The spa music, plush bed, soft light, and that silky smooth feeling of our skin afterward is why we love a good facial. Facials are also considered a gateway to medical aesthetic procedures; many of us start getting facials at a young age. Remember those facials appointments that our moms made us go to before prom? Then as we get older and become more invested in our skin health and beauty, we gradually start to add Botox, dermal fillers, LASER treatment to facials. While facials are easily accessible, and most facials are also affordable, there are some crucial facts about facials that you should be aware of for you to get the most out of your next facial appointment.
What is a good facial?
An excellent facial should help you feel relaxed, recharged, and reveal smoother, softer, more hydrated, and glowy skin. A lot of people are wary of facials because they had flare-ups of their acne or left a facial looking more irritated and blotchy. Often that’s because an improper technique or harsh ingredients exacerbated skin during the facial. A professionally done facial that targets your specific skin type should not flare up your existing skin condition. The newer facial treatments are much more than just cleansing, extraction, and a mask. Nowadays, a variety of customizable serums, masks, technologies are available for the experienced esthetician to choose from, to address specific skin concerns, such as dry skin, redness/rosacea prone skin, acne, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, clogged pore, coarse texture, oily skin, and sensitive skin. A tailored facial treatment often incorporates microdermabrasion, temperature/light assisted technology, microcurrents to enhance penetration of the active ingredients, and a wide range of fruit derived acid peels to address concerns of fine lines and pigmentation.
How often should you get a facial?
For most people, the ideal frequency of getting facials should be once a month or once every 4-6 weeks. This is because it takes about 4-6 weeks for our skin cells to move from the bottom layer to the very top layer, aka “cellular turnover rate.” Facials performed more frequently than monthly can disrupt the natural cycle of our skin cells, leading to irritation, not to mention unnecessary spending. For people with very sensitive skin or taking prescription medications for skin conditions, may need to space out their facials at even longer intervals. It is important to discuss your skin condition and disclose all topical and oral medication and products that you use daily to your aesthetician to get the most out of your facial treatment. It is also important to tell your dermatologist about scheduled facials to avoid any interference with office cosmetic procedures or treatments.
8 Benefits of facials for your skin
There are several key benefits from a good facial ranging from improved skin cleansing, exfoliation to rejuvenation and stress lowering.
Cleanse and Exfoliate your skin
A clean face is key to any skincare treatment or routine by providing a blank canvas for the cells to receive the most benefits. A deep detox of our face can be achieved with a combination of topical cleaning, steaming, chemical, and enzymatic exfoliation. Often the first step in a facial is to clean off any residue makeup, oil, dirt, followed by a deep cleaning using a combination of enzymatic cleansers or acid cleansers to decongest pores further and exfoliate away dead skin cells. Just by deep cleansing your skin, your skin will feel softer, smoother, and look brighter.
Improve the lymphatic drainage
For people who tend to retain water around their eyes and lower jawline area (especially after a salty dinner with alcohol the night before, or from erratic sleep patterns), facial massage during a facial can promote blood circulation, lymphatic drainage of these edema prone areas. This is why we look more rested and fresher almost instantly after a good facial massage. Over time, facial lymphatic massage can encourage improved blood supply and nutrient transfer to the skin, and boost the effects of your daily skincare routine.
Slow down the aging process
A good facial using targeted ingredients and technology can address early signs of aging, such as fine lines, dull complexion, sallow tone, and boost collagen production and oxidative damage repair. Think of a good facial as your dental hygienist appointment; it’s like a more intense cleaning/preventative treatment that works synergistically with your daily sunscreen, antiaging serums, and moisturizers. By incorporating the right facial treatment and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you also extend the results of your cosmetic procedures such as Botox® and dermal fillers, which is an extra bonus!
Rejuvenate your skin
After cleansing and prepping your skin, a knowledgeable aesthetician can choose a variety of add on treatment to rejuvenate the skin. For example, light chemical peels using fruit acids such as lactic and malic acid can help to even out sun spots, reduce excess pigmentation, and brighten overall complexion. Medical-grade hydradermabrasion as Hydrafacial allows deeper penetration of topical serums to address concerns of dry skin and fine lines. LED light masks can help to boost collagen and treat concerns of blemish-prone skin. These newer options will give you an instant and visible improvement in skin quality, without leaving you red and irritated.
Relaxing and reducing stress
One of the most notable benefits of facial is the pampering aspect. When you get a facial, you’re treating yourself to an hour of self-care. And by focusing on you, stepping away from devices, work, and to-do lists, you feel recharged and reenergized after the treatment. A study published in the Journal Biomedical Research has shown that facial massage in facials activates your sympathetic nervous system, which then decreases anxiety level and improves mood.
Open up the pores of your skin
The deep cleaning and exfoliation part of a good facial not only removes excessive dead skin cells, revealing younger and fresher skin but also helps to unclog pores. This pore-decongestion can benefit all skin types as long as the methods used in cleansing and exfoliating are selected for your specific skin quality.
Beneficial for acne and aging skin
People with acne/ blemish-prone skin and oily skin can benefit significantly with a proper pore extraction, which is often offered in a deep detox or acne facial. By using clean, sterile tools, removal of blackheads help to prevent new acne and reveal more refined skin texture. The deep cleansing of pores through extraction further enhances the effectiveness of topical comedolytic ingredients.
Facials are also beneficial for aging and mature skin by providing more intense hydration and boosting collagen synthesis. For example, nourishing peptides can be delivered at a deeper level through microdermabrasion and hydradermabrasion. LED lights can help reduce signs of aging by stimulating collagen synthesis.
Improve your skin care routine
While the visible benefits of a facial may last only a few days, you can extend these benefits through a diligent daily skincare routine that is designed specifically for your skin type. And by using the appropriate antiaging serum and preventative skincare products and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you’re also priming your skin to get the most out of a professional facial treatment. So just like how we maintain good oral hygiene with flossing and teeth brushing and periodic hygienist appointment, we can extend our youth through a good daily routine and monthly facial treatment.