A facial is a skin-rectifying cosmetic treatment that is usually performed by a skin care specialist (i.e. a licensed esthetician or dermatologist). These spa treatments typically cost between $20.00 and $50.00, but can cost more, depending on the services being performed. During the facial process, the specialist will analyze your skin under a magnifying mirror. The purpose of this step is to help the specialist identify problem areas and choose a facial that is best suited for your skin complexion and condition.
Next, the specialist will use a variety of small instruments to eradicate any blemishes (whiteheads, blackheads and/or pimples). Once the imperfections have been removed, the specialist will lather a variety of vitamin-rich cleaners, masks and lotions onto your skin. It is important to note that you may experience facial sensitivity, redness and tightness following the facial. Any facial discomfort should disappear with 24 hours. Once you have finished the facial, the specialist will provide you with an “aftercare regimen” that will help keep your skin healthy and vibrant.
How can facials help keep my skin healthy and vibrant?
The facial process will consist of removing bacteria and dirt from the surface of your skin with cleansing wipes. Once that is completed, the next step will be an in-depth skin analysis, followed by exfoliation (the removal of dead skin cells from the outer layers of the skin). In most cases, exfoliation is performed after your skin has been soften with steam vapors and cleansed with a gentle (sugar or oil) facial scrub. It is extremely important that your skin be thoroughly exfoliated because dead skin cells can clog pores and lead to blackheads, whiteheads and/or pimples. Once your skin has been cleansed and exfoliated, it will be time to extract blemishes and irregularities from the deeper layers of your skin using a small instrument (i.e. extracting tool).
It is important to note that blackheads do not have to be removed, but if they become unsightly, inflamed and/or bulbous, the specialist may recommend having them extracted. Lastly, the specialist will limit facial redness by applying a soothing facial mask to your skin. It may take 15-20 minutes for the mask to work its magic. Once the mask is removed, the specialist will pamper your face with nutrient-rich (antibiotic and/or salicylic acids) lotions. These lotions will protect your skin from harmful bacteria and infections. Ultimately, facials improve the condition of your skin by removing excess dirt, toxins, dead cells, bacteria and impurities. Periodic facials can lower your risk of acne and keep your skin looking healthy and vibrant as you age.
What precautions should I take if I am going to get a facial?
It is important that you thoroughly research the various facials before you choose a salon or schedule an appointment with a dermatologist or esthetician. Make sure that the specialist performing the facial is licensed and trained in cosmetic treatments. Entrusting your skin to someone who has not been properly trained in your chosen facial can lead to permanent scarring and/or serious infections. In addition, do not try to give yourself a professional facial at home because you may accidently cause scarring or trigger an acne outbreak. If your only option is to give yourself an at-home facial – stick to gentle cleansers, masks, facial scrubs and lotions.
American Academy of Dermatology. (2014). Adult acne: Effective treatments available. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/adult_acne_treatment.html
Siddons, S. (2014). Benefits and risks of facials. Discovery Health. Retrieved from http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/skin-treatments/facials3.htm