What to Expect From a First Facial

If you are considering getting your first facial, then what are you waiting for? A facial is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable treats you can give yourself, and you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner. Your skin will look soft and smooth, and even younger and fresher than it has looked in a long time.

Where Should I Go For a Facial?
You have two basic options when you are deciding where to go for your first facial. Many hair salons offer facials as a service. Cosmetologists learn how to do a basic facial when they are training in school. You will get a quality facial from a cosmetologist, but they are not experts in skin care. For that, you need an aesthetician. An aesthetician receives specialized, in-depth training about your skin and learns how to care for it. When you visit an aesthetician, she'll give you a wonderful facial, but she can also help you with any skin conditions you might be dealing with. She will have access to skin care products you might not be able to find in the drugstore. Keep in mind that many salons, especially those that call themselves spas or boutiques, may have an aesthetician on staff. You can also find aestheticians in a skin spa or other business that is concentrated solely on skin care.

How Do I Choose?
So, how to choose between a cosmetologist and an aesthetician? Price may determine your choice. If your usual hair salon offers facials, it might be most convenient to get a facial there, before or after a brand-new haircut for a truly special pampering. Call around for information on prices. Expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $50. You may spend more, and you will probably find that an aesthetician's prices are higher than that. If you are dealing with skin problems, though, an aesthetician is well worth the additional cost. She will be a specialist in skin care, rather than a cosmetologist whose primary training and experience is with hair, not skin.

What Can I Expect When I Get a Facial?
Prepare to be pampered. When you first arrive for your facial, the aesthetician will begin by talking to you about your skin care routine and the type of skin you have, whether it's dry or oily or prone to breakouts or redness. She will also discuss your skin care routine. This conversation will allow her to choose the appropriate products for your skin. Tell her about your routine from start to finish, and be sure to tell her if any products or ingredients have irritated your skin in the past.

After the two of you have discussed the procedure and the products, you will change into a gown. This lets the technician to massage your shoulders and arms and to apply the creams to your face and neck without any chance of product getting on your clothes. You will lie down on a facial table and your aesthetician will drape you in a blanket. She may just cover you, or you may be wrapped cocoon-style.

The first step in a facial is cleansing your skin. The tech will use gentle but firm pressure and smooth sweeping strokes to apply the cleanser. She'll use cotton balls and warm water to remove the cleanser. When your face is cleansed, she will apply a toner to bring your skin back to proper pH balance. Next, she will cover your eyes and use a magnifying lamp to analyze your skin for abrasions, excess oil, flakiness or clogged pores. Depending on the type of facial you are having, she may work on any blackheads or pimples to extract them. Mention whether or not the extraction hurts. You can expect some pain with an extraction, but it shouldn't be any more painful than if you tried to remove a blackhead at home.

The tech will then apply an exfoliant. The exfoliant might be a gritty cream that the technician massages into your face in a circular motion, or she might use an alphahydroxy acid that she smoothes on and leaves on your skin for several minutes. If the exfoliant is an enzyme product, then she will wrap your face in a hot steamy towel for about 10 minutes. The exfoliant is removed with cotton pads or a hot towel. Toner is applied again to close your pores.

Finally, the aesthetician will perform a wonderful massage on your face, shoulders and arms. She will use a massage cream on your face, which will be removed and followed by toner again. The final step is a facial mask that is suited for your skin type. The mask will be washed off and followed by-you guessed it-toner and a moisturizer. You may get a final neck and shoulder massage, if one was not performed earlier.

A cleansing facial like this one should probably be your first choice if you've never had a facial before. You can also get facials that are specifically tailored by your aesthetician to treat skin problems like acne, rosacea, lines, wrinkles and any other skin care problems you may have.

You can also get an aromatherapy facial that uses special essential oils chosen for your skin and your personal needs. Aromatherapy ramps up the relaxation level of any facial. It may cost a little more, but it depends on what you are looking for in a facial. An aromatherapy facial can help you relax and relieve stress, or it can energize you and help you focus. Whatever your needs, an aromatherapy facial can help you change your state of mind, while it enhances the beauty of your face.

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