Facials are a skin treatment designed specifically for the face. They’re meant to develop and maintain a clear, healthy complexion, and minimize the signs of aging. Professional facials are performed in spas by estheticians, people who have trained and educated themselves in skincare. Facials usually cost upwards of 45 dollars. It’s recommended that people get facials once a month, as skin renews itself every 28 days.
At the beginning of a professional facial, your esthetician usually asks you about your skincare regime. Next, your face is cleansed of all dirt and makeup, and the esthetician performs a deeper skin analysis. After determining your skin type, she will steam your face. Steaming opens pores and softens skin and any whiteheads/blackheads. Once your skin is softened, the esthetician will slough off dead skin cells using either a mechanical or chemical exfoliant. Mechanical exfoliants have a gritty texture and are meant to scrape dead skin cells away, while chemical exfoliants use acids and enzymes to break the bonds between skin cells and dissolve dead cells. Once your skin is baby soft, the facialist will perform extractions, meaning she'll remove any blackheads and whiteheads you have. After the extractions, you will typically receive a face massage. This increases circulation and oxygen flow to the face and will relax away any tension in the facial muscles. Finally a face mask targeted to your specific skin type is applied and left on for fifteen to thirty minutes. Once the face mask is removed, serums and moisturizer are applied, and you are sent on your merry way.
Facials are really great. They’re good for your skin and very relaxing, but unfortunately, they're cost-prohibitive. The good news is it’s easy to give yourself a facial at home. The steps are slightly modified from a professional facial. but are still effective.
1. Prepare: Tie your hair back and push any shorter layers and bangs away from your face with a thick headband.
2. Cleanse: Use a gentle soap free cleanser to clean your face, neck, and chest. Take care to remove all dirt and makeup. Gently work the cleanser around your face, paying special attention to the skin near your hairline, around your nose, and near your ears. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
3. Steam: There are several methods for steaming at home. You can take a hot shower. You can boil water on the stove, then remove the water from the element, create a tent over your head with a towel, and and hold your face over the rising steam. Or you can dip a washcloth in hot water, ring it out, and press it to your face, repeating this process a few times until your face is slightly flushed.
4. Exfoliate: Exfoliate using a gentle scrub or chemical peel. If you plan on using a scrub, pick one with fine grit. Avoid apricot scrubs and salt scrubs as they can scrape the surface of the skin and cause microscopic damage. Work the exfoliator in using small circular motion, making sure to avoid the eye area. If you plan on using a chemical exfoliant, pick one made with fruit enzymes. These are gentle and effective on young skin and very forgiving if you happen to make a mistake using them. Follow the directions on the package for chemical exfoliation. Make sure not to over scrub; this is counterproductive and will dry out your skin. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
5. Extraction: Do not pick at your zits. Instead of performing an extraction yourself, use a pore strip to help pull blackheads out of your pores. Only professionals should perform extractions, as it’s very easy to break capillaries and scar the facial tissue.
6. Cleanse your face again to remove traces of exfoliant and pore strip gunk.
7. Apply a face mask. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
8. Rinse, pat dry, and moisturize.
DIY face masks are easy to make, great for sensitive skin, and just as effective as store-bought versions. Mix up a mask based on your skin type, and use it during your self-administered facial.
1. Oily/acne prone skin: Tablespoon of pureed strawberries mixed with a tablespoon of plain yogurt.
2. Dry skin: Tablespoon of mashed avocado mixed with a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of milk.
3. Dull skin: Teaspoon of lemon juice mixed with a dash of turmeric and the white from one egg.
4. Normal/combination skin: Heaping tablespoon of finely ground oatmeal mixed with a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of plain yogurt.
Have you ever given yourself a facial? Or had one in a spa?