Thinking of booking your very first facial?
Great idea! There’s nothing quite like a professional facial to really rejuvenate your complexion and give your skin a beautiful glow. However, if this is your first facial, it’s only natural to have some questions – here’s what you should be asking your beautician before making that appointment.
Do You Offer a Pre-Facial Consultation?
The better salons out there will offer a pre-facial consultation, and while this may not seem like a big deal at first, it’s key when it comes to a successful facial.
Because the consultation is where your beautician will be able to take a good look at your skin to determine the treatments that you actually need. They will likely want to ask you a few questions too, not only about allergies you may have and medications you may be taking, but also about any skin concerns you may be dealing with and your current skin care regime.
It is also important for your beautician to understand what your skin care goals are, so that they can help you to make that happen.
Is There Anything That I Should or Should Not Do Before My Treatment?
While this is something that your beautician should go over with you, there are a few things that you should and shouldn’t do before a facial. These apply to everyone, whether this is your first facial or your 20th.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Wear as little makeup as possible to your facial, since this will all be washed off at the beginning anyway
- Avoid injectable treatments at least two weeks prior to your facial
- Don’t wax any part of your face 24 hours before your facial, as this will make your skin extra sensitive
- Don’t spend too much time in the sun the day before your facial – this can cause your skin to over-react to different treatments
- Don’t try squeezing pimples or blackheads before your facial – leave it to the professionals!
- Avoid exfoliating a few days prior to your facial, since this can cause your skin to become more sensitive
- Don’t get eyelash extensions 48 hours before your facial, as steam, as well as certain creams and lotions, will only dissolve the glue involved, causing your extensions to separate
Ideally, you want your skin to be as fresh, strong, and relaxed as possible before your facial.
Which Treatments and Techniques Do You Use?
There are so many different types of facial treatments out there, so it is always a good idea to find out exactly which one your beautician uses. After all, you need to ensure that these are going to be suitable for your skin.
Some of the best facial treatments out there include:
- Microdermabrasion – this makes use of a hand-held tool that sprays crystals onto the skin to buff away the top layers
- Chemical peels – these are fantastic for anti-aging purposes
- Laser skin rejuvenation – this non-invasive treatment makes use of laser lights to cause a tightening effect in the skin
Some salons may be more high-tech than others, meaning that they will stay better up to date with the latest equipment and devices. Each salon will have its own strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to make sure that their strengths align with your needs.
Which Products and Brands Do You Use?
Every spa and salon will have their own preferred brands and products, and it is important to be aware of these beforehand.
You might be thinking…
Why does this matter? Surely I should leave it up to the professionals?
Well, sadly, some spas will be receiving a monetary incentive from certain brands, even if those products may not be up to scratch. Other spas may use brands that don’t align with your morals or needs – for example, if you would prefer to only use natural or vegan products, then you need to find a spa that uses these too.
You may also have already tried products from the brands that your potential spa uses, and have found that they irritate your skin.
Chances are, if you are not happy with the brands or products a spa uses, they will be more than happy to accommodate your wishes wherever possible.
Are You Going to Be Able to Extract Every Single Blackhead?
If you have a large number of blackheads and are expecting all of them to be extracted, you may end up a little disappointed, which is why this question is so important. Blackhead extraction is an important part of any facial, but it’s not always a good idea to remove every single one of them.
For a couple of reasons – it could be that removing all of your blackheads would take too much time, or maybe it would be too irritating for your skin. Some blackheads are also extremely difficult to remove, and doing so could leave you with an infection or a scar.
Again, this is why a pre-facial consultation is so important – your beautician will need to see how many blackheads you have in order to form a solid plan of action.
How Do You Perform Extractions?
Speaking of extractions, another important question to ask is how those extractions are carried out. There are very specific methods involved in this – doing an extraction wrong can mean that your skin is going to be red and irritated for quite a while. The right pressure needs to be used, along with a very specific angle – you need someone who really knows that they are doing when it comes to extractions.
If you aren’t convinced by what your beautician is telling you about extractions, look into their credentials a little further. Make sure that the professional that you are choosing is highly trained in this area. Extractions are considered to be an invasive treatment, so this is something to get serious about.
