Photo: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
After an invigorating facial, your skin is left feeling rejuvenated and much fresher. It even feels smoother. As for that slight tingle in your skin, is that why a natural blush now glows on your face? With pros such as the numerous benefits for your face and just one con like the harm to your wallet, you're left pondering if it is wise to consider professional facials as the "I-can't-live-without" expense.
A facial is a skin treatment performed by a licensed aesthetician on healthy skin that involves the face and neck and sometimes a shoulder massage. Although facials vary depending on the products used and the length of time involved, typical ones usually last about an hour or more, while "mini-facials" take about 30 minutes. Facials help your skin to get more oxygen and nutrients while they also help to eliminate toxins to purify.
Think of facials like an exercise regimen. They have to be done on a regular basis. "You just can't do 100 sit-ups at once and expect to have a six pack for the rest of your life," said Jitka Kluglova, a New York-based aesthetician. If you want results, she recommends you treat your face every four to six weeks to see improvement. Seasonally would suffice for those more in-depth and expensive facials offered at luxury spas.
Skilled aestheticians are trained to customize treatment on every skin type. They know that every skin is unique, therefore they cater to each type based on whether you have oily, dry, sensitive or combination skin. However, knowing your skin type isn't enough for these beauty doctors to diagnose the right facial for you. "The time of the year and your age are big factors," Kluglova said. After the proper diagnosis, the facial that best fits your skin is appropriately applied.
Consider a cheat day for yourself. Many facial products that would cater to your skin type are also available in stores, making at-home facials easier than ever with just a few steps. At-home facials may seem like a cheat, compared to the more expensive professional facials, but there's a catch. Although professional facials are expensive, you're only required to get them occasionally or seasonally, but at-home facials demand more of your time. Once a week is ideal.
Sometimes there's tension between dermatologists and aestheticians. Some of these medical skin doctors don't believe in facials. "It's not the effects of facials, but the effects of skin care products that make them skeptical," Kluglova said. Skin products in stores do not penetrate deep enough into your skin to make a difference, as they are designed just to protect the surface. If they do penetrate deeper, then they become medical products and cannot be sold over the counter.