the gentlest of cleansers will disrupt your skin’s natural pH level, which can then lead to everything from dryness to acne. A toner will help to rebalance your skin, while also removing any residue that your cleanser may have left behind.

Serums and Creams 

Serums and creams are both designed to remain on the skin for as long as possible so that your skin can soak up all of that goodness. You definitely don’t want water washing those potent ingredients away before your skin has absorbed them, so save them for after you’re done showering.

As mentioned, try to apply these products while your skin is still damp, especially when it comes to your face cream. Moisturizers are designed to form a thin seal over the surface of the skin. They’ll be able to trap in all of those extra water molecules that are sitting on your skin after you’ve showered, preventing them from simply evaporating away. This gives some serious moisture to skin cells, which will be evident from how plump and soft your skin will feel! 

Should Face Masks Be Applied Before or After a Shower? 

Your skin should be as clean as possible when applying a mask. After all, you want all of those active ingredients to be able to penetrate as deeply into your skin as possible. So, for most people, a face mask should be applied after a shower, once the skin has been thoroughly cleansed.

However, there’s an exception – those with dry skin. In this case, it can actually be more beneficial to apply a mask before a shower. The steam from your shower will help your skin to absorb more moisture from your mask. The mask will also prevent the heat of your shower from drying out your skin even further. Of course, if you go down this route, then you’ll need to cleanse your skin before you apply your mask, and therefore before you shower.

FAQs Related To Skincare Routine Before Or After Shower


While some of your skincare products can be applied before or during your shower, the majority of them, especially those that aren’t designed to be rinsed off, should be used after. If you’re ever unsure, then save your entire skincare routine for once you’re finished showering – this will save you from accidentally washing away any powerful active ingredients!

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