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The Dos And Don’ts Before And After A Facial

Spa facials have major benefits for your skin’s health. They remove impurities, promote new cell turnover and support your skin’s moisture barrier. Plus, facials leave you with a seriously covetable glow. The question is: How do you keep that glow going? And what should you do or avoid doing before a facial? We've got you covered. Follow these dos and don’ts to prolong the life of your next facial treatment.

Before A Facial | After A Facial

Dos and Don’ts Before a Facial

Preparing for a facial is crucial to ensure you receive the maximum benefits from your treatment. Facials can revitalize your skin, but they require a little groundwork to enhance their effects. Here are some essential guidelines to get your skin ready for this rejuvenating experience:


Avoid Sun Exposure

Minimize your sun exposure for a few days prior to your treatment. Sunburned skin can be overly sensitive and may need to forego certain products or manipulations typically used during a facial.

Cleanse Gently & Avoid Scrubs

During your skin care routine, stick to gentle cleansers and avoid harsh exfoliants or abrasive scrubs at least 48 hours before your appointment. This way you prevent any micro-abrasions or irritation that could be exacerbated during the facial.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to your facial helps hydrate your skin from the inside out. Hydrated skin is more supple and responsive to skin care treatments, making the effects of the facial more pronounced.


Use Retinol Products

Retinol and other potent ingredients should be avoided a few days before your facial. These substances can sensitize the skin, increasing the likelihood of irritation from the facial treatments.

Wax or Shave

Try not to wax or shave your face at least 24 - 48 hours before your facial. These hair removal methods can leave your skin vulnerable to irritation when certain facial treatments are applied.

Schedule Other Skin Treatments

It's best to avoid scheduling other aggressive skin care treatments — like chemical peels or laser therapy — close to your facial appointment. These can overly sensitize your skin, making a facial too harsh for your freshly treated skin.

Turn Up With Heavy Makeup

Going makeup-free on the day of your facial is ideal. It reduces the time your esthetician needs to clean your skin and allows for an immediate start on more therapeutic or moisturizing steps, enhancing your overall facial experience. 

Following these simple dos and don’ts will help you make the most out of your facial appointment, ensuring your skin is primed and ready to receive all the pampering and benefits of professional skin care treatments. Now, here's what to do after your facial to extend your results. 

What To Do After A Facial

The immediate effects of a facial typically last between five and seven days. During this time, skin looks and feels plump, hydrated and radiant. To extend your results, keep these aftercare steps in mind:

Keep Skin Hydrated

Proper hydration is key to maximizing the benefits of your facial. Our Eminence Organics Product Support Representatives advise: “Be sure to drink lots of water afterward. Staying hydrated will flush out toxins and leave you with a healthy, glowing complexion.”

When you are sufficiently hydrated, your skin cells function more effectively and are better able to eliminate impurities, absorb nutrients and help you retain your post-facial radiance. In addition to drinking plenty of water, increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and apply a daily moisturizer to maintain your glow.

Exfoliate Weekly

While we advise against exfoliating immediately after your facial (ouch!), we do recommend adding this step to your weekly skin care routine. Continuing to exfoliate at home will keep your skin soft and smooth as well as prevent oil and dead skin from building up and dulling your complexion. Be delicate with your freshly buffed skin: Wait two to three days before exfoliating and choose a gentle scrub like our Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant, Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant™ or VitaSkin™ Exfoliating Peels.

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Use A Vitamin C Serum

Environmental stressors pose the greatest threat to your fresh complexion. Extreme temperatures and air pollution can suck the life out of your skin, contributing to dullness, dehydration and the development of fine lines and wrinkles. To protect the effects of your facial, consider adding a vitamin C serum to your skin care routine. Not only does this superstar ingredient brighten the look of dull skin, it also battles wrinkles and fights damaging free radicals. Vitamin C is able to keep the skin looking balanced, toned and radiant, even after you’ve left the sanctuary of your favorite spa.

Follow Your Esthetician’s Advice

A quality home care routine is essential for boosting the life of your facial. Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas tells Refinery29: “Following up at home with a great routine designed by your facialist always extends the results of the facial for the month to come. Use the facial as your chance to take your skin to the next level, not simply bring it back to baseline.” Work with your esthetician to develop a skin care routine that is customized for your specific skin type, concerns and skin care goals. Following their expert advice can do wonders for maintaining your skin’s health between spa appointments.

Book Your Next Appointment

The best skin care routines pair at-home products with in-spa treatments. Many dermatologists liken visits to the spa to trips to the dentist: Professional treatments provide the extra care and expertise needed to enhance your everyday routine. Together, at-home and in-spa treatments set your skin up for optimal health and vitality. Most estheticians recommend booking facials between four and six weeks apart to take advantage of the skin’s natural turnover cycle. At minimum, Josie suggests quarterly treatments to maintain your skin’s health and address its specific needs as the seasons change.

What To Do (And Not Do) After A Facial Infographic

What NOT To Do After A Facial

While there is plenty of good you can do for your skin after a facial, there is also the potential to do some damage. To keep your skin glowing, it’s prudent to avoid a few common post-facial pitfalls. Here is our guide to what not to do after a facial:

Visit The Steam Room

A trip to the steam room may seem like the perfect way to round out a blissful spa day, but your best bet is to steer clear. Your skin has already been exposed to plenty of steam during your facial, and adding on could lead to irritation and broken capillaries. Hitting the gym is another no-go: Increased heat and sweat can also irritate your freshly exfoliated skin, causing redness and inflammation. Instead, take advantage of spa amenities pre-facial and leave steam management to your esthetician.

A woman seated in a sauna

Wax, Shave Or Have Laser Hair Removal

Hair removal and facials don’t mix. While it may be convenient to book a wax, shave or laser treatment along with your facial, it’s best to spread out your appointments. Most facials involve deep exfoliation with professional peels to shed old skin cells and bring new cells to the surface. Having a hair removal treatment immediately after your facial runs the risk of over-exfoliating and burning your fresh complexion. To avoid discomfort and damage, experts advise spacing your hair removal appointments between 24 and 48 hours before or after your facial treatment.


While we strongly recommend protecting your skin from UV rays every day (yes, even in winter!), this is especially true after a facial. Your freshly scrubbed skin is particularly susceptible to sun damage post-treatment and its vulnerable surface can easily burn. Moreover, exposing your skin to the sun puts you at risk for melanoma and accelerates the development of fine lines and wrinkles. After a facial, always apply a sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher to minimize potential damage.

Pick At Your Skin

It may be tempting to pop and pick your pimples, but it’s best to keep your hands off post-treatment. Every time you squeeze or touch a blemish, you run the risk of spreading bacteria and scarring your complexion.

During your facial, your esthetician will have performed the necessary extractions to clear blackheads and pustules. If any blemishes are left behind, it is because they are not close enough to the surface to extract safely. Further picking and prodding will only do damage; your best course of action is to leave them be and book a follow-up appointment with your facialist for further extractions.

Use At-Home Peels Or Retinol

Give your skin a week to heal before using potent at-home treatments like peels and retinol-based products. Your skin is particularly sensitive after a facial. Harsh and potentially irritating products, such as retinol, might do more harm than good. Rest assured that your esthetician has exfoliated your skin to the max and is focused instead on protecting your skin’s moisture barrier with nourishing facial oils, rich moisturizers and deeply hydrating mask treatments. Our pick: Blend Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil with Coconut Age Corrective Moisturizer for long-lasting moisture.

Ready to put these after facial dos and don’ts into action? Book your next facial treatment at an Eminence Organics Spa Partner near you.

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