We Investigated the Effects of Facials on Acne

model with raised eyebrows


As anyone who has suffered from acne knows, we'll try anything to combat breakouts. From complicated skincare regimens to potent cleansers to prescription pills, we've tried them all in the pursuit of clearer skin. One treatment that often becomes a subject of debate in terms of efficacy in dealing with acne are facials, leading us to ask: Do facials help with acne?

To answer this question, we reached out to Dr. Sheila Nazarian, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. Much to our surprise, she says she generally does not recommend facials for actual skin improvement. "I think they do have some emotional benefit," she notes, "if someone needs to break away for an hour or two, but they shouldn't be counted on to fix the problem."

On the contrary, facials can have negative ramifications for the acne-prone. "I have also seen terrible breakouts after facials in some, not all, of my acne patients," says Dr. Nazarian. Even if the results are favorable, she notes that in her experience, "You look great and glow for a day … then you go back to looking like you did before."

So if facials are out, what does she recommend instead? Dr. Nazarian lists BroadBand Light (BBL) therapy treatments, spironolactone, and topical antibiotics (short term) as her recommendations for calming down active acne. "Once the acne is controlled, then micro-needling for contour deformities or pitting is recommended," she advises, continuing, "If redness occurs, I recommend further BBL treatments."

After the skin has cleared, lasers based on skin color can help to correct residual brown areas or hyperpigmentation. Dr. Nazarian insists that "a custom, medical-grade skincare regimen is important to maintain the results as well."

Related Stories