Never had a facial before? Are you itching to book an appointment but holding back because you don't know what to expect? Stick with us, we'll help you out. This facial 411 guide will have you on your way to glowing skin in no time. Now let’s get started.
I had my first facial in college. Back then, I didn’t have the beauty know-how or the rigid skincare routine I do now, so my first few facial encounters weren’t too pleasant. You see, I had a bit of acne — and by a bit I mean a lot. For the first few facials, I left disappointed with my experience, afraid of the painful extractions and wondering whether I’d ever achieve glowing skin.
Until I found Sandra Curzi, my trusted esthetician and friend. In the few years since we’ve met, I’ve become a total believer in the power of facials and my skin has rapidly improved. If you’ve yet to experience the power of a facial, it’s high time you consider one.
Why are facials important?
You exercise often, you eat right and you get frequent haircuts, so why wouldn't you get a facial? As with most other beauty and health matters, facials help prevent and treat common problems. “Facials are important because they keep on top of things that happen seasonally,” Curzi says.
Take the fall season, for example. When you turn the heat on for the first time in October, you might notice a change in your skin. Inside heat can dehydrate skin and facials can drastically correct a lack of moisture. And every April when the weather warms up a bit, skin can get oilier and create breakouts. Facials can help with these and many other skin ailments.
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What are the benefits?
So what can you expect from facials? Curzi credits facials with smoother texture, proper hydration, a glowing complexion, fewer breakouts and firmer skin. “Regular treatments work,” she says.
The proof? Curzi once had twin sisters as clients. One came for facials regularly, the other only occasionally. When the less vigilant sister noticed that her sister had started to look younger, she quickly changed her tune.
How often should you get one?
Your facial routine will depend on your skin type, but Curzi recommends seeing your esthetician once a month if you can manage it: “For dry skin or dehydrated skin it is more important to be diligent in winter more than summer. In summer it is more important for oily skin to get facials. Sunscreen and being outside can affect oily skin. Facials prevent problems for everyone.”
What to know before you go
Facials are relaxing and good for you, but there can be a few uncomfortable moments in the process. But don’t worry, they’ll be well worth it in the end.
One seemingly unpleasant part: Extractions, when your esthetician deep cleans your pores. There’s a reason you shouldn’t pick at your skin at home; extractions should only be done by a trained professional esthetician.
“An esthetician has a magnifying glass. There has to be the right pressure and angle to achieve good results. The skin is properly prepared and softened for successful extraction,” Curzi says. “The esthetician does NOT get emotionally involved with a zit. If it's not ready it's not ready. Premature extraction can cause scarring. Only a good esthetician will know that."
Another thing to consider: there’s some redness that follows a facial. But don’t worry, it’ll go away in about a day! “The worst your skin will look is that same day in some cases. If your skin has a lot of breakouts, it may take a few more days to heal what was already there. But it should start improving with facials unless it's a systemic problem. In that case the esthetician should tell you that you made need the services of a dermatologist,” Curzi says.
Make your results last
If you're investing in a good quality facial, make sure you get your money's worth. You wouldn't go out and buy a $400 bag then throw it all over the place, would you? No, so when you get a facial, make sure you maintain the results: "It's like going to the dentist for a cleaning and brushing and flossing at home a few times a day. You can't expect the results to last if you go home and sleep in your makeup or wash with a bar of soap. You have to use a cleanser and moisturizer for your skin type and season of the year. You need a guru. That would be your esthetician."