Woman in a shower

Should Your Skincare Routine Be Before or After Showering?

To get the best results possible, your skincare routine should be applied after showering. Here's why.
Updated: October 28, 2022
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It’s a question that is constantly asked. Should your skincare routine be done before or after showering? Well, depending on who you speak to, you’ll probably hear very different answers.

Here at Speaking Skincare, we’ll always give you our honest opinion on all subjects, and this one is no different. We firmly believe that for the majority of people, it is much better to apply your skincare routine after taking a shower.

Here’s why.

Getting the balance right

Before we continue, we should say that there are plenty of skincare products that can be used before or even while showering. However, when looking at the balance of things, we think the majority of the best skincare routine products will produce better results after showering.

Just to put this into context, allow us to quickly list the types of products that can be used in the shower and those that can’t.

Products that can be used in the shower:

  • Cleansers
  • Mud masks
  • Rinse-off face masks
  • Body scrub

Products that cannot be used in the shower:

  • Moisturizer
  • Eye cream
  • Serum
  • Essence
  • Chemical exfoliants
  • Sheet masks
  • Peels

As you can see, the types of products that can be used while showering are rather limited as opposed to the rest. It is because of this that we recommend the bulk of your skincare routine should be applied after showering.

The dangers of hot showers

Another reason why we’re against skincare routines before showering is the impact hot water can have on the skin.

Picture this, you have spent around 30-45 minutes applying your meticulous skincare routine. Then, you jump in a nice hot shower to finish everything off. Guess what, you just played yourself!

Not only will the intense shower water probably remove elements of the skincare products you have used, but hot water can do a lot of subtle damage and harm to the skin. This occurs because the hot water strips away healthy fats and oils, causes dehydration, and breaks down the skin’s natural protective barrier. This can then lead to discomfort, blemishes, redness, and other forms of irritation.

So while you might be craving a relaxing hot shower on a chilly day, take a few seconds to re-evaluate the potential harm this can inflict on the skin, and how it could scupper your skincare routine.

Why showering before your skincare routine is best

On the flip side, taking a warm (not hot) shower before applying any skincare products can be a blessing for your skin.

Firstly, the warm water in the shower will work to soothe the skin and sufficiently hydrate it. It will also allow your pores to relax and widen, which will be crucial to get the best results from exfoliators later on. The water will also prime the skin to better hold the various skincare products in your routine.

Generally speaking, it’s always beneficial to conduct a skincare routine on damp skin that has been gently massaged in warm water previously. The skin will also be clean and free of potentially hazardous debris, and other muck that could impede the performance of certain products.


All in all, our position on this topic is pretty clear. We definitely think that your skincare routine should be done after showering. The skin will be better prepared, the products will work better, and you won’t be risking irritation or kneecapping your own progress.

However, we understand that everyone has their own ways of doing things, and if another method works better for you personally, who are we to judge?

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