Think a Facial Could Fix Your Skin? What You Need to Know

By Sarah Sarway

Jillian Wright, a clinical aesthetician and the co-founder of Indie Beauty Expo, is the perfect person to set you up for your first facial.

Wright, who has over 18 years of experience in skin care and an entire line of her own products, is a bonafide beauty pro who knows just about everything there is to know about treating your skin the right way.

Why get a facial in the first place? The treatment is the perfect complement to an at-home skincare routine (cleanse, tone, moisturize and SPF!) because it gives your skin a super deep cleaning you don’t regularly do on your own. Plus, it’s a great way to treat yourself.

But will there be breakouts? Redness? And what about swelling? With a calendar packed with meetings (and date nights, naturally), there are lots of reasons to make sure you schedule your facial at the right time. “Some people will break out after a facial because of the stimulation,” she said, explaining that it would depend on skin type and service done. “If you have a lot of extractions, your risk is greater then someone who hardly had any.” (An extraction, by the way, is one of the best methods of removing blackheads and whiteheads and should only be done by a super-skilled professional.)

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Here, we share more of Wright’s need-to-know tips to help you make the most of your (sometimes pricey!) facial and take good care of your skin at home, too.

6 Tips for Your First Facial

1. Get the full 411 from your aesthetician before your first facial.

Most spas require all customers to fill out a questionnaire that can help reveal quite a bit about their skin. But if you’re confused about which service is best for you, consider booking a 15-minute consult prior to your appointment. “This way the aesthetician can sit down with you and talk about your skin concerns,” says Wright. “This is also a good time for her to look at your skin under a magnifying lamp,” she says, which can give the professional a close-up look and determine your needs.

2. Skip the topical face creams, and show up bare-faced.

“You definitely do not want to use anything harsh before a facial, like Retin A or AHAs,” says Wright. An AHA (or alpha-hydroxy acid) is a super common ingredient found in many anti-aging and acne-fighting creams that may leave the skin prone to irritation and redness. The same rule goes for mascara. “It takes a long time to remove eye makeup,” she says. Those five to ten minutes spent scrubbing your lashes could have been used for something else like an extraction or facial massage (yes, please!).

3. Schedule in at least one (but no more than two!) facials per month.

“Twice a month is fine as long as the exfoliation is not aggressive,” says Wright. “However, since it takes your skin at least two weeks to regenerate after a peel, it is advised not to do facials more than twice a month.”

first facial(Photo: Jillian Wright)

4. Take good care of your skin between appointments.

“Just like your body, your skin needs attention, care, and TLC,” says Wright. Just like skipping the gym for a couple weeks can affect your toned arms, so goes your skin. “If you do not take care of your skin daily, it will become sallow, dull, congested and age quicker,” no matter how often you get facials. Wright says the best way to take care of your skin at home is to exfoliate once a week, apply SPF on the daily, and “do not pick your skin or face…ever.”

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5. Keep an eye out for excessive redness.

“Redness can last three to seven days, depending on what was done,” says Wright. If a week has gone by and you’re still experiencing redness, Wright advises calling your aesthetician, STAT. “Do not wait…you may be having an allergic reaction.”

6. Expect breakouts.

Getting a facial the day before a big date is probably not the best idea, especially if it’s your first session with a specific aesthetician (or your first facial altogether!). “There are normal breakouts after a facial and then there are abnormal breakouts,” says Wright. If your aesthetician is an extraction newbie, he or she may do a “subpar removal of open and closed comedones,” which, in non-skincare-guru-English means that left-behind congestion (dirt, oil, bacteria, and make up) can increase the risk of breaking out.

Just remember: if your first facial experience isn’t a good one, it may not mean you should swear them off forever. You may want to try a different person or place, first. “Finding the right aesthetician is like dating: you might have to go out on a few dates before you settle down with the right one,” Wright says.

(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)

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The Nutritious Life Editors are a team of healthy lifestyle enthusiasts who not only subscribe to — and live! — the 8 Pillars of a Nutritious Life, but also have access to some of the savviest thought leaders in the health and wellness space — including our founder and resident dietitian, Keri Glassman. From the hottest trends in wellness to the latest medical science, we stay on top of it all in order to deliver the info YOU need to live your most nutritious life.

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