“I usually ask my clients to stop using any exfoliants (retinols, AHA/BHA serums and creams) and avoid excessive sun exposure 72 hours before their (facial),” says Garrido. Akram agrees: You may even want to take a picture of your entire skin care line-up to show your esthetician beforehand, she says.
And after any kind of facial, be sure to follow general best practices: Go easy on potent exfoliators and retinoids for the time being, nourish your skin with hydrating ingredients, and protect your freshly cleansed skin from the sun.
Finally, don’t expect lasting results after just one session. “You will definitely notice a difference in the way your skin feels after your first treatment, but lasting change happens over time,” says Garrido. Results are cumulative, which is why experts recommend you opt for a professional facial every four to six weeks, if you can swing it. “It took years for these signs of a life well lived to emerge, so patience and consistency are the secret ingredients to great results,” Garrido adds.