10 Things You Should Never Do Before a Facial

10 Things You Should Never Do Before a Facial featured image
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Ask any celebrity aesthetician, and they will tell you facials are one of the top secrets behind Hollywood’s most beautiful complexions. Even if you only do one every few months, having a professional get up close and personal with your skin can make a world of difference. Not only in how your skin looks, but also how it behaves. We tapped two of the industry’s top skin-care pros for a comprehensive list of what to do and NOT do before and after a facial for the ultimate glow.

Featured Experts:

  • Joshua Ross, a celebrity aesthetician based in Los Angeles
  • Sarah Akram, a celebrity master aesthetician based in Alexandria, VA

Two Weeks Before a Facial

If you get filler in your face, be sure not to schedule your appointment within the two weeks leading up to a facial. “If you have a facial too soon after filler, it could move the injectables under the skin,” says celebrity master aesthetician Sarah Akram.

Celebrity aesthetician Joshua Ross says that if you want to get a spray tan, have it be more than two weeks prior to your appointment. This is so that your skin tone doesn’t end up irregular.

One Week Before a Facial

“Avoid heavy sun exposure for the week leading up to your facial,” says Akram. “You should never have a facial after a sunburn because your skin will be too sensitive and compromised. The same goes for windburn. No tanning beds before, after or ever, either.

If you get neurotoxin injections, such as Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Xeomin, Jeuveau, or Daxxify, Akram recommends getting them at least five to seven days before a facial.

Also, stop exfoliating. “This will allow the aesthetician to do a more thorough exfoliation,” says Ross. “If skin is overexfoliated, you won’t get the best results-oriented exfoliation that they might have done otherwise. It’s also a good idea to increase your sun protection one week prior.”

5 Days Before Your Appointment

“You should not use any vitamin A—retinol—products,” says Akram. “Additionally, do not perform any hair removal, such as waxing, dermaplaning or chemical depilatory. It will make your skin sensitive and increase the chance of erythema [redness] after the facial.”

3 Days Before a Facial

“Don’t use any alphahydroxy acid (AHA) products,” says Akram. “It will make your skin sensitive and increase the chance of erythema.”

48 Hours Before Your Treatment

Be sure to avoid the steam room both prior to your treatment and for at least 48 hours afterward in order to reduce inflammation. “Steam increases the core temperature of the body and causes an increased amount of circulation in the blood, which can lead to inflammation,” Ross explains. “You want to avoid this pre- and post-facial because you want a controlled amount of trauma and injury to the skin, and your treatment will take care of all of that. You’ll most likely be steaming in your facial anyhow, so you don’t need it!” 

The Day of Your Appointment

“If you plan to work out beforehand, have it be at least two to three hours ahead of your appointment,” Ross says. “Workouts increase the core temperature of the body, which can make the skin more reactive to certain parts of your treatment, such as the steam and extractions.”

When you get to your appointment, “make sure to inform your aesthetician if you are pregnant, using any antibiotics that may make you photosensitive, or have any allergies,” Akram adds.

Do not apply make up such as concealer, foundation, blush, etc. right after a facial. “Let your skin breathe and marinate in the products that were used for the remainder of that day,” says Akram. That night before bed, try not to wash your face, adds Ross. “This is crucial because it will allow the products to fully absorb for maximum results.”

What to Do After a Facial to Maximize Results

  • “Wait at least 24 hours before resuming any retinol or AHA products,” says Akram. Your aesthetician should let you know when you can resume your normal skin-care regimen.”
  • Do not work out 24 hours after a facial. “Sweating can be irritating to the skin,” Akram says. “Also, no hot yoga, steam room or sauna for 24 hours. If you had a more intense treatment, your aesthetician will let you know when you can resume those activities.”
  • Avoid direct or prolonged sun exposure for 48 hours after your treatment. “Your skin will be far more susceptible to a burn,” says Akram. You should also steer clear of spray tans in this time period to avoid possible irritation.
  • Do not do any waxing or hair removal for at least seven days afterward.
  • “Do not pick at your skin after facial treatments,” Akram advises. “Allow areas of extraction to heal.”

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