Facials for acne-prone skin: Do they really work?

For people with acne, there seems no escape from unsightly blemishes and sore, inflamed skin. Those with happier complexions swear by facials for their healthy glow, but you are not so sure. What if you end up irritated skin and fresh breakouts? Are facials a good idea for acne-prone skin? Let’s find out! 


What are facials?

A facial is a cosmetic procedure that cleanses and refreshes the skin. The goal is to eliminate pore blockages by removing excess oil, dead skin cells, and other impurities. Facials also leave the skin feeling hydrated and supple.

When booking an appointment for a facial, most people call their salon. But you could also get a professional facial at the dermatologist’s office. Those who prefer a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach could use natural ingredients or a ready-to-use acne facial kit.


Facials and acne-prone skin

Gentle facials are a great choice if you have mild, non-inflammatory acne (blackheads and whiteheads). This is no cure for your acne problem, but it will minimise the appearance of blemishes.

People with mild inflammatory acne could also benefit from an acne facial. If you break out only occasionally or don’t have too many pimples, you are dealing with a milder form of acne.

However, if your skin is covered in numerous red and painful lesions, facials could worsen the acne. Be on the safe side and assess the severity of the acne before getting a facial. (Here’s a handy guide to the different grades of acne.)

When selecting a facial, pay attention to ingredient quality and avoid facials that might be harsh. Sometimes the products applied during a facial could clash with skincare products or medication that you are using, which may lead to irritation. If in doubt, cover your bases by consulting a dermatologist.


The right facial for acne-prone skin

When choosing a facial, identify your skin concerns first. Some facials reduce the appearance of acne by targeting acne bacteria and reducing inflammation. Others focus on controlling oil levels or treating acne-related scars and discolouration. Here are some types of facials you could consider:

  • Regular facial: The classic version involves steaming, exfoliation, massage, and a mask to remove dead skin and excess oil, and even out the skin tone. Your facialist will also extract blackheads and whiteheads safely.
  • Brightening facial: Acid peels, masks, and antioxidant-rich serums target dark spots caused by acne. A brightening facial promotes shedding of the skin’s outer layer, thereby revealing new and healthy skin cells. It might also slow down the production of melanin.
  • Decongesting facial: The goal is to deep-clean the pores and clear out clogs. The facialist may use an extractor tool to remove blackheads and whiteheads. The decongesting facial leaves the skin looking and feeling smooth.
  • LED photofacial: A light-emitting device is used to target acne bacteria and minimise the appearance of scars and dark sports. Suitable for sensitive skin, LED facials show quick results against active pimples and scars. (Discover the benefits of photofacials for acne-prone skin.)

Facials are not the right choice for everyone though. The exfoliation and massaging techniques can sometimes irritate acne-prone skin. If you have moderate or severe acne and are thinking of getting a facial, make sure to cross-check with your dermatologist first. 


Should you use at-home acne facial kits?

DIY acne facials kits are convenient, easy to use, and cheaper than getting a professional facial. Simply apply the product to cleansed and toned skin, and leave on for about 10 to 20 minutes.

Just make sure that the kit suits your skin type. Also, run a patch test on your inner arm to rule out allergies before using any new product on the face.


Skincare between facials

A facial once a week or every two weeks is great. But show your skin some love on a daily basis too!

To keep your acne under control, cleanse with a mild cleanser or face wash. You could look up reviews for the best face wash for men and women with acne. Ideally, invest in a product that deep cleans the pores without drying out the skin.

Next, apply toner all over your face and neck using a cotton ball. This restores the skin’s natural pH balance and leaves it refreshed.

Your complexion is now ready for acne treatment. Target your blemishes at the root by applying Clearica Anti-Acne Cream. This plant-based cream is gentle enough for all skin types but packs a serious punch. It clears the pores, reduces inflammation, fights acne-causing bacteria, and soothes the skin.

Finally, hydrate with your favourite moisturiser. Go for something lightweight with SPF for sun protection during the day and a more nourishing cream at night. (Here are more tips on how to care for acne-prone skin.)






Disclaimer: This page is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a recommendation or for diagnostic purposes. Please consult your dermatologist or doctor before acting on any of the information provided here.