I had my very first official professional facial a little over a year ago. It was absolutely delightful. And because I am going to do this work for a living (EEK! I'm so excited!), I literally interviewed my Esthetician while she preformed the task.
Before I went and had her touching all on my face, I had to know what I was getting myself into. Going to any form of doctor's or medical office can cause a bit of anxiety. especially, if it's your first time having a procedure done. The same is true when visiting your friendly neighborhood esthetician's office for a skincare treatment.
I am a planner, so in a truly TYPE A way and to help ease that initial anxiety, I did my research. In this blog post I will share what you can expect at your first professional facial appointment.
Find a Reputable Esthetician
Before your visit, I recommend checking out reviews and asking a friend or two about the facility you plan to patron. Cleanliness and professionalism is an absolute must when dealing with something as personal as your skin and its health and appearance. If given the choice, you wouldn't go to a clinic that didn't require nurses to speak professionally and doctors to be knowledgeable, right?. Use the same mentality when choosing a Skin Care Salon or Spa. Also, it's always best to make sure the professional is Licensed and Insured. You want to protect yourself in case of unforseen issue.
What are the Basics of a Professional Facial?
After checking in, you will likely be given a Health History form to complete. Primarily this form is to check for allergies and contraindications - skin care treatments that should be avoided based on your health condition or prescription. The form also helps the Esthetician be better informed on the programs and treatments that'll be beneficial to you. These forms are usually kept in a file and updated with each visit.
What is a Skin Analysis?
All skin care treatments begin with cleaning the skin. Your makeup will be removed and your skin will be thoroughly cleansed. You will likely be asked to remove your shirt (bra included) and cover yourself with a towel or cotton shaw.
The skin is cleaned with cleansing lotions and cotton pads or sponges. Then the Esthetician will preform a skin analysis. Your skin will be examined with a lighted magnifying loop lamp and the professional my refer to your Health History card and ask additional details about your skin such as: what's your home skin care regimen? do you mostly have breakout on your chin & cheeks? or what skin care products do you use? etc. During this Skin Analysis, your Esthetician will determine your skin type and any skin conditions.
Basic Facial Treatments
After the initial analysis is completed then the treatments will start. Below are some Basic Skin Care Treatments that are usually preformed during your first facial.
Steam Treatment: A machine is used to blow luke warm steam on to the skin. The steam treatment is designed to hydrate the surface of the skin, loosed dead skin cells and soften the skin for further cleaning.
Exfoliating Treatment: The Esthetician will use a rotating brush or her/his hands & a granular scrub to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and further cleans the skin. This is usually skipped if the skin is sensitive or if other forms of exfoliating procedures are being preformed such as Chemical Peel or Enzyme Peel.
Massage: The Esthetician will massage the skin. Usually including the chest area, face, arms & hands, shoulders and neck. Yes the message is to relax you, however it helps stimulate circulation which helps products penetrate the skin. Facial massage may be avoided if the client has very oily skin or has problems with acne.
Mask and Moisturize: Masks usually complete the facial treatment. Depending on the skin type and condition. Masks are used to tone, hydrate, cleanse or sooth the skin. Masks usually are applied prior to massage as they have to set for about 15 minutes or so. Afterwards the skin is moisturized.
More Advance Facial Treatments Used in Basic Services
Desincrustation: This process is needed when pores a clogged or one has very oily skin. A specialized product is used to soften the pore impactions (blackheads) to help remove any bacteria or dead skin cell buildup.
Extraction: Soften impactions are removed during Extraction. It is a manual process where the Esthetician manipulates the skin with a cotton ball in one hand and a Comedo Extractor (it looks like someone broke a set of tweezers in half) in the other hand to work out the impactions. If you have a lot, not all will be removed in the first trip, but your professional will recommend some great at home care.
Electrical Treatments There are two popular electrical treatments known as High frequency & ionization/Galvanic Current both of which are primarily used to assist in product penetration. High frequency uses a buzzing glass electrode to stimulate skin and it also kills any surface bacteria. Ionization uses metal rollers for product penetration and skin stimulation.
Home Care & Follow ups
It is usually advised not to wear makeup for a few hours after a facial, this helps avoid inflammation and can help show better results.
Your Esthetician will tell you if you need to schedule more specific treatment appointments to get a desire result or to treat a problem. They will also recommend at home skin care regimen to ensure you get the best results.
How Often Should I Get a Professional Facial?
The frequency that you visit your esthetican's office depends on the condition of your skin and the results you are trying to achieve. To be truly effective, all (at home and professional) skin care programs must be preformed on a consistent basis.
If you have problem with skin, acne or aging issues you may start with a series of appointments to get the issues under control, later the appointment will be less frequent. Once the desired results are achieved, it is best that you have at least a Monthly appointment to maintain the results.