The quick answer is that it depends on what type of facial treatment you are getting. There are many types of facials. Here are just a few:
Oxygen Facials are typically recommended as a treatment in a series. Your Esthetician may suggest that you have them weekly for up to six weeks in a row, or you can spread them out, as needed. These treatments work well to reduce redness, oil, and bacteria by creating an oxygenated environment which acts as a germicidal. These treatments may also assist in dilating the pores, which ease the blackhead extraction process. Oxygen facials are usually a quick treatment so, you can have them at lunchtime, and you will probably leave without much redness.
Deep Pore Cleansing treatments are targeted towards those with enlarged pores, blackheads, and oily skin. Clogged pores lead to acne. For those with acne-prone skin, a monthly deep-pore cleansing is beneficial for preventing breakouts. Deep pore treatments typically involve using steam to open up the pores and enzymes to dissolve and exfoliate the top layer of skin cells. Once the pores are open, an Esthetician gently unclogs the pores, including any blackheads or whiteheads. The treatment is usually completed with the application of a facial mask. The mask helps to close the pores and absorb any remaining oils.
Relaxation Spa Facials are usually fluffy facials that you get when you’re on vacation or want to indulge yourself. You typically don’t know the Esthetician, and you’re probably there to get some peace and quiet and have an enjoyable experience with a friend. These facials can almost be done as often as you want since they are not usually treatment-based and provide soothing masks and fantastic head, neck and shoulder massage, along with aromatherapy.
Peels are typically done every 5-6 weeks, and they are a bit more serious in the fact that you usually need to ‘prep’ your skin for 2-3 weeks prior, depending on the potency. To prep, you would want to use a serum that inhibits melanin production, so that once the peel is applied, your skin will not freak out and want to hyperpigment (temporarily darken). Once you have completed the peel, you would then go through the flaking process for up to one week. Prep → Peel → Heal→ Repeat. You may repeat the peel process up to six times in one year.
The body naturally exfoliates itself by sloughing off dead skin cells and pushing up new cells from the inside out. As we age, the exfoliation process slows down, and we need to exfoliate manually. If time and budget are an issue, and you cannot have a facial as often as you would like, there are home care products that can assist you during the in-between times. These include scrubs, serums, masks, and acids to speed up the cellular turnover.
Simply washing your face twice a day is a positive step towards manually exfoliating your skin. Thoroughly cleansing your skin removes the top layer of debris, oil, and dead skin cells, allowing for other treatments to penetrate deeper, encouraging fresh, radiant skin.
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Red towel photo by Desi