This Is How Often You Should Get a Facial

facial ( photo: Beauty Journal - Sociolla )

The frequency of getting a facial varies depending on several personal factors such as your skin type, the purpose of the facial, and your skin care needs and goals.

For certain facials, such as superficial or medium chemical peels, the recommended interval between treatments can range from a few weeks for superficial peels to a few months for medium chemical peels, depending on the strength of the chemical solution used.

On the other hand, deep chemical peels are a one-time procedure and should not be repeated.

Laser resurfacing and LED light therapy are facial treatments that require multiple sessions, with the interval between sessions varying depending on the strength of the laser or LED light used. This could range from weeks to months.

There is no standard guideline for determining the frequency of using at-home or homemade face masks.

If you have skin concerns and are considering getting a facial, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist who can advise you on the best type of facial for your needs and the ideal frequency for your treatments.

According to a research review from 2018, face masks are the most widely used beauty product for facial rejuvenation.

Some of the common ingredients found in home face masks include:

  • Moisturizing agents
  • Exfoliating agents
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Proteins
  • Herbal extracts

The specific ingredients in a particular mask can help you determine the recommended frequency for its use.

Things to consider


The type of skin you have, such as sensitive skin, dry skin, oily skin, or mature skin, can influence the way it reacts to face masks and facials.

The weather conditions during different seasons can also play a role in determining the frequency of facials and face masks. For example, your skin may have different requirements during dry winter months compared to humid summer months, depending on your location.

Scheduling your facials: The frequency of getting a facial is influenced by the type and intensity of the facial you are undergoing. For instance, deeper peels have a longer recovery time and can be performed less frequently.

Chemical peels, for instance, are categorized into three types:

- Superficial peels exfoliate the top layers of the skin, referred to as the epidermal layers, using alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). It is recommended to have 4 to 6 sessions of these treatments, with intervals of at least 2 to 4 weeks to avoid damage and give your skin time to recover.

- Medium-depth peels penetrate the upper layers of the dermis down to the papillary dermis, using glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid (TCA) at a concentration of 35 to 50 percent. These treatments can be performed every few to several months.

- Deep peels use a high concentration of TCA (above 50 percent) or the chemical phenol, and penetrate the papillary dermis down to the middle layer of the skin, called the reticular dermis. Deep peels are a one-time procedure and should not be repeated.

Laser treatments are usually performed in multiple sessions over the course of 3 months, spaced a month apart. However, the exact timing will depend on the type of laser used. Your dermatologist or aesthetician will give you specific instructions on how often you should receive treatment.

Softer facial treatments such as those using gelatin, clay, or activated charcoal masks can be used more frequently as they are gentle on the skin.

According to anecdotal evidence, the following frequency guidelines are suggested for different types of face masks:

- Sheet face masks: once a week 

- Activated charcoal face masks: once a month 

- Clay face masks: once or twice a week 

- Gelatin face masks: twice a month 

- Tea face masks: once a month

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Acne-prone skin


Individuals with skin prone to acne need to exercise caution when receiving facials. Before undergoing a facial, it is advisable to discuss your skin history, concerns, and any products you are using with your dermatologist.

Some acne treatments, such as topical retinoids, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and isotretinoin (Accutane), can make your skin more sensitive, leading to dryness, peeling, and stinging. If you are using these products, your doctor may advise you to avoid certain types of facials to prevent further skin sensitivity or irritation.

Wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can also lead to increased breakouts for individuals with acne-prone skin.

Acne-prone skin may benefit from specific types of facials, including salicylic acid peels, glycolic acid peels, and certain forms of laser therapy, as well as blackhead extraction. Although there is limited research on this, these types of facials may help with managing acne.

It's important to note that using certain acne treatments, such as topical retinoids, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and isotretinoin, may increase skin sensitivity and dryness, so it's best to consult with a dermatologist before getting a facial. Additionally, the wearing of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in "maskne," or acne breakouts, caused by a combination of factors including irritation from mask fabric and the buildup of sweat, bacteria, and oil on the skin.

At-home and DIY face masks


Common types of home face masks and the benefits they claim to provide include:

- Sheet face masks: for repairing, rejuvenating, and moisturizing the skin. 

