Whether you are a beauty aficionado, a trier (but not always a doer), or completely useless and clueless, you need to go for a facial.
This isn’t because it is a fun, luxury treatment. It is because an expert will examine your skin, look at it under a UV light to expose any issues (such as underlying pigmentation, dehydration or congested pores) and listen to your concerns.
What is a facial?
It is a step-by-step treatment tailored to your skin to give it a boost, with some of the best skincare products on the market. A facial will usually involve a cleanse, extractions of blackheads, a light peel to exfoliate the skin, followed by a cleansing or moisture mask, followed by moisturiser, 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, your skin changes as we age and so getting a facial every few 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 my skin, means that I can continue to care for my skin better than I ever would have before. I was recommended, as most people are, a vitamin C serum for the mornings. This oxidises and protects the skin. This should be followed by a cream and then SPF factor 50.
In the evening, for anti-aging a retinol cream or serum followed by a cream. Of course, both processes come after proper cleansing, with masks and moisture masks added in intermittently.
If you are under 25 and don’t have any problems yet, book one for your 25th birthday to set you on the right 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 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.
How long does a facial take?
Usually between 45 minutes and an hour and a half.
What happens during a facial?
I recently had a facial at the Harpenden Skin Clinic in Hertfordshire. I am 27-years-old and I have fairly good skin. A few fine lines are developing, particularly around my eyes and on my forehead, and I get 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 black heads on my nose. What the UV light revealed was that outside of this, on the edges of my face, the skin is actually quite dehydrated.
This is also common around the eyes – because the skin is thin it dries out much easier and that is why you need to use separate eye cream, a product which always baffled me.
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 for 20-minutes.
This machine is non-invasive and uses wavelengths of light with LED technology to deliver safe and effective results for a wide range of skin conditions. My redness would have subsided in time without it, but I am told it works wonders for those with acne or rosacea.
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 such a treatment once a fortnight for upkeep, everybody else is once a month.
Of course, this is not something I can afford but remember: this isn’t what I am advising. I am advising just one fancy facial.
Of course, if you are like me, this is easier said than done. I really struggle to stick to a regime, but a week later I still feel very inspired to try. Either way, the fact is I now know exactly how to care for my skin to keep it clean, healthy, fresh, and protected – while preventing aging and unnecessary pigmentation.
If I don’t stick to it I cannot blame the fact I cannot afford fancy treatments because all you need is one, with some really good advice thrown in.