Following a solid skin care routine is standard practice, but we’d consider it the minimum of what your complexion needs. Getting regular facials (or doing them at home) should be the norm, too. After all, this treatment might be just what you need to kick things into the next gear. A spa facial can address a wide variety of skin care concerns, such as dark spots, skin texture, and dry skin. That being said, it’s important to select the right facial treatment for your needs.
Since there are a slew of spa facials to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. However, you can always expect some standard facial steps. Follow along as we share everything you need to know about getting a facial, including our best tips on what to discuss with your aesthetician before the treatment.
WHAT IS A FACIAL?
While there are myriad spa facial trends that come and go, generally a treatment involves a few standard skin care steps. According to the National Institute for Biotechnology Information, these include: cleansing, steaming, exfoliating, extracting, masking, massaging, and facial moisturizing. These facial steps are a one-stop-shop for bettering your complexion.
When you book a facial appointment, it’s essential to consult with your aesthetician. You’ll be able to discuss your skin type and skin care concerns, as well as what you want him or her to address during your treatment. You can focus on improving acne or look for treatments that promote anti-aging. A licensed aesthetician will go over everything with you before beginning the treatment. You’ll also get recommendations on any steps or treatment options you may have missed.
This expertise is why it’s always important to do your own research before booking an appointment. Plus, most facials are not cheap, so going in prepared will help you get the most out of your skin treatment.
WHAT DO FACIALS INCLUDE?
An aesthetician will tailor your facial treatment to your individual skin care concerns and needs. However, in general, a standard spa facial will include the following steps.
FACIAL STEP #1: CONSULTATION
Your aesthetician will speak with you briefly about what you’re looking to get out of your treatment. You may want to clear up acne or reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Starting off with clean and healthy skin for the new season may also be on your mind. Whatever your reason for booking a facial treatment, the professional performing it should go over everything with you before they begin.
During the initial consultation, be sure to tell your aesthetician about any skin issues you have. Anything such as overly sensitive skin and any prescription skin care products you regularly use, like a retinoid cream, should be shared. These things can affect what your aesthetician may choose to include in your treatment.
FACIAL STEP #2: CLEANSING
Once you’re ready for a facial, your aesthetician will start the treatment by cleansing the skin. If you can help it, don’t show up to your facial appointment wearing any makeup.
FACIAL STEP #3: EXFOLIATION
Most facial treatments will involve exfoliation of some sort. Exfoliation will help shed dead skin cells and allow skin care products to be better absorbed later in the treatment. Depending on the treatment you’ve chosen, and what you’ve discussed beforehand with your aesthetician, exfoliation could mean a face scrub, washcloth, or chemical exfoliant.
Editor’s note: Don’t forget to regularly exfoliate at home, either. Use a gentle face scrub, like the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub or the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Kiwi Scrub, three times a week.
FACIAL STEP #4: EXTRACTIONS
Facial extractions are probably the only part of the facial that will actually hurt. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, extractions involve using sterile instruments to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. Depending on your skin and treatment type, they may not be included in your facial at all. If they are, you can expect some redness and discomfort after the facial is over. This is normal and can be expected to fade over time. Keep in mind, facial extractions are a skin treatment that should only be done by a professional since specific facial tools are used. This is not a treatment you should try and replicate in your at-home facials.
FACIAL STEP #5: MASK
FACIAL STEP #6: MASSAGE + MOISTURIZER
Almost all facial spa treatments will end with a moisturizer that is massaged over the skin. A gentle facial massage feels amazing, and it provides essential skin benefits. According to the NCBI, it keeps the skin supple and offers a feeling of rejuvenation.
If you don’t have the time or funds for a spa facial, you can still get a feel for the experience without leaving your house. Learn How To Do a DIY Facial at Home.