Picture this: you’re relaxed at the spa, not a care in the world, as your favorite esthetician performs extractions and buffs and polishes your skin. Yes, you’ll be a little red after and may have some purging for the next few days, but’s a Netflix-and-wine weekend so who cares?
Facials are great for reviving skin. Whether you are getting a facial to eliminate blackheads or an acid-forward one for skin renewal, there are definitely plenty of benefits. And after maybe a few days of redness (or none!), your skin is usually glowing. But what about when there are further negative reactions?
In addition to the previous mentioned redness and purging (when bumps crop up as your pores continue to eliminate dead skin cells and oil), there can be additional normal reactions, including warmness, dryness and slight peeling. Warmness may be due to the products used (if it continues for more than a few hours, it might be an allergic reaction). Any redness or blotchiness is due the extractions or the peel if that was included. These are initially irritating for skin. If you experience more of a rosy glow, this is due to increased circulation from the massage. Your skin may slightly dry due to the exfoliants used during treatment. And especially with an acid peel, you may experience some slight skin peeling as old cells die and turnover, leaving only the new, fresh cells. This is good! Your skin will be glowing shortly—it just needs to shed the older skin cells first.
To deal with these reactions, be gentle with your skin. Use a cool compress to alleviate any warmness or redness. A soothing moisturizer, like the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Moisturizer, can help with dryness and peeling. Never pull off peeling skin as you could inadvertently damage your skin. Wait and let if fall off naturally. Wait three days before using any acne medications, exfoliants, or scrubs. Your esthetician will likely provide aftercare instructions as well and you should feel free to ask her any questions.
Be delicate with makeup, especially if your skin is peeling. If you can avoid face makeup for a few days, that is best. But if you absolutely must wear it or need to hide the redness and peeling, here are some tips. Use a hydrating primer, like the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer. Avoid powders, which can cling to peeling skin and breakouts, and opt for a creamy, moisturizing foundation or just use a bit of concealer. You can blend your coverage products with a bit of moisturizer if needed. Try only covering the affected area, if possible.
However, if you have burning, rash or other allergic reactions, or severe breakouts, those are not normal, nor is bleeding afterward. If you experience any of those, call the spa or a dermatologist. It’s always a good idea to bring up all allergies with your esthetician, especially plant-based ones, as many skincare ingredients are plant-derived.
Cheers to great facial experiences!
Lia is a makeup addict in Washington, D.C. When not at her digital marketing day job, she explores all things beauty and works as personal makeup shopper. She enjoys a strong latte in the mornings and a strong cocktail in the evenings.