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How to Fix a Bad Facial

How to Fix a Bad Facial

In a world that is becoming more geared towards convenience and comfort every year, the allure of a spa day pulls us in like never before. We want to be beautiful and cared for from fingertip to the roots of our stylish hair. Whether you are a newbie or a veteran of a spa’s many incredible services, you are still at the mercy of the skincare therapist. It is always good to know what you are getting yourself in for and what you should expect.

When you get a facial, there are different kinds of treatments that may be offered at the spa. It will help you to go into the spa with an idea of what you would like to get done and the impact that it might have. It is also good to know what they shouldn’t be doing so you can say something before your face is botched.

What is a Facial?

Woman having facial at spa

If you are new to the spa scene, you need to start from the beginning and know what should be happening. This way it will be easier to figure out what shouldn’t be happening before it is too late.

A facial is a treatment, generally, with masks and massage, that is meant to cleanse your pores, getting rid of dirt and oils that may build up. It should also exfoliate, which serves to take away dead skin cells. Many people start to go to spas and get facials if they are struggling with breakouts or other skin conditions. Overall, it is supposed to make your skin feel happier and look healthier.

Benefits of a Facial

There are more benefits to a facial than we have time to tout. Beyond the benefits that are listed below, there are more for your face, your stress levels, and the health of your body overall. If you are curious about these even after reading through some of the most prevalent we have listed below, check out this website.


Although many of you will have a facial care routine at home, getting a facial is different from this. It should be a deeper cleanse, working through layers of skin gently but thoroughly. A facialist will be able to open your pores up in a healthy way for your skin type. From here, they can cleanse away weeks of oil and dirt buildup, leaving your skin healthier and glowing.

Reduces Stress

There is never a bad time to treat yourself. A lot of the wear and tear that affects the skin on your face comes from the emotions that you feel. These are often expressed in facial expressions which can lead to wrinkles, as can a lot of stress. According to the Journal of Biomedical Research, getting a facial massage will activate your sympathetic nervous system. The result of this is a reduction in your levels of anxiety and therefore an uplifted mood.

Don’t Just Feel Younger, Look Younger

There have been dozens of explorers that have famously sought the fountain of youth. Although this fountain has yet to be discovered, we have the next best thing. Getting facials can dramatically change the age that may be marked on your face. There are many different kinds of facials out there now. Some will boost cellular regeneration, keeping your face looking young and fresh. Others encourage collagen development, making your skin look tighter.

Gives Your Skin a Break

Woman at spa having face massage

Just like we all need a vacation to re-energize us as we move through our day-to-day lives, your face can use a “face”-cation every once in a while. Cleaning it out, tightening the skin, and relaxing the muscles can help you feel better and look better. If you have any pain or headaches that may be caused by facial tightness, then semi-consistent facials can also really help give your mind a break.

Treats Acne and Old Scars

A good facialist will be able to clean out blackheads and whiteheads on your face without pain. This isn’t possible at home and can also leave acne scars once they heal. A facial will help deal with any acne and anything that is hiding under the skin in areas like your forehead or on your cheeks, nose, or chin.

Gets Rid of the Tired Evidence

Our eyes are often one of our favorite features. When we lose sleep, or even if we get enough sleep but it isn’t quality or we are very stressed during the day, dark circles may start to be obvious under our eyes. We don’t want attention drawn to them because of large circles, but the big, beautiful eyes themselves.

The skin below your eyes is especially fragile because it is much thinner than the skin on any other part of your face. If you aren’t careful with it, the circles will start to form and wrinkles will begin to develop much earlier in life. The vitamin K that cucumbers contain helps to rehydrate the skin more gently than a chemical, which is why many spas use these during facials.

Keeping Expectations Aligned With Reality

Face mask on woman's face at spa

The best way to figure out if something is going wrong during a facial is important to know what you should expect. Since there are a lot of different kinds of facials that have been developed to treat different kinds of facial problems or to treat specific kinds of skin types, there are common aspects to almost all of them.

Cleansing is almost always one of the first parts of a facial. It is needed to clean out the surface area of the skin and get it ready to be able to get deeper into the underlayers. It will serve to get rid of any residual makeup, dirt, and oils that may have built up. It is generally a gentle process with a soft sponge or cloth with some cleanser and warm water.

After cleansing is over, exfoliation may serve to get rid of the dead skin cells that may be clogging pores at a deeper level and to help the new, young skin to shine through. This should still be somewhat gentle but will be more of a buffing process to scrub it all away.

The next process in many common facials is the process of extraction, which accomplishes exactly what it sounds like. If there are pores that are still clogged, filled with compact oils or dirt, then the facialist may go through and extract the blackheads and other forms of acne, either by hand or with a small metal tool. Keep in mind that this really shouldn’t be causing a lot of pain. It is meant to be gentle so that there are no acne scars later. There may be a little redness afterward, but this is part of the purpose of the soothing masks afterward.

