A facial, quite simply, is a procedure that beautifies your face by thoroughly cleansing, moisturizing, and rejuvenating the skin, giving your face a glow. What that means exactly depends on what kind of skin you have and what type of facial you opt for. Generally, salon and spa facials include the following steps, as noted by Mariaca in Livestrong:
Assessment of skin type and condition
Steaming of face or application of hot, moist towels
Extraction of blackheads and whiteheads
Application of a mask
Final cleansing and application of skin care serums or other products.
Some Types of Facials
A basic facial is sufficient for those with normal skin and no particular problems to target. But there is a facial for every type of skin and every skin condition. Here are some described in Healthguidance.org:
- AHA facial - use of products with alpha hydroxy acids, which are anti-aging and smoothen skin.
- Bio-lift facial - helps achieve a more youthful appearance and apart from toning and tightening the face, treats dark eye bags.
- Collagen facial - this is a hydrating facial which “includes use of a multi-phase technique of exfoliation, warm vapor, deep pore cleansing, lymphatic drainage massage and self healing mineral or paraffin masque over a freeze dry collagen sheet to ensure the ideal hydrating effect.”
- Paraffin facial - after rejuvenating products are applied to the face, a coating of paraffin over gauze is added to seal them in.
- Acne facials - these are performed every two weeks until the skin clears up.
- Deep-pore cleansing facial - targeted to skin that is prone to break-outs.
- Galvanic facial - as explained in WebMD, this is a moisturizing facial that involves the use of an electronic device that helps the skin treatment products get deeper into the skin, making them more effective.
- Gold facial - the products applied on the skin contain pure gold, which has detoxifying and anti-aging effects.
- Oxygen facial - The Dermatology Review describes this as a treatment which involves oxygenating the skin with the use of a special machine rather than chemical products, making it a good option for those with sensitive skin. However, NYU dermatologist Dr. Jessie Cheung warns in WebMD that this type of facial has not been proven to be any more effective than basic facials.
Who Can Benefit?
Just about anyone can benefit from having a facial once every few months. Many women consider it a part of their beauty regimen. Men can benefit from them as well, though, Men’s Health notes, as men produce more oil and suffer from shaving irritations if their skin is not smooth.
To maximize benefits from a facial, take note of the following:
- Treat yourself to a facial just two to four times a year. Some people claim to be “addicted” to facials. It turns out that as with any other type of addiction, being addicted to facials is bad for you. Dermatologist Dr. Kiran Lohia cautions on The Health Site to get a facial no more than every three to six months. Too much handling of the facial skin can actually increase damage. Dr. Lohia emphasizes that though they make you feel revitalized, the beautifying effect of facials is temporary.
- In a salon or spa facial, request that only blackheads be extracted, and gently. Dr. Lohia warns that pimples should not be touched and extractions of whiteheads can actually be harmful if not done by a medical professional. She suggests that when having a salon facial done to ask that only blackheads be extracted, and that this be done with care.
- Be gentle with your face post-facial. As noted in Well+good, right after a facial, you don’t need to wash your face. You should also avoid anything that might irritate or dry out your newly-treated skin. This includes steam rooms or saunas, chemical peeling formulas, and the sun. Avoid getting sweaty, too. For the whole day after the facial, at least, let your skin rest and bask in the glow.
- Be aware of what products are being used and whether they are appropriate. Kris Campbell explains in SkinInc: “Products used in professional treatments need to be altered for sensitive acne clients, as the ingredients used on the average client are too aggressive.
The Food and Drug Administ¬ration (FDA) recently issued a warning that the use of certain acne products containing the active ingredients benzoyl peroxide (BPO) or salicylic acid can cause rare, but serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions or severe irritation.” She adds that for those with problematic skin: “Products used should include ingredients that are antimicr¬obial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.” One example is the AHA product mandelic acid, which is as effective in treating the skin as glycolic acid but is much gentler.
Facials are a great way to relax and treat your skin at the same time. Just make sure you choose the right type of treatment and suitable products for your skin. Then, once you get one, enjoy the refreshing feeling of having thoroughly clean and healthy skin.