Everyone needs a facial. There I said it. You - yes you - need a facial. And you need a facial and YOU need a facial. Everyone needs facials in their life. I'll break down the why when and how in a second. But let's just get the big question out of the way. Everyone needs facials. Everyone.
I say this loud and proud because sometimes, as a skin care professional, it's hard to be heard amidst the hundreds of other beauty practitioners. Everywhere you turn you've got someone reminding you that you need a hair cut and color, a wax, a spray tan, a mani/pedi, a lash refill, etc etc etc. I get it. Self-care and beauty maintenance can be exhausting. It's hard to know what to prioritize.
Alas, I'm going to make the argument here today, for prioritizing skin care. Think about this: you only get one face and it's going to represent you for as long as you live. The skin on our faces gets constant exposure to the elements and the environment. Taking care of your skin is what will allow you to combat the factors that cause aging and permanent damage before it's too late.
So why facials? Well, getting a facial from an esthetician is basically like going to a personal trainer for your skin. Some of the tricks you'll learn, you can (and should!) use at home to get better results. But sometimes the professionals have tricks and equipment that only they have access to and know how to use. Here are some examples:
Another analogy we can pull from here, is going to the dentist. You can brush your teeth twice a day, seven days a week, but you still need to see a dentist for an deep cleaning.
A traditional hour-long facial typically includes steam, double cleanse and extractions. All of these help clean your pores in ways they probably aren't getting cleaned at home. When performing a facial, I cleanse for a good 10 minutes (sometimes with more than one cleanser). This gets all of the layers of dirt, pollution, old makeup and other irritants that are often just hanging out on our face. And I promise it's much more relaxing than the dentist.
Professional Strength Exfoliation
Everyone needs exfoliation. Yes, you can use a scrub brush or a facial scrub at home, but sometimes you need to bring out the big guns. Estheticians have access to ingredients, and tools which we are specially trained to use such as microdermabrasion, dermaplane blades, enzymes and peels. These methods go beyond what your Clarisonic can do by getting deeper into the layers of the skin and really breaking up old dead skin that sits on the surface of the face. If you've been feeling like your skin is dull and lifeless, chances are good you just need a good exfoliation treatment to revive your skin.
If your skin is dry (and face it, if you live in Colorado, your skin is probably dry.) a facial can help restore balance in the skin. Because many of us use products that are too harsh or drying, sometimes the skin's natural barrier can become compromised. The application of a professional grade mask along with serums and moisturizers during a facial, will help soothe dry skin and keep it moisturized for a period of time. If you are naturally oily, you can also benefit from a facial because your esthetician will have access to multiple moisturizing options and can choose one that can help balance out oil production without clogging the pores.
Got a blemish that just will not go away? A brown spot? A new wrinkle? Estheticians are trained to spot troublesome skin conditions and are usually happy to zero in on what needs fixing. Although one facial generally won't cure all of your skin woes, a series of facials can produce visible positive changes. Clients who come to see me even semi-regularly report reduced breakouts, less fine lines, improved texture, more even pigment or fewer dark spots. Using esthetician-strength corrective products on your skin after a thorough cleanse and exfoliation is the best way to ensure that they penetrate the skin and get to work. Estheticians love getting results as much as you do, so you know you're in good hands on the facial table.
During your facial, you should of course relax. However, it's also your hour to pick your esthetician's brain. Take advantage of your time on the table to check in with your skin therapist and ask questions! It's a great way to learn about your overall skin health, learn about new products or procedures that might benefit you as well as get solid advice on home care. A good esthetician should be happy to share their wealth of knowledge and experience with clients. Don't be afraid to ask if you'd like a few pointers or if there's something you just want to know about. I personally love answering clients' questions about skin care and helping them find solutions. I firmly believe that knowledge is power, so if I don't know the answer to a client's question, I will seek one out.
For my money, I can't think of many things more relaxing than a good face massage. Clients love receiving them because they feel good, but there are other more tangible benefits. Stimulating the skin with massage helps increase blood flow to the face, thereby bringing nourishment to the skin cells. Manual exfoliation does this, and so can certain products like enzymes. By the time you leave your facial, your face might actually turn a little red or pink, but this is a good thing. Think of a facial as a good workout for the skin. The increased circulation allows for the release of toxins and helps promote oxygenation. Yet another reason why a good facial will leave you glowing.
And of course, who could forget the relaxation factor? When you go for a facial, you technically go to get your skin cleaned and treated. But who can deny how nice it is to just lay down for an hour? Just taking even 30-minutes out of a busy day to pause and do something nice for yourself reaps huge dividends for your well-being. It's not superficial or selfish to practice self-care. It's actually anti-aging, healthful and smart.
So now that you know you really do need a facial, where do you start? I recommend seeking out an esthetician and scheduling just a very basic facial or consultation. You don't need to worry about things like peels or microderm or anything you aren't sure about. Just start simple and go from there. The recommended frequency for getting facials is monthly (yes monthly, I'll address why in a future post) but for basic maintenance, every 6-8 weeks can also be beneficial. I also recommend committing to at least three facials. That's about how many it takes before you start to see visible results. Consider taking a before and after picture. Once you see and feel the difference after getting a facial, you'll wonder why you didn't start sooner.