A facial in its most basic is meant to purify and revitalize the skin. A facial treatment can also be a relaxing and rejuvenating health treatment, while providing overall health benefits. Many people today are looking to improve their health and well-being by exercise, meditation, clean eating and adding routine and comprehensive skin care treatments.
One of the essential reasons people come to the salon or spa to get a facial to is to maintain or improve the health of their skin. We know that our appearance makes the first impression and your skin is no exception. Modern society and all that comes with it puts many stresses on our skin. UV exposure, chemicals, medications and poor diets can make the skin appear sallow, thick, lined and tired. Frequent facials help fight these noticeable signs of aging, such as fine lines, dehydration, break-outs and sensitivity.
The two main objectives of most skin care treatments are preservative and corrective. In order to stabilize and maintain the health of the skin, a facial provides your skin with a deep cleanse, proper exfoliation and detoxifies by removing toxins. Additionally facial massage increases circulation and stimulates the skins’ function and metabolism while providing relaxation to calm the senses. Many of the corrective aspects of a facial are to slow down signs of aging, especially on skin that has damage from the sun. Another counteractive function of skin care treatments is to help clear up blemishes and minor acne. Regular facials can be helpful in treating conditions like dryness, oiliness and redness.
Luxurious treatments like facials and massage are not just reserved for the rich and famous. Nowadays, affordable and consistent skin care routines are just part of the normal course of life for many. While women looking for anti-aging benefits still make up the majority of facial patrons, the increase of men that take pride in their grooming and appearance has lead to a larger male cliental in spas and salons. Teenagers are also coming in for facials on a regular basis, as the social pressure of looking good has increased with the millennial generation.
The basis of any good facial starts with the consultation. As a skin care professional I know why I am here, to provide and amazing service, however many times as a client you don’t really know what your role is. Maybe this is your first facial, or maybe someone gave you a gift card as a present. It is my job to communicate and educate you about your skins needs and what type of home care routine you should be on. Just like the dentist, I only get to treat you skin once a month (at best), it’s up to you to take care of it the rest of the time. This is why when answering questions on the intake form or verbally it is essential that you be upfront and truthful. Also some medications and conditions are contraindicated for certain skin care treatments and the last thing any skin care therapist wants is an adverse reaction, so it is important to disclose your complete medical history.
After you are relaxed and warmly tucked into the facial bed, the first step usually is a complete skin analysis. After protecting your eyes from the bright light with cotton coverings, your skin will be felt, examined under a magnifying light and assessed to determine the best protocol. During this time your skin care routine, dietary habits, water intake and lifestyle may be discussed. This is the time of the facial I like clients to express their expectations and ask questions about their skin
Next, its time to immerse yourself in total relaxation! You have 50 minutes all to yourself, so enjoy. First your skin will be cleansed, incorporated with steam to help soften and relax. A cleanser is chosen to fit your skin type. It is routine to do a double cleanse, this is to remove all traces of make-up and buildup that may be on the surface. All eye and lip make-up will also be removed at this time. Often clients feel they have to wash their face before coming in for their treatment, however this is really unnecessary.
The next step in most facial treatments is the exfoliation. There are several ways the skin can be exfoliated. Mechanical, which can be a scrub or microdermabrasion. Chemical exfoliation, such as AHA or BHA (glycolic, lactic, salicylic) dissolves desmosomes that hold the dead skin cells together. Enzymes, digest proteins and help breakdown keratin, the material that the skin is made up of.
After a thorough exfoliation, extractions are performed. Depending on the skin conditions this can vary from 1-10 minutes. Unfortunately this is usually the most uncomfortable however necessary part of any facial. As you come in more frequently for facials and start on an inclusive home care routine, extractions usually become a minimal part of a skin care treatment.
From here on in it’s all good. Facial massage is typically the next step. This is where the magic happens. A professional facial massage is one of the major differences between a professional treatment in a salon or spa and a home-care regimen. The benefits you receive from a facial massage are relaxation, stimulation of blood and lymph circulation, activates sluggish skin, improves metabolism and helps muscle tone. Facial massage on its own has been known to give such improvement, in lift and circulation to people considering facial lift surgery, that they have decided against the knife.
As the treatment starts to head towards its culmination, an effort is made to normalize and balance the skin. This application of a masque, is meant to fortify and enrich the skin with treatment nutrients and healing agents. Masques can deliver many benefits to the skin. These can include: tightening and toning, drawing out impurities & clearing up breakouts. Additionally a facial masque can provide hydration, calm & sooth, rejuvenate or brighten the skin. Each masque is customized toward specific conditions and concerns. For clients that have several conditions, such as an oily T-zone and dryness on the perimeter, several different masques may be used. During the time your masque is working, a neck, shoulder, décolletage or scalp massage may be done. It’s during this time many clients fall asleep. This is the best compliment. I feel I have done my job when you are snoring.
After removing the masque with a warm towel, the skin will be enriched with serums, eye creams, moisturizes and lip treatments. This will conclude the service.
I always welcome and encourage client feedback and questions. At this point products may be recommended.
Many people ask how often a facial is recommended. As we age the rate of cellular turn over starts to decrease. When we are young, the new fresh skin cells come to the surface every 28 days. In order to maintain this, it is suggested that you have a facial treatment once a month. This will help to insure healthy, glowing, radiant skin.