Any facial aims to improve the condition and appearance of the skin.  Treatments should NEVER be carried out over areas of skin that appear sore or infected.  The skin may react adversely to the treatment and the risk of cross infection is high. If a treatment is carried out over infected skin the infection could spread to other areas of the clients face or to the therapist who could then further spread the infection to other clients.

Prior to performing a treatment you must always do a skin analysis. There are two main reasons-

  1. To check for contra-indications that may prevent or restrict your treatment.
  2. To work out the best treatment plan for the client to meet their expectations.

Contra-indications are broken down into two categories-

  1. Prevent- this means they are often contagious and a treatment cannot be performed.
  2. Restricts- this means that you can still do a treatment but adjustments will need to be made to the ‘standard’ treatment routine.

Common Contra-indications that prevent all treatments 

Bacterial Infections-contagious conditions that often need antibiotics to treat


Highly contagious bacterial infection that causes the skin to form blisters which crack and weep. The condition will appear red in colour and be very itchy to the sufferer.


Bacterial condition that affects the conjunctiva (white of the eye) causing it to appear red/bloodshot and to weep pus from the eyelid. This can often seal the eyelids shut.


A bacterial infection in the eyelash hair follicle. The eyelid will appear swollen and red and have a ‘spot like’ projection near the base of the eyelash. Often can be spread in sharing make-up items like mascara wands.

Viral Infections

Herpes zoster/shingles

Painful condition and highly contagious. The virus attacks along the nerve endings causing redness and itching of the skin along the nerve path. Blisters develop, similar to chicken pox, then forms crusts. Can appear purplish pink colour on the skin

Herpes simplex/cold sores

Caused by the HPV virus and will cause the sufferer to present with a weeping blister commonly around the lip. Once this virus is present in the body it will always be present and will only contra-indicate a facial treatment when there is an active cold sore present.


Fungal Infections

Tinea Corporis or Ringworm of the body

Commonly called body ringworm although it is not caused by a worm. Affects the skin by forming red scaly patches which spread to form a circle with a clear centre and can be itchy. Very contagious and spreads through direct and indirect contact.


It is advised to get a doctor’s note when performing treatments on anyone suffering from cancer. It is also recommended waiting until waiting for a confirm diagnosis of all clear too. Check what your insurance company states regarding treating cancer sufferers.

During Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a treatment that is used to destroy cancer cells. Avoid doing a treatment when a client is having chemo because their immune system is under attack therefore clients will have strong side effects. Advise them to come back when treatment course has finished.

During Radiotherapy

This is a treatment that treats numerous conditions. It will stop a treatment taking place as the skin will be very sensitive and the client is very susceptible to infection.

Contra-indications that restrict facials

Injuries to the face (bruises, sunburn) – work around the condition and avoid massage in the immediate area.

Cuts and bruises- cover broken skin if needed. Avoid the affected skin

Scarring- if under 6 months old work around the area. If older no need to restrict the treatment

Known irritants or allergies- An allergic reaction occurs in people when something that is often harmless to others irritates a sufferer. If a client knows of a specific allergy to a product or ingredient you must avoid using products.

Diabetes- Suffers of type 1 diabetes is when their liver cannot regulate the body’s insulin levels, usually this is controlled by insulin. Type 2 diabetes is more common and can often be controlled by a strict diet. All diabetics can have problems with fighting off infection and healing. Heat treatments (steaming) are not suitable. Avoid extractions using a tool.

Skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis- These are non-contagious disorders so treatments can be modified if not too severe. Just work around the area of affected skin.

Specific Contraindications for chemical peels will be covered during the practical training

If ever in doubt don’t do a treatment.