A facial is essentially a multi-step skin treatment that is one of the best ways to take care of your skin. A facial cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin, promoting a clear, well-hydrated complexion and can help your skin look younger. You also receive advice on the best way to take care of your skin. A facial works best when it is part of an on-going program of skin care.
The Basic Steps of a Facial
A facial should begin with a consultation. You might fill out a form with questions about your skin concerns, your diet, how much water you drink, which drugs and supplements you take, and products you are currently using. Retin-A and other drugs can affect your skin and what kind of treatments the esthetician recommends. More commonly, the esthetician will simply ask about your skin concerns and if you are using Retin-A.
- Cleansing – Usually, the esthetician starts by wrapping your hair with a towel or headband to keep products off of it. The first step is thorough cleansing, using cotton pads, esthetician wipes or sponges. Most professional facials do a double-cleanse.
Skin analysis and cleansing – Depending on whether you have makeup on, the esthetician might look at your skin under a bright lamp first. She is determining your basic skin type (dry, oily, combination, sensitive or normal) and skin conditions (acne, blackheads, whiteheads, aging, sun-damage, dehydration, etc.). The esthetician then chooses the appropriate products and treatments and consults with you about what he or she sees and recommends.
Exfoliation – Exfoliating the skin uses mechanical or chemical substances. Mechanical exfolilants have a gritty texture that rubs away the surface dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliation uses enzymes and acids to loosen the bond between skin cells.
Extractions- This is the removal of blackheads or whiteheads if you want it and need it. People have different pain tolerance for extractions. They can be uncomfortable, especially on thin or ruddy skin. Extractions can cause broken capillaries and discoloration if done improperly.
- Facial massage – using classic strokes like effleurage to both relax you and stimulate your skin and facial muscles.
Facial mask – A mask is targeted to your skin type (dry, oily, combination, sensitive, mature) and condition.
Final application – An application of toner, serums, moisturizer, and sunscreen if it’s daytime is given.
Advice on home skin care – The esthetician will tell you how she thinks you can take better care of your skin and recommend products.
How Often is Best to Get a Facial
It varies from person to person. Ideally, get a facial monthly 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. But, you can overdo it, especially if you have sensitive skin.