Best Facials for Acne
Beauty | Skincare

Here Are the 9 Best Facials for Acne

Acne and breakouts can shake your confidence. To put an end to this common skin condition, you might have tried topical treatments like sulfur or Differin Gel ($59 for a pack of two). However, getting a regular facial might be one of the best acne treatments you’ve never thought of. Below, we share a roundup of the best facials for acne.

Before that, let’s get into why you want to get a facial in the first place. Facial treatments can help fight against acne, unclog pores, remove dead skin cells, and even reduce the appearance of acne scars. Plus, I’ve had my fair share of facials and can attest that it’s a very relaxing process. The beauty of a facial treatment, too, is that they’re perfect for all skin types since there’s more than one type of facial.  

Alright, now let’s get into it.

9 Best Facials for Acne

Classic facial

This is probably the most popular facial on this list because it sticks to the basics. There’s a cleanse, exfoliation, extractions, a facial massage, a hydrating serum or mask, and a moisturizer. Most people start with a classic facial since there aren’t any advanced ingredients or wild tools. This facial is also exfoliating the skin. This helps prevent acne by clearing the buildup that can cause it. A word of advice, though: extractions hurt. Just breathe through them.

Decongesting facial

A decongesting facial is also known as a deep cleaning or a deep cleansing facial because it gets all the stuff out of your pores. To do this, a dermatologist or esthetician will use acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil. This helps break down and clear excess sebum—which is the oil our bodies produce to keep our skin moisturized. However, too much sebum can lead to acne, so a decongesting facial is a good option for folks with oily or acne-prone skin. 

Best Facials for Acne

Medical facial

The two options we’ve discussed so far are simple and effective. The medical facial, on the other hand, gets a little more high-tech—and significantly more uncomfortable. For the high-tech part, medical-grade tools are used to get further into the skin and affect change from the inside out. And that’s where the discomfort comes in. Since your skin is being treated a little rougher, this treatment isn’t quite as relaxing as a classic or decongesting facial. However, it gets even deeper into your skin, so it’s effective at removing buildup that may lead to acne.

LED facial

The LED facial, which uses LED light to kill bacteria on your face, is even more high-tech. LED, by the way, stands for light-emitting diode and is, in this case, a type of light therapy that penetrates the skin’s layers to improve complexion. This is one of the best facials for acne because it eliminates bacteria. It’s also good for folks who are looking for an anti-aging treatment. LED light helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


Unlike other treatments on this list, the HydraFacial is patented. As you might have guessed from its name, this facial is meant to provide your skin with ultimate hydration. During a HydraFacial, you’ll get the same cleansing and exfoliating as you would in any other facial. Different than the other facials, though, you’ll get a boost of hydrating ingredients placed onto and into your skin. Acne can be caused by dry skin or overly oily skin—hydration addresses both of those concerns,

Person holding up a sheet mask

Oxygen facial

Just like our bodies need oxygen to survive, so do our cells. And with an oxygen facial, a professional is delivering that oxygen to your skin cells via a high-pressure want. This process is meant to breathe life into your cells, thereby boosting the radiance of your complexion. One thing to note here is that these facials aren’t as exfoliating or hydrating as other options on this list. For that reason, we wouldn’t recommend this to someone with really oily skin.  

Chemical peel 

This is probably the best facial for acne. A friend of mine still had acne problems at 30, which was very frustrating for her to deal with—until she started getting monthly chemical peels. For this treatment, her esthetician applies a chemical solution to her entire face and leaves it on her skin for a few minutes. This removes the top layers of the skin, which are often riddled with dead skin cells that can cause acne. If you choose a chemical peel, though, make sure to apply (and reapply!) sunscreen. The treatment makes your skin more sensitive to sun damage. 


According to the National Institutes of Health, “Microdermabrasion (MDA) is a minimally invasive [skin] resurfacing procedure used to treat uneven skin tone/texture, photoaging, striae, melasma, and scars, including acne scars.” During the procedure, your skin is very lightly poked until the professional removes the outermost layer of the skin. Your skin then goes back stronger and less prone to acne because it’s learning to heal itself.

Gua sha or lymphatic drainage facial

There’s lots to love about the gua sha facial, which is also known as a lymphatic drainage facial. Firstly, it works to reduce inflammation and stimulate collagen production. Secondly, it helps blood circulation and battles acne scars. And, thirdly, you can do it yourself—just make sure you do it after you’ve applied all your skincare products.

Gua sha or lymphatic drainage facial

As we wrap up this list of the best facials for acne, we have something to get off our chests. Regardless of which treatment you choose, no single facial will replace a good skincare regimen. If you’re looking for the best skincare for acne-prone skin, we got you covered. Just make sure you stick to the routine so that you actually see results.

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