Salon Acne Treatments

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Those treatments on the salon menu look tempting -- and if they help clear your skin, all the better. 

And certain salon or skin spa procedures can help improve acne.  Before you jump in and visit the salon or skin spa for acne treatment procedures, make sure you understand exactly what these procedures can and can't do. 

They're not a silver bullet, and they're not miracle treatments.  In fact, unless you have just a few minor blemishes here and there, you shouldn't rely solely on salon treatments to clear your acne.


Instead consider these salon procedures as a boost to your daily acne treatment medications.

Before You Book Your Appointment

First, you want to make sure that your treatment will be safe, and appropriate for your skin. 

Salon treatments work best for those with mild acne, comedonal acne, and blackheads. 

If your acne is more serious, salon treatments aren't the best way to go.  You'll get better results from prescription acne medications.  Instead of calling the salon, make an appointment with a dermatologist.

And, if you're already seeing a dermatologist for your acne, make sure you get their OK before you have any salon treatment done.  The esthetician performing your procedure will ask if you're seeing a dermatologist and if you're using any prescription medications (or at least they should), so be prepared to give them a list of the specific medications you're using.

Once you're ready to book your appointment, these are some of the procedures that will give you the most bang for your buck:

Acne Treatment Facials

Although each salon or skin spa has their own unique technique, the focus of an acne treatment facial is to deeply cleanse the skin and clear out the pores.  You'll also be treated to a facial steam, facial mask, and finished off with an oil-free moisturizer.


Earlier we touched on the fact that during an acne treatment facial your pores will be cleansed out.  We call these extractions. 

Your esthetician will manually remove blackheads, whiteheads, and other non-inflamed pore blockages. 

This process is really helpful in treating acne.  Not only will your skin immediately look better, but regular extractions can keep the skin looking smoother and may reduce the number of inflamed breakouts you develop. 

Understand that your esthetician can't drain cysts, and shouldn't be squeezing at any inflamed pimple.  In some U.S. states estheticians can't remove milia either, because they legally aren't allowed to pierce the skin. 


Think of microdermabrasion as a facial scrub on steroids.  It's a high-powered, but still fairly gentle, way to exfoliate the skin. 

Like most salon facial treatments, microdermabrasion isn't a one-and-done type of procedure.  You'll get better results if you book a series of treatments.

Microdermabrasion can help keep pores clear and can improve comedonal acne and blackheads.  It's not a great choice for seriously inflamed acne, though, because it can irritate already sensitive skin.

Superficial Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are another staple on the skin spa menu.  The chemical peels that are performed at the skin spa and salon are superficial, or "light duty," peels.

  They don't actually peel the skin.  Instead, they remove excess dead cells and oil from the skin.

Light duty chemical peels can make you more sensitive to the sun for a period of time, so make sure you use that sunscreen!

With any professional procedure you're having done at the skin spa or salon, make sure you ask tons of questions, familiarize yourself with the procedure, and (if you're seeing a dermatologist) get your doctor's blessing before you have it done.  

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