Facial Gone Wrong? Here’s How to Tone Down The Aftermath

Facial Gone Wrong? Here’s How to Tone Down The Aftermath

There’s nothing worse than facials gone wrong. If you do experience a facial horror story - special care after facial treatment becomes increasingly important.

After all, you’ve spent good money and taken time out of your day to do the right thing and take care of your skin - you should be rewarded for your decision, not regretting it!

So when you don’t get the results you’re looking for, It feels like a karmic slap in the face, both literally and metaphorically.

But the reality is that bad facials happen. Whether the technician was inexperienced, your skin reacted poorly to the products, or something else, the reality is that it’s bound to happen to you at one point or another. This is especially true if you deal with acne, rosacea, or sensitive skin.

Here’s a full guide for skin care after facial.

Basics of a Facial Procedure

A facial is a skin care treatment for your face that can be customized to meet your skin needs. The goal of a facial procedure is to exfoliate the rough outer layer of your skin, removing impurities, debris, and dead skin cells for radiant, clear skin.

To get the results you want depending on your skin condition, you or your esthetician may use a variety of facial treatments, from facial masks, peels, and facial massages to facial extractions. When exfoliating just won’t cut it, facial extractions can work wonders by extracting clogged pores, cystic acne, and other impurities.

Benefits to Expect After a Facial

Regardless of your skin type, getting regular facials can help your skin look its best every day. Not only are facials incredibly relaxing, but facials also help increase blood circulation under the skin, decreasing fluid build-up and puffiness. Say hello to beautiful clear, radiant skin!

Depending on your skin type, the best facials may include

Dry Skin: a gentle exfoliation followed by an ultra-hydrating facial mask to restore moisture and create a barrier against environmental triggers that can worsen dryness.

Oily Skin: deep cleansing with exfoliation and steaming to reduce sebum buildup, minimize pores, and help prevent acne.

Normal Skin: a mild exfoliation followed by steam treatment to remove dead skin cells and debris.

Sensitive Skin: enzymatic peels or masques that add hydration without discomfort.

How often you should get a facial is ultimately up to you (and your skincare goals!), but for some once every four to six weeks may be enough after the initial deep cleaning phase.

At-Home Facial vs. Spa Facial Procedure

Yes, you can absolutely do facial treatments at home. Common facial masks and DIY scrubs that use gentle ingredients like oatmeal, honey, yogurt, or herbs are safe for most skin types. However, complex facial treatments like chemical peels, intense pulse light (IPL) treatments, and microdermabrasion are best left to professionals to avoid facial side effects.

But keep in mind it's important to remember that all facials (whether DIY or professionally done) should be accompanied by post-care instructions. You want to know what to do in case the unexpected happens.

Bad Facial Side Effects and Extra After Facial Care

First-time facials can be intimidating, and it's normal for your skin to have some kind of reaction even after the first time. Whether that means drying out or becoming extra oily, mild breakouts, or redness and sensitivity—this is all part of the experience as your skin adjusts to its care. In most cases, though, these reactions should dissipate within a few days, if not sooner.

If you’re still wondering what is normal (or not), keep scrolling. We’ll review what normal skin reactions are vs. when you should contact your dermatologist ASAP. And provide some helpful advice for care after facial.

The Problem: Breakouts

Normal: Skin Purging After Facial

Is it normal to break out after a facial? Yes, breakouts may happen after any facial. What’s important is to understand why and differentiate between what’s a normal breakout and what’s a problem.

Many more intense facials - like those that involve extractions or a chemical peel - tend to cause “skin purging.”

The idea here is that this is actually a good thing. The facial is doing its job and bringing any impurities or toxins to the surface. That said, sometimes the esthetician won’t be able to get all of the oil out of your pores - and they shouldn’t.

Overly extracting the pores will cause unnecessary irritation. That’s why you’ll sometimes experience purging for a day or two as the pore self-cleans. Ultimately, this will lead to the ultra-great results of your dreams, and it is normal.

