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Getting a facial can be overwhelming: too much jargon can make you wish you had a medical degree, and all the food references can seem as if you’re ordering dinner along with your treatment. But Allure has helped simplify the process so you know what to consider when choosing a facial:

If you have acne, the lotions in a classic facial—and even the massage itself—can cause a breakout. The words “clarifying” or “purifying” on the treatment menu usually mean that the facial is designed for acne-prone skin. It should include a cleanser with salicylic acid, a clay mask, and a lactic acid peel. Make sure the aesthetician avoids scrubs; applying these can irritate the skin and cause scarring.

To address fine lines and other aging issues, pick a facial with a little extra exfoliation. Glycolic, lactic, and enzyme peels are all great ways to get rid of that layer of dead skin that makes pores look larger and wrinkles look deeper. Microdermabrasion can be too harsh, but a gentle acid peel will give you the same result.

If your concern is dull skin, look for a facial that combines a mild peel and brightening ingredients such as vitamin C or kojic acid.


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