To the uninitiated, facials are an extravagance better suited to ladies who lunch than the average Dave, but that kind of thinking is wrong. Maybe facials used to be spa-only but these days, a facial is considered maintenance. Think of them like haircuts: you trust a professional to cut your hair, why don’t you do the same for your face?
Have you ever looked into the mirror and thought, “WTF happened to my face?”
No matter how much you wash your face or how often you slather on moisturizer, the skin on your face can go crazy at the drop of a hat. When it does, you may not know what to do.
Here's our complete beginner's guide to facials, including reasons you should get a facial and where you can get one that won't break the bank.
At its most basic, a facial will include cleansing, exfoliation, massage, and a mask. It might sound similar to the routine you follow at home, but where your at-home regimen is like washing your car, a facial is like going to the car wash.
Good news: You don’t even have to get a facial all that often to see big results. In a perfect world, you should get a facial every four to six weeks. But realistically, you could get one at the change of seasons so you’re coming four times a year. It’s a good way to start each season fresh and prepare your skin for the environmental changes ahead.
1. Facials are a power wash for your face
Facials have been used for generations as ways to detox and that’s still one of their biggest benefits. Every facial will start with a deep and thorough cleansing of your skin (sometimes with multiple cleansers).
2. Facials exfoliate better (and safer) than at-home treatments
Like cleansing, a facial will give you deeper exfoliation than you can get at home. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, improves skin tone, reduces the appearance of pore size, and helps the products you’re using penetrate deeper and work better. Unlike the scrub you’re using at home, professional-level exfoliating products can target deep layers of skin and remove more dead cells.
3. Getting a facial is a good way to learn about your skin
A professional facialist will be able to look at your skin and see things you won’t from looking in the mirror, like whether you’re using the right products or if they’re actually doing what you want them to. It’s like having a mechanic peek under the hood of your car. A facial is a great way to learn about your skin and have somebody who is experienced in skincare tell you about your skin type and skin conditions. They’re also able to give you advice you can use after you’ve gone home. Through product recommendations and advice, they’re able to address both short and long-term concerns.
4. Professionals have better tools
Facialists are using better products during a facial, they also have better tools at their disposal to really improve your skin. These are professional products help to improve skin from the inside out. While not all facials include high-level therapies, they’re becoming more standard and only serve to offer better results.
5. Facials can be relaxing AF
Sure, you can find a quick, no-frills facial easily (like the list at the end of this article), but part of the draw of a facial for lots of people is that they are relaxing. Most last around an hour and can be valuable screen-less time. They force you to give up control and let someone else take the wheel for once.
Here is what you need to know before you get a facial
1. Shave or not to shave?
Shaving is a natural exfoliant, so if you have sensitive skin or are prone to irritation, skip your shave the day you get a facial.
If you are a proud to be Teddy Bear Man you don't need to shave your beard to have a facial. In fact, most of the products will be beneficial for your facial hair, too.
Freshly shaved skin can get angry during the procedure so best don't. But if you have a lot of stubble, consider shaving the night before. Too much stubble can trap product and keep it from penetrating.
2. There are minimal side effects to getting a facial
You might not look amazing right afterward. Depending on what your skin looked like beforehand and what your specific skin issues are, your skin will probably look more hydrated and smooth. You may be a little red from the exfoliation or massage, but that is usually temporary. The results after a week, though, will be great.
3. Do NOT ever shower same day after a facial
Remember, your skin is ultra-sensitive after a facial so you’ll want to go easy on it.
4. Always change your pillowcase before you go to bed after a facial
Your pillowcase has a build up of oils, dirt, and sweat from daily use. This means it can harbor bacteria and cause allergies. In some cases, pillowcases can even damage your hair or skin. In general you should always wash your pillowcase every two days or so.
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