Modern Medicine

What causes pimples to break out after a facial?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. A good facial can make you feel better all around, giving you a sense of cleanliness, health and youth. However, fresh and healthy as it may help you look and feel, a facial can sometimes make you break out in pimples that can last several days after the treatment. This result is not guaranteed, but it is common enough that many sources advise against getting a facial shortly before participating in a wedding or other important event.

    The possible causes of post-facial breakouts are several. One reason might be that your esthetician is applying too much pressure during the blackhead extraction phase of the facial treatment. Blackheads are created when a blockage of sebum (a natural, oily substance secreted by your skin) begins to encourage bacterial growth within a pore. Extracting stubborn blackhead pimples by pressing with the fingers or with a special tool can often result in bursting the follicle that surrounds a blackhead. While applying this kind of pressure can remove the sebum clog that allows the blackhead to develop, it can also cause bacteria from the blackhead to infect other follicles and foster new pimples.

    Another possible cause of post-facial breakouts is using the wrong cleansing product or moisturizing agent. During a facial treatment, the skin is usually steamed, cleansed and moisturized. Some of the products applied in this process can potentially cause an allergic reaction when used on skin that is open-pored and sensitive after steaming. Some of the ingredients may be comedogenic, meaning that they can irritate the skin and block pores. Some products and ingredients are known to be noncomedogenic. Different people may experience unique reactions to particular products, so there is no sure-fire way to avoid a breakout. However, some facial treatment ingredients, such as algae extract, have been shown to cause skin irritation and pore obstruction - it's best to avoid products that include proven irritants [source: Dermaxime].

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