Not Normal: New Congestion or Breakouts

What’s not normal is if you have congestion or new breakouts that last for two days or longer. That could be a sign that the products used during the facial have clogged your pores or caused a reaction. This will happen if you have reactive skin or if the facial involves potentially irritating ingredients like exfoliators, brightening agents, or heavy oils.

How to Stop Breaking Out After Facial?

Break out care after facial means you have to make sure that you baby your skin until it recovers. Don’t use oily or comedogenic products - particularly if you’re acne-prone. Instead, use light, gentle serums and hydrating moisturizers that protect your skin’s natural barrier and provide adequate hydration while your skin clears.

Yes, you can use something stronger to spot treat blemishes, but try to keep it to a minimum as your skin will already be sensitive and inflamed.

The Problem: Dryness or Flaking

Normal: Tightness and Light Flaking

Any kind of skin exfoliation - particularly from a stronger product or peel - will cause a little bit of tightness and shine due to the acidic nature of the products. This usually means that you’ll deal with some light flaking in the next few days, but keep in mind that this should be light and expected (it may even be more than light flaking if you’re doing a more intense facial or treatment - but either way your technician should warn you that it’s coming). Your technician should also remind you about necessary skin care after facial.

Not Normal: Signs of Allergic Reaction

Any signs of an allergic reaction - including itching, rash-like skin reactions, welts, swelling, or coughing - are never normal, and a clear sign that you need to contact your esthetician and seek medical attention.

How does this happen? Some people are allergic to common facial ingredients, including chamomile or other botanicals. So remember that, if you have any adverse reactions, you should remain aware and make sure you do something about it.

What to do After a Facial Allergic Reaction?

Experiencing an allergic reaction to a facial can be worrisome and uncomfortable. To begin care after facial, use a cold compress to soothe the affected area. Followed up with an antihistamine cream or take an oral medication like Benadryl to reduce itchiness and other symptoms of the allergic reaction.

Finally, it’s important to apply a moisturizer to help your skin recover quickly. By hydrating your skin, you can lock in moisture which will decrease discomfort and minimize the appearance of any side effects from the facial.

The Problem: Redness or Irritation

Normal: Skin That’s Red or Pink

There are lots of facials that can cause pinkness or redness after facial, both during and after treatment. This is especially true for facials geared toward stimulating the skin or clarifying in some way, like facial with extractions. If you’re getting one of these, expect a little bit of pinkness and redness immediately after. This is completely normal and it should subside in the next few hours or days, depending on the intensity of the treatment and the sensitivity of your skin. Just make sure that you use a gentle, non-active suite of skincare products and baby your skin for the next week or so.

Not Normal: Extreme Redness, Heat, or Burning

That said, you should not experience redness accompanied by any stinging or burning after your facial. Even if you’re getting a chemical peel, any burning that you experience during the facial should quickly subside once the peel is neutralized and removed.

Any extreme burning, redness or stinging is a sign that you’ve reacted negatively to something that was done - maybe a product was too intense, the esthetician over-exfoliated, or the peel wasn’t properly neutralized. Either way, you should let your esthetician know right away and know that this isn’t an expected or acceptable reaction.

How to Reduce Redness After Facial?

To begin care after facial, the best way to reduce redness is to apply a cold compress directly onto your face. You can also take ibuprofen which may help, as some suggest, to reduce redness, inflammation, and any discomfort.

But, you can also use natural remedies such as aloe vera or a cucumber mask to soothe the affected skin reducing any swelling or redness. Whatever method you choose, remember not to touch your face too much!

The Problem: Acne Scabs on Face After Facial

Normal: Acne Scabs After Heavy Facial Extractions

It's normal to experience a breakout of acne scabs after getting a heavy facial extraction. This happens because of the skin purging after facial. The extraction causes the skin to release the buildup of impurities, oils, and old skin cells resulting in acne scabs.

Skin purging is a natural process that helps skin regenerate faster, which is why your skin can look healthier and brighter after a facial. So while you might be overwhelmed with the acne scabs, it's important to be patient since your skin may take a while to heal.