If you’re worried, you can always opt to skip the extraction part of your facial altogether, but extractions do have their benefits…
In addition to removing those pesky blackheads and whiteheads, clearing out those pores to such an extent will enable your skin care products to penetrate deeper into your skin, giving them so much more of an effect.
How is My Skin Going to Look Post-Facial?
Your skin is definitely going to be feeling more sensitive after your first facial, although this will be the case even after your tenth facial. The sensitivity is simply down to the fact that your skin has undergone a lot, and it will only be temporary.
In addition to feeling sensitive, your skin will also look a little sensitive, meaning slight redness. Again, this won’t last for long, so long as you follow the post-facial skin care tips listed below.
How Should I Take Care of My Skin Post-Facial?
After leaving the salon, you may be tempted to slather on the foundation and concealer to minimize any post-facial redness, but this is something that you should definitely not do.
Because your skin has just undergone a deep cleanse, meaning that your pores will be more open than they usually are. This means that bacterial infections become more likely, so you want to try to keep your skin as clean and fresh as possible. Holding off on the makeup will also allow all of the skin care products used during your facial to really work their magic.
In addition to forgoing the makeup, don’t be tempted to apply any skin care products to your face either. You only need to refrain from this for the rest of the day – you can go back to your usual skin care and makeup routine the next day. However, make sure that you have given all of your makeup tools a good clean to avoid bacteria from irritating your skin.
If you had a workout planned post-facial, reschedule this – all of that extra heat and sweat can really irritate your newly-sensitive skin. Massages should also be out of the question, unless you go for one that doesn’t involve your face.
As you can imagine, exfoliation should be avoided for quite a few days after your facial. You also shouldn’t really need to exfoliate anyway – your skin will have already been well-exfoliated during your treatment.
Other at-home treatments should be avoided for a few days too, such as:
- Retinol products
- Cleansers containing salicylic acid
- Face masks, unless they happen to be hydrating and you have used them successfully before
If you were hoping to book yourself in for a facial hair removal treatment, wait a week after your facial before doing so. Although your beautician will give you specific advice based on how deeply your skin was exfoliated during your facial, any waxing or laser treatments too soon could cause irritation and scarring.
Here’s one final tip to keep in mind – stay out of the sun!
Not only will your skin be more sensitive to burning, but the fact that it’s been so deeply exfoliated puts it at more danger when it comes to the damage that the sun’s UV rays can cause. If you can’t avoid the sun, make sure that you keep your skin protected with an SPF 30 sunscreen – don’t forget to reapply this throughout the day too, as its effects will only last for a few hours.
Are There Any Additional Perks Involved?
If it is currently a toss-up between a few different spas or salons, each one with a highly-trained and well-qualified esthetician, then it only makes sense to see if there are any additional perks involved too!
Maybe the spa has a relaxing lounge area that you can spend some time in, but don’t forget to check if there is a time limit for this.
If the sauna at your spa has been calling your name, this is a facility that you should only use before your facial, rather than after.
Because exposing your extra-sensitive skin to all of that heat immediately after your facial could not only increase how sensitive it looks and feels, but it could also cause broken capillaries, meaning longer-lasting redness.
Some facial treatments themselves also often include added extras, such as:
- A foot soak
- A face and shoulder massage
- A hand massage
If you want an experience that is truly as relaxing as possible, then these extra features could really make a huge difference.
How Much Do Your Facials Cost?
Facial costs will vary hugely between different salons, and the age-old phrase is usually true – you get what you pay for.
Of course, this can leave some people with quite a dilemma – you will want to stretch your budget to treat your skin to the best facial that you can afford, but you also want to be able to do this regularly in the long-term. Most estheticians will recommend a facial every two months or so, which could work out pretty costly if you have a tight budget.
If facials are just going to be a one-off for you, then, by all means, go for the very best that you can afford. However, if you want to schedule regular facials into your routine, then try to find a middle ground – someone experienced and professional that doesn’t charge the world.
Yes, this means a little more research on your part, but the reward will be a salon that you will be able to return to time and time again, making regular facials so much more convenient.
Facials are not only a fantastic way to relax and enjoy some “me time”, but they can also make such a huge difference to the health and appearance of your skin, especially if you start going for regular facials. However, you have probably heard quite a few facial horror stories before, making it important to know exactly what to ask when choosing your esthetician.