Anatomy of a Facial

3 Dec

A facial is a procedure involving a variety of skin treatments, including: steam, exfoliation, extraction, creams, lotions, facial masks, peels, and massage.  Facials can last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour and range in price depending on the types of products used for the treatments.  They are professionally recommended every 4 weeks for maximum results. Step 1: See a Professional.

All facials follow the same basic structure and order. They will begin with makeup removal and cleansing.  Then comes some method of exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and smooth the surface of the skin. A massage is then performed that can include all or some of the scalp, face, neck, shoulders, back and even the hands or feet.

Facials are then classified in two ways:  hands on treatment or electrotherapy.

“Hands-on” Treatment

The aesthetician will use her hands to perform the facial treatment. Sometimes, a steam machine is incorporated in these facials during or after cleansing, to open up the pores and allow a deeper cleansing action.

A facial mask is a creamy paste (or gel) that often contains minerals, vitamins, essential oils, and fruit extracts is the main step in the hands on treatment.  There are different kinds of masks for different purposes: deep-cleansing, by penetrating the pores; healing acne scars or hyper-pigmentation; brightening, for a gradual illumination of the skin tone.

Gels are mostly used for oily and acne prone skins and oils or moisturizing creams are used for dry to normal and matured skin types.  A clay or mud based face pack is used after the cleansing process and steam process (optional) is over to close the open pores and to provide nutrition to the skin.

Masks are removed by either rinsing the face with water, wiping if off with a damp cloth, or peeling off of the face by hand.  Duration for wearing a mask varies.  The perceived effects of a facial mask treatment include revitalizing, healing, or refreshing; and, may yield temporary or long-term benefits.

Electorotherapy Facials

Use machines as part of the treatment; there are several different types, which are suited to different skin types. Some of the most popular variations of this type of facial are:

  • Galvanic treatments: metal rollers or applicators are used to either produce a deep cleansing effect.  Depending on the active product being used, this will help reduce spots and blemishes (making this a good facial for an oily skin type), or to help infuse active ingredients deeper in to the skin (for a variety of skin types).
  • High frequency treatments: uses a glass electrode passed over gauze placed on the skin. This helps dry out spots and has an antibacterial effect, so is good for oilier skins or those with a few specific blemishes.  An indirect high frequency facial uses a saturator held by the client to draw a moisturizing massage medium deeper in to the skin, and so is best suited for more mature or dry skin types.
  • Microcurrent treatments: also known as non-surgical face lift, this type of facial uses a current to lift and tone the facial muscles and also to improve the colour and texture of the skin and soften lines.

During most of the electrotherapy treatments you may experience a slight tingling effect on the skin, but this is quite normal.

Facials are key to having nice skin!  They need to be maintained with a home care regiment that is not OTC!

Check out these posts as well:

Evaluating Your Skin.


Step 2: Spend wisely.

10 Responses to “Anatomy of a Facial”

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