Whether you are a skincare junkie, a trier (but not always a doer), or completely clueless, you need to go for a facial.
This isn’t just because it’s a fun, luxury treatment, but because a skincare specialist will examine your skin, discuss any specific issues (such as pigmentation, breakouts, congestion or ageing) and give you advice on what to do and products that will help.
What is a facial?
It is a step-by-step treatment tailored to your skin to boost overall skin health while targeting any conditions or issues with some of the best skincare products on the market. A facial will usually involve a cleanse, a light peel to exfoliate the skin and sometimes extractions of blackheads, followed by a mask tailored to your needs, followed by moisturiser, facial oil and always ending with SPF.
How often should you get a facial?
This is totally up to you. I believe if you have a good skincare routine then you don’t need to get a facial very often. However, skin changes as we age and so getting a facial every five to ten years will be helpful, because the specialist will be able to tell you what your skin needs and how to look after it.
Having a professional talk me through my skin and discuss different products I could use, explaining the different ingredients that would benefit me, means that I can continue to care for my skin better than I ever would have before.
If you are under 25 and don’t have any problems yet, book one for your 25th birthday to set you on the road for good skin as you get older and it changes. If you are over 25 and have never had a facial, go and find out how to take care of your skin and deal with any issues you may have already noticed.
Do facials work?
Well, the answer to this depends on what you want to get out of it. If you have problem skin, then regular facials can help treat it and keep any conditions at bay. Otherwise, facials work best for a short-term boost and an education in your skin.
How long does a facial take?
Usually between 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
What happens during a facial?
My first facial was at the Harpenden Skin Clinic in Hertfordshire. I was 27-years-old with fairly good skin. A few fine lines were developing, particularly around my eyes and on my forehead, with blackheads on my nose and chin.
We looked at my skin under the UV light and it wasn’t pretty, partly because I am already very freckly so the light revealed the crazy amount of pigmentation underneath. However because I am freckly this is normal, if somebody didn’t have freckles but had a lot of pigmentation underneath then it means this will eventually come through without proper skincare and they may not be too pleased about this.
Anyway, we discussed my face and for the very first time I discovered I have combination skin.
I always thought I had slightly oily skin — halfway through the day I have a shiny forehead and I get blackheads on my nose. What the UV light revealed was that on the edges of my face, the skin is quite dehydrated.
This is also common around the eyes — because the skin is thin it dries out much easier. Most serums and creams will fix this up, but a specific product for your eye can be good if you’re prone to sensitivity or milia.
She then advised on a tailored treatment with a light peel to clear oil and blocked pores, followed by a moisturising cloth face mask, intermingled with lots of different lovely products slathered and luxuriously massaged into my face and neck.
Afterwards my skin was clear, bright and plumped with those fine lines — that we didn’t even worry over in the consultation — miraculously gone.
There was a couple of red patches on my skin from the peel. This would have subsided throughout the day but I sat under the Dermalux LED light for 20-minutes — red light waves encourage healing in the skin cells. My redness would have subsided in time without it in time, but for those with acne or rosacea it will work wonders to calm any inflammation and irritation.
The effects of the facial continued to develop throughout the week. For people with problem skin (and lots of money) it is recommended to have a treatment once a fortnight for upkeep, everybody else is once a month.
This is not something most of us can afford, myself included, but remember this isn’t what I am advising. I am advising just one fancy facial, to find out about your skin.