There are 2 main reasons for getting facials on a regular basis: Anti- Aging and Anti-Acne.
For acne patients it is crucial to deep clean the congested pores, especially with extractions, to speed up the healing process, and minimize further congestion which may lead to pimple formation. Hygienic extractions performed by a professional is preferred to someone trying to “pop” their own pimples, since they often become too aggressive, which often leads to acne scarring.
For aging skin, a facial can stimulate circulation, flush excess water and toxins, moisturize, and stimulate collagen production, especially if used in combination with microdermabrasion and LED light therapy.
An Oxygen Infusion Facial includes the above, in addition, a hyaluronic serum is infused via airbrush directly on the skin, delivered with hyperbaric oxygen into the epidermis, which heals and plumps the skin, for a fresher look. The results usually last about one to 2 weeks, and is usually purchased in a package of 6, spaced out for maximum results, then maintained once a month. A single treatment is especially useful for a bride a day or so before the wedding, or for special events, such as red carpet and photos shoots. Some Fashion photographers insist on their models to receive an oxygen facial a day before, or day of the photo shoot so their faces look their best, and the makeup glides on smoothly. It is common for celebrities, both men and women, to book an oxygen facial before a special appearance, such as red carpet and television events.
Here are the usual steps you can expect in a facial, although the esthetician may vary this, according to their particular “style”.
Typically, the first step in a facial is steaming and cleansing, although some estheticians start with a facial massage, to increases circulation and encourage muscle tone. Some may use a Clarisonic brush, as part of the cleansing process, which delivers ultrasonic vibrations to help deliver a deeper cleanse, and stimulate circulation.
The second step, and an important one, is exfoliation, either through a manual scrub or microdermabrasion. (see our website post on Microdermabrasion and the benefits of using it)
The third step is usually extractions, which is using a gentle force (gloved fingers and/or comedone extractors) to extract or push out the sebum, a combination of dead skin cells, oil, and dirt, that is clogging the pore/hair follicle. This essentially helps to unclog the congestion of a pimple, or comedo, which are plugs of sebum (oil), and dead skin that are stuck in the openings of hair follicles. If the comedo is cystic, or closed and too deep to push out easily, it may be better to leave it alone, or have a dermatologist treat it with a lancet and/or a cortisone injection.
If there are a lot of comedones to extract, expect your face to be a little red from the extractions for a few hours, or the rest of the day. Sometimes comedones may bleed a little, when extracted, and this is normal if particularly inflamed, or deeply congested. If there are only a few comedones to extract, the redness may subside very quickly.
Usually a Toner or Antiseptic agent will be applied afterward, and then perhaps a mask, appropriate for your skin condition. The esthetician may choose a clay based mask to enhance the deep cleansing process, or an anti-aging, moisturizing mask. The mask is usually left on 10 – 20 minutes.
The final step is layering the appropriate skincare products particular to the individual’s skin issue, ie: serums, moisturizers, eye cream, sunscreen.
There are other add-ons available, depending on the provider and/or esthetician such as LED light therapy, microdermabrasion, micro-current, oxygen infusion, etc.
Regularly scheduled facials leave your skin fresher, clearer, cleaner, smoother, and more radiant. They are well worth the time and expense in the long run, especially if you start sooner rather than later.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Licensed Medical Esthetician
Cosmetic and Skin Care Consultant