No matter how well they take care of their skin, almost everyone can benefit from a professional facial. Skin care professionals – estheticians – have the knowledge, experience, and products/tools to treat your skin right. And while one facial likely won’t work miracles on your skin, an esthetician can suggest future treatments or an at-home regimen that can address any skin care issues you may be having.
Do your research
While maybe not as serious as going to the doctor, getting a facial is an intimate experience with a professional who will be touching you, discussing personal details (diet, exercise, medications and products you use), so it’s important that you’re comfortable with your esthetician. A personal recommendation from a trusted friend is always useful in finding someone with whom you’re comfortable, but if that’s not possible, research online to find the best place and the best person for the job. And never feel self-conscious for asking to meet with someone for a few minutes before your treatment begins. If you’re not comfortable with someone, it’s probably not a good idea to have them performing skin care treatments on you.
Know your own skin
Your esthetician/facialist will (should) ask you plenty of questions. From what you put on your body to what you put on your skin, he/she will want to know as much as possible in order to treat your skin properly. If you have sensitive skin, or are prone to breakouts, or suffer from rosacea, or psoriasis, or deal with broken capillaries on a regular basis – your esthetician will want to know.
There are certain things you can and should do in advance of a facial that will insure the experience is a positive one.
Yes, it’s OK to get a facial if your skin is broken out. In fact, a facial could go a long way toward helping your clear your skin – and your esthetician will make recommendations that may help keep those breakouts to a minimum in the future.
Do make sure that you inform your esthetician in advance if your skin is sensitive – so they can prepare a treatment plan that won’t irritate your skin.
Avoid products with retinol for approximately five days prior to your facial, and don’t exfoliate for two to three days beforehand – while a light exfoliation shouldn’t cause a problem, more intense exfoliation should be avoided the few days prior to your facial appointment.
Again, you should know your skin. If you’re booking a facial in advance of an important event (wedding, prom, vacation, etc.) you’ll want to avoid having red, irritated skin for said event. While most facials do not cause any recess or irritation, those with sensitive skin may experience one or both of these – especially after their first facial. So getting your facial at least one week prior to any big event is probably your best course of action. If you’ve had facials in the past and your skin responds well, there is no reason you can’t get your treatment within a few days of your scheduled event.
What about the day of the facial?
While it’s not necessary to go to the salon/spa with clean, makeup-free skin, it does make it a little easier for the esthetician if he/she doesn’t have to remove makeup before starting treatments. It also gives you a bit more time for the treatments themselves – facials are scheduled by blocks of time, so if you’ve scheduled a 60-minute facial and your facials spends the first five minutes removing your makeup, that’s less time for treatment.
During the facial, you should expect an analysis of your skin, deep cleansing, exfoliation, facial massage, treatment, and hydration. Better facials will include a mask, such as a Bel Mondo Bio Cellulose facial sheet mask. And some facials will include extraction. It is your decision whether or not to have extractions as part of your facial – and there are differing opinions on whether extractions are necessary, or even good. You can read more about extractions, here.
After your facial, you’ll want to wait at least 30 minutes before applying makeup – you’ll want to give those treatments time to work to their fullest. In fact, if you have the luxury, you might want to skip makeup for the rest of the day.
The one thing you won’t want to skip is the sunscreen. If your facial was done earlier in the day, you’ll want to take extra care to protect your skin from the sun’s rays – after all, you’ve just been cleansed and exfoliated, and even if you don’t have sensitive skin it is going to be at least a bit more sensitive right after a facial.
Another great thing you can do for your skin after a facial is to use a Bel Mondo sheet mask. That evening – or even right after the facial – you can apply a calming mask to address any inflammation. Or you can treat yourself to an anti-aging mask or an ultra-hydrating mask for an extra boost of relaxation and moisture.
What should you do if you experience redness or any other irritation?
Listen carefully to your esthetician as she performs each step of your treatment, and never be afraid to ask questions. Unless you’re told that redness or irritation is a possibility, you shouldn’t expect it.
Of course, everyone’s skin is different, and experiencing some irritation after a facial isn’t terribly uncommon. If, however, you’re concerned or it gets worse instead of better, you should contact the salon/spa where you got your facial. They may be able to advise you on what steps to take. If the redness or irritation lasts several days without any sign of improvement – of if your skin becomes broken in any way – you should see your doctor.