Skincare » What You Should and Should Not Do After a Facial

What You Should and Should Not Do After a Facial

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A facial is an excellent way to maintain the health of your skin. It can help you solve skin health problems or gives you the time to discuss skincare concerns with a licensed esthetician. Facials not only offer a deep skin cleanse but also a moment of self-care.

If you’re like us, you might have a slew of questions regarding what you should and shouldn’t do after a facial treatment. We spoke to licensed esthetician Alex Hernandez, Lead Educator at Face Reality Skincare, to guide us through some best practices to follow post-facial treatment.


Set aside time to transition

You just had a relaxing treatment. If you have the time, transition back into your day with a few minutes to enjoy the benefits. Maybe you choose to sip a hot tea or coffee while catching up on your book club read or connecting with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Try to avoid rushing back to the office for a work meeting or engaging in a stressful activity post-treatment.

Drink water

Hydration is always a good idea when it comes to healing your skin from the inside out. If you received a massage as part of the facial treatment (and we hope you did!), drinking water can help flush out toxins released during the massage.

Use a face roller

Woman using a face roller

According to Hernandez, “Using a cold facial roller or gua sha tool post-facial is a great way to keep the soothing and detoxifying benefits coming.” Cold rollers make an excellent addition to any skincare routine.

Apply hydrating products

Hydrating masks and undereye patches can be used shortly after a facial if you’d like. “If your esthetician approves a night routine, either of these [products] are a great option to hydrate and soothe post-treatment skin,” Hernandez said.

Wear sunscreen

In most facial services, sunscreen should be applied at the end, according to Hernandez. Your esthetician should apply sunscreen before you leave, so always ask to make sure they’ve done so. Reapply two hours later if you’re out in the sun.

Book your next facial

Booking consistent facials, if your schedule and wallet allow for it, can help you stay on track toward your skin goals. 

Wondering how often to get a facial? That depends on your skin type. Aim for every three weeks if you have oily or acne-prone skin, every seven to eight weeks if your skin is sensitive, and every four weeks if you have a dry or normal skin type.


Hair removal

You’ll want to stay away from facial hair removal right before and immediately after a treatment to avoid irritating your skin. “It’s best to wait at least two to three days before hair removal services — and really then, I only recommend eyebrow threading,” Hernandez said.

She added, “If you usually wax, wait three to five days post-facial and at least three to five days before a facial. If you are going to get something more aggressive, like laser hair removal, the wait can be closer to two weeks. Always check with your esthetician before waxing or receiving laser hair removal if you have a facial planned.”

Face washing

Some of us might fear that new products on our skin will cause breakouts, so we might be tempted to rinse off the final products from the facial. Whether or not you wash your face before bed after a treatment is up to your esthetician, so make sure to ask.

“It can go either way depending on the service that you received,” Hernandez said. “We instruct our clients to skip their night routine and resume their regular regimen the next morning. Since we are typically performing self-neutralizing corrective peels (which address active acne, hyperpigmentation, and texture), this allows the product plenty of uninterrupted time to work its magic.”

Working out

Woman getting ready to go for a run with headphones in and a towel around her neck

While it’s OK to go for a relaxing stroll after your facial, we suggest against skipping more intense workouts, like HIIT, CrossFit, or hot yoga, where you’ll sweat excessively. “Ideally, it’s best to skip the gym post-facial, especially if you received a corrective peel,” Hernandez recommended.

You’ll want to get your exercise in earlier in the day so you don’t have to worry about sweating off the products or getting dirt and bacteria into the freshly-cleaned pores on your face.

Applying pore-clogging products

It’s best to wait at least a day before applying products like self-tanner or certain makeup. “These products can contain pore-clogging ingredients, and you want to allow the skin as much time as possible to recover post-treatment,” Hernandez said. 

She added, “Some makeup products can also contain common irritants that may cause issues if applied too soon after the service.” It’s always a good idea to talk to the esthetician about your specific makeup routine and products to see if there could be any interactions with the facial they performed.


It’s best to skip exfoliating the morning of your facial. “Typically, only prescription-strength products need to be discontinued for any length of time prior to a facial,” Hernandez said. “These can include topical antibiotics and prescription-strength vitamin A creams.” 

Depending on the amount of exfoliation performed during the facial, you should be able to return to your regular skincare regimen the following day — exfoliants and all.

Find your facial fix

The next time you book a facial, take a close look at your calendar and keep in mind any professional duties where you’ll have to “show face.” Ideally, you’ll plan the treatment on a day when you can relax after your appointment and don’t have plans that’ll require putting on makeup. Finally, make sure to find an experienced esthetician and ask for their suggestions on how to best care for your skin post-facial.