One question that many people are asking today is this – Is having a facial absolutely necessary? Or should one view it as a monthly/semi-annual treat?
What are the benefits of getting a facial?
To better understand the power of facials for your skin, let us dig deeper on what it can do for you, as well as all the steps that it involves.
Why do facials work?
Day in and day out, oil builds up on our faces, whiteheads and blackheads (sometimes also called comedones) form, and the pores get clogged up – blame this to the pollution in the air we encounter during our daily commutes. With these, the skin inevitably feels gummy and thick to the touch. The more that the skin gets clogged, the harder for any skincare product to be able to penetrate the skin.
When you come in for a facial, the aesthetician cleans and exfoliates the skin to do away with all the congestion. This too will allow for the easier extraction of comedones. Afterwards, therapeutic and skin healing/calming products are applied to even out the complexion. Exfoliation helps clean dead skin layers away and relieve clogged pores.
What are the steps involved?
1. Consultation – First and foremost, your dermatologist or aesthetician needs to get to know your skin in order to enable him or her to give you the best options for your facial treatment. During a consultation, the aesthetician will ask about your health habits and skin type. You will most likely be asked about your water intake, medications, skincare products, skin concerns. Depending on your answers, different facial treatments will be suggested.
2. Cleansing – Once you have decided on what treatment you want to get, your skin will be cleaned up with a cotton, sponges, or wipes.
3. Skin Analysis - The professional will look at your skin closely with the use of a brightly-lit magnifying glass. He/she will analyze your complexion, skin's texture and strength. By doing an analysis, the aesthetician will determine your skin type (dry, oily, or a combination), and whether your skin has conditions like sun damage, dehydration, aging.
4. Steam - This will soften up any blackheads or whiteheads present on your skin and prep it for extraction. Most clinics use a machine that releases vapor on your face.
5. Exfoliation - Depending on your skin type, the aesthetician will suggest a chemical (uses a peeling agent like glycolic acid) or physical exfoliation (microdermabrasion, uses a machine to remove dead skin layers gradually by sanding and vacuuming). This helps open the pores, ready for the next step.
6. Extraction - At this stage, your skin is prepped for the removal of whiteheads and blackheads. Depending on your skin needs, the professional may use a medically sterilized extractor while removing plugs from the skin's pores.
7. Mask - After extraction, the aesthetician will apply a corrective mask for your skin type to deeply hydrate and plump the skin. This will be massaged onto your skin for deeper penetration and maximum hydration.
8. Moisturize - finally, your skin will be treated to a facial moisturizer and sunscreen that is ideal for your complexion.
You see, with facials, the skin looks better instantly. Your skin feels fantastic and your complexion glows because it has just received deep cleansing, hydration, and exfoliation, a welcome compensation for doing its job as your body's largest barrier and protection from the outside world.