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  • Nelufer Beebeejaun

All About Facials

I had my first facial when I was about 15 years old. My mom’s friend was an aesthetician and had this amazing cleansing facial where she would begin by steaming my face followed by extractions and a hot towel compress. My skin looked amazing after. This was during the peak of my teenage acne years and I found the results to be very helpful.

At $60 a pop, the facial seemed to be worth the price. Paying it out of my own part-time working student budget however, not so much. Like skincare products, there’s always an abundance of facials coming out with revolutionary gadgets that all claim to be the latest thing. Are they worth the hype? Do the results really deliver? Read on..

So I want to break this down. First let’s talk about why you should get a facial.

From wanting to relax to getting a picture perfect glow, we all have our reasons. Here are some of the main ones:

Prevention: Consistent facial care by an aesthetician can help prevent future skin care concerns (breakouts, to seasonal sensitivities, and even fine lines)

Anti-Aging: Regardless of when you start, regular anti-aging facials will help keep your skin strong, healthy and more resistant to the toxic effects of intrinsic aging.

Acne: Facials can greatly improve existing breakouts, diminish large blemishes, help your skin heal and prevent further breakouts.

Ok so you decided that you’re going to take the plunge and fork over the money for a quality facial. But should this be a monthly expense? How often should you really do one?

Like a lot of things when it comes to skincare, a facial is a personal decision and depends a lot on the type of skin you have and what you are trying to achieve. Most dermatologists recommend that you should have a facial at least once a month, because nothing you can do at home can replace professional attention (I’m not a 100% sold on this statement but ok). Once a month is the best time frame because our skin cell turnover cycle is 28 days long, so getting one more often then this could irritate your skin.

I think in general, after you get the first one, if you really enjoy it and notice the benefits on your skin, go by the one-month rule. Your derm and or aesthetician should be able to properly assess your skin and let you know if you can wait a longer time period in between appointments.

Now let us break down the most common categories when it comes to facials:


What is it? This facial consists of a few standard processes. It beings with steaming the face, followed by an exfoliating scrub, massage and then the application of a mask. A moisturizer or serum may be applied after.

What does it do for your skin? Typically, your skin will undergo deep cleansing and exfoliation. This will allow dead skin cells to be removed and leave skin looking hydrated and more even in tone.


What is it? A classic facial with a focus on unblocking pores. An aesthetician will use either their fingers or an extractor tool to remove minor breakouts.

What does it do for your skin? Blocked pores will be cleared and skin will be left smoother. However, its important to remember that this doesn’t target the root cause of acne, and you may need to have more than one to see significant improvement.


What is it? Microdermabrasion is a noninvasive treatment where a handheld device gently exfoliates the top layer of skin.

What does it do for your skin? After a short course of sessions, your skin should appear brighter and smoother and have a more even tone.


What is it? Skin is cleansed before being treated with an LED machine. This emits a combination of white, red, and blue infrared light. White goes the deepest and works on the tone of the skin, red encourages the production of collagen, and blue kills off acne bacteria.

What does it do for your skin? The treatment can fight against active acne and act as an anti-inflammatory. It’s ideal for sensitive skin and the benefits should be noticeable after just one session.


What is it? This uses a mixture of acid peels, masks, and serums containing antioxidants like Vitamin C.

What does it do for your skin? The products used aim to reduce discoloration left over from acne. This occurs by slowing melanin production, or encouraging the top layers of skin to shed. Skin texture can also be improved.


What does this consist of? Enzymes are natural substances that encourage the regeneration of new skin cells. They can often be found in fruits and are incorporated into a facial peel.

What does it do for your skin? The top layer of the skin comprises dead skin cells which contain keratin protein. The enzymes in the peel break down this protein, leaving smoother and more even-colored skin.

Ok, so now that we have the basics, here are a couple of the most popular facials available today:

Hydra facial Get it for: A hydrating pick me up.

The main attraction of a Hydra facial is the handheld device (with three different heads) that's used, which feels like a suction cup on the skin. The result? Skin that looks smoother, brighter, and less clogged in 30 to 45 minutes. Then the tool is used to deliver a gentle peel formulated with low levels of glycolic and salicylic acids. The peel loosens dirt and oil sitting in the pores, then sucks out and extracts all that debris.

Oxygen facial

Get it for: A picture perfect complexion

If you’re on your way to a big event (where you're likely to get photographed or videotaped), this no-downtime procedure, which takes about 30 minutes, will deliver a refreshed look, smoothing out any fine lines and wrinkles, and delivering ultimate radiance.The device used is a small wand, similar to what an airbrush foundation tool looks like, that delivers pressurized oxygen to the skin. After cleansing and exfoliating the skin, your aesthetician (or derm) will spray it with a topical hyaluronic acid – the key ingredient in most oxygen facials – then turn on the wand to deliver this intense dose of radiance.

Microneedling facial

Get it for: Prevention of fine lines, healing acne scars Micro needling isn't the best option for sensitive skin types or those with active breakouts, but if anti-ageing is your biggest concern or you’re looking to repair any scarring or post-acne damage, it could be your solution. On the most basic, minimally non-invasive level, a micropen or derm-roller covered in teeny-tiny needles will be rolled across the face after a serum is applied. The pen can be adjusted to determine how deep the needles will penetrate the skin’s layer. The rolling of the needles across the skin creates little indents that ensure the product reaches deeper. What's more, the penetration causes controlled injury to stimulate collagen and elastin production, jump-starting your skin into immediate repair mode.


Get it for: Waking up dull, dry skin and getting rid of the fine hairs

First, makeup is removed and the skin is cleansed. Next, the aesthetician or derm will make sure it's completely dry. Then, a 10-gauge scalpel is held at a 45-degree angle “to gently exfoliate the skin by scraping off the top layer of dead cells. And any topicals applied afterwards will penetrate better, considering all that dead skin is gone from the surface.

Microcurrent facial

Get it for: Firmer skin

The procedure begins on cleansed skin that's been smoothed over with a gel to help the tool glide and conduct electricity. Electrical currents stimulate the muscles to re-educate them to prevent future dropping. With a slow lifting motion, the skin is pulled upwards to quickly contour minus the discomfort of needles or a facelift.

Chemical Peel

Get it for: Even smooth tone

Lighter peels are key for someone looking for a cell turnover and use a chemical exfoliant featuring AHAs, enzymes, BHAs, or vitamin C. Medium-strength peels use slightly more aggressive acids than the lighter options, while deeper peels offer up dramatic results.

“Vampire” facial

Get it for: Avoiding wrinkles

This facial is a unique combination of platelet-rich plasma therapy and micro needling. Micro needling uses the body's own growth factors to increase collagen and lift, tighten, and tone the skin. PRP therapy is the drawing of your own blood, spinning it down in a centrifuge, and taking a portion of that blood and enhancing it with platelets to stimulate the healing process of the skin from the micro needling. This facial involves injecting these collagen-boosting factors right into the skin, while the tiny needles "stimulate the wound-healing pathway to produce new skin.

Now that you are well equipped with this information, I think it is also worth noting that you need a quality aesthetician who really knows their stuff to give you the best experience/results of the facial.




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