Let's be realistic ladies; to be able to choose the perfect facial for your skin, you'd require more than the basic knowledge. It's always best to get a skin analysis beforehand because without that, all the jargon can make you wish you had a medical degree, and all the food references can seem as if you're ordering dinner along with your treatment. When you're choosing a facial for your skin issues, here are the things to consider:
Avoid the Bad skincare habits
Know the basics
A classic facial usually involves cleansing, exfoliating, extractions, a mask, and a moisturizer, and is great for anyone with normal to dry skin. Extractions are safe for most people, as long as the aesthetician first uses steam to soften the pores, and covers her fingers with gauze. Extractions do pinch, but if the pain is intense, ask her to stop. Too much pressure can break capillaries. Never let her use an extractor; these tools can cause scarring and discoloration. Anyone with eczema should ask the aesthetician to skip steaming (which can exacerbate those conditions) and use a warm cloth instead.
Treat it right
If you have acne, the lotions in a classic facial—and even the massage itself—can cause a breakout. The words "clarifying" or "purifying" on the treatment menu usually mean that the facial is designed for acne-prone skin. It should include a cleanser with salicylic acid, a clay mask, and a lactic acid peel. Make sure the aesthetician avoids scrubs; applying these can irritate the skin and cause scarring.
Get a glow
To address fine lines and other aging issues, pick a facial with a little extra exfoliation. Glycolic, lactic, and enzyme peels are all great ways to get rid of that layer of dead skin that makes pores look larger and wrinkles look deeper. Microdermabrasion is too harsh; instead a gentle acid peel will give you the same result. If your concern is dull skin, look for a facial that combines a mild peel and brightening ingredients such as vitamin C or kojic acid.
Splurge on the right things
Treatments that sound a little crazy, such as ones with caviar, snake venom, or gold dust, are usually gimmicks. However, there are a few extras that do produce real results. LED facials that use red and blue light will kill bacteria and help heal acne, while red-and-white-light treatments stimulate collagen production with no recovery time.
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Opt for anti-ageing
This is suitable for mature skins or anyone who wants to prevent fine lines, wrinkles and the ageing process. The use of intensive cosmeceutical ingredients and powerful antioxidants will be used such as lactic acid, coffee berry, idebenone, Vitamin A, vitamin C or peptides.
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Fantastic for sun damaged skin to lighten, brighten and even out the skin tone. It's great if you want an instant glow to your skin. For deeper pigmentation you may need a course of these to get the best results. However, one treatment will refresh and brighten your skin's texture and appearance.
This is perfect for all skin types as a first-time facial. Indians should opt for this as they have dehydrated skins thanks to the sun, the wind and the air conditioning.
This treatment is best for congested, breakout prone and acne prone skin. It will include a deep cleansing exfoliation and steam to soften skin and open pores for extractions where a soothing anti-bacterial mask will then be applied to help heal the breakouts and reduce inflammation and infection.
Also read: Minimal facial skincare requirements for men
Peels are best to be done in a course of six, every 6 to 12 months. There are many types of peels, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid or enzymatic peels. These peels only take around 30 minutes and with an application of mineral make up you can go straight back to work with instant results, with no redness or discomfort. They are suitable for most skin types.
Light Therapy is a non-invasive skin rejuvenation treatment that involves a machine that has Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) at a specific wavelength, intensity and duration. These different wavelengths of light will stimulate different cellular responses within the skin cell and will increase hydration, stimulate collagen and elastin and rejuvenate the skin.
It is suitable for all skin types. Consult your therapist to choose the correct essential oils for your concerns. This facial is very relaxing and would include a lot of massage, lymph drainage and pressure points.
Great for anyone as a first-time facial or a gift voucher for your friends and loved ones. This is a very relaxing facial with lots of massage of the face, scalp, neck and décolleté. The products used are usually rich, moisturizing, hydrating and fragrant smelling.
Photo rejuvenation / Intense Pulsed Light
This is a treatment that uses a bright light, which converts to heat to break down melanin and haemoglobin in your skin. This is used as a non-invasive treatment for evening out the skin tone, removing unwanted hair and also rejuvenating the skin.
Organic / Natural
The products used in this facial will be full of fruit and botanical extracts, which can be very active on the skin. It's great to increase circulation and feed the skin essential nutrients. However, always check the product is as organic and as natural as possible with no fragrances, synthetic ingredients or parabens.
Got open pores? Read Skin care tips for open pores
Microdermabrasion is a manual exfoliation that uses suction and fine dusting of crystals to remove the build up of dead skin cells, brighten skin tone, refine pores and clarify with lymph drainage.
Infusion is used to enhance the penetration of vitamins or other active ingredients into the skin. This treatment can be done alone as a full facial or for a little extra you can do it as an add-on treatment to enhance any facial that you may be having.