What to Avoid Before and After

Getting the most out of your facial isn’t as simple as remembering to wash and moisturize your face each day afterward. Making sure your skin is in the best shape before and after your facial takes a little extra care. Here, Felicia Wright, an aesthetician at Southern Surgical Arts, tells us her pre and post-facial tips.

Before Your Facial:

Don’t hit the bottle.
“Alcohol can dry out your skin,” explains Wright. A facial’s job is to leave your skin glowing, moisturized, and youthful. If you arrive with skin that’s already been sapped of its natural moisture, it’ll be tougher to create the kind of end result you’re hoping for. Swap wine for water in the days leading up to your visit.

Avoid retinols and retinoids.
Retinol, an anti-aging ingredient found in many face creams, is a form of retinoid, which is a derivative of vitamin A. Creams and lotions that include these ingredients work to diminish signs of aging, but they can also thin the outer layer of skin, making it hypersensitive. “I would avoid these the day leading up to a facial,” says Wright.

Don’t worry about removing makeup.
While removing your makeup before a facial might skip a step, it’s not totally necessary. “Your aesthetician will do a full cleansing,” says Wright. If you’re coming to your appointment straight from work, there’s no need to stop along the way to remove your mascara and foundation.

woman having a facial

Wait to wax.
Waxing 24 to 48 hours before your facial can cause skin to tear when exfoliated. “Some people have skin that is more sensitive,” explains Wright. You may experience a stinging or tingling sensation when getting a facial too soon after a brow, lip, or chin wax.

Other Tips!

  • Do you get eyelash extensions? Wait at least 48 hours to book a facial after your eyelash extensions have been put in, as rubbing the glue, plus exposing it to lotion and steam, can make the extensions separate from the skin or lash.
  • Caffeine can dehydrate skin too, so avoid those morning cups of coffee if you can!
  • Arrive early to your facial so you won’t feel rushed. That way, you can fully enjoy your spa experience, and won’t cut into your facial time!
  • Don’t pick! If a blemish occurs after your facial, avoid the temptation to pick. This can lead to scarring or additional breakouts. The same goes for before your facial – picking at bumps pre-facial can muddy the waters for your aesthetician.

After Your Facial:

Shade yourself from the sun.
“You should avoid the sun after your facial,” says Wright. Why? Facials either involve an exfoliating scrub, a peel, or both. This means a brand new layer of skin is exposed, leaving your face more vulnerable than ever to a burn. Wear a sun-shielding hat, and apply a generous layer of sunscreen if you’ll be outside.

Steer clear of the sauna.
Letting your face get steamy and sweaty will only diminish the work that was done to make it clean, clear, and luminous. Let your skin breathe post-facial, and avoid sweat-inducing activities that can lead to dehydration. “Avoid steam rooms or saunas,” advises Wright. “Just like alcohol, they’ll take moisture from your skin.”

Don’t forget to drink up.
Hydrated skin is the most beautiful skin. “You want to drink water afterward to make sure you’re well hydrated,” says Wright. To keep the luminous effects of your facial going for weeks after, drink plenty of water each day, and incorporate plenty of hydrating fruits and veggies into your diet.

Let your skin shine.
Wright recommends waiting at least 24 hours after your facial before reapplying new makeup so you can allow your skin to breathe. When the time comes to apply makeup, Wright’s advice is to go light. “I recommend swapping liquid or cream foundation out with a breathable mineral makeup.” Your skin should be in top condition after a facial, which means you shouldn’t need much coverage.

Picture of Felicia Wright

Felicia Wright

Aesthetician, Southern Surgical Arts

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