Facials can help reduce acne symptoms in mild cases, but sometimes they can make this skin condition worse.
A facial is a beauty procedure that involves a variety of treatments to cleanse the skin of the face and improve its appearance. People can get a facial from a skin care professional or try to do one at home.
In this article, we take a look at if and how facials can help with acne. We also discuss the possible risks.
The safety and effectiveness of acne facials depend on a number of factors,
- the hardness of the face and the likelihood of it irritating the skin
- severity and type of acne
- Skin type
- other products and medications the person is using
- whether it is a professional facial or at home
- the quality of the ingredients
Acne facials are generally safe for people with small, painless, white or black pimples and dangerous for people with many red, painful sores.
People with mild, non-inflammatory acne can receive some benefit from an occasional gentle facial.
It is important to note that facials cannot cure acne and most provide only minor and temporary results.
Most acne facials claim to reduce acne symptoms by:
- cleanse the skin to remove impurities, debris and oil
- unclog pores with exfoliation, which removes dead skin cells
- reduce sebum production and inflammation of the skin
- reduce irritation
- kill acne-causing bacteria
- improve skin hydration
Professional acne facials can involve chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and light therapy. Although there are many home versions of these products and devices, their effectiveness and safety are uncertain.
A skin care professional, ideally a dermatologist, can also remove whiteheads, blackheads, cysts and nodules using manual extraction techniques. Beauticians may also be able to extract minor acne lesions.
What to expect from an acne facial treatment will depend on whether a person gets the facial from a skin care professional or performs it themselves at home.
Professional facials typically involve the following:
- cleanse the skin
- exposing the skin to steam or applying hot towels
- exfoliation using scrubs, microdermabrasion or chemical peels
- LED light therapy treatment or laser therapy
- extraction of white and blackheads
- massage the skin
- apply face masks
- applying facial serums and moisturizers with antioxidants or active enzymes
Most professional facials cost between $ 75 and $ 200 and takes about 1 hour.
Acne facials should exclude steps or procedures that can further irritate the skin and make symptoms worse, including microdermabrasion, scrubs, and massages.
To reduce the risk of side effects, only highly trained or licensed dermatologists or estheticians should perform extractions, chemical peels, or light therapy. Dermatologists generally use much more powerful products, such as chemical peels and lasers, than beauticians.
Factors to ask potential skin care professionals include:
- training or license (dermatologists are certified by the American Association of Dermatology and estheticians need to get license through their state cosmetology board or health department)
- level of experience
- proof of success in treating other people
- professional service history
Facials at home
Many over-the-counter or do-it-yourself (DIY) topical acne formulas require a person to apply them directly to cleansed, toned skin and leave them on for 10-20 minutes. Some products or recipes also recommend using steam baths to help open pores before application.
Acne products may contain ingredients or techniques that may not be safe or beneficial in certain circumstances. Therefore, people should take precautions before purchasing, creating, or using home facials to reduce the risk of side effects. Common
- type or stage of acne
- current drugs
- Skin type
- treatment goals
- other medical conditions
People with moderate to severe acne should seek the help of a dermatologist to find safe and effective products or treatments. Acne facials should not include physically irritating treatments or procedures.
It is important to perform a patch test before using any product on the face in case it causes side effects.
Here is an example of a facial procedure at home:
- Purify the skin using a mild soap-free, alcohol-free cleanser with a pH close to that of the skin (
5.5). Salicylic acid cleansers can help unclog pores, but they can irritate the skin. The cleanser should also be non-comedogenic, which means that it does not contain any pore-clogging ingredients, artificial colors, fragrances or foaming agents.
- To smoke the skin for a few minutes
open the poresby placing the face on hot water or applying hot cloths to it. Be careful not to burn or scald the skin.
- Using a chemical peel product containing exfoliators such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Rub it gently on the skin in circular motions for about 30 seconds or according to the label directions. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- To apply a face mask, bought or homemade, and leave it on the skin for the recommended amount of time (often 10 to 20 minutes) before rinsing it off gently with lukewarm water. People with acne should avoid certain types of masks, such as sheet masks, and certain ingredients in masks. These include artificial colors and fragrances, parabens, phthalate esters, alcohols, propylene glycol, diethanolamine, benzalkonium chloride, diazolidinylurea, and formaldehyde.
- Hydrate the skin with a non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic or hydrogel oil-in-water emulsion. Moisturizers containing retinol or retinyl palmitate may also be beneficial for mild acne. Many natural ingredients, such as glycerin, shea butter, jojoba oil, and marula oil, are also great moisturizers.
People can combine a wide range of natural ingredients and extracts to make facial cleansers, masks, and moisturizers for acne-prone skin. Some of the most popular and studied acne at home Ingredients understand:
To make a DIY lemon facial:
- Cleanse the skin and rinse with lukewarm water.
- Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl.
- Peel half the lemon, cut the zest into smaller pieces and squeeze them in a garlic press over the same bowl, extracting the natural oils from the zest.
- Combine lemon juice and oils. Use a cotton ball or tampon to absorb some of the mixture and gently dab it on the affected areas of the skin.
- Let the mixture sit on the face until it is dry or 5 to 10 minutes have passed, whichever comes first. Wash it off immediately if it causes irritation.
- Gently rinse the mixture off with lukewarm water.
- Apply a moisturizer and, if necessary, sun protection.
People can also make another simple acne face mask by applying an equal mixture of honey and fresh aloe vera gel (about a tablespoon total) to cleansed skin. They should rinse it off with lukewarm water once it has dried or after about 15 minutes.
If this mask is effective and well tolerated, people can try adding a drop or two of tea tree oil or half a teaspoon of dried and ground turmeric or green tea leaves to the mixture. It may also be beneficial to add 5-6 drops of jojoba, sunflower, or safflower oil to any good moisturizer.
Acne facials come with some risks, especially for people with moderate to severe or inflammatory acne. Side effects can include:
- allergic reactions
- increased sensitivity of the skin, especially to the sun
- infection due to spoiled or unclean ingredients
In addition to offering minor and temporary results, it is not clear whether acne facials are beneficial. Certain ingredients and procedures can make symptoms worse. For this reason, people with inflammatory or severe acne should consult a dermatologist before getting a facial treatment.
Although not a cure, facials are often safe for people with mild, non-inflammatory acne. However, it is important to choose an experienced skin care professional or use gentle at-home products.