How to use a face mask: The best before and after tips for your skincare routine

A face mask can give you glowing skin and much more. Wondering how to use it? We tell you the steps to apply a face mask at home.
View All Images A woman with a face mask and pointing at something
Steps to apply a face mask. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 14 Mar 2024, 12:00 pm IST
  • 126
Medically Reviewed by

Face masks offer a boost of nourishment and rejuvenation to your skin. Be it to detoxify pores or hydrate dry skin, the right face mask can help you seek relief from various skin concerns. Applying a face mask is also a great way to indulge in self care as it allows you to relax and pamper yourself. But what is the best way to apply a face mask? Should you use it after washing your face? Or do you need to apply a moisturiser after it? Find your answers right here.

What is a face mask?

A face mask is a cosmetic product or a homemade pack applied to the face for various skin care purposes. It typically comes in the form of a paste or gel and is formulated with ingredients such as clays, muds, herbs, vitamins, essential oils, or other beneficial substances for the skin, says cosmetologist and skin expert Dr Jatin Mittal. Face masks are designed to address specific skin care concerns such as acne, dryness, oiliness, dullness, or ageing. They work by deeply cleansing the skin, unclogging pores, removing impurities, and nourishing the skin.

Woman washing her face
Always wash your face before applying a face mask. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to apply a face mask at home?

Follow these steps to apply it:

1. Cleanse your face

Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt, oil, or make-up. This step ensures that your skin is clean and ready to absorb the benefits of the face pack. Take a clean towel and gently pat your face dry.

2. Exfoliate

If you want to maximise the effectiveness of the face mask, you can exfoliate your skin before applying it, suggests the expert. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells, allowing the face mask to penetrate deeper into the skin. Use a gentle scrub or exfoliating cleanser and massage it onto your skin in circular motions. Use lukewarm water to rinse it off and then pat dry.

3. Prepare the face mask

Follow the instructions on the packaging to prepare the face mask. This typically involves mixing the powdered or liquid ingredients to form a smooth paste or gel. If it is a homemade face mask then gather the natural ingredients and mix them together till you get a paste.

4. Apply the face mask

Using clean fingers, a brush, or a spatula, apply an even layer of the face mask to your face. While doing so, avoid the delicate skin around your eyes and lips. If you want, you can apply to your neck as well.

5. Relax and let it dry

Once the face mask is applied, relax and allow it to dry completely. Most face masks require around 10 to 20 minutes to dry. During this time, you may experience a tightening sensation on your skin as the face mask dries up.

6. Rinse off the face mask

After it dries up, rinse off the face mask. Use lukewarm water to gently massage your face in circular motions, loosening the dried face mask and allowing it to be easily washed away. Ensure that all traces of the face mask are removed from your skin.

Woman with a face mask taking a selfie
Moisturise after removing your face mask. Image courtesy: Freepik

7. Pat dry and moisturise

Once your face is clean, pat it dry with a soft towel. Follow it up with your favourite moisturiser to replenish hydration and lock in moisture. This step helps restore your skin’s natural barrier and leaves it feeling soft, smooth, and nourished.

Select Topics of your interest and let us customize your feed.


After moisturising, you can also apply skin care products such as serums or eye creams. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen if you are going outside, especially if it is daytime, as some skin care ingredients may increase sensitivity to the sun, says Dr Mittal.

While it can be tempting to use a face mask every day, using it too frequently can strip the skin of its natural oils and lead to over-drying and irritation. Stick to using a face mask one to two times a week. Also, do a patch test if you are using new products and ingredients before applying them to your entire face.

  • 126
About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

Next Story