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If you’re anything like me (a busy mom, with a limited self-care budget who doesn’t like to spend time or money unnecessarily), facials may fall into the category of things you get for yourself on the rare occasion that you want to treat yo’ self. Maybe time is an issue, or money, or time and money. Or, maybe you just honestly don’t know why you need a facial because no one ever told you that facials are about more than a pamper sesh at your local salon.
I know I was 100% that person until recently, and by recently I mean when I turned 40 and all parts of every thing on my body decided to climb into a hand basket and go straight to Hell.
As the former owner of skin that needed little more than fresh air and clean water to make it shine, I was wholly unprepared for the trials and tribulations of 40 year old lady skin. If you’re more fortunate than I, perhaps you’re not suffering from adult acne teenage you would be horrified by, or dark spots and blemishes the origin of which is often indeterminable. Or, maybe your skin hasn’t become ruddier, and cruddier, and wrinklier with age. Maybe you’ve maintained that dipped in golden glitter shimmery shine Beyonce is known for.
Maybe, I hate you then.
Because I’ve been betrayed and disappointed by my skin countless times since hitting the big 4-0 and it is that desperation that led me to explore why you need a facial if you want to halt the aging process and maintain clearer, healthier, younger looking skin.
If you’ve been putting off getting a facial or practicing the “only get facials on special occasions or when someone gives me a gift card for my birthday” philosophy (yeah, girl, I see you because I was you), here are some things to know about why you need a facial and how often you should get them.
This it Why You NEED a Facial
There is a point to facials, and it’s not because they rub smell goods on your face.
Facials are about more than a little gift of self care from time to time. They actually help improve your skin by treating and preventing common problems many experience on their face and neck areas. They also help to boost collagen production, remove dead skin cells, improve the appearance of fine lines and blemishes, clear your pores, and moisturize and hydrate your skin.
And no, Linda, you can’t cheap out and just do it at home. That’s kinda like saying you can take a laxative and cleanse your colon. Comes close maybe, but not exactly.
Estheticians are trained professionals who are able to help diagnose issues and treat them with the correct formula of products and procedures. They are certified (if you care about your face, please don’t use one that isn’t) to care for your skin safely and are knowledgeable about exactly how you’re supposed to do that. Plus, they have access to tools, techniques, and products you just can’t order on Amazon and do up in your bathroom.
There are lots of facials to choose from, at least one of them is for you.
Technically facials largely fall into two categories: chemical peels and microdermabrasion treatments, but there are a variety of offerings to choose from. The best way to know what your skin can benefit from is to just ask your esthetician to help you decide. They can take a look at your skin and determine which treatments and products will best address the issues you’re struggling with.
Personally, I have fallen all the way in love with HydraFacials. These are facials that use a medical grade hydradermabrasion device to cleanse, extract, and hydrate your skin. They infuse your skin with antioxidants and peptides that take your glow to a whole new level. And, they’re basically the best answer to all of the skin care issues pretty much all of us suffer with—fine lines and wrinkles, elasticity, even tone, texture issues, brown spots, skin congestion, enlarged pores—and with the available boosts you can focus on unique problems like eliminating dark spots and minimizing lines and wrinkles as needed.
Think of facials as more of a habit and less of a treat.
The general consensus is that you need a facial once a month.
However, when it comes to the deeper, more aggressive treatments, like my HydraFacial, your skin may require even more of a break between treatments. The best thing to do is to talk to your esthetician about your personal skin care needs and frequency, but understand that “when someone gets me a gift card for the spa” is probably not a frequency you should rely on if you also want to enjoy effectiveness.
Where you go for your facial matters, and don’t expect it to be cheap.
I’m not going to say they should be entirely ruled out, but if you’re thinking about getting a facial at the place that shares a lobby with your favorite Chinese food takeout place, you may want to rethink that.
A location that you can trust to do your skin right during a facial will be clean, organized, and staffed by knowledgeable, certified estheticians. It’s rare, but your skin actually can be damaged dramatically by untrained people who use products and equipment incorrectly and, as much as you may not be looking forward to dropping $200 on your monthly skin care regimen, think about what you’ll be dropping if you go the bargain basement route and you wind up with your face on fire.
I received my most recent facial at Woodhouse Day Spa in Leesburg, Virginia when I was invited out for a complimentary visit.
Their beautiful location is comforting and relaxing, they offer a vast menu of facial and body care services, they have stellar reviews on Facebook and Yelp, and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. I loved that the esthetician who performed my services helped me decide on the treatment that would be the best fit for me, and that she talked me through my expectations and intended outcomes before asking me to commit.
I selected the 80 minute Woodhouse HydraFacial that is ultimate in resurfacing and fusion technology integrated with cutting edge product ingredients. The non-invasive treatment infuses your skin with glycolic and salicylic acid for deep exfoliation and nourishes it with antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid to replenish your skin.
I felt pretty glowy following the experience and I plan to go in again for a second treatment in a few weeks. It will cost me about $300.
It’s important to note that facial pricing varies greatly depending on where you live and which spa and service you select.
You need a facial, but you also need to take good care of your skin at home.
You can’t have the glitter dipped Beyonce glow relying solely on what happens at your once a month facials. You also need to drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods, and STAY OUT OF THE SUN. Hands down, sun protection and avoidance, as well as a healthy dose of melanin, is to blame for my youthful looking skin. I don’t lay out, I don’t tan, I don’t even spend more than 20 minutes in the direct sunlight if I can help it, and it 100% makes a difference for my skin.
But, there are also things you can do at home if you want your skin to say happy, healthy, and Beyonce beautiful (I’m kidding, Bey probably spends my entire house note for a year to keep her skin looking flawless). For us common folk, that means making sure your daily skin care regimen is on point. That doesn’t mean it has to be fancy, it just means it has to be comprehensive: cleanse, treat, protect, repeat.
Here’s what I do…
Evening skin care routine: remove makeup with micellar makeup removing wipes, cleanse with Jan Marini Skin Research Bioglycolic Face Cleanser, add Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair serum and Admire My Skin Ultra-Potent Brightening Serum, and finish with Olay Total Effects because my mom was a long time Olay girl and she had fabulous skin. My night products are more expensive, but they last quite a long time and don’t require a Bey budget.
You should also think about exfoliation, but I don’t recommend doing this more than once a week so you don’t make your skin all peely and dry. You can read about some of my favorite exfoliation products and my exfoliating face shaving routine if you need some guidance with that.
At the end of the day, facials, like all of these treatments aren’t life necessities, but they sure do make your body look and feel its best and, I say that’s something all of us need from time to time.