Not Normal: Scabs That Lead to Scarring

Acne scabs are completely normal after getting a facial, and they should eventually disappear. Unfortunately, scab scarring can sometimes happen when the scabs turn into permanent scars. That's why it is important to be mindful if you already have acne scars, as aggressive facials can make scabbing worse leading to more scarring.

A facial is supposed to give you clearer skin, so keep your skin condition in mind when selecting your next facial. It’s always best to consult with a dermatologist or trained esthetician for the best facial treatment to ensure you get the outcome you desire.

How to Heal Scabs Fast

To make sure scabs heal as quickly and painlessly as possible, the most important thing you should remember is not to pick the scab. More often than not, healing scabs on face come naturally, given some patience and tender care.

You can also try speeding up the healing process by cleaning the area multiple times daily with lukewarm water and mild soap. Keep the area moisturized so that it doesn't dry out.

How to Cover a Scab with Makeup?

If you’re planning to cover up scabs with makeup, proceed with caution. Remember that makeup does not heal acne scabs, it’ll only hide it for the time being until it heals on its own.

If absolutely necessary, use a small amount of a thick concealer and apply it carefully to the scab area with a small makeup sponge. For best coverage, try applying multiple thin layers instead of just one thick layer, focusing on the edges of the scab. When finished, set your makeup with some powder for the best results.

The Problem: Burns

Not Normal: Chemical Burns on Face

A chemical burn on your face after a facial results in stinging, redness, burning or itching on the skin. Chemical burns typically result from using AHAs or BHAs since these types of acids (lactic, salicylic, and glycolic) increase photosensitivity in your skin. They should be used with moderation, avoiding direct sunlight after they are used.

Be cautious with the use of these products since severe chemical burns can cause permanent tissue damage, inflammation, and even scarring. If in doubt, see a doctor as soon as you can.

How to Treat Chemical Burns on Face From Skincare?

Treating a chemical burn after a facial can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the strength of the chemical used. If it's minor, certain home treatments like applying an aloe vera gel or cold compress can help recover.

In more serious cases, though, you should seek immediate medical attention. If possible, try to determine the chemical for future reference so you can be more careful with products in case of another incident.

Facial Side Effects After More Aggressive Facial Procedures

Getting a facial can be a great way to pamper yourself, but it's important to take a few precautions before getting one. Though facials come with some amazing benefits, such as nourishing the skin or reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it's important to remember that if done incorrectly, they can cause nasty reactions. Some of these include redness, irritation, swelling, breakouts, and sun sensitivity. And depending on the procedure, you can be left with the following reactions.

Hydrafacial Gone Wrong

A hydrafacial treatment combines the benefits of gentle exfoliation and deep hydration to give you a glowing complexion. While it can be great for many people, it’s not so great for those with sensitive skin, rosacea, or heavy acne. A hydrafacial treatment can cause breakouts on sensitive skin.

Depending on your skin condition, hydrafacial treatments have been reported to cause the following side effects: skin thinning, uneven skin pigmentation, and age spots. Always consult with your dermatologist or beauty professional to determine the best treatment for your skin.

Face Clean Up Side Effects: Extractions

Having your skin professionally extracted is an essential must-do for healthy skin, but not all technicians are equally qualified to do it. If you choose someone unskilled or improperly trained in extractions, they could potentially cause lasting damage that can't be reversed.

From mild irritation and lingering redness to possible scarring, the risk isn't worth taking if you're not sure about the proficiency of the person doing the job. Although it may cost more, choosing certified professionals with years of experience in facial extractions will ensure no long-term effects come out of your visit.

Microdermabrasion Gone Wrong

Microdermabrasion is a facial procedure that can result in younger-looking skin. It helps reduce wrinkles, acne, scars, and other issues by stimulating the production of new, healthy skin cells. But while it is an effective way to rejuvenate your complexion, it's important to know that like all treatments, there is a certain amount of risk involved.

