Not many people have skin like that of a 20-year-old runway model. OK, practically no one does. Though it might be impossible to get that kind of soft, flawless facial skin without the right genes — or, at least, some skillful photo airbrushing — there are ways to help improve the look and feel of your skin. Increasingly, many adults and even teens are turning to facials.
Facials are a treatment for the face that’s meant to cleanse, firm, smooth and moisturize the skin. Many people swear by facials not only as a way to feel relaxed and pampered, but also as a means for making their skin healthier. According to data collected by the International Spa Association, facials are the third most popular spa treatment, right behind massages and manicures or
Each person who gets a facial has his or her own reasons for doing so, including:
You can certainly give yourself a basic facial at home, but many people opt to have facial treatments at a spa or salon. There, an aesthetician (which is just a fancy name for a skin specialist) applies creams, gels, serums, masks, mists and lotions meant to clean and revitalize the skin.
Can a facial cure all skin problems? Not really. Some skin problems, such as severe acne or skin cancer, require the treatment of a medical specialist, such as a dermatologist. But a facial can help your skin look and feel better — and give your self-image a boost in the process.
Much like hairstyles and clothing, there are many types of facials, each designed for a different purpose. Keep reading to find out whether a facial is right for you.
What’s the Best Time of Year for a Facial?
Maybe you don’t have the time or the cash to have regular facials. For you, a facial might be just a yearly indulgence. If you are going to do it only once a year, the best time just might be autumn. Although the outdoor cold and indoor dry heat in the winter are punishing to the skin, the worst time for your skin is probably summer. Considering the time spent in the sun, the exposure to chlorine in pools, and the increased time outdoors (which means more contact with air pollution), summertime can be very damaging to the skin. A fall facial might help to repair some of the damage the summer season has caused. It could unclog your pores, get rid of dead skin cells (remember that sunburn?) and moisturize dry skin — all the better to face the trials of the winter ahead.
Benefits and Risks of Facials
If your goal in getting a facial is just to be pampered, chances are good that you’ll find what you’re looking for. There’s really no downside. People who have had facials often report feeling relaxed after the treatment has finished.
For others, a facial is primarily a way to improve the look of their skin. The body’s natural processes can dull facial skin. Your skin constantly sloughs off dead cells. These cells can clog pores and give the skin an aged look. Daily exposure to the sun and other elements also take a toll on the skin
Facials are believed by many to fix these common skin problems. Exfoliation, with astringents, masks or peels, can reach deep into the skin’s upper layer to strip away dead skin cells and reveal newer cells underneath. Treatments such as oxygen facials are said to help boost growth of new skin cells and soften the skin to eliminate lines, at least temporarily. Other procedures included in facials use electric micro-currents to stimulate facial muscles and — again, temporarily — give the skin a firmer, tighter look.
Of course, a facial isn’t a magic cure, and you have to be willing to take proper care of yourself to look and feel healthy. Even the world’s greatest facial won’t do much good if you chow down each day on greasy foods and consider channel surfing the ultimate in daily exercise. Still, many people who get facials find benefits. Skin often looks and feels better after a treatment, even if the improvement is temporary.