Sometimes, despite your best intentions, at-home care for acne just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the advice and treatments of an aesthetician or a dermatologist. A facial may be a good idea, but always make sure that you’re getting the right kind of facial as some acne facials can actually make the problem worse. Here’s what to look for—and what to look out for.
- A good acne facial requires four steps: cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, and sunscreen. The exfoliation can be mechanical—a good scrub, like ZO’s Exfoliating Polish—or a device such as a crystal-free microdermabrasion. Particle-based microdermabrasion, like aluminum oxide, can inflame acne, nick the skin, spread bacteria, and cause contamination.
- Crystal-free microdermabrasion is an effective treatment to rejuvenate skin, shrink pores, and most importantly, stimulate the regeneration of healthy skin cells via the removal of dead skin cells. Here’s how it works: the dead or damaged top layer of the skin is gently exfoliated, while the dead skin cells are vacuumed away in a sterile, controlled environment. This procedure not only improves extractions, it makes the whole process much easier to tolerate and less painful. Hydra-Facial® utilizes a diamond tip wand and avoid particles.
- Steam is relaxing and makes extractions easier, but it’s horrible for your skin, especially if you have acne or rosacea. Steam enlarges the glands and can actually cause acne.
- Both the Blue LED light or Red LED light can be valuable. Blue wavelengths are very effective in killing the p-acnes bacteria, the major source of acne. You should see a noticeable reduction in acne lesions 2-3 days after treatment. The wavelength is critical to success; devices that are purchased over-the-counter are not going to penetrate as deep as devices used by your aesthetician or dermatologist. Red lights reduce inflammation, but should be used in conjunction with blue wavelengths.
- Tea-tree masks help tighten pores, reduce oiliness, and can be a good addition to an acne facial.
Successful treatment for acne, however, starts at home. Be sure to use a cleanser designed for oily skin, cleanse for at least one minute, amd use an exfoliating polish as well as an anti-bacterial topical. Occasional facials are not a good substitute for proper at-home daily care.