6 Tips for Your First Facial

1. Get the full 411 from your aesthetician before your first facial.

Most spas require all customers to fill out a questionnaire that can help reveal quite a bit about their skin. But if you’re confused about which service is best for you, consider booking a 15-minute consult prior to your appointment. This way the aesthetician can sit down with you and talk about your skin concerns. This is also a good time for her to look at your skin under a magnifying lamp, which can give the professional a close-up look and determine your needs.

2. Skip the topical face creams, and show up bare-faced.

You definitely do not want to use anything harsh before a facial, like Retin A or AHAs. An AHA (or alpha-hydroxy acid) is a super common ingredient found in many anti-aging and acne-fighting creams that may leave the skin prone to irritation and redness. The same rule goes for mascara.It takes a long time to remove eye makeup. Those five to ten minutes spent scrubbing your lashes could have been used for something else like an extraction or facial massage.

3. Schedule in at least one (but no more than two!) facials per month.

Twice a month is fine as long as the exfoliation is not aggressive. However, since it takes your skin at least two weeks to regenerate after a peel, it is advised not to do facials more than twice a month.

4. Take good care of your skin between appointments.

Just like your body, your skin needs attention. Just like skipping the gym for a couple weeks can affect your toned arms, so goes your skin. If you do not take care of your skin daily, it will become sallow, dull, congested and age quicker, no matter how often you get facials.

5. Keep an eye out for excessive redness.

Redness can last three to seven days, depending on what was done. If a week has gone by and you’re still experiencing redness, then call your aesthetician.Do not wait…you may be having an allergic reaction.

6. Expect breakouts.

Getting a facial the day before a big date is probably not the best idea, especially if it’s your first session with a specific aesthetician (or your first facial altogether!). There are normal breakouts after a facial and then there are abnormal breakouts. If your aesthetician is an extraction newbie, he or she may do a subpar removal of open and closed comedones.

Just remember: if your first facial experience isn’t a good one, it may not mean you should swear them off forever. You may want to try a different person or place, first. “Finding the right aesthetician is like dating: you might have to go out on a few dates before you settle down with the right one”.