Did you know that our skin is the largest organ in our body? Yet many neglect to properly care for it. Aside from showering or bathing using soap to cleanse ourselves, there is much more to consider for the care of our skin. Are you exfoliating? Are you dry brushing or moisturizing? How do you handle hair removal? Do you protect your skin from harsh weather or other environmental elements like pollution? What ingredients are you applying to your skin?
Skincare practices exist for the purpose of educating and assisting in proper skincare practices. Just like the dentist exists to educate us on the care of our teeth and proper flossing. I believe people fall into a few categories when it comes to “getting facials”:
Whichever one of these categories you fall into the expectations should be the same. Remember I’m only referring to facials here and I reiterate that because there are many invasive types of skin treatments that yield faster results. But a facial or even 2 will not “cure” your skin issues. Let me paint another picture, one that I often explain to my clients. Let’s say you decide to hire a personal trainer at the gym. Well, it will take a few weeks to months of consistent workouts to begin to see muscle growth or weight loss. That’s just the beginning – it will take several more months of training and healthy eating (homecare) to enter into a bodybuilding competition. And now let’s say you win first place – congratulations! Will you stop working out and eat unhealthy once more? No I bet you won’t because now you want to maintain those results and that means continuing to use the recommended products and seeing your skin trainer. I hope I was able to give you an ah-huh moment there. Just because you went through one bottle of retinol doesn’t mean you can stop there.
At your first facial appointment, a skin therapist typically wants to get an idea of your lifestyle including: daily washing habits or routines, products you are using, your stress level, your activity level. All of these are important to help us uncover why your skin may be behaving the way it is. We also need to understand your genetic and medical background for the same reason and to perform safe treatment plans. So disclosing as much information you can is for your benefit. Finally it is important to communicate to your skin therapist your concern.
A question I am often asked is, “should I wash my face before my facial?” The answer is no, it’s not necessary because a facial includes a “face wash”.
During your facial you should feel welcome to ask questions or be inquisitive to what is happening. Your therapist will typically begin by cleansing your eyes, lips and face. Skin free of makeup and surface debris will allow your therapist to analyse your skin under a magnifying light. Here we are looking at pore size, acne grade, depth of wrinkles, facial hair, skin tone or pigment, hydration level and more. From there the treatment should proceed with a resurfacing option, blackhead removal if needed, massage and mask options and lastly serums and protective ingredients. Finally, you should be given instructions necessary for aftercare for the remainder of the day or the next couple of days. For example, if you just received a chemical peel you want to avoid sweating or overheating for a period of time. Facials are usually less invasive and don’t require much down-time or specific post-care but it’s always good to know. I often hear that first time clients feel nervous or vulnerable. That’s understandable and I assure you facials are quite the opposite of anything to be nervous about. I’d be more nervous to try a new hair color with my stylist! But that’s just me.
In the end it’s important that you are happy when you leave after the facial service but don’t expect to come in with acne and leave with clear skin. That is the time to get on a homecare plan and schedule your next visit to achieve and maintain healthy skin. Investing in your skin will be a rewarding journey and you will see positive changes both inside and out. It’s okay to get second or even third opinions to know that the skin therapist or practice is a good for fit for you. Does it check all of the boxes for you? I hope all of your facial experiences are pleasant and satisfying.
As a practicing skin therapist myself, I may not always know the answer at first and may need to tweek things from time to time but it is my goal to always provide a positive and uplifting experience. If you find yourself in the Phoenix area and want to scheule a facial at Amazing Face Spa we would love to meet you!