- Activated charcoal face masks: for removing blackheads and whiteheads, and purifying the skin. 

- Clay face masks: for removing excessive oil, treating acne, dark spots, and sun damage. 

- Gelatin face masks: for boosting collagen production. 

- Tea face masks: for reducing the appearance of fine lines, neutralizing the effects of harmful radicals, and preventing acne. 

- Honey face masks: for hydration and soothing the skin. Gua sha or jade rolling: for increasing blood flow.

Please note that the benefits of these home face masks are often based on personal experiences and have not been scientifically proven.

Always follow the usage instructions provided with each product and make adjustments as necessary.

It's important to be aware that everyone's skin is unique, so monitor your skin's response to any new masks or changes in your skincare routine.

There are several home-made mask recipes available.

Frequent ingredients include:

- Yogurt 

- Clay 

- Coconut oil 

- Turmeric 

- Rose water 

- Aloe Vera 

If you plan to make your own mask, it's important to use a recipe from a reliable source.

Before using the mixture on your face, perform a patch test by applying a small amount to a small area of skin. If you experience any signs of irritation, such as redness, itching, or blistering, within 24 hours, do not apply the mixture to your face.

Professional facial treatment

photo: BeautyPlus Clinic

Aestheticians have received professional training and are licensed by the local cosmetology board or health department to provide cosmetic skin care services. However, they are not medical doctors and cannot diagnose, prescribe medication or treat skin conditions.

On the other hand, Dermatologists are licensed medical doctors who have expertise in diagnosing and treating skin conditions. They may use various facial procedures such as LED light therapy, chemical peels and laser resurfacing to address various skin care issues.

A professional facial generally consists of a combination of the following steps:

  1. Cleaning of the face
  2. Use of steam to open the pores
  3. Exfoliation to get rid of dead skin cells
  4. Manual extraction of blocked pores
  5. Facial massage to boost blood circulation
  6. Application of a mask to target specific skin concerns
  7. Use of serum, toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen
  8. Laser resurfacing, a gentle procedure that helps repair the skin
  9. Chemical peels to remove damaged skin cells and firm the skin
  10. LED light therapy, used to treat acne, decrease inflammation, and enhance anti-aging effects.
Your appointment at the salon may also include additional services such as hand and arm massage, paraffin wax treatment, or a seaweed wrap. These services will depend on the salon and the services they offer.

The frequency of future appointments will be determined by your skin's requirements and the type of treatments you received. Your aesthetician will give you any necessary post-care instructions and advise you on the timing of your next appointment.


Your skin is a vital part of your body, serving as a shield from potential harm. Some individuals think that regular facials can enhance the care of their facial skin. If you're not certain about how to incorporate facials into your skin care routine or desire to book a professional treatment, it is best to consult a trusted aesthetician or dermatologist. They can address any inquiries you may have and design a personalized treatment plan that meets your skin care needs.

Which Facial Works Best for My Acne?


Consider the following when dealing with acne

You may have the constant desire to find a cure for your acne, however, it is important to note that a facial alone cannot completely cure it. However, it can help to soothe the condition.

The effectiveness of a facial for acne will depend on various factors, including the products used, frequency of facials, and the expertise of the aesthetician.

It is crucial to choose an experienced aesthetician who has the knowledge and skills to tailor the facial to your specific skin type.

In order to pick the right facial for your skin, it is important to consider what you can expect during the appointment, as well as other important factors.

The effectiveness of a facial for acne depends on the type and severity of the acne

If you have minor acne, combining a facial with appropriate skincare products may produce great results.

However, if you have moderate to severe acne, with at least 30 acne lesions on your skin, it may be more suitable to either avoid facials or complement them with a stronger treatment such as prescription medication.

Pustules (pimples)X
Atrophic or other depressed scarsXX
Hypertrophic or keloid scars

Types of facials typically used for acne

Some facials focus on addressing current acne breakouts, while others aim to reduce the appearance of post-acne scarring or discoloration.

