What not to do after a facial treatment

Washing your face: One of things to skip after a facial

For all the admonishing I get to drink a lot of water, not operate a combine, and to turn in early after a massage, there’s surprisingly little advice dispensed at the end of facial on what to avoid. (Perhaps it cuts into product-pushing time?)

So we’ve compiled this list of post-facial treatment no-nos—not just because these simple things can wreak havoc on your skin; but because it’ll be your fault if they do. Ignorance is not spa bliss.

Whether you’re paying $50 for a Spa Week facial or the going rate (about $150 for a facial in New York City), follow these seven Well+Good tips to make sure you get and keep the skin-care results you paid for.

1. Don’t visit the steam room or sauna.
Why? You’ve been cleaned and steamed. Heating your face up is just going to strip away your just paid-for glow. Ditto working out. (Not that we like to give you an excuse.)

2. Don’t have a massage.
Why? How does a toilet-seat-shape imprint on your newly poreless complexion sound? Book it before your facial.

3. Don’t wash your face. (Make that, don’t touch your face.)
Why? You’ve just had it washed by a professional who spent 59 minutes more on cleansing your skin than you usually do. You can skip this step in the spa shower and at bedtime.

4. Don’t use at-home peels or Retin A/Renova for at least 72 hours.
Why? Alpha-hydroxy acid peels plus vitamin A is a recipe for redness. Give your skin a two- or three-day break from potent at-home products after a treatment.

5. Stay out of the sun.
Why? Even incidental sun exposure can cause sun damage and skin cancer. And since 100 percent of facials involve a scrub or a peel (anti-aging facials often include both), you’ve got a new batch of vulnerable skin cells on the surface that can easily burn.

6. Don’t pick.
Why? If a facialist leaves pimples behind, it’s usually because they’re not close enough to the surface yet. Leave your pimple for a day—a deep-cleansing facial can make a few naturally surface within 24 hours. Or call your facialist about a follow-up extraction visit, the facial equivalent of a bang trim.

7. Don’t apply makeup.
Why? Okay, you can apply makeup. But why not use your skin-perfecting facial as an opportunity to go au naturel? And if you’re skin isn’t at its best afterward, it’s time for a new facialist. —Melisse Gelula

Have you ever inadvertently ruined the results of your facial? Did we forget something to avoid? Tell us, here!


Share This:

  • 77

13 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. May 26th, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Great article! I will be quoting this in my blog. One thing I’ll change: Since we carry GloMineral make-up (make-up with a higher purpose) we do offer optional, free touch-ups after treatments.
    Our clients do receive Post Care information sheets, including the above.
    Ageless Elaine

  2. July 13th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    […] Tell us, here!More Reading Should facials cause breakouts? Our expert panel squeezes out the truth What not to do after a facial treatment The 7 habits of highly effective skin careAKPC_IDS+="6163,";FILED UNDER: Good LooksTAGS: Clarins, […]

  3. September 25th, 2011 at 8:10 am

    […] the glow that you just got from your facial and could cause your pores to block-up. According to Well+Good NYC washing your face and using Retin A or Renova right after is also a no-no. “You’ve just had it […]

  4. August 22nd, 2012 at 7:15 am

    […] makeup: How to apply it better and faster Best frizz fixer: This easy coconut oil hair treatment What not to do after a facial treatment   FILED UNDER: Good Looks TAGS: natural skin care, sunscreen […]

  5. October 17th, 2012 at 9:52 am


  6. March 7th, 2013 at 4:04 am

    haldi can be applied after facial???

  7. November 2nd, 2013 at 7:16 am

    can i use face wash after 12 hours of facial??

  8. January 4th, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Is it OK to work out after 24 hrs of getting a facial?


  9. June 23rd, 2015 at 9:51 am

    can I use retina (.1%) and still use my nu skin galvanic spa treatment once a week?

  10. July 23rd, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    So its normal to have pimples after the facial?

  11. November 27th, 2015 at 2:02 am

    i go for swimming daily. is it ok to continue swimming after facial ?

  12. December 8th, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Just finished normal facial, can apply sunblock?

  13. January 11th, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Great tips!

Leave a Comment (* required)