Should a facial make you break out?

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When you head off to the spa for your monthly facial, make sure you're getting an experienced aesthetician and a customized evaluation before you plop your derriere in the chair. It's one of the best ways to protect yourself from post-facial breakouts. Your other secret weapon for a facial without latent blemishes is to develop a regular skin maintenance regimen on your own time.

Plan Your Spa Facial

Aestheticians, or beauty care experts, don't always hit the mark the first time out when evaluating your skin. Some facial treatments can be a one-size-fits-all proposition that isn't necessarily suited to your skin's needs.

When you plan a facial, ask questions and expect a thorough assessment that will determine your specific skin type and skin care challenges. A customized treatment designed to suit your skin's particular requirements will give you the best results.

You may just need a thorough cleaning to remove dead skin cells, or you could need something more extensive, like a skin extraction treatment to remove blackheads and whiteheads. The more rigorous a facial is, the more your skin may act up afterward. Removing entrenched bacteria could also take multiple treatments over a period of weeks. The goal is to have luminous, even and revitalized skin, but if some rehab is necessary to achieve that, there could be a few bumps (literally) along the way.

Did You Know?
Facials are a staple at many spas and rank third in popularity behind massages and manicures.

What You Can Do at Home

Your skin is more complicated than you might think, and keeping it clean, hydrated and supple can be an ongoing challenge. If you want glowing skin, small pores and fewer breakouts, it pays to do some regular maintenance between facials. Good skin care practices, like removing your makeup every night, can help establish a baseline that will keep your skin in better condition between deep cleanings. That way, whether you have someone give you a facial or opt for a do-it-yourself method, your skin will be in better shape going in.

These tips will help you keep your skin clean and clear:

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  • Your skin sloughs off dead cells that can clog your pores and cause blemishes. A monthly facial will help keep your pores clear and keep breakouts under better control.
  • Once you find an aesthetician who understands your skin, stick with him or her.
  • Embrace the tingle. Facials can be relaxing; they can also be a little uncomfortable if there's any stimulation or prodding to be done. When your skin needs deep cleaning, expect to pay the price with a little discomfort.
  • If you have a big event coming up and you want great-looking skin, don't schedule a same-day facial. It's tempting to want your skin to have that fresh, just-plumped look, but it might also end up looking red, spotty and puffy. Schedule your skin treatment a few days to a week ahead of time.

A facial can revitalize your skin and give it a vibrant and dewy appearance, but it pays to develop your own skin maintenance routine at home, too. That way, your facials will be less likely to cause temporary blemishes and your skin will thank you with a warm, happy glow.

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  • Ash Carolyn. "10 Myths & Misconceptions About Skin Care." Undated. 5/18/10.
  • FTM Resource Guide."Dealing with Acne & Other Skin Breakouts." Undated. 5/19/10.
  • McGinn, Daniel and Terry Greene Sterling. "Massage Please." Newsweek. 12/6/08. 5/20/09.
  • Nine MSN. "Seven Key Rules of Getting a Facial." Undated. 5/20/10.
  • Saint Louis,Catherine. "An Expression of Doubt About Facials." New York Times. 3/19/09. 5/20/10.