Want to start the new year with a fresh look? Why not start with your face? Whether you are looking for nothing more than a relaxing facial massage, need something to address a specific skin problem or you want a more advanced treatment to tighten sagging skin, a facial can fit the bill, and help you face the new year, relaxed, rejuvenated and confident.
Facials are reported to be the third most popular spa treatment after massages and manicures or pedicures.
There are actually so many different kinds of facials, you could easily have a facial every week of the new year and never have the same kind twice. A simple facial usually entails a thorough cleaning, and steaming, finishing off with a nice massage, but there are special facial treatments for everything from tired eyes to dull or saggy skin. Your facial can be designed to fight free radicals, balance dry, oily or combination skin, reduce the appearance of pores, or relax fine lines and wrinkles. And, it all can be tailored to your specific skin type, your busy schedule and budget.
Getting started. First, you need to choose the right facial for you based on its purpose, type and price. A pre-facial consultation will allow the esthetician to determine your skin type, which will be important when determining the products to use and procedures to include. The consultation also gives you a chance to warn the consultant about any products you might be allergic to, and share your likes and dislikes.
Know what to expect. Talking to your esthetician can also help you have realistic expectations of the results and benefits of your facial. Facials can help improve, if not completely fix, common skin problems. Exfoliation with astringents, masks or peels, can reach deep into the skin’s upper layer to strip away dead skin cells and reveal newer cells underneath. Treatments such as oxygen facials may help boost growth of new skin cells and soften the skin to eliminate lines, at least temporarily. Other facial procedures use electric microcurrents to stimulate facial muscles and give the skin a firmer, tighter look.
But remember, in addition to the potential benefits, a facial, like most other treatments, also can present risks. You could find that you are allergic to some of the products being used or that they increase breakouts. There’s also the chance that an accident could occur, such as getting burned by a dripping steamer or getting sick from equipment that wasn’t properly sanitized.
What to know if you are expecting. A facial can work wonders when it comes to clearing pores clogged by extra oil – the result of those crazy hormones. But in addition to being oily (or dry or a combination of both) your skin is extra-sensitive during pregnancy, so keep that in mind when you schedule a facial. Avoid abrasive treatments (like microdermabrasion), which may do more harm than good right now. Also off-limits: aromatherapy, retinoids (chemical peels), and hot stones. Instead, choose options that emphasize relaxation, and save the deep cleansing, peels, electronic stimulation, or deep extraction for a post-delivery treat.
Choosing a spa. Before you book your facial, do your homework. Talk to friends, family and colleagues to find out about spas they have used. If you find a couple of spas or salons that seem promising, visit them before setting up an appointment to check out what they have to offer and talk to the staff. Look at cost and the types of facials offered, but also consider the “vibe” of the place. Since facials aren’t medical treatments and aren’t typically regulated by the FDA, it’s up to you to make the decision that’s right for you.