Mid adult woman getting a facial mask
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Facials can work wonders when it comes to extracting dirt and bacteria from pores and improving the overall look of your skin. But there are downsides to this spa treatment that may leave your skin looking less than presentable. Consult your doctor or dermatologist before undergoing the treatment to ensure that it fits your skin type, and check out the credentials of the aesthetician who will be performing the procedure. Most side effects do not require treatment, but seek medical attention for severe reactions.

Redness and Irritation

The most common side effects of a facial are redness and blotchy skin from the pressure of exfoliation and extractions. Avoid wearing makeup or using any products on your skin in the day or two following your facial to give your skin time to heal. Avoid scheduling facials within three days of a big event at which you want to look your best.


Post-facial breakouts often result from bacteria that makes its way onto your skin during your facial. Steam machines and improperly sterilized tools can be breeding grounds for such bacteria. To eliminate this risk, request that the technician not use tools during your treatment. Or before the start of your facial, make sure that all tools are taken directly from a sanitizing machine.


When aestheticians use their fingers or tools to extract impurities from your pores, there is a risk of damaging the outer layer of your skin. Overly vigorous extractions can cause cuts and bleeding. A technician that is unskilled or improperly trained in extractions can damage your skin to the point of making it susceptible to infection or -- in extreme cases -- even scarring. To protect yourself and decrease your chance of infection, be sure that your facialist is wearing gloves.


Your facialist will likely exfoliate your skin during the process of the facial to bring your freshest layer of skin to the surface. But harsh exfoliation can leave your skin feeling dried out and itchy. Use a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer daily to combat dryness. Avoid sun exposure after your facial because UV rays can further exacerbate dry skin.