What Should You do Before Getting a Facial?

Although facials are a standard beauty procedure, there are a few things to remember before getting one:

Know your at-home products. Your esthetician is likely to ask you about your daily skincare routine. If you're concerned about your skin, they can give you better-informed advice about what you should be using to tackle the issue; it may be that one or more of your products isn't the best for your skin type, so it's worth having a mental checklist of what you use every day.

Don't wax or shave (up to 48 hours) before a facial. Hair removal can make your skin feel more sensitive, so you're likely to experience discomfort (like tingling or stinging) during the treatment if you've waxed or shaved beforehand. Think about what you've got planned. The fact is that your skin may be a little red immediately following any facial treatment - this is totally normal and to be expected. Any redness will clear up within a day, but you might want to pass on date night if you've spent all afternoon at the beauty salon!

Are you taking any medication? If you're using an oral medication that's known to thin the skin (such as Roaccutane), it's recommended that you discontinue use up to 3 months before getting a facial treatment.Avoid sun bathing and tanning beds at least one week before your treatment. If you've got sunburn, facials are the last thing your skin wants (or needs!). Let any sun damage properly heal before booking a treatment. After a facial, your newly-exfoliated skin will be more sensitive to the sun's harmful rays too, so stay out of it for a few days. And remember: you should always apply sunscreen (yes, even to your face!) before heading out into the sun.

Don't over-exfoliate in the two or three days leading up to it. Since most facials include an exfoliating treatment anyway, it's important not to let your skin become too sensitive before its properly buffed clean.

What Should You Do Afterwards?

Don't pick your skin! Ideally, you shouldn't do this anyway, but you really need to avoid picking at your skin after getting a facial. It'll be especially sensitive after all the scrubbing, extractions and pore-opening treatments; messing with it some more can cause irritation - and even scarring.

Avoid using heavy makeup. After a deep cleanse, your pores will be more open, leaving them more susceptible to bacteria. Whilst it may be tempting to load on your full-coverage foundation if your face is looking a little red, you should allow your skin to settle. Stave off makeup until the following day, and make sure you've cleaned your brushes and applicators thoroughly when you do apply it again.

Sack of the gym (and the sauna!). Whilst it's always good to work up a sweat, you should reschedule your gym session following a facial; sweat can irritate freshly exfoliated skin. Similarly, saunas are a no-go post-treatment. You've already been cleaned and steamed; heating your face up and steaming it some more is likely to irritate your skin or lead to broken capillaries.

One of the key things to remember about any treatment, is that there's no quick fix. Facials - like any other beauty treatment - should be thought of as one part of a wider regimen. If you haven't got your daily skincare routine down, one facial won't be that transformative.

It's also unlikely that you'll be leaving the salon with perfectly poreless skin. In fact, you may experience a break out in the days following a treatment. This is because facials pull the impurities deep within your pores to the surface; for some people, the skin gets worse before it gets better. Ultimately though, facials detox the skin; they can remove years of built-up sebum and dead skin cells from the pores, leaving your face feeling squeaky-clean