How to Prepare for a Facial

How to Prepare for a Facial featured photo

Facials are more than pampering your skin every once in a while. They’re good for addressing specific skin concerns and for keeping your skin healthy and glowing too. If you’re heading for your first appointment, here’s how to prepare for a facial:

Proceed with your skincare routine but skip acids, retinol, and exfoliators. Avoid waxing, shaving, or tweezing your face, and prevent prolonged sun exposure too. For the consultation, raise your skin concerns and bring a list of your daily skincare products. And as a common courtesy, brush your teeth or use breath mints before your appointment.

Depending on the type of facial you’re getting, preparing for your appointment could vary. What we’ll go into detail about below are just the basic preparation steps.

Below, we’ll go over how you can prepare for your facial appointment. We’ll also go over what you can expect from a facial to get you better prepared.

What is a Facial?

A facial is a skin treatment that is performed by licensed estheticians in skin clinics or day spas.

Facials are tailored to different clients. It can address a myriad of skin concerns. But generally, a facial includes cleansing, steaming, exfoliation, extraction, masks, and sometimes even a massage.

Facials not only clear your skin and give it a healthy glow but are also relaxing and de-stressing.

What are the Benefits of Getting a Facial Treatment?

Exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells

Facials exfoliate dead skin cells and remove them from the skin’s surface. This reveals new, brighter, clearer, and glowing skin.

Remove dirt and impurities

The skin accumulates dirt, oil, germs, and bacteria every day. These can lodge deep within your pores. Facials help get rid of all that dirt and impurities.

Relax and pamper the skin

If you’ve been under a lot of stress lately, booking a facial appointment is a great way to relax and pamper your skin at the same time.

How to Prepare For a Facial

Are you doing something wrong or are you forgetting something? If these questions keep flooding your mind before your facial appointment, we’re here to help you. If you’d had botox recently read this article about botox and facials.

  1. Proceed with your regular skincare routine

People are often confused about whether they should proceed with their normal skincare routine or come with bare skin. For the most part, estheticians are okay with you doing your regular routine before going in for your appointment.

In fact, some even prefer you don’t alter anything in your routine as this will allow them to see and examine your skin in its daily and regular state.

With or without makeup is another common query. You can either wear or forgo makeup, whichever you’re comfortable with. After all, anything you put on your face will be cleansed and wiped clean at the beginning of the session.

  1. Avoid certain skincare products with strong chemicals

Though you can proceed with your regular skincare routine on the day of your appointment, you will have to skip a few ingredients and products formulated with strong chemicals.

Avoid using any acid or retinol products at least four days up to a week before your schedule. This will prevent over-sensitizing your skin before the facial.

Consult with your esthetician on how much time you need to rest your skin from these products before your appointment.

  1. Don’t exfoliate

Most facial treatments include some sort of exfoliating agent. You don’t want to over-exfoliate your skin before an appointment. Exfoliating at home and then at the skin clinic again can irritate your skin.

Avoid using any exfoliating cream or scrub for at least four days leading to your facial appointment. 

  1. No waxing, shaving, or tweezing

Avoid waxing, shaving, or tweezing your face for 24 to 48 hours before your scheduled appointment. These can make your skin feel raw and a facial can only irritate your skin.

  1. Avoid prolonged sun exposure

Excess and prolonged exposure to the sun can make your skin sensitive to the facial and the products that will be used.

If your skin appears to be sunburned, do not proceed with your appointment and have it rescheduled instead.

  1. Bring a list of your regular skincare products

Many estheticians will find it helpful if you bring a list of your regular skincare products.

This will help them understand what comes in contact with your skin every day so they can avoid products and ingredients that can negatively interact with them.

They can also give you expert advice on how you can proceed and approach your skincare for the best results.

  1. Communicate and be honest about your top three skin concerns

The consultation stage before the facial is where you should raise the skin concerns you’d want to address. This will give your esthetician enough knowledge to customize the treatment for your needs and skin goals.

  1. Brush teeth or use breath mints

During a facial, the esthetician’s face will be close to you so it’s common courtesy to brush your teeth or use breath mints for fresh breath.

This will also keep you from feeling self-conscious about what you had to eat prior to the appointment.

What Happens During a Facial: The Standard Facial Process

Facials are tailored to specific clients and what their skin needs but here is the standard process:

  1. Skin Consultation

Before the facial begins, a skin analysis and consultation with your esthetician is where you let them know of any skin concerns, allergies, skincare routine, and other health information. Do not withhold any important information.

They will also examine your skin, skin type, and determine your skin’s health and what treatments might be best for you.

  1. Cleansing

At this stage, any traces of makeup and other products shall be removed and wiped clean from your face, neck, and decolletage. A soft facial sponge, cloth, or cotton pad and warm water will be used. Cleansing your face will also help them determine what mask to use on you later.

  1. Exfoliation

This removes dead skin cells, revealing brighter and clearer skin underneath. Scrubs, chemical exfoliants, chemical peels, and exfoliating acids are common choices.

  1. Extraction

This will clear out individual pores, getting rid of impurities and excess sebum deep within them. This also removes any blackheads and whiteheads.

  1. Massage

Facials often involve a facial massage (and sometimes including an upper body or shoulder massage) to relax you. This can also improve the body’s lymphatic drainage.

  1. Facial Mask and Treatment

Custom facial mask and treatment are chosen and applied based on how your consultation went. This is where other skin concerns for varying skin types are also addressed.

Finishing up a facial can include a serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

Facial Aftercare: Get the Most Out of Your Facial

After a facial, keep these in mind to get the most out of your appointment:

  • Avoid touching your face after a facial as this can irritate your face.
  • Do not work out after and put it off at least a day to a few days after the facial.
  • Opt for a gentle cleanser and avoid harsh skincare products like retinol, peels, scrubs, and exfoliators for one to three days after the facial.
  • Change your pillowcases after a facial to make sure that no dirt, germs, or bacteria make it back to your skin.

How Long Do Facials Take?

A facial can take 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the treatments and customizations for your skin concerns.

What Should I Wear for a Facial?

This is another common query, especially for first-timers. As a general rule of thumb, comfortable clothes are the way to go.

Some spas and clinics even ask you to change out of your clothes and into a facial gown or robe.

How Often Should I Get Facials?

Getting a facial at least once a month or every 28 days is recommended, but there are exceptions. This is the time it takes the skin to regenerate.

How Long Do Results From Facials Last?

Results from facials can last for about two to three days. This is why consistent follow-ups and a good skincare routine at home are essentials to keep your skin healthy and glowing.


Getting a facial is the perfect way to pamper and treat your skin. If you’re coming for your first facial, many questions may zoom in and out of your brain on preparing for your appointment. Here’s how to prepare for a facial:

You can proceed with your regular skincare routine but avoid certain steps like acid, retinol, scrub, or exfoliator. Skip waxing, shaving, or tweezing, and prevent prolonged sun exposure too. It would also be best to bring a list of your skincare products and let your esthetician know your three main skin concerns. And as a courtesy, brush your teeth or use breath mints before your appointment.

And that has been our guide on how to prepare for a facial. You might also be interested to know how much different types of facials cost.

Michelle Jackson
Michelle Jackson