Don't Do These 5 Things Right Before A Facial

Many of us know that there are certain things that we should not do right after a facial such as sweating it out at the gym and applying heavy make-up.  But do you know about the the things that are dangerous to do right before a facial?  Here is my expertly curated list of things to avoid at all costs, right before you check yourself in to your favorite spa or medical spa.

1.  UV exposure before a facial is a big no-no:  

Arriving to your facial appointment just after a day on a blanket in the park, swimming in the pool or (gasp) going into a UV tanning bed is extremely risky.  Remember: most facials aim to remove dead skin cells which can be slightly irritating and stimulating for many clients.  So even if you aren't showing signs of a tan or burn, recent UV exposure mixed with a facial can mean redness, irritation, blistering, swelling or unwanted skin pigmentation.  Wearing SPF daily and avoiding the sun before facials are key tips for getting the most out of your treatment.  Be sure to always where SPF protection en route to your facial as well because driving or walking to the spa without sunscreen is a no-no as well.

2.  Hair Removal before a facial is risky:

Whether you've just had an upper lip or brow wax, laser hair removal or a Nair session at home, getting a facial right after is very risky.  Many hair removal methods can exfoliate and temporarily inflame the skin so going into the spa for a peel, microdermabrasion or enzyme treatment can cause damage to the skin in a big way.  Be sure to wait about five days after any hair removal treatments before going in for a facial service.  Trust me, your esthetician won't mind if you have some strays - it's better than the possible side effects of over-exfoliation and inflammation.

3.  Recent injectables need time to settle in before a facial:

Getting an injectable treatment to smooth lines or plump the cheeks are everyday treatments, these days.  However, make sure that your injectables have had at least two full weeks, in most cases, to settle in before you go in for any kind of facial.  Your qualified injector should let you know how long after your treatment you are eligible for facials.  Typically, if facials are performed too soon after an injectable treatment, you run the risk of disrupting the injectable treatment by either moving it or spreading it to an unintended area of the face (think eyelid droop!).  Remember: facials involve a lot of muscle and skin massage and manipulation and injectables shouldn't be moved around when they are still settling in.

4.  Do Not Pop Pimples or Pick at Your Face Before a Facial:

I know, some people can't help themselves.  Even many estheticians are guilty of squeezing a pimple on their own faces, now and again.   But it's really best to leave your white and blackheads for the pros.  An esthetician will oftentimes have to turn you away and reschedule your facial treatment if you come in with scabs, scars and infected lesions on your face.  It is very risky to exfoliate, massage and (generally) manipulate skin that is riddled with wounds and scabs.  You are at a higher risk for infection and other unwanted side effects if you show up for your facial with broken, scabbed skin.

5.  Do Not Use Retinol 72 Hours Before A Facial:

Retinol is a buzzword in the skin care industry and a lot of people are using it to treat acne and signs of aging because it is so effective.  Prescription strength retinol is even available OTC, of late.  However, keep in mind that retinol (especially the prescription strength versions like Retin-A, Renova and Tretinoin can thin the skin and make the skin more susceptible to inflammation from exfoliation treatments and the sun.  Be sure that you are off your retinol containing products at least three days before any type of facial, microdermabrasion or peel so that you don't suffer any scary side effects like redness, irritation or even burns and blisters.   

Follow these guidelines and make sure your visage is in tip-top shape before your facial to avoid any scary outcomes.