Getting a professional facial can be one of the most relaxing experiences ever—but having a reaction to one is a surefire way to destroy that Zen state.
Experts say the overwhelming reason bad facials happen is because spa-goers have engaged in certain activities beforehand that set their skin up for disaster. Here’s what not to do pre-facial so that your visit leaves you calm and serene…not red and inflamed.
Don’t: Wax Within 24 Hours of Your Facial
Waxing strips the skin of its topmost cells like a form of aggressive exfoliation, and immediately getting a facial on this sensitized skin is asking for trouble, says Mariola Barczewska, an esthetician at New York City’s Haven Spa.
Don’t: Make Out with a Rough-Shaved Beau
“Scruffy beards and stubble can seriously irritate skin,” says Barczewska. You’ve probably even noticed your skin turns red and inflamed if you’ve ever had a kissing session with a stubbly dude. Don’t go in for a facial if your skin looks irritated like that, says Barczewska.
Don’t: Spend Time in the Sun the Day Before
The great thing about facials is that they can go a long way in repairing sun damage like pigmentation, but your skin needs a chance to rest after sun exposure. Otherwise, it may react to anti-aging or acne-clearing ingredients in your treatment, says Barczewska.
Don’t: Get Botox
If you’re getting Botox, it should be at least 48 hours before a facial. “You can’t massage skin that’s been freshly injected—you risk moving the injectable around to the wrong area,” says Barczewska. If the picture that brings to mind isn’t terrifying enough, remember there’s not much a dermatologist can do until the injectable wears off in a few months.
Don’t: Do Your Own Home Repairs
Squeezing your own pimples and blackheads before a facial will hyper-inflame your skin and make it very difficult for the esthetician to properly extract what’s left in your pores, says Barczewska. So be firm with yourself, and hold off for the professional to handle it all.
Don’t: Get Eyelash Extensions
“The glue used for lashes can’t be rubbed or have lotion or steam on it for at least 48 hours,” says Barczewska. If it does, the time and money you put into your lash extensions will be for naught, as they’ll likely separate.
Don’t: Use Exfoliating Products
Ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid can sensitize skin since they’ve exfoliated the outermost layer. Most facial reactions come as a result of this issue. If you’re unsure of the ingredients in your go-to skin-care products, stay on the safe side and use gentle products for a few days leading up to your facial.
The bottom line: To prevent any crazy skin reactions, play it safe for a few days leading up to your facial. You’ll have a much more pleasant experience if you do!