What is a Facial?
A facial is one of the best ways to take care of your skin, especially when it’s given by an experienced, knowledgeable and licensed esthetician. A facial cleans, exfoliates and nourishes the skin, promoting a clear, well-hydrated complexion, and can help your skin look younger. A facial works best when it is part of an on-going program of skin care.
The Basic Steps of a Facial
- Consultation. A facial should begin with a consultation. I will have you fill out a form that has questions about your skin concerns, your diet, how much water you drink, medication and supplements you take, and products you are currently using. This can affect your skin and what kind of treatments I recommend.
- Cleansing. After wrapping your hair with a towel or headband, I will begin the facial with a thorough cleansing, using cotton pads, esthetician wipes or sponges.
- Skin Analysis. I will cover your eyes and look at your skin through a brightly lit magnifying lamp. I will determine your basic skin type (dry, oily, combination, sensitive or normal) and skin condition (acne, blackheads, whiteheads, aging, sun-damage, dehydration, etc.) I will then choose the appropriate products and treatments, and consult with you about I see and recommend.
- Steam. Most facials use a machine that directs a thin vapor of warm steam to your face. This is relaxing and helps softens up any blackheads and whiteheads to be extracted. I may also use the assistance of a warm/hot towel.
- Exfoliation. This process is done by using a mechanical or chemical exfoliant. Mechanical exfoliants have a gritty texture that rubs away the surface dead skin cells. This type of exfoliation usually happens during the steam. Chemical exfoliation uses enzymes and acids to loosen the bond between skin cells. A gentle enzyme treatment can be done during the steam. Stronger chemical peels which vary in intensity, can be a stand-alone treatment or part of the facial. It is not done with steam and work best in a series.
- Extraction. 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 This is done by using classic strokes like effleurage to both relax you and stimulate your skin and facial muscles.
- Facial Mask This is targeted to your skin type (dry, oily, combination, sensitive, mature) and condition. While the mask is doing its job, I will treat you to a nice hand massage.
- Final application of toner, serums, moisturizer and sunscreen if it’s daytime.
- This is followed by home care advise. We will discuss the best options for you to do at home as a regimen to promote healthy skin care.
How often do you 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. If you feel that monthly is not for you then 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.