Many people think about having a facial, or arrive at the center to have a facial, uncertain of the importance of this service – aside from its seemingly pampering nature. Truly, though, a facial is not a luxury, its benefits are far reaching. In order to understand why a facial is important, let’s take a look at its components.
The basic parts of a facial are as follows:
- Determining Your Skin Type: It’s important for you and your aesthetician to understand your skin type. By knowing this, products and techniques used can be specifically customized to meet your needs.
- Deep Cleansing: With the correct product, a gentle, but deep cleaning is obtained and, depending upon skin type, the correct pressure and movements can be employed to stimulate or calm. Steam and/or hot towels are often used to soften and expand the pores.
- Proper Exfoliation: I say “proper” because you can over-exfoliate. Skin must be manipulated with awareness so as to not cause unwanted reactions. This exfoliation may be done manually or chemically with the use of an electric brush, scrub, enzyme or acid.
- Taking Away: After cleansing and exfoliation, the skin is prepared for extraction – or cleansing of the pores.
- Giving Back: Now the skin is ready to receive vitamins, hydration and minerals in the form of serums, lotions, creams and masques applied with manual techniques or massage appropriate for your particular skin type.
- Additional Pleasures: During this process, you will often receive a hand and arm massage, a facial massage and a neck and shoulder massage.
Here’s how I like to explain a facial: What is the one part of the body that is exposed most often? Your face.
The surface of our skin is dotted with tiny pockets called pores. These pores allow for the transfer of materials like sweat and oxygen into and out of the body. Oil glands, located within the pores, secrete sebum. Dust, pollution, free radicals, wind and sun are a constant source of irritants and debris that can stick to the oil or sebum on our skin. Since our skin grows from the inside to the outside, dead cells, though they act as protection from the sun, come to rest upon the surface too.
I like to compare the surface of our face to your stovetop. When you cook with oil and it spatters onto your stovetop, the surface becomes sticky and other matter – like dust – will cling to it. It works the same way with your face. Matter, including dirt, dust and dead skin cells, stick to your sebum, blocking the exit of your pore. The result is dull skin, or eventually a blackhead or pimple (pustule).
However, when you have a professional facial – that is, one performed by a licensed aesthetician – the dead skin cells, dirt, and debris may be removed. What’s left is cleaner, shinier, healthier, newer skin that is able to breathe and do what skin is meant to do. The added bonus is a tremendous sense of well being and relaxation.
How often should you have a facial? Generally, every 8 – 10 weeks; however, you can certainly have them closer together, especially when working on a particular concern like acne, aging or sun damage. At the very least, it’s good to try and have a facial once per season.
In conclusion, the answer to “Why Do I Need A Facial” is that generally, we aren’t able to cleanse and exfoliate our skin the way that a professional aesthetician can, and the benefits are both tangible and esoteric.
Reisa Mehlman is a New York State Licensed Aesthetician, New York State Licensed Nail Specialist, Certified Lash Extensionist, Reiki Practitioner and the Director of Living Well Healing Arts Center located at 18 Low Street in the quaint village of Ballston Spa, New York, just a stone’s throw from Saratoga Springs.