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The Surprising Reason This Esthetician Never Dries Her Face After The Shower

woman taking shower outdoors
Image by ALICE NERR / Stocksy
March 5, 2021
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When someone sports supple, glowing skin, it takes a great deal of self-restraint not to send off rapid-fire questions like, What's your routine? What products do you use? What are your secrets? 

So is the case with medical esthetician and celebrity makeup artist Tiffany Lee: When she showed up on-screen during a virtual workshop with mbg and Burt's Bees, her complexion looked downright luminous—sans highlighter. And to my utter delight, Lee lifted the curtain on her skin care regimen, offering expert-approved tips to achieve a gape-worthy glow.

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One of her go-to techniques? "Right when I get out of the shower, I don't dry my face. I actually just leave it damp." 

Why you should leave your face damp after the shower. 

Essentially, it's the same reason you should only blot your skin with a towel post-cleanse: If you're going to layer on humectants, it's best to do so on damp skin. Humectants (like hyaluronic acid and glycerin) hydrate by pulling in water and holding it in your skin, helping it stay supple and dewy throughout the day. And as board-certified dermatologist Angelo Landriscina, M.D., once said, they'll "have an easier time holding on to moisture if you're providing it." 

You don't need to leave your face completely dripping post-shower—a nice veil of dewiness is all you need to help those humectants do their job. If your face is sopping wet, Lee likes to tap in the water with her palms before moving on with her routine: "I have an antioxidant mist that I spray immediately and let that fully absorb,” she also notes, as hydrating essences and sprays are great for remoistening the skin.

It's like performing a mini facial, right there in your bathroom: Cleanse your face (either before the shower or under the spray—it's a hot debate among the skin care crew), let the shower steam help make the skin more permeable1 (just make sure the water isn't too hot when it's touching your skin), and be sure to leave your face glistening with moisture as you towel off. Spray on a hydrating essence or mist if you choose, apply your humectant serums, and layer a moisturizer or oil on top to keep all that moisture from evaporating into the air. 

The takeaway. 

Experts agree that you should apply humectants on damp skin to help them hold on. to moisture. So if you're planning on jumping straight into your routine post-shower, you might not want to dry your face at all. Tapping in the water works just fine, says Lee, and it can even help enhance your glow. 

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