What Is A Facial?

Main­tain­ing your skin’s health affects the appear­ance and the vital­i­ty of your face, a sure­fire way to keep you feel­ing youth­ful and revi­tal­ized. Whether you have dry, oily or acne prone skin, you may be the per­fect can­di­date for a facial.

A facial is one of the most essen­tial treat­ments of any esthet­ic skin care reg­i­men. The estheti­cian uses a com­bi­na­tion of ther­a­peu­tic treat­ments for your face, includ­ing cleans­ing, extract­ing, exfo­li­at­ing, mas­sag­ing and mois­tur­iz­ing. How your skin responds to heat, stim­u­la­tion, and exfo­li­a­tion can tell an estheti­cian how to pro­ceed with the treat­ment and even what to rec­om­mend for your skin care rou­tine at home.

A facial always begins with cleans­ing your skin, which will remove make­up and impu­ri­ties. If your skin red­dens with the first cleans­ing, it may be sen­si­tive or indi­cate a skin reac­tion called der­matographia, which lit­er­al­ly means, skin writ­ing. This type of skin reacts to every scratch or touch with red­ness and raised bumps. If you have der­matographia, you would not be a good can­di­date for man­u­al exfo­li­a­tion such as abra­sive scrubs, micro­der­mabra­sion or treat­ments with extreme heat. If there is lit­tle reac­tion seen after cleans­ing, gen­er­al­ly a more aggres­sive treat­ment can be performed. 

Next, your estheti­cian will begin to exfo­li­ate your face. This will remove any dead skin cells on the sur­face of the skin as well as extract any dirt or clogged pores. Prop­er exfo­li­a­tion will pro­mote a healthy complexion. 

In most facials, extrac­tions are per­formed when nec­es­sary, either man­u­al­ly or mechan­i­cal­ly. Some estheti­cians use their fin­gers to manip­u­late skin and push the blocked pore up and out of the fol­li­cle. The steam and exfo­li­a­tion soft­en and loosen the clogged pores so they are eas­i­ly extract­ed with­out dis­com­fort. When extrac­tions are done pro­fes­sion­al­ly, there is very lit­tle risk of scar­ring or any per­ma­nent mark.

After your pores have been unclogged, your estheti­cian will stim­u­late your face by mas­sag­ing your facial mus­cles. This will pro­mote healthy skin growth.

A mask is typ­i­cal­ly applied after extrac­tions. Clay-based masks are used for oili­er skin types and hydrat­ing-based masks are best for those that are dri­er. Some clay-based masks may con­tain acne fight­ing addi­tives like sul­fur, but even clay alone helps remove excess oil. The hydrat­ing masks can con­tain ben­e­fi­cial antiox­i­dants, along with humec­tants like aloe, beeswax, hyaluron­ic acid or honey.

Once the mask is removed, the skin is ready to absorb the next appli­ca­tion. A cor­rec­tive serum or mois­tur­iz­er is applied to the entire face or spe­cif­ic area. A top­i­cal vit­a­min C is often used because it is need­ed for var­i­ous healthy skin activ­i­ties, espe­cial­ly col­la­gen for­ma­tion, but it is also a great top­i­cal antioxidant. 

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