Question: Can I get a facial if I have active acne?


Getting facials with acne

You can get a facial treatment if you have active acne, however, I don't think it's a good idea.

Unless you are getting an extraction type of facial, it's better to wait until your skin has cleared up before getting anything done. Even if you do get extractions from a professional, keep in mind that it won't clear up your acne right away. Acne doesn't show up overnight, so it won't go away the next day either.

In my opinion, there are two types of facials: one that's a spa type of pampering facial and another that involves more "invasive" treatments like extractions, chemical peels, lasers, or microdermabrasion.

A pampering type of facial (with facial massages, essential oil treatments, and relaxing background music) may not hurt, but since they seem like they don't do much for acne, there's no point in wasting money. For these luxurious types of facials, you also want to be careful because some essential oils or plant extracts used on your skin may be irritating for acne-prones, especially if they have strong fragrances.

Most of the other kinds of facial treatments involve some sort of exfoliation to help your skin shed faster and get your pores clear. When you have active acne, these procedures usually only irritate your acne even more because they can be too aggressive. Facialists will try to convince you that any post-facial breakouts is just purging and will go away after you get more treatment sessions done. But in my experience, this did not ring true. Some people do see their skin clear up after getting a series of acne facials, but it really depends on your skin. Facials certainly are not a guaranteed way to get clear skin.

In my opinion, facials are only worth it after you've cleared your skin because facials don't do much to prevent or treat acne, but are awesome for red marks, scars, and evening out skin tone. It's better to invest the money you would have spent on facials in good skin care products and acne treatments.

A word of caution: Because you won't know how your skin will respond to a facial, you should always get facials two-three weeks in advance before a big or important day. Never get them a few days before or on the day of. Check to see if there is any down time associated with the facial before proceeding with it because many facials may leave your skin red and irritated.

Last updated: September 17, 2012

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