How Often Should You Get a Facial?
Along with massage oils and face masks, facials are a mainstay of a spa day routine. They are luxurious, relaxing and have ample benefits for your skin. And yet we still have some basic questions when it comes to facials, like what exactly is it? How does a facial actually work? And most importantly, how often should you be getting a facial? To give us some clarity, we reached out to board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali for the 411 on facials.
What is a Facial?
At its core, a facial is a spa treatment that seeks to combat a list of skin concerns as they pertain to the face. These skin concerns can include anything from blemishes, signs of aging, dehydration and more. Facials are often performed by a skin-care provider, either in-office or at a spa and depending on your skin type and current issues, they can give you the best advice on what facial will suit your needs.
While going to the spa is always ideal, you can achieve the benefits of a facial right in the comfort of your own home, too. Try an “at-home facial” and indulge in some deep cleansing, exfoliating, masking and even facial massage.
How Does a Facial Work?
“Facials use mechanical methods to cleanse pores and remove debris from skin,” Dr. Bhanusali says. Mechanical (or physical) exfoliation involves the use of tools — think: an abrasive sponge or loofah — to physically remove dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, involves the use of skin-care products formulated with acids, like salicylic acid or alpha-hydroxy-acids, to chemically remove pore-clogged debris and cells off of the skin’s surface. Many people will opt for a chemical peel when they’re looking to reduce the appearance of discoloration, scars and signs of aging, while others like a more standard facial involving mechanical exfoliation when they want to reveal brighter, more luminous looking skin.
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Facial?
There are plenty of beauty benefits to getting a facial. One of the biggest benefits of a facial is its ability to deep-clean your skin. When done by a professional, a facial — and facial extractions — can remove debris and gunk residing in your pores. As Dr. Bhanusali mentioned, facials often include an element of exfoliation as well, which can help reveal brighter, more radiant-looking skin. If you haven’t been able to revive the look of your dull skin, a facial may be calling your name. Depending on who you ask, a facial may even be considered essential to maintaining the healthy look and feel of your skin.
Another benefit of facials has to do with relaxation. Your skin-care provider will expose your skin to steam (to help dislodge pore impurities), massage your face and help you to de-stress. Because feeling stressed can impact the look of your skin, taking an hour out of your hectic schedule every few months for a facial is just another way you can unwind and pamper yourself.
How Often Should You Get a Facial?
The million-dollar question! Now that you know what a facial is and how it can benefit your skin, it’s time to talk maintenance. How often should you get a facial? The jury’s out on an official timeline, but most skin-care providers will suggest a facial on a regular basis, such as once per month or once per season. “Much like a massage, facials should be thought of as skin maintenance in addition to your daily skin-care routine,” Dr. Bhanusali says. “A gentle facial every month is fine, but you don’t need a harsh, overly-aggressive facial over and over.” In fact, an excessive amount of facials can actually lead to more harm than good. Also, keep in mind that when you’re getting a facial, it shouldn’t cause you pain. “If your facialist is really digging in, that could lead to problems,” Dr. Bhanusali says. “The whole process is supposed to be really gentle.”