The Classic Facial

What does it involve? This type of facial typically includes a series of standard procedures, which are usually performed in the following order: steaming, exfoliating scrub, massaging, and application of a mask. A toner and moisturizer may also be applied.

What are its benefits for the skin? The classic facial offers deep cleansing and exfoliation, which helps to remove dead skin cells and leave the skin looking hydrated and more even in tone.

Which type of acne does it work best for? This type of facial can effectively address blackheads and whiteheads by extracting them.

What is the average cost per session? The average cost of a classic facial is around $75, but it can range from several hundred dollars depending on the location and the spa.

- The Decongesting Facial

What does it involve? This type of facial is essentially a classic facial with a focus on unclogging pores. During the treatment, the aesthetician will use their fingers or an extractor tool to remove minor acne breakouts.

What are its benefits for the skin? The decongesting facial will clear blocked pores, leaving the skin smoother. However, it does not address the root cause of acne, and multiple sessions may be necessary to see significant improvement.

Which type of acne does it work best for? This type of facial is most effective in treating whiteheads and blackheads. Deeper lesions, such as cysts and nodules, should not be extracted.

What is the average cost per session? The cost of a decongesting facial can range from around $70 to over $200, depending on the location and spa.

- The Microdermabrasion Facial

What does it involve? Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive treatment in which a handheld device is used to gently exfoliate the top layer of skin. The treatment usually takes about 30 to 40 minutes, after which a moisturizer is applied.

What are its benefits for the skin? After a series of sessions, the skin should appear brighter, smoother, and have a more even tone.

Which type of acne does it work best for? Microdermabrasion can be effective in treating blackheads and whiteheads, as well as improving the appearance of depressed scars and discoloration.

What is the average cost per session? According to a survey conducted in 2017, the average cost of one microdermabrasion treatment was $137.

- LED Facial

What is it comprised of? A LED facial starts with the cleansing of the skin, followed by treatment with an LED machine. This machine emits a combination of white, red, and blue infrared light, each of which serves a different purpose. The white light penetrates the deepest and works on the skin's tone, the red light promotes the production of collagen, and the blue light kills off acne-causing bacteria.

What does it do for the skin? This treatment can help fight active acne and reduce inflammation, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin. The benefits of the treatment can often be seen after just one session.

Which type of acne does it work best for? LED light therapy is most effective for pimples.

What is the average cost per session? LED facials can cost anywhere from around $35 to almost $200 per session.

- Brightening Facials 

What is included in this type of facial? A brightening facial typically involves the use of a combination of acid peels, masks, and serums containing antioxidants such as vitamin C. The duration of each treatment is determined based on your skin type and condition. 

What are the benefits for your skin? This type of facial is designed to reduce the appearance of discoloration caused by acne. It works by slowing down the production of melanin and promoting the shedding of the top layers of skin. This can also improve skin texture.

What type of acne is it most effective for? This type of facial is specifically targeted at dark marks or hyperpigmentation. 

What is the average cost per session? Brightening facials tend to be more expensive with prices starting at around $100.

- Enzyme Facial 

What does this consist of? An enzyme facial involves the use of natural substances called enzymes, typically derived from fruits, in a facial peel. 

What does it do for your skin? The top layer of skin is made up of dead skin cells which contain keratin protein. The enzymes in the peel break down this protein, leading to smoother and more even-toned skin. 

What type of acne does it work best for? Enzyme facials are most effective for treating depressed scars or discoloration. However, the effectiveness can vary as enzymes need to be carefully stored to remain stable. 

What's the average cost per session? The average starting price for an enzyme facial is around $150.

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How to find a provider


When choosing a professional for your skin care needs, you have two options: a dermatologist or an esthetician.

A general dermatologist can handle common acne problems, while a cosmetic dermatologist specializes in more intricate issues such as discoloration and scarring.

Estheticians are trained to perform regular facials, peels, and microdermabrasion treatments.

It's important to check if the dermatologist you're considering is board-certified by the American Academy of Dermatology, and for estheticians, to ensure they are licensed as required by most states.

Before making a decision, consider asking the following questions to help you make an informed choice:

  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • How frequently do you perform the procedure you're interested in?
  • Can you show me before and after photos of previous clients?

