If your #spasunday or travel beauty routine involves a face mask, you might be missing some crucial steps to getting the most nourishment for your treatment. It鈥檚 not all about applying and waiting; taking the time to properly prep your complexion can be just as essential as the mask itself. Read on for five dermatologist-approved, pre-mask best practices.

1. Gently exfoliate before the treatment. Though most mask directions suggest you start with a clean face, you should also slough off dead skin. 鈥淓xfoliation can make the mask more effective by minimizing the surface buildup so the ingredients can penetrate better and achieve more,鈥 according to NYC-based dermatologist Hadley King. Consider using a gentle sponge instead of a physical exfoliant so you avoid irritation. 鈥淎 konjac sponge can be used with water or a small amount of cleanser to mildly exfoliate the skin,鈥 recommends San Diego-based dermatologist, CEO, and founder of Curology, David Lortscher.

2. Tone your skin. Prepping your face with a toner or essence can help with product penetration because the skin absorbs more when it鈥檚 been hit with extra moisture. That said, turning to a toner that contains alcohol can reverse this benefit. 鈥淎void a toner with any alcohol in it because it can dry out or irritate the skin,鈥 Lortscher says.

3. Hop in the shower. 鈥淚t鈥檚 great to apply a mask right after you shower because the steam helps to open the pores and the water in the skin will help the ingredients in the mask penetrate better,鈥 King explains. If you can鈥檛 swing a shower, wash your face right before masking to mimic the same steam and moisture levels.

4. Read the label. Just because you leave on your favorite clarifying clay product for 15 minutes doesn鈥檛 mean that all clay options are created equally. 鈥淟eaving a mask on longer than the stipulated amount of time can lead to irritation,鈥 warns Lortscher.

5. Use a brush. Follow your esthetician鈥檚 lead and skip using your fingers to slather on the mask. 鈥淯se a soft brush to evenly, cleanly apply the product without wasting any on your hands or fingers,鈥 recommends King. 鈥淵ou can even use a soft-bristled, clean paintbrush in a pinch.鈥

Now that you鈥檙e ready to treat yo鈥檚kin, give a Grammable mask a go (and prepare to post a selfie or five). Formulas with shimmer, holographic vibes, glitter, or crazy colors look best in photos 鈥 just saying.

Follow us on Pinterest for more skincare inspo and info.

(Photo via Getty)