Many people are becoming increasingly concerned about the health of their skin. And why shouldn’t they? Skin is the largest organ in our bodies. It regulates heat, sweat (via sudoriferous glands), and oil (via sebaceous glands), among other things. More people are turning to estheticians and skin therapists for answers to their skin related questions.
As you might expect, a few common themes come up…
What are the most common questions I get as a skin therapist?
“What does a facial include?”
A typical facial includes a cleanser application, toner spritz, exfoliant treatment, mask treatment, serums or other lipids designed to drop into the deepest layers of your dermis (skin), eye cream, lip balm, and a moisturizer. Treatments vary in length. Each treatment is tailored to the client’s individual needs. What sorts of needs? To treat acne, signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, dryness/dehydration and oiliness, among other things.
Treatments vary depending on location of spa or salon. Typically, a salon-style facial will be very focused on product application with minimal hand-to-skin contact, whereas a spa or health facility-style facial will be more hands on and massage focused.
“Will I experience breakouts after my facial?”
Maybe. There are many variables surrounding this answer–when was the last time you had a facial? HAVE you had a facial before? Are you on any medications that could contraindicate your treatment? Do you have any allergies? Addressing these specific questions is best done in communication with your skin therapist. It’s best to show up 15 minutes before your appointment time, so you’ve got a minute to chat and lay any concerns to rest.
I’ve also recently scheduled clients for a 15 minute initial consultation appointment 1 week before their facial. This gives the client a chance to go home with some samples from the skin care line I work with, and then we’ve got a week to see how the products react with the skin. Perfect!
“What does a facial REALLY do for your skin?”
Lots of things! It boost your collagen through stimulation. It feeds nutrients directly into the skin. It increases product absorption (beneficial for a client’s home regimen). It can separate wrinkles and fine lines. It can directly fight acne. It detoxifies the skin. It moves lymphatic fluid under the surface of the skin. It evens out skin tone and texture.
I could go on, but that’s the short and important list.
“If you could only send me home with a few skin care products, which ones would you choose?”
There are 3 basic maintenance items every client should have in their bathroom. Cleanser, toner or serum, and a moisturizer.
- Cleanser rids your skin of dirt, sweat, grime, and other impurities–quite literally, cleans the skin.
- Toner rebalances the pH of your skin, so that your skin doesn’t try overcompensate or correct itself after being cleansed. The skin care line I work with, Eminence, doesn’t formulate cleansers to be overly acidic or alkaline, so it tends to negate the need for a toner. That said, a toner is a great way to dilute your moisturizer; and it can also set your makeup, if that is part of your routine.
- Because of the lower need for toner with Eminence products, I generally choose to use serum as my 2nd basic maintenance item. Serums are lipid-based treatments that are molecularly designed to drop into the deepest layers of the skin, and continue to work over the course of the day. This makes serums the highest form of treatment available outside of the professional’s treatment room! I use a serum celebrated for it’s firming properties, as well as being high in vitamin C and anti-oxidants.
- Finally, moisturizer. You can’t be kind to your skin without protecting it. It’s your first line of defense against environmental damage and premature wrinkles! A must, even above everything else.
“But what about eye cream? I hear I should be using eye cream.”
I don't consider that to be a basic maintenance item. While very important, and a mainstay in my professional and personal routine, the above three products listed are the absolute bare bone requirements for at-home skin care. I don’t think anyone should be without a good eye cream, or a mask for that matter.
“How often should someone get a facial?”
Once a month. Think of it this way: your skin cells technically regenerate, or turn over, every 28 days. That’s a month. So I always tell my clients that optimally, I’d love to see them once a month. If that’s not possible, then every 6-8 weeks will do,too. You could even go a little longer if you’ve got a thorough skin care routine going at home.
What's a thorough skin care routine? Generally, a mask 2x weekly, cleanse, serum, daytime moisturizer, night cream, eye cream, and an exfoliant a few times a week. Also known as my personal routine, or the model client’s routine. Less than that, and you should be coming in for a facial to ensure the health of your skin!