Regardless of skin type or concerns, everyone should consider adding facials to their skincare routine. If you are having your first facial, there are several steps to the process and each does its part to help you achieve better skin and address concerns.
Ideally, you will show up for your appointment with bare skin; this means no makeup and no skincare products left on your skin. During the cleansing process, your esthetician will often apply a cleanser based on your skin type. The goal is to completely remove dirt and oil. After cleansing comes exfoliation. Exfoliation will usually consist of a manual exfoliant, such as a skin product with a slight grittiness or it may be applied in the form of a mask. This helps remove dead skin and helps your skin accept skincare products. Steaming is commonly done because it helps open the pores so they can accept other treatments and make extractions easier. Your steaming may be done with a specialty machine that emits steam over the face or with a hot, wet towel.
Your esthetician may add specialty treatments based on your skin type or concerns. They'll apply masks with a brush or be a sheet with the ingredients embedded into the mask. The mask may be wiped away with a damp towel or be a peel-off mask. There are infinite ingredients that can come in masks. People with significant acne problems or clogged pores might benefit from a mask containing charcoal since charcoal acts as a deep cleanser and can loosen debris that clogs pores. A hydrating mask might contain aloe since this is known to act as an excellent moisturizer.
Extractions are an important part of a facial to clear existing acne, unclog pores, and help make larger pores less obvious. The most common way of extraction is to use a comedone extractor tool. This tool has a small hole that allows the esthetician to gently press on the area and the contents of the pore rise up through the hole. Extractions can also be done with a paper towel or cotton swabs by pressing on the skin. The extraction technique may be different based on the area of your face being extracted. Clogged pores on the nose are often easier to extract without a tool. Keeping pores free of debris can help them look smaller because the debris fills and enlarges pores.
Finishing involves another batch of products that are used based on your skin's needs. These products will have the most effect on your skin because they are left on so they can be absorbed into the skin. Some estheticians might put a cold towel on your face or use a machine that blows out cool air. This allows your pores to contract to their normal size before applying products.
Moisturizing is the most common finishing treatment, regardless of skin type. Your esthetician might use a different moisturizer either all over your face or in certain zones depending on whether the skin is dry, normal, or oily. People with normal-to-dry skin typically do better with a facial moisturizer that looks like lotion. Those with oily skin may do better with a lightweight moisturizing serum or gel-based moisturizer. Your esthetician may also add special serums under the eyes and SPF to protect your skin. The SPF may be separate or combined with your moisturizer.
Facials are not just a special treat, they can act as an important part of your skincare routine. Many people find facials geared toward their skin concerns help them achieve clearer, more radiant skin that readily accepts at-home skincare products.