Do Facials Help Acne?

Written by Ravi Teja Tadimalla

A facial is a ritual a lot of people find themselves dabbling into after a long, tiring week. Facials are a part of skin treatment involving the use of different creams, lotions, oils, and techniques like gentle massages and steam. They leave your skin rejuvenated and moisturized.

Facials can relax and calm your skin. Certain beauty-gurus, dermatologists, and skin specialists also seem to casually recommend getting a facial done if you are suffering from an acne breakout.

But are facials worth the hype? How useful are they? Here are the answers to all your concerns regarding facials and if they can cast a spell on your acne worries. Keep reading.

Do Facials Help With Acne?

There is no research stating that facials can reduce acne. But they may help remove excess oil and can potentially reduce the intensity of whiteheads, blackheads, and dirt on the skin.

Facial, as a skin treatment, works differently for different people. It might play in your favor or may worsen your acne problems. You must consider certain factors before going for a facial to treat your acne. Understanding the type of acne you have can also help determine if you actually need a facial.

  • Whiteheads: Whiteheads are small white bumps on the skin surface formed due to clogged pores.
  • Blackheads: Blackheads appear on the top skin layers. They are dark and are also caused by clogged pores.
  • Nodules: Nodules develop on the face (under the epidermis) as red-colored bumps.
  • Cysts: Cystic acne is the worst form of acne. It manifests as infectious, red, and inflamed bumps painful to touch.

It could be safe to go for a facial if you have whiteheads or blackheads. But those with nodules or cystic acne must refrain from getting a facial. The combination of lotions, massages, and steam in a facial treatment may inflame the skin further.

You also must consider the ingredients you could be allergic to before going for a facial.

While facials may not help directly treat acne, they may have other benefits that could facilitate acne treatment. We have covered the same below.

Potential Benefits Of Facials For Acne

1. May Bust Stress

Stress has drastic effects on our skin. It may even lead to acne formation (1). Facials are popular for easing stress in the body. A good facial massage can boost your blood circulation, remove dirt, lower anxiety, and help you feel relaxed. Facials can also activate your sympathetic nervous system and reduce anxiety (2).

2. Can Give Your Face A Thorough Cleanse

Facials may help clear out the gunk, dirt, and acne-causing bacteria from your face. They also extract the toxins, oils, and dead skin cells that cause acne. The treatments may also soothe existing acne. Your skin also feels fresher and cleaner after a facial.

3. May Make Product Absorption Easier

A routine facial will help your skin absorb essential oils, minerals, and vitamins that help lighten and brighten your skin. If you already have acne, facials will help in the absorption of skin care products used to treat acne, thereby promoting faster healing (3).

4. May Hydrate Your Skin

Facials may help hydrate your skin, though this depends on the ingredients used. Adequate hydration can boost skin health and keep skin clear. It may also help reduce any acne blemishes, though more information is warranted in this regard.

5. May Help Boost Blood Circulation

Facials usually involve massages that incorporate different rollers (or just hands), whose movement can boost blood circulation (4). This could keep your skin glowing and potentially reduce the appearance of acne marks.

6. May Help Boost Skin Glow

Facials help achieve an even glow and skin tone. They also may reduce skin darkening caused by hormonal changes in the body. The treatments help restore your complexion that may have otherwise turned dull due to acne.

7. Offer Soft Exfoliation

Skin exfoliation through scrubs and other products can be harsh on your gentle skin, often causing damage. Such harsh products may also aggravate acne and disrupt the healing process. A facial could be a better and safer option for exfoliating acne-prone skin. The treatment is gentle and scrubs dead cells in a skin-friendly manner. It also deep cleanses your pores and clears out the accumulated dirt.

As discussed, facials could be used to facilitate acne healing. In the next section, we have listed the different types of facials one may choose from.

Types Of Facials Used For Acne

Acne facials are treatments directed to help soothe and calm acne-prone skin. There is no evidence that they can help treat or prevent acne. Following are the types of facials you may choose from.

1. Classic

Classic facials are tailored to detoxify skin and extract whiteheads and blackheads. They also brighten your face with a plump, radiant glow. These usually involve massaging, scrubbing, and blow-off steam to open your pores and offer a deeper cleanse.

2. Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion involves the use of a small exfoliating tool that is gently moved around your face. This device helps remove the exposed layer of your skin that usually contains dirt, bacteria, or gunk – and may potentially curb acne growth. However, there is no research to support this. But this facial technique may enhance your complexion.

3. LED

LED facial can be lauded as the recent “scientific marvel” in the skincare industry. As LED lights are easier to travel through our skin, this technique is claimed to reduce inflammation and sebum production.

4. Decongesting

Decongesting facials open your pores and extract the dirt and residue. This facial is considered ideal for removing blackheads and whiteheads.

How Does A Facial For Acne Work?

A typical facial begins with the process of deep cleaning your face and removing all the excess dirt, whiteheads, blackheads, and other impurities. After a good cleanse, you will be offered to wear a face mask or take steam, depending on your skin condition. The latter involves lathering and applying lotions, oils, skin creams, etc. that will help reduce the production of oil and sebum and remove dead skin cells.

Facials may also include the use of other hydrating products like cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. These may potentially soothe acne-prone skin.

Facials sure can help promote skin health. But before you go for one, you must also know about their potential adverse effects.

Potential Side Effects Of Facials

Facials may not suit everyone, especially those with severe acne. They may cause one or more of the following side effects:

  • Inflamed skin
  • Excessive Irritation
  • Allergic reactions to ingredients
  • Parched skin
  • Skin discoloration

If facials are not suiting your skin, you may go for alternatives:

  • Facial peels with properties of salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid.
  • A prescribed skincare routine or medication from dermatologists.
  • Zinc and vitamin C supplements are prescribed by a licensed nutritionist.

To Conclude

Facials may help reduce minor skin conditions like dirt, blackheads, whiteheads, and excess oil that tend to contribute to acne. However, they are not proven to direct cure or prevent acne. You sure can go for a facial for its skin benefits. But if you are looking for a sure shot treatment for your acne, it is better to consult a dermatologist and choose the right treatment option.

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Ravi Teja Tadimalla is an editor and a published author. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has been in the digital media field for over six years. He has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University. He considers himself a sculptor born to chip away at content and reveal its dormant splendor. He started his career as a research writer, primarily focusing on health and wellness, and has over 250 articles to his credit. Ravi believes in the great possibilities of abundant health with natural foods and organic supplements. Reading and theater are his other interests.
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