A facial cleans, exfoliates, and nourishes to promote clearer and more hydrated skin. Facials are the second most popular spa service after massage.
There are several basic steps that are generally included in a facial. Facials will include a thorough cleansing with cotton pads or sponges and a product chosen for your skin type. The skin professionals will determine whether the skin is normal, dry, oily, combination, sensitive, or mature.
There will be a step that will exfoliate your skin. Exfoliation is achieved by using a mechanical or chemical exfoliant.
Mechanical exfoliation has a gritty texture and usually happens while a steam vapor is directed at your face. Some facials may use steam towels instead.
Facial massage is generally included in a facial. It is done using classic strokes like effleurage to both relax you and stimulate your skin and facial muscles.
Then a facial mask is applied to target your skin type. The mask they choose for you will depend if you are dry, oily, combination, sensitive or mature. Then they will apply toners and protective creams.
Here are five things to consider when getting a facial.
First, these are not face-lifts. Although they will make you skin clearer it will not make wrinkles or sagging totally disappear. They will improve your skin and help you feel good, but if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Second, you should be getting facials. It may not be financially viable for you to get one once a week or even once a month, but you should still make it a point to visit a skin professional for a deep cleansing from time to time.
Your dermatologist or aesthetician has the technological tools and skills that will help maintain your skin's clarity and overall health.
How often you should get one varies from person to person. Ideally, you should get one every four to six weeks because that's how long it takes the skin to regenerate. Try to have a facial at least four times a year, as the season changes.
You may need it more frequently if you are trying to clear up a case of acne, especially at the beginning. Otherwise, once a month is plenty. Remember that it is possible to overdo it.
Third, if these treatments are not giving you the results you want there are more intense treatments you can try. These would include glycolic acid peels, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion.
These procedures have been proven to be effective for cell turnover, collagen production, and scar reduction, but it's important to know your skin's tolerance level to these treatments. This is because with acid and chemical peels certain strengths can damage sensitive skin.
Microdermabrasion is the safest and least abrasive of the three but will likely require more treatments to see results.
Four, keep in mind that dermatologists and aestheticians are not the same. Depending on what your skin needs are, you should be aware of the differences between what a dermatologist and what an aesthetician can do for you.
When visiting a dermatologist's office, don't expect to be greeted with a candlelit room and jars of rose-scented creams. Your dermatologist is a doctor, and you're a patient, not a client.
What your dermatologist is going to do is examine your face and based on their medical training, offer you the best facial treatments that science and research can offer.
On the other hand, if what you're looking for is that candlelit room and an experience that will cater to your senses and relieve stress and tension, a visit to your local spa is what you want. That's not to say that a spa facial won't have the power to enhance your complexion, it just might not be what you want or are expecting.
Fifth, personalization and customization of your facial is key. For some experts, customizing for the specifics needs of your skin is the right first step to skin maintenance.
Everyone has different skin. This means that they have different good skin qualities, different problems, and different needs. When you talk to the spa professional they can help you customize a treatment that will work the best for your skin.
So before you book that appointment, consider all these points and expert opinions and do a little of your own research. By doing so, you'll be well on your way to having healthy and gorgeous skin.
About the Author
Jack R. Landry has worked at a day spa for the last 9 years and written hundreds of articles about day spas.