Although the perception of facials is to escape for a little stress relief and pampering, properly executed by a knowledgeable practitioner, a facial can deliver appreciable benefits. The type of facial and frequency become an important variable.

What is commonly referred to as a facial involves various products and application methods. It might include facial massage depending on whether it is a spa facial or clinical facial.


Reasons for having a facial

There are many reasons beyond stealing some pampering time to have a spa facial. Some might seek the advice of an esthetician to clear up breakouts or some other bothersome concern. For another, it might be to help reduce lines and wrinkles or problems with pigmentation. And some might just like the way they feel or how their skin glows after spending an hour being brushed, creamed, massaged and pampered under the hands of an esthetician.

What to expect

A number of specific steps generally take place. At the outset, a practitioner will identify client concerns before doing her own assessment of skin type and condition under magnification before making his product selection.

Estheticians are trained in proper techniques and product usage. The cleansing process might include advanced exfoliation such as glycolic acid or micro-dermabrasion requiring special products or equipment. Often exfoliation is followed by performing extractions, which is the manual process of clearing the pores. Estheticians are trained to do this without damaging tissues as well as in proper sanitation procedures to minimize risk of infection.

With the skin prepared, the esthetician will select appropriate products to address specific issues. Estheticians invest significant time in in ongoing education on products to treat any number of issues, which might include dehydration, breakouts, loss of elasticity or wrinkles.

Beyond inducing relaxation, facial massage can enhance product penetration, stimulate blood flow and relax facial muscles, resulting in a refreshed appearance. Some estheticians are trained in advanced methods such as lymphatic massage, which helps to detoxify and reduces puffiness.

The final stage of a treatment is generally application of a mask, which might use an occlusive such as paraffin to intensify absorption or “seal in” products used during the treatment. Another type of mask is a final step to promote detoxification, such as a clay mask that absorbs excess oil and tightens pores.

Estheticians usually finish a treatment by outlining a home-care regimen including product selection and usage.

How often to have a facial

The glowing, visual difference produced by hydration, increased circulation and concentrated treatment products can last 48 to 72 hours. The extended benefits of a facial are its impact on cellular regeneration, which takes place over approximately 28 to 45 days.

Every esthetician is asked to respond to the question of how often to have a facial. A facial is one component of an effective skin-care regimen.

Because daily care is synergistic with a professional regimen to achieve ongoing benefits, scheduling a facial every four to six weeks is most effective. The extreme minimum would be to have a facial every three months if a daily program is being followed and no major negative changes occur in the skin. To do less might be a nice, relaxing experience, but it will do little to produce much in the way of long-term benefits.