Facials: Results or relaxation?

By Clare Dickens

What do you want from a facial: results you can see in your complexion or a chance to relax?

When we think of a facial generally two images come to mind; the first being a face covered in a thick cream with cucumber slices on the eyes and the second indulgent relaxation.

So why book a facial?

First ask yourself the question: What do I see when I look in the mirror? Answer objectively. I remember seeing the saying in a salon one day “I am a skin care technician not a magician’. If you look at your skin and see specific areas of pigmentation or blemishes for example, the chances are you may require a skin care program tailored towards treating them. If stress is reaping havoc with your complexion and you look like you haven’t slept in weeks, you may require some serious time out.

What goes on behind closed doors?

Your facial will begin with a skin consultation. Your therapist will ask you a series of questions to confirm your main concerns as well as perform a visual assessment of your skin. This may be done using a skin scanner, which is a black light that reveals oil flow, pigmentation, thickness of the skin, hydration levels and dry areas. This painless impartial third party allows you to see what the therapist sees and learn how your daily activities affect the skin at deeper levels. Following your skin consultation your therapist will select suitable skin care products to treat your needs.

In general, facials begin with a thorough cleanse, then a gentle exfoliation, a facial massage, followed by a mask and an application of moisturiser to finish. However there is something for everyone, you just need to know what to ask for.

For oily/congested skins:

  • Salicylic acid peels for deeper exfoliation and clarifying blocked pores.
  • High frequency has an antibacterial effect resulting in oil control and accelerated healing
  • Desincrustation. A mechanical deep cleanse, ideal before comedone (black head) or milia (white head) extractions.

If you are keen to counter the signs of ageing:

  • Silk Peel™ is the next generation Microdermabrasion. It combines mechanical exfoliation with simultaneous skin infusion for immediate visible results.
  • Non-Surgical Face Lift, is like a  gym workout for improved tone in facial muscles.
  • Glycolic acid peels improve cell regeneration and reduce pigmentation concerns.

If it’s pure relaxation you want then ask about the massage segment.

The face has many nerve endings making facial massage a truly soporific experience. Specific techniques have multiple benefits: relaxation of the mind and body, improved tone and texture of the skin, enhanced internal nourishment through increased blood circulation, and improved lymphatic drainage resulting in more refined, less puffy tissues. Facial massage often includes the neck, décolleté (area under the collar bone) and shoulders.

Remember you need to work with your therapist to get the results you desire. Your therapist can perform intensive treatments in the salon but your homecare is vital. Think of how many hours in the month you take care of your skin alone at home. Your therapist will offer advice on how to utilise your prescribed products for best results. If you have questions in-between visits, feel comfortable to call and ask.

Depending on your skin care program you may frequent the salon weekly or monthly. The skin cell cycle takes approximately 28 – 32 days, slowing down as we mature. So you should aim for a least monthly treatments.


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