Are professional facials the key to acne-free skin?

Are professional facials the key to acne-free skin?

The holiday season is upon us. And oftentimes, gifting experiences to our family and friends can be a creative way of showing our love. In fact, after a month of nonstop holiday stress, a day at the spa is an ideal way to kick back our feet and revel in the calm of a new year.

Facials are top of mind when we think about a self-care day. But sometimes we take a look at our skin and go: Will this help or hurt my breakouts?

Here to answer our questions is Dr. Robin Schaffran, our Co-Founder and Beverly Hills dermatologist who gets these kinds of questions all the time.


Are professional facials a necessity when you have acne?

The answer is no, according to Robin. “Although they can be helpful,” she says, “facials rarely replace the need for a good skincare regimen or medical treatment if acne is severe. And used alone, facials are not typically sufficient in clearing acne.”

However, getting regular facials — using steaming and extractions — can help to exfoliate and clean out pores, which can lead to less breakouts. Plus there’s the added bonus of making existing blackheads less noticeable. That’s a win-win in our books!


Facials help with stress. Does this play into whether it will help clear acne?

It can! For many, getting a facial is — in our opinion — a fabulous way to de-stress. And because stress is a big driver of breakouts, this can be very helpful in reducing breakouts that are aggravated by stress. “That said,” explains Dr. Schaffran, “not all breakouts are stress-induced. And many teens and adults actually find facials to be a stressful and expensive habit to keep up.” In those cases, it would not necessarily be of benefit.

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How often would you recommend getting a facial?

The key to success with facials is to do them regularly but not too often. “I would say once a month is ideal,” says Robin.


If I have acne, do I need to wait for it to clear before booking a facial appointment?

Acne itself does not get in the way of a facial. That’s to say: if you have acne you don’t need to wait until it’s clear in order to get the facial. And the reverse is true too. You don’t need to have acne to get a facial. In fact, getting regular facials when your skin is clear can be a great way to maintain the condition of your pores.

Side note: Some post-facial irritation is normal and will go away afterwards. If your skin is particularly sensitive, a good facialist will be able to tailor your treatment for inflamed skin.


All of this to say: Facials can be helpful both during breakouts and after your skin is clear, but if you don’t like doing them or can’t afford them, you can still achieve clear skin without them. (A topical like the 3-Step System would make an excellent pairing!)