After massage, facial or facial therapy is the second most popular spa treatment. It is a great way in caring for your skin. A facial helps in cleaning, exfoliating and nourishing the skin, and helps in achieving a clear, well-hydrated and younger looking skin. A facial has best results when it is a part of a constant skin care regime.
Basic Steps in Facial Therapy
- Consultation: This is the first step. You will need to fill out a form regarding questions about your skin problems, diet, water intake, beverages, drugs and other supplements which you take. Also, the skin products which you are presently using should be mentioned. All these things have an effect on your skin and decide the treatment which the esthetician will recommend.
- Cleansing: This is the second step. With the use of a headband or a towel, the hair is held back from the face. The esthetician starts the facial with cleansing the face using cotton pads, wipes or sponges.
- Skin Analysis: Next, the esthetician will cover your eyes and inspect your skin using a brightly lit magnifying lamp, so that they can determine your basic skin type, i.e. whether your skin is dry, oily, combination, sensitive or normal and what skin problems you have like acne, blackheads, whiteheads, sun-damage, dehydration, aging etc. According to your skin, the esthetician, then selects the appropriate products and treatment and consults you regarding it.
- Steam: Majority of the facials are done using a machine, which emits a vapor of warm steam to your face. This helps in relaxing and softening the skin and also helps in opening the skin pores so that any blackheads and whiteheads can be easily removed or extracted. In case of sensitive skin, the use of steam may be avoided.
- Exfoliation: This step uses a mechanical or chemical exfoliant. Mechanical exfoliants possess a grainy or coarse texture which helps in rubbing away the dead skin cells present on the skin's surface. This type of exfoliation is usually done during the steaming process. Chemical exfoliation comprises of acids and enzymes which help in relaxing the bond between the skin cells. A mild enzyme treatment can be done during the steaming process. Stronger chemical peels, with varying intensity should be a stand-alone treatment or a part of the facial. It is usually done in a series and not with steam.
- Extractions: This step involves the removal of blackheads or whiteheads. It can be uncomfortable or painful, especially if the skin is thin or ruddy. If not done in the correct manner, extractions may also lead to broken capillaries and discoloration.
- Facial Massage: This step involves the classic massage strokes like effleurage which help in relaxing as well as stimulating the skin and muscles of the face.
- Facial Mask: In this step, mask is applied to the face depending on your skin type, i.e. whether it is dry, oily, combination, sensitive, mature etc. and your other skin problems such as acne, sun damage etc.
- Final Step is the application of toner, moisturizer, serums, and sunscreen (daytime) on the skin to refresh your skin as well as to close the pores which got open during the steaming process.
Home Skin Care
You esthetician will advise you on ways to take better care of your skin and depending on your skin type, will recommend products accordingly.
Who Gives A Facial?
Always get a facial done by a professional and a licensed esthetician with special training in skin care regime. They are also known as aestheticians or facialists.
Frequency of Facials
How often you get facials varies from one individual to another and on your skin type. Getting monthly facial is recommended as that is the time required for regeneration of the skin. You should try to have a facial at least four times in a year with every change in season. If you have sensitive skin, then do not overdo the facials and try to space them out.
Types of Facials
There are many types of facials available which might confuse you as to which one to choose. Some of the facials available are anti-aging facial, oxygen facial, collagen facial, deep-cleansing facial etc. All these facials are variations on the classic European facial. A good esthetician will help you and advise you in selecting a facial according to your skin.
Other variations on the classic European facial are mini-facial (30-minute facial which excludes extractions), anti-aging facial comprises of ingredients like vitamin C and is beneficial for mature skin. Oxygen facial comprises of a spray of pure oxygen or the products are designed to release oxygen to the skin. Collagen facial also comes under anti-aging facial which comprises of special collagen sheets which are placed on the skin. Acne facial pays special care and attention to your acne condition and extractions. A photo facial is an individual light treatment which helps in boosting the collagen or in treating acne.