Let’s face it…. A facial isn’t something that many of us “splurge” on because we often think of it as a “luxury” expense that only the “wealthy” can afford after paying the rent, the car payment, childcare, etc. We tend to put ourselves last most of the time, while we spend any left-over money on the kids, our spouse, etc…. everyone except ourselves. A facial turns into a “once a year” concept (once every 10 years for some) that we consider on our birthday, Valentines Day….you get the point. Not so fast! It’s time to think of a facial in a very different way. Finding a good facial specialist is key to ensure you’re getting the most out of your skincare products and are on the way to achieving your skincare goals. A good facialist can quickly detect your specific skin type and issues, and will customize a treatment plan to ensure you meet your goals of healthy, beautiful skin. The experience can also help you save money because you may be paging for products that are working against you or may not be working at all. And of course, who doesn’t like the idea of laying down and being pampered for a full hour, without a care in the world?
I remember having a “facial” about 15 years ago at one of those fancy schmancy spas when my then-husband gave me a gift certificate for my birthday. It was nothing more than a “one size fits all” facial where the spa performed the same exact steps on me that they did everyone else who walked in the door. It felt ok in the moment, but it definitely wasn’t a life-changing experience…. or even an experience that had results beyond that evening. They certainly didn’t use medical-grade products or techniques.
Fast forward to a month ago when I was having my light laser treatment done on my face at my local med spa, and I learned that they had a specialist there who performs medical-grade facials customized to each client’s needs. I thought it would be way too expensive, and then I learned that the first visit was half-off and only $75. Wow! Can’t beat that, so off I went to my first appointment yesterday. The great thing about this facial, aside from it being medical grade, is that the specialist has a large host of tools, techniques, and products at her disposal to use at no upcharge to me. Most spas charge extra if you want a microdermabrasion treatment, LED light therapy treatment, chemical peels, ultrasound therapy, microblading, etc. That’s how they make their money. However, anything that my skin needed at the time of my visit was included in the flat fee of $75 ($150 for subsequent visits)… not including laser treatments or injections from the doctor. That is mind-boggling to me honestly and worth every penny. In addition, the specialist is a chemistry genius to say the least. She has an extensive background understanding how the various chemicals and treatments work and she understands how to combine ingredients to maximize and achieve the best results. So, let’s talk about my experience when I walked in the door.
My Facial Experience
My facial appointment began with a sit-down consultation with the specialist. She asked me about my current skincare products and routine, where she quickly learned that I’m a true skincare product junkie with an extensive collection. She asked me about my treatment goals and the issues I would like to address. I have dry skin and am developing issues with fine lines around my eyes, some hyper-pigmentation issues from years of worshipping the sun without proper protection, and I have deep lines in my forehead (now that my Botox is wearing off). She then asked me to undress from the waist-up (or whatever I was comfortable with) and slip on a wrap-around towel before getting onto the treatment bed. She examined my skin thoroughly under a bright light and magnifying glass, and I do mean thoroughly before she began.
I honestly don’t know every product and machine she used on my face, as I was trying to relax and enjoy the experience throughout the hour (it was my choice to remain quiet and not ask too many questions although she would have told me anything I wanted to know). Here’s a few things that I remember from the experience:
- She used a special head on a Clarisonic that I don’t have at home when cleansing my face with a luxurious oxygenating cleanser.
- She gave me a microdermabrasion treatment, but it didn’t feel harsh at all. Since I recently had a laser treatment, she went went a little light.
- She applied a variety of products that felt divine after the microdermabrasion treatment, using a variety of facial massage techniques to work them into the skin.
- I had a stream treatment that felt great. I went home to look for at-home face steamers to continue using that method.
- She used a strange-sounding device (it sounded like it was from outer space) on some areas of my face that are trying to heal from a recent break-out (thanks to my using The Ordinary skincare products recently). .
- I had an LED light therapy treatment.
- I was given a neck and shoulder massage. Ah! This was worth the entire experience. I didn’t realize how much stress I had been carrying on my shoulders until then.
The entire experience from the beginning (consult) to the end of treatment lasted approximately 1.5 hours. After I re-dressed, the specialist sat down and discussed her specific concerns, notes, and suggestions. Overall, she said that I have great skin and have very little to work on, thanks to the time and effort that I spend at home caring for my skin. What was enlightening was her ability to detect my exact skin type and the reason behind it. I already knew that I have issues with dry skin, but I didn’t understand why. She explained that my dry skin was likely caused by dehydration versus a lack of pores producing sebum (oil) to keep my skin properly hydrated. As a matter of fact, if I would drink more water, I would probably have completely normal skin with no major issues to address. Imagine being able to eliminate a few of the products I’m using just by increasing my water intake. She made a few suggestions for me to address my specific concerns as my skin continues to age in my early 40’s. She also identified some things I was doing wrong, i.e., evidently I was trying to “scrub off” the fine lines around my eyes, and she could see the damage I was causing under the magnifying glass. Lesson learned. I need to be a little less aggressive when using my acids and scrubs.
Final Thoughts | My First Facial
I absolutely loved this experience, and I highly recommend that you call around and find someone that offers a similar service for a flat rate without up-charging for every single component. It’s nice to have a facial completely customized to your needs without worrying about the price tag. It’s even better when you receive medical-grade treatments and products that will actually work. Find a place that isn’t more interested in selling you products and more services (that you probably don’t even need) than in actually helping you. I knew I found the perfect facial specialist when she said that I don’t need a facial every month like they may recommend for many people my age. I do most of the work at home myself which showed on my face, and she said I only need to come in every 3 to 4 months for a maintenance treatment. Just one note regarding the price if you’re new to this – Be prepared to tip your facial specialist. They usually work on commission, and it’s customary to tip them the same way you tip your hair stylist. It’s best to bring cash for the tip, as many places aren’t equipped to add it onto a credit card.
It’s time to take care of yourself, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t feel guilty. You may discover that you’re using products that you don’t need OR not using products that would improve your results. Remember, when you achieve a flawless canvas, you won’t need as much makeup to cover up the imperfections. It’s a great feeling to receive compliments on your SKIN versus your makeup.
Have you ever had a facial? What was your experience like? Join the conversation and comment below or on my Instagram page!