Are facials safe for seborrheic dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that causes patches of dry, red, flaky skin. Moisturizers and antifungal creams can help, but some people find that facials help soothe their skin and repair it.

Bear in mind that not all facials are suitable for people who have seborrheic dermatitis of the face. Some facials can worsen the condition. Do gentle facials that aim to soothe, calm and protect.

Let’s take a deep dive:

What causes seborrheic dermatitis on the face?

One of the causes of seborrheic dermatitis is the overproduction of sebum, which leads to the accumulation of oils and sweat on the skin. This can cause proliferation of Malassezia, leading to the skin to becoming inflamed and irritated.

Seborrheic dermatitis is more common in people with oily skin. The condition usually starts on the scalp but can also affect other areas of the body such as the face, chest, back, armpits, and groin.

The face is the second most common area to be affected by seborrheic dermatitis. This is because of the high number of sebaceous glands present on the face, especially in your oily zone (the T-zone or U-zone).

Further reading: What foods trigger seborrheic dermatitis?

Symptoms of facial seborrheic dermatitis

Symptoms of facial seborrheic dermatitis can vary from person to person. The symptoms can include:

  • bumpy skin (like acne but worse)
  • covered in dry white flakes
  • covered with yellow scales or crusts
  • dry cracked skin (which is usually painful)
  • greasy skin
  • intense itch
  • leaking fluid (especially if you have been scratching)
  • red and inflamed skin
  • painful nasolabial fissures
  • hyper or hypopigmentation
  • deep wrinkles, creases and lines

It’s no wonder that people with SD suffer from low self esteem, depression and anxiety.

Are facials good for seborrheic dermatitis?

Facials can be beneficial for people with seborrheic dermatitis. The treatments help to soothe the skin and repair damaged skin. In addition, facials can help keep the skin healthy and looking its best.

However, it is important to note that there is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis. With the right skin care routine, however, it is possible to have clear skin most of the time.

Can a facial help with seborrheic dermatitis?

It is important to have the right skin care routine to help control facial seborrheic dermatitis. This includes using gentle, non-irritating products and avoiding harsh scrubs and astringents. This applies to facials too.

There are actually quite a few facials that can help control the symptoms of this condition.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are one option. IPL is not a cure for seborrheic dermatitis or rosacea, but it can provide periods of remission between flare-ups.

Salicylic acid facials can also improve the redness of SD and slough off dead skin cells. The new supramolecular salicylic acid is better for SD sufferers with abnormal skin barrier functions. It’s milder, has fewer side effects and can be tolerated fo a longer time.

Check out this salicylic acid 2% mask from The Ordinary:

TO Salicylic Acid 2% Masque 50ml 1.7 fl ozCheck it out on Amazon

In fact, a study showed that combining supramolecular salicylic acid and IPL in one treatment is effective 53.3% of the time to treat SD of the face.

However, these are stronger treatment facials. If you have sensitive skin or are in the throes of an SD flare, stick with gentle, nourishing facials like:

Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask - Hydrating Vegan Face Mask with Hyaluronic Acid + Antioxidant Vitamin C for Skin Glow - Anti-Aging Overnight Treatment - Clean Beauty (2oz)Check it out on Amazon

What facials to avoid if you have seborrheic dermatitis?

Even though facials can also help with seborrhea, it’s important to be careful with what ingredients you use for your facial. Some ingredients may aggravate your skin further, worsening SD.

Some facials to avoid include:

  • Facials with harsh ingredients or acids e.g glycolic acid facials
  • Facials that use steam or heat
  • Facials that involve extractions
  • Oil facials
  • Microdermabrasions
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Acupuncture facials
  • Harsh chemical peels

Home facials for seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis can be treated with a home facials that includes cleansing and repair. Home facials for seborrheic dermatitis may reduce yeast growth and microbes on the face while also naturally exfoliating dead skin cells.

Here are some easy DIY home facials to try:

Banana and honey mask

Add a tablespoon of honey to a mashed banana (check out: Are bananas good for seborrheic dermatitis?). Apply it to your face and neck. Let it sit for half an hour before rinsing off with lukewarm water.

Honey is anti-inflammatory and can help soothe your skin, even during an acute SD flare.

Swisse makes an affordable honey mask:

Swisse Natural Skincare Manuka Honey Australian Kaolin Clay Face Mask | For Combination Skin | Cleanses, Purifies, & Hydrates | Charcoal, Norwegian Kelp & Red Algae, and Aloe Vera Extract | 2.47 ozCheck it out on Amazon

Aloe vera mask (with tea tree oil)

Aloe vera is a natural moisturizer and helps regulate oily skin. You can get pure aloe vera from the aloe plant. Apply directly to your face and neck. Wash off after 10 to 15 minutes.

You can also add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil for its antifungal effect.

Can’t easily get a hold of an aloe plant? Use this aloe vera overnight mask instead:

Renew Overnight Sleeping Facial Mask by Doppeltree with Aloe Vera & Hyaluronic Acid - Hydrating Face Mask for Night Time Skin Repair - Formulated in San FranciscoCheck it out on Amazon

Cocoa face mask

This decadent-smelling face mask is absolutely luxurious even if it’s a bit messy. Mix 1 tablespoon of pure cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of yoghurt and 1 tablespoon of honey. If the paste is too runny, add a bit more cocoa. Apply the thick paste to your face and neck for half an hour.

Cocoa is a powerful anti-oxidant while yoghurt has lactic acid that gently exfoliates. Honey is anti-inflammatory and is a humectant that boosts hydration.

For a less messy option, opt for an Andalou mask containing cocoa seed and other gentle ingredients:

Andalou Naturals Facial Mask, Avo Cocoa Skin Food, 1.7 OunceCheck it out on Amazon

Oat face mask

Combine 3 teaspoons of ground oats and a quarter teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Apply the paste to your skin and let sit for 10 minutes. You can then massage the mask in for a gentle exfoliation. Rinse off with lukewarm water.

If your face is already burning from an SD flare, don’t exfoliate. It will strip off more skin, making your skin feel raw and painful.

The Body Shop Mediterranean Almond Milk With Oats Instant Soothing Mask 2.6 OzCheck it out on Amazon

Further reading: Can apple cider vinegar treat seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff?

Papaya mask

If you would like to exfoliate but want to avoid harsh chemicals, blend half a ripe papaya and mix with 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt. Apply the paste to your face and neck for 30 minutes.

Papaya has AHAs that work well as a natural exfoliator.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Mask, Papaya Enzyme, 3 OzCheck it out on Amazon

To wrap up

Facials are a great way to help improve seborrheic dermatitis. They can help to remove dead skin cells and oils from the skin, and also help to reduce inflammation. Facials can be done at home or at a salon, and there are many different types that can be used depending on your needs. So if you are looking for a way to improve your seborrheic dermatitis, try some of the recommended facials out.

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