Have you ever wondered why some people's skin looks great at any age while others have aged beyond their years? Facials might be the answer.
Aside from nourishing the skin, a professionally administered facial can be a wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
To enhance your enjoyment of and knowledge about facials, we have prepared this short guide — outlining its benefits and describing what you can expect during your session. Whether this is your first facial, or you receive them regularly, we encourage you to read this material.
What is a facial?
Seems like a simple question, but not a lot of people know what steps should be included. Any service of an hour or more should include the following steps:
Analysis – your skin will be evaluated for different skin conditions such as level of oil production, blackheads and loss of elasticity. You should be told what conditions are found and what type of treatment you will be receiving. Also during this time, you may be asked about allergies and sensitivities you have had with products in the past.
Cleansing – a thorough wash of the skin. In most cases it is a two step process.
Step one is usually a pre-cleanse, using a more gentle cleanser, that removes surface debris.
Step two is a more extensive cleanse that targets a specific issue that you may have.
Exfoliation – the exact definition of exfoliation, according to the Milady’s Standard, is “the peeling or sloughing of the outer layer of the skin.” What that means is the removal of excessive dirt and dead skin that keeps debris in the pores. Also, during this process, the debris trapped in the pore is softened for easy removal (see Extractions). There are two types of exfoliation:
* The type of exfoliation used depends on your skin type and any conditions you may have.
Mechanical – more traditionally known as a “scrub”, uses fine particles to buff the debris off the skin.
Chemical – uses products with penetrating ingredients to help digest the dead cells off the surface & dissolve the “glue” that holds these dead cells together. Usually called a “peel” or exfoliating mask.
Extraction – the removal of blackheads and oil from the pores by pressing and squeezing the fingers on either side of the pore and manually pushing the debris out. One of the only uncomfortable parts of the facial, but also one that gets the biggest results.
Massage – flowing and relaxing movements to the face and décolleté. Penetrating products can be used to further the therapeutic effects of the treatment. Many times, the shoulder and upper back will be included in the massage portion. If you suffer from acne, your massage will be limited since excessive pressure and rubbing can cause blemishes to “pop” and bacteria to spread.
Treatment Masks – product to be left on your skin for a period of time that is selected specifically to work on a skin condition that is present.
Toner – a spray or lotion applied to remove any remnants of product and prepare the skin for the moisturizing step.
Moisturizer – the final step of the facial where the skin is re-hydrated and/or moisturized. If your appointment is during the day, a SPF should be included. An eye cream may be applied as well.
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