If not done correctly, microdermabrasion can lead to lasting damage to the skin, such as hyperpigmentation or thinning of the epidermis, which may require additional procedures to repair.

Dermaplaning Gone Wrong

Dermaplaning is a skin treatment procedure where dead skin cells are physically removed from the skin using a scalpel. It’s known for its effectiveness in creating smoother, brighter-looking skin while encouraging cell rejuvenation.

But, it does come with risks – particularly when performed by an untrained technician or in non-hygienic settings. Using the scalpel incorrectly, such as with the blunt side of it, can damage healthy skin tissue. This can cause bruising, irritation, or scratches if used too harshly. Dermaplaning has also been known to cause minor cuts, inflammation, and acne breakouts.

How to Bypass Facial Side Effects with Natural Ingredients at Home

Not sure if you’re ready to get a professional facial? No worries, here at EightSaints, we’ve got you covered with our all-natural ingredients skin care products that’ll benefit your skin. From exfoliators to Micro Needle Dermaroller, you’ll find just what you need to give yourself a rejuvenating facial today.

Clean Your Skin

Before you start, wash your face with a gentle cleanser like our Down to Earth Gel Cleanser. Cleaning your skin before any treatment is necessary to prep it and allows you to assess it to determine what type of treatment you need.

Our Down to Earth Gel Cleanser is perfect for this job, quickly dissolving makeup, oil, and impurities without irritating or drying out your skin.


A facial’s main goal is to exfoliate by scrubbing away dead skin cells, impurities, and debris. This is an important step allowing new skin cells to surface for a radiant, youthful complexion. After cleansing, use our Soulmate Brightening Treatment to start the exfoliation process.

Formulated with hyaluronic and glycolic acids, this two-in-one exfoliating treatment will help your skin shed dead skin cells faster while keeping it deeply moisturized.

Enrich Your Skin with Anti-oxidants

After removing dead skin cells and impurities, follow up with a face mask to enrich your skin. Using our No Plans Clay Mask, apply an even layer to your face and allow it to soak up and replenish essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for healthy skin.

This clay mask also pulls any remaining impurities out, leaving you with soft and smooth skin. Perfect for use after exfoliating.

Rejuvenate the Skin

While the idea of using needles on your face may seem intimidating, a microneedle dermabrasion roller tool can be surprisingly gentle yet highly effective. This micro tool creates tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin and works well with skincare products like serum to finish off DIY facial treatments.

Doing this stimulates collagen production, smooths wrinkles, decreases pigmentation, decreases acne scarring, and even promotes healthier hair growth in areas like the eyebrows and scalp. It's perfect for those looking for a non-invasive way to achieve firmer, healthier-looking skin without surgery or harsh chemical treatments.

Continue with Usual Skin Care Routine

After taking some time to pamper and treat your skin with a DIY facial, the last important step is to follow up with a hydrating moisturizer and vitamin-rich serum like our Pep Rally Face Serum.

An extra dose of moisturizing helps to restore any hydration lost through the facial process while serum helps restore natural balance. Then continue with your usual skincare routine. Don’t forget these essential steps for optimal healthy-looking skin!

Post Facial Care

Post facial care is an important step in getting the full benefits of any facial, whether it's a DIY spa day or a professional salon treatment. To avoid side effects and make sure your skin stays healthy, you should skip the toner for a while, as well as avoid makeup, massages on your face, using scrubs, and any extra treatments.

It's also important to protect your skin from UV damage by wearing sunscreen especially after a facial. Give your skin some time to settle down and rest. Taking good post-facial care can ensure you get the most out of every session!

Take Away

If you've never had a facial before, it's normal to be apprehensive about the treatment. Will it hurt? Will my skin react badly? And perhaps most importantly, will my skin look worse afterward? While it's true that your skin may undergo some changes after a facial, as long as you properly care for your skin afterward, there's no need to worry.

When doing at-home facials, it's also important to be careful with product selection and use if you've had reactions in the past. And when getting salon facials, always research the esthetician or facialist beforehand to ensure they're someone you trust.