It's also helpful to ask for recommendations from friends or family and to research online. Make sure you feel comfortable with the specialist and they are able to address any questions or concerns you have.

What to expect at your appointment

- Before

Before your appointment, prepare a list of any medications you are currently taking and your typical skincare regimen.

Upon arrival, you will be asked to complete a consultation form with questions about your skin, overall health, and current medications. This is where your pre-prepared list of medications and skincare routine will be useful.

It is important to provide complete and truthful answers to all questions and to inform the dermatologist or aesthetician of any specific concerns you may have.

- During

You will then be taken to the treatment room. Some facials may require you to remove your top clothing and any undergarments if necessary. The specialist will step out of the room while you get changed.

Afterwards, you will be asked to make yourself comfortable on the treatment bed, covered with a sheet or towel.

The facial will then begin, with the process varying depending on the type of facial you have chosen. All facials start with a thorough cleansing to remove any makeup and impurities.

If you have selected a basic facial, you can expect the session to last approximately an hour. Treatments such as microdermabrasion and LED therapy may take a shorter amount of time.

It is important to note that the facial should not cause any pain or discomfort. If you do feel uneasy during the procedure, be sure to inform the specialist immediately.

After the facial is complete, you will have privacy to get dressed again.

- After

Before departing, you will receive post-treatment guidelines and suggestions on maintaining your skin's current appearance.

You may be offered the opportunity to purchase the products utilized during your facial.

Your specialist, whether a dermatologist or an aesthetician, will advise you on the appropriate time to schedule your next appointment.

Possible side effects and dangers 

Too intense treatments can actually make acne worse. Bear in mind that harsh exfoliation may cause redness and swelling.

The same applies to excessive extractions. An experienced dermatologist or aesthetician should minimize these side effects.

Certain treatments come with added risks. For instance, anyone with acne who is considering LED therapy and microdermabrasion should consult a specialist before undergoing the treatment.

If you're taking isotretinoin or have done so in the past six months, microdermabrasion may result in scarring.

Other rare side effects of this treatment include bruising, burning, stinging, and increased sensitivity to sunlight.

After the Treatment 

After most facials, you can continue with your daily activities as usual. To maintain the results, it is recommended to incorporate specific products into your regular skincare routine.

It's important to be gentle in your at-home skincare approach. Using gentle cleansing products with low to no alcohol content can help prevent acne. Exfoliating once a week can also help maintain results.

For more intensive procedures, such as microdermabrasion, you may need to use sun protection. Your dermatologist or aesthetician will provide you with the necessary aftercare instructions.

If you experience another breakout, it's better to schedule another appointment with a specialist instead of trying to pop the pimples yourself.

Typically, it's recommended to schedule a treatment every two weeks or monthly, depending on the severity of your acne.

DIY Facials 

If you want to do a facial at home, many can be replicated without the need for a machine. Here's the process for most at-home facials:

- Start by cleansing your skin with a gentle, non-foaming cleanser. 

- Then, steam your face to soften the skin. 

- Next, use an AHA or BHA toner to remove any debris before applying a mask or peel. Products that contain clay or sulfur are good for acne. 

- Once you've removed the mask, you can extract any visible whiteheads or blackheads. 

- Use a sterile extractor or cover your fingers with a cloth and gently press. 

- Finally, moisturize your skin. Try using a rosehip facial oil instead of a traditional cream to calm your skin.

At-home microdermabrasion and LED treatments are also options. PMD's Personal Microderm Tool can be used weekly and takes only a few minutes, while Neutrogena's Light Therapy Acne Mask combines red and blue light and can be used daily for 10 minutes.

Bottom Line

Before Starting Facials Consult with a doctor or dermatologist before beginning any type of facial treatment. They can provide guidance on which treatments are best suited for your skin and advise on any procedures to avoid.

It's important to keep in mind that facials are not a magic cure for clear skin. These treatments aim to combat acne breakouts or improve the long-term effects of the condition. It may take multiple sessions before you start to see results.

While you can try some facials at home, it's unlikely that you will achieve the same results as a professional. Set realistic expectations and be patient. If you have any concerns or questions, always seek professional advice.

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