Is Getting a Professional Facial Really Worth It?

Do Facials Work

You barely think about booking an appointment to get a facial unless something’s really bothering you with your skin. If you feel like you’ve done everything you could at home, getting a professional facial is worth considering before throwing in the towel. But facials can be expensive. So are they really worth it and do facials even work?

Let me tell you this. The first time I got a facial was because I literally wanted to see if I was doing something wrong in my skincare routine. I had all these amazing (and expensive) products but my results were nowhere near perfect.

And ever since I got a taste of that post-facial glow people were talking about, I made it my goal to duplicate those steps and results. It has been a complete failure on my part, which begs the question, what is it that makes a facial different and so effective? What are some obvious and not-so-obvious benefits of getting a facial? Keep reading to find out.

What Is a Facial?

A facial is a multi-step skin treatment that’s done by a professional in a beauty salon or spa. The steps usually include deep cleansing, steaming, extraction, exfoliation, and application of a face mask or multiple masks as well as serums and creams. This is the bare minimum you can expect from a facial.

This basic facial is sometimes called a European Facial or a Classic Facial. There’s no commitment necessary for this type of facial. You can get one whenever you like. It’s great for congestion, acne, dullness, uneven skin tone, and everything in between.

However, facials are incredibly customizable. And they can include the use of professional machines such as microdermabrasion tools or LED devices. They can also include procedures like lasers and chemical peels.

These types of facials are more goal-oriented. And they’re customized for your specific concerns like wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne, and congested skin.

At this point, a facial becomes more of a treatment and requires commitment and multiple treatments to achieve that desired result. These treatments really enhance your results. But today, we’re going to focus on the very basic facial you can get simply for maintenance.

Do Facials Really Work?

As long as you get it done by a professional, even a basic facial can make a huge difference in your complexion. Here are the reasons why facials work and why they are worth the money.

1. It starts with an analysis.

A facial starts with a skin analysis. This can either be done manually with a magnifying lamp or by using professional equipment. This step is crucial to mapping out your facial. In this step, you and your esthetician learn what your skin type is and what your most pressing issues are.

This seemingly simple step can also reveal things you may not be aware of. For example, a professional analysis tool requires you to place your head in a device just like you’d do in an eye doctor’s office.

These machines utilize different lighting to reveal different concerns. There’s no way you have this device at home! Manual or technical, a skin analysis reveals the water and lipid content in your skin.

It also reveals underlying inflammation, sensitivity, or how much UV damage there is. This step alone can answer a lot of questions and help you better understand what your skin needs. This is what you take home with you.

But concerning your esthetician, the analysis has a defining role in what products will be used and which steps will be prioritized.

If you have sensitive skin, your esthetician may cut the steaming step short or maybe even skip it. Similarly, they may want to use a gentle chemical peel during exfoliation.

2. A facial is a VERY elaborate skincare routine.

A facial takes at least 45 minutes and can even take up to 90 minutes. Even on a Sunday when you have all the time in the world to indulge in self-care and try at-home DIY beauty treatments, there’s no way you can take that long to care for your skin.

During a facial, every single step is stretched out. There’s no rush. Plus, you may not have a face steamer at home or maybe feel too lazy to do a DIY face steaming. But that step is incredibly important in loosening up the skin.

That’s why a professional facial gives better results in terms of removing blackheads and cleaning up the pores. There’s no way we can clean our skin that deeply at home.

3. Your products are clinical-grade.

Facial salons and spas use dermatological-grade skincare products during your facial. These products can be too expensive when you want to buy them for daily use. So a facial gives you a chance to try them out.

Plus, these spa-level skincare products are usually more potent and effective than our daily drugstore products. Even though you get the real benefits when you use them for a certain period, some of them give instant results as well.

4. You get a massage.

Getting a massage during your facial is different than massaging your own skin at home. After all, getting a foot rub and rubbing your own foot are two different things. But a face massage during a facial is when you really collect the benefits.

