Acne Facials:What You Need to Know

There are a surprising variety of facials available.  There are those that are simply meant to brighten the skin and offer opportunity for relaxation, and then there are those meant to treat specific issues such as the signs of aging or acne.  Acne facials are slightly different than others as they may include some procedures that others do not, and they also leave out certain procedures common to standard facials.  The idea is that acne facials will help prevent future breakouts, and possibly treat or speed the healing of current breakouts.  Each process is slightly different based on the client’s specific needs.

For example, steam is a common denominator in most facials.  An acne facial may include steam as well, but it may not.  While mild acne can benefit from gentle steam, severe and even moderate breakouts can become further aggravated by the application of steam.  Since the skin is already inflamed, this step is often skipped with those clients that have moderate breakouts or worse.   It can be disappointing if you do not realizing it ahead of time, as many clients look forward to the steam portion of the facial.  It is very relaxing, but experts understand the need for prudence when it comes to treating the skin in the way that makes it look its best.

Other differences include the cleansing and desquamation phases of an acne facial. Cleansing during a facial that is meant specifically for acne prone skin often involves the use of a cleansing milk rather than soap.  Even gentle soaps can strip the skin of sebum.  This is the protective outer oil on the skin’s surface.  If the skin loses too much sebum it will produce more, and any excess can collect dirt, dust, dead skin cells, and bacteria.  This is what clogs pores and can eventually cause acne.  Therefore, the use of cleansing milk is a better choice for acne prone skin. 

The desquamation phase is where the pores are cleansed directly.  Those pores that already have plugs that are building to form whiteheads and blackheads are cleared, preventing various types of acne from ever coming to a head.  Many confuse this phase with extraction.  Extraction is something quite different and it is not included in all acne facials.  It is a highly specialized technique and must be performed by a professional.  An extraction done incorrectly can worsen or spread infection, and it can even cause scarring.  It is the process in which the trapped sebum causing active breakouts is expresses, and the infected area is treated.

After all other procedures are completed, either a calming or drawing mask is applied and topical creams or other products are applied based on the specific client’s needs.  A massage is generally not included in acne facials as they carry the risk of spreading infection and further irritating breakouts.  The results of acne facials are generally reduced breakouts in the near future and faster healing of current breakouts.  They can be quite a powerful weapon it the war against acne as long as they are performed by a qualified professional.

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