Facials are great. They get rid of the dead skin cells and gunk on your face hydrates your skin and gives you that coveted glow. But what happens if you wind up with a breakout party on your face later in the day or find your skin covered with red spots or blotches? Did all the money you spent on your facial go to waste?


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In an Instagram post, actress Shu Qi posted a picture of herself with cotton pads on her face with a caption in Chinese that says, “Choose your facial clinic wisely. If your gut tells you that there is something wrong with the facial place, trust your intuition. You’ll be the one who will bear the consequences if things go wrong”.  While she keeps us guessing about what went wrong during her facial with her enigmatic caption, here are some of the things you can do if your skin looks worse after a facial. 


If you get post-facial breakouts:

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According to author of “Clearing Concepts: A Guide to Acne Treatment”, Mark Lee, post-facial flares of blemishes are caused by follicular inflammation. Sometimes during a facial, the follicle wall gets irritated and inflamed by something that occurred like over-manipulation of the skin or was used during a facial like an overly greasy product or fragranced product. This in turn causes the follicle to become occluded. To prevent an inflammation from occurring, apply a soothing cream or serum that contains skin calming calming ingredients like green tea or matricaria if you’ve just gotten an extraction.

For those with sensitive skin it is also a good idea to go bare-faced for several hours after your facial because your pores are more open than usual with the deep cleanse. This means that your skin will be more susceptible to bacteria. It might be tempting to whip out your full coverage foundation to conceal the redness from extractions but by doing so you might be exposing your skin to bacteria. When you go au naturel, you’re also giving your skin a chance to better absorb the serums and creams that were used. If you choose to wear makeup, clean your brushes and makeup applicators thoroughly to avoid getting a breakout. Also, refrain from picking your skin to prevent the introduction of bacteria.


If you get an itchy rash:

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Some facial procedures and products such as chemical exfoliators could cause your skin to be more photosensitive and prone to sun damage and irritation. If possible, try to stay out of the sun after a facial. You should already be doing this, but always apply sunscreen on your face before heading out, especially after a facial. If you are experiencing a stinging, burning sensation or if you have a rash, leave the toner out of your skincare routine, at least for the first few washes after your facial. Additionally, consider skipping on the exfoliators and deep cleansers for at least two days after your facial because your skin has already gone through exfoliation and extraction.



If you are experiencing redness:

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Chemical peels, microdermabrasion and squeezing at the skin can result in redness for a day or two after the facial. To calm your flushed skin and to reduce swelling, apply a cold compress on your face or apply a moisturiser or lotion with anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera and cucumber.

To conclude, as Shu Qi rightly mentioned, it is crucial to find the right esthetician or facialist to perform your facial procedures as he or she would know what is normal and what is not normal following a facial.