Facials are one of my absolute favorite ways to pamper myself. However, for those getting their first facial, it can be a bit overwhelming. There is a lot going on, a lot to know picking the type of facial you want, and a lot of relaxing to do through the entire process! I always say it is better to be prepared, so I am going to give you the full rundown on what happens during a facial: Facial 101. This way, you can start your facial at ease and ready for whatever comes your way!
First things first, let’s learn what makes up a facial, so we know what we are stepping into.
- Prep: Just like anything, there is a bit of preparation that goes into a facial. Like always, they’ll walk you in, introduce themselves and give you a moment to get laid down to relax. They will most likely use something to keep your hair around your face pulled back and begin the skin preparation. Depending on the type of facial you have, they could also give you a massage in this part of the experience.
- Cleansing: Now for the skin preparation. They will remove any leftover makeup. It is also important to note that you do not want to show up with a full face of makeup or any home skin care products. The facial you choose can have a wide variety of serums and cleansers, so we don’t want anything to counteract poorly that you already have on your face, so stick to a bare face on facial days! They will then wash your face with cleanser for your specific skin type: oily, dry, or combination.
- Exfoliating: Exfoliating gets a bad reputation because it is often misused. Harsh exfoliation can cause major damage to your skin and premature aging. However, estheticians will use a much more gentle method of exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and clear out your pores to soak in all the other needed nutrients for that after facial glow.
- Steaming: Continuing the purifying process, they most likely will use some steam to really open up your pores. This is one of my favorite parts. Not only is it cleansing, but the warm steam feels amazing. Certain spas don’t include this step as they don’t feel it’s necessary. Necessary or not, I enjoy it, so I would suggest looking for a facial that includes it!
- Extraction: The dreaded but crucial step. For first time facial goers, this part might come as a shock if you are not anticipating it. This is the part where they extract any impurities that are ready to be extracted. This includes acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Depending on the place, this can be very painful or very mild.
If it is an extremely painful process, consider looking into another place. However, every once in a while, there are some necessary extractions that aren’t exactly pleasant to undergo. Extractions are one of the most beneficial outcomes of a facial as they remove impurities properly without damaging the skin.
- Final Touches: That is the end of the core of a facial. If you purchase a larger package or your esthetician feels like a chemical peel or other facial process is a good option for you, this would be when it would happen! They will use some means to close your pores, either a cold towel or even a mild laser at certain spots, and voila! You made it through.
How Much is Too Much?
Facials are meant to be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Come away from your time refreshed and ready to take on the day with your glowing skin. One of the biggest mistakes made by those who go to get a facial is to go once in a blue moon and never get into a regular facial routine. Just like anything, consistency is key.
That is where true results happen and your skin is able to flourish. I like to stick to one facial a month, but it is highly suggested not to go above two facials a month. Any more than this can be damaging and arbitrary to your skin.
One of the largest reasons people stray away from facials is the fear of making their skin worse rather than better. That is a totally rational fear. Actually, it is probably a true statement. Bear with me. Facial extractions and exfoliators are pulling out everything in our face that has been stuck there that we don’t want. I think it is safe to say that it will bring a lot to the surface including redness and breakouts.
However, these breakouts are not the end of the world. Let your skin breathe. Do not drown your face in acne medication trying to offset this. Allow your skin time to heal and regenerate. This is the best thing you can do for it. I promise the end effect is worth the wait. It is a toss up, though. Some people have less to bring to the surface and do have that walk out the door glow moment, but don’t get discouraged if your experience differs a bit!