It’s relaxing, calming, de-stressing, and therapeutic. Plus, professionals use certain techniques most of us don’t even know about. They know about the pressure points and where to focus to really wind you down. They actually stimulate micro-circulation and lymph drainage.

They also usually include the chest area and shoulders, which we barely remember to care for when doing a skincare routine at home. Also, a facial massage is incredibly helpful in reducing overall puffiness on the skin.

5. Things are hygienic.

Facials are extra helpful when you have congested skin, enlarged pores, and blackheads. Even though you can try to unclog pores at home with a peel pad or an exfoliating toner, some blackheads need manual extraction.

And when you don’t know what you’re doing, you can actually damage your skin and cause inflammation while trying to remove a blackhead or pop a pimple.

Plus, when we see a blackhead, we usually don’t remember to go wash our hands before stabbing our face with giant, and probably dirty, nails.

A professional, on the other hand, can do manual extractions and also use professional tools to get rid of blackheads and congestion.

And you don’t need to worry about aftercare as professionals will take care of that too. There’s no way you can accomplish that level of hygiene at home by yourself.

6. You get custom product recommendations.

This may not seem important, but when was the last time you got a custom product recommendation from a professional? Because that’s what happens at the end of a facial. Your beauty expert recommends products that are suited for your skin type and issues.

You have the option to buy them. But even if you don’t, it’s still a win. Because it’s still better and more helpful than a recommendation from a salesperson at the beauty counter. And hey, you can always go home and look up the dupes!

7. It’s a form of self-care.

A facial is a really intimate skincare. Every step is designed to loosen up your skin while also helping you mentally relax. With all the extractions and exfoliation, the dead skin cells are removed and every product penetrates the skin better.

All that is standing between the skincare products and your skin is removed. It’s like one-on-one time with your skin. With all the steps, the massaging, and the ambiance, it’s really an amazing time to unwind, relax, and unplug.

Even though you get tangible results in the form of glowing skin, the relaxation is priceless, especially if you’re too busy to take care of yourself on your own. So yes, facials do work and they’re worth the money.

I mean, even looking at this image relaxes me! This is Sacha Strebe, a veteran beauty editor, who has probably tried every single type of facial out there. And her post-facial glow is all thanks to celebrity aesthetician Candace Marino a.k.a. @thefacialist. Well, this glowing skin is practically unachievable at home. So some things are better left to professionals.

How Often Should You Get a Facial?

There’s no rule out there saying how often to get a facial. But you can decide that by consulting your esthetician as well. They can recommend monthly facials if you have normal skin and can afford to spend to maintain healthy skin.

If you have sensitive skin, frequent facials can do more harm than good. In that case, you can consider getting a facial once every 3 months. To summarize, your skin type, the recommendation of your esthetician, and your skin goals all together decide how often to get a facial.

There is no right or wrong age to start getting a facial. But let’s be realistic here. Opportunistic institutions know how to play into young women’s insecurities.

So if you’re someone in their late teens or early 20s, know that a facial is never a must. Never waste your money on a place that makes you feel bad about yourself.

Tips For Your First Time

For your first time getting a facial, go for the very basic facial. Never go for a mildly invasive procedure like microdermabrasion or micro-needling from a place you’ve never been to before.

Even if they’re professionals, you still want to check out how they go about treating your skin. As long as you get it done by a professional, a basic facial practically doesn’t carry any risks. But an invasive procedure does. So make sure you really trust the place before exploring invasive treatments.

Go bare skin. Because your first step is skin analysis, where you want nothing on your face. Don’t wear makeup or do a heavy skincare routine before your facial appointment.

Nobody gets a facial and leaves the spa looking worse than they first came in. Facials work! Your skin will look healthier and glowing.

However, if there is too much sun damage or your skin is really congested, you may require regular facials until you see a more noticeable difference in your skin. So remember to manage your expectations.

If you’re on a budget these days, check out how to do a facial at home.

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