Before the masks are applied, your facialist might treat you to a massage. This is generally towards the end of the treatment. It is meant to improve circulation and lymphatic drainage in your body. It will help your body to work through any swelling or redness as well as release tension from your neck, jaw, and forehead muscles that may cause wrinkles or headaches.

That brings us to those masks. This is where we often see pictures taken and posted of people that are getting facials done. They look so relaxed and happy with their cucumbers and green goop. It is actually at the end of the facial though, when most of the best stuff has already taken place. They are generally left on for about 30 minutes to an hour to get time to soak in and take effect.

Remember that any of these may be slightly different or taken out and other treatments added in. It will change depending on what kind of treatment you are going in for as well as your skin type and what your facialist specializes in.

Signs You Are Getting a Bad Facial

Woman on bed scratching face

Although bad facials are not common, it is important to be aware of things to watch out for. As much as a facial is beneficial and feels amazing, a bad facial can also have rather detrimental effects on your face, setting you back quite a bit and maybe even being painful.

To be sure, a good facialist will not be offended at you asking questions about what might be happening or why it feels a certain way. They should even encourage it. A large part of their job is to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. Feeling worried about what might be happening, or even being in pain, should never happen during a facial.

It is normal for your skin to be pink or slightly red. Especially if you went through a lot of extraction or exfoliation, you can expect your skin to be a little pinker than normal. The massage is also meant to get the blood flowing. This will steadily go away within a couple of days. However, your face should never be bright red, you should never feel a burning sensation or any sort of heat from your face.

A facialist needs to be careful to not over-exfoliate or be aggressive with their extractions, especially for people with sensitive skin. If you begin to feel pain during either of these, especially the exfoliation, don’t be afraid to speak up. If the idea of saying something makes you nervous, check out this article on what to say to your facialist if something feels off during the process.

Some people may freak out when they see that their face is bleeding a bit during extractions. However, a little is normal and the facialist will be able to get it to stop and begin to heal before the facial is over. Any bleeding that is happening once the facial is over should not be happening if a pro was working. This means they have caused unnecessary damages that may leave scarring.

If it is one of your first times getting a facial, be aware that undergoing a more intensive facial should not happen right before something important. Depending on the masks that they use as well as your skin’s reactions to long bouts of extractions, you may have breakouts the next day. Everybody’s skin is sensitive to different compounds. Don’t take the risk of walking down the aisle or the red carpet right after getting an intense facial.

For more tips on what to expect for facials, whether your first or your next of many, this blog has a lot of great suggestions for facials and what to expect so that you are prepared.

How to Fix a Bad Facial

Hand in jar of face cream

Given the somewhat abrasive and healing combination that a facial entails, it may be hard to figure out that you are getting a bad facial before it is too late. What happens then?

Here are some of our best tips and tricks:

Redness and Swelling

If you are suffering from a lot of extra redness or swelling even a day or two after your facial, you may need to take some of the healing into your own hands. First, try using a cold-press and laying it on your face for a while. If this doesn’t help enough, then try to use a product that has anti-inflammatory products. These might be lotions or facial creams. Try to avoid anything that you might normally use that may dry your face out. These can cause even more swelling and irritation.


Since a facial involves different masks and sometimes chemical treatments, your skin may be extra sensitive to sun damage. Stay inside for a time after receiving your facial. Allow yourself time to recover, it is a bit of a workout for your face. Be careful with the kind of makeup you apply afterward, as said before. If you do feel a burning sensation or develop a rash, you may need to skip out on your toner for a while and don’t do any more deep cleanses for several days.


As mentioned above, if you suffer from a breakout soon after receiving a facial, you may need to fix this quickly. If you can feel it coming on, or if you noticed that the facialist used greasy products or those with heavy fragrance in them, you can try to counteract this reaction. Using a soothing cream or serum, something with green tea in it, or aloe vera, can help to reduce any potential reaction. 

Be careful if you are going to wear makeup after a facial. This is especially true for those that are sensitive. Part of the point of a facial is to open up your pores and let them breathe. Don’t fill them back up with makeup immediately afterward. This can allow them to get clogged much faster than normal, resulting in a larger reaction.


One of the worst things that can occur from a botched job is for scabs to form. If this happens to you, you can help to reduce their healing time as well as help them to be less noticeable by moisturizing them. Make sure not to pick them and don’t dry them out by putting lots of coverup over them. Antibiotic creams can also really help to heal faster. Using a damp, warm compress over them before applying any creams or moisturizers will help them to soak it up faster. If they are really bad, check out this article from Healthline for more treatment and tips.

If you have suffered from a poorly done facial before, or have even found your treatment program to recover faster from intensive treatment, we would love to hear about it!

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