Can a Facial Cause Me to Breakout?

Updated: Mar 13

This is the most common question we receive from new clients. In a perfect world, our skin would look brighter, clearer and healthier post-facial right? But for some this is not the case.

Typical facials often involve cleansing the skin, with or without physical exfoliation, ozone steam to purify and soften the skin, mild chemical exfoliation to remove dead skin cells, extractions to clear out pores and impactions, a facial massage to tone and remove toxins and finally hydration and masking. However, not all of the above is meant for every skin type and condition and not all ingredients are meant for all skin. Using certain modalities or ingredients on certain skin conditions can lead to breakouts or breakout mimickers.

So, how can you avoid post-facial breakouts? To address this, we first need to address what causes breakouts.

What causes breakouts?

Breakouts post-facial can be caused by many factors. The most common breakouts are caused by acne which is aggravated by hereditary factors, hormones, diet, and lifestyle, such as using heavy pore-clogging skincare and makeup. There are other types of "breakouts" though. Post-facial breakouts can also be caused by allergies to products that disagree with your skin or skin conditions and underlying reactive or sensitized skin that then gets aggravated in a facial and causes a “breakout mimicer” AKA, a bumpy rash. Finally, treatments that disagree with certain skin conditions (such as physical exfoliation, steam, a massage) can in fact cause breakouts.

Tips to avoid post-facial breakouts 1. Always start with a Q&A, especially if you have ongoing skin issues with breakouts. You and your esthetician should gain agreement about your current concerns, allergies, prescription medications, health issues, any existing acne, any existing rashes, sensitivities, underlying redness issues, etc. Taking the time to fact find and understanding your situation, beyond just your concerns, helps in avoiding post-facial issues. The facial then should be customized. For example, if your reactive or prone to redness steam and physical exfoliation should be avoided to prevent a post-facial reaction or break out. Likewise if you have acne, heavy oils, pore-cloggers, massage and microdermabrasion should be avoided to name a few. 2. If your finding your skin is easily irritated or very reactive to product at home or you have considerable allergies to ingredients in skincare, it’s important to let your esthetician know about these issues. Often a less-is-more approach in a facial is best in these circumstances. We love oxygen facials for those with reactive skin as it offers skin benefits such as clarifying and detoxifying the skin with very little product ingredient use. If an allergy or cause of a underlying chronic rash is unknown, sometimes it is best to avoid facials in favor of homecare only to avoid aggravation. ⠀

3. Active acne, hidden acne, breakout-prone or recently cleared of your acne? Though a wonderful spa facial sounds amazing, avoiding indulgent facials in favor of enzymes or peel treatments customized to your acne is wise. These treatments avoid massage, heavy oils, physical exfoliation , etc. that can aggravate acne and cause a breakout even if currently clear. We recommend for our acne program clients who have cleared to continue Acne treatments every 8-12 weeks. For those who are breakout prone or have hidden acne (bumps under the skin), our Pore Clearing Facial is a great choice to clear current blemishes and help avoid a post-facial breakout.

4. Post-facial, Avoid makeup. If you have to wear makeup, use 100% mineral makeup. Also, avoid heavy workouts post-facial and showering right away. Last, make sure to follow your post-care instructions regarding usage of other product the day of the facial. Most often, it is recommended to avoid putting anything additional on your skin.

5. In the days following your facial, using the right daily home care to prevent breakouts and continue to keep your skin clear is essential. A facial can aid in clearing existing acne but often post-facial breakouts on acne clients are unavoidable if your not using some sort of daily homecare prevention to keep microcomedones (those little bumps under the skin) from forming daily.

Using theses tips will banish those post-facial breakouts leaving you with the healthier skin you envisioned. ;)

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