Facials are a staple of any spa pampering package. Although you can do a basic facial at home, we all know it’s far more relaxing to have someone else poke and prod our faces. And there are many types of facials and facial treatments that simply can’t be performed at home – especially not the ones that really dig deep into the dermis and provide the best skin benefits.
TYPES OF FACIALS
There are different types of facials for different skin concerns, different budgets, and different schedules. What’s best for you is a combination of these factors and others. If you’re not sure what’s most suited to your needs, keep reading for a comprehensive breakdown of the types of facials and their benefits.
CLASSIC FACIAL (BASIC FACIAL)
A classic facial is also known as a basic facial because it’s just that: basic. These types of facials involve steaming and exfoliating, extractions, and massage. Depending on the salon you have it performed, it might also include masks and the application of serums and moisturizers.
Classic facials are the baseline for healthy skin maintenance. Having one at least once a month can help maintain clean, decongested skin. It helps to keep your skin tone even and, over time, gives you a more radiant complexion.
EUROPEAN FACIAL (DEEP CLEANSING FACIAL)
Taking the basic facial one step further is the European Facial or Deep Cleansing Facial. This type of facial involves cleansing, exfoliating, extracting, and massage. But it also often includes additional treatments for the cleansing portion, a steaming process, and a bigger focus on exfoliation.
This is what makes this type of facial ideal for people who suffer from acne or breakouts. That, and the fact that the steaming helps to open up your pores for the extraction of whiteheads and blackheads leaving skin fresh.
True to its name, a mini facial is a smaller version of a full classic facial. Involving cleansing, exfoliation, a toner and a moisturizer, it gives you all of the benefits of a classic, but it only takes 30 minutes.
Mini facials are more convenient if you’re on a tight schedule but still want to maintain healthy skin. A little more affordable than a full classic facial, it’s also great for people who find themselves on a budget.
These types of facials are for acne or breakout-prone. Their main goal is to clear out clogged sebum and eliminate blackheads, which is why they put a huge emphasis on extracting blocked pores (usually with a specialized tool known as a lancet). The extraction process releases all the built-up oil and then follows up with a gentle acid peel like an AHA to resurface the skin. There are minimal side effects besides red or pinkish skin immediately following your appointment.
Sometimes called a non-surgical facelift, a galvanic facial stimulates the face muscles using galvanic currents. The purpose is to tone the facial muscles and even put them back to their original positioning. The treatment is followed up with the infusion of different skincare products, which are more easily absorbed thanks to the electric current. The result is a plumper, more contoured face. You can also expect to minimize wrinkles, firm the skin, and promote collagen growth.
Dehydrated skin is the underlying cause of so many skincare concerns, including uneven skin tone, dullness, and even acne. If dehydrated skin is your problem, a hydrating facial is your solution. It follows the same process as a classic facial but uses products specifically designed to intensely hydrate your skin. These are usually humectant-rich products or masks that soften, moisturize, and plump.
Acne doesn’t only appear on your face. It can show up on your back and on the back of your arms as well. The good news is, there’s a facial for that!
A back facial targets your back and the back of your upper arms, up to your elbows. This type of facial uses the same techniques as a facial for your face but moves it to these areas. You’ll receive a deep cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, mask, and massage. And it doesn’t just treat back acne – it’s also a treatment for inflammation, dryness, itchiness, and oily skin.
LYMPHATIC MASSAGE FACIAL
This treatment is sometimes called lymphatic drainage and it’s often included in the massage portion of a classic facial. But many salons let you book them separately as well.
As a standalone facial, lymphatic massage facials involve kneading targeted points on your face and neck. This helps to release tension that can relieve everything from tension headaches to puffiness. The reduction in puffiness is a direct result of stimulating lymphatic glands around your face that contribute to water retention. The massage also increases circulation, which is a factor in your complexion.
A favorite among celebrities like Madonna, these treatments use a machine to spray highly concentrated molecules of oxygen on the outer layer of your skin. Those oxygen molecules are additionally infused with vitamins, minerals, essential nutrients, and botanical extracts. It’s an antiaging facial that are reported to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promote collagen production, and improve blood circulation. It’s also safe for all skin types and can act as a preventative measure if you start them at a younger age.
ANTIAGING FACIAL (REJUVENATING FACIAL)
As long as we’re on the subject of antiaging facials, this type of facial is the ultimate. They’re specifically designed to target the signs of aging in terms of the ingredients and the procedures they employ.
Also, know as a rejuvenating facial, these involve deep-pore cleansing and exfoliating like classic facials. But then, they introduce skin resurfacing techniques like microdermabrasion. They also involve masks and hydrating products that are loaded with antioxidants, peptides, skin brightening ingredients, and even collagen – all of which are intended to revitalize your complexion.
Because these types of facials can be pretty intense, it’s recommended that you book them at least a week away from any big event. They can cause your skin to flake and peel and require quite a bit of SPF to protect you from the harmful effects of the sun when your skin is extra photosensitive.
TYPES OF FACIAL TREATMENTS
Facials are different from facial treatments in that facials are a process involving multiple steps. Regardless of the type of facial, there’s usually cleansing, exfoliating, extracting, massage, and moisturizing. Facial treatments, on the other hand, are a one- or two-step process that go a little deeper into the dermis to treat skin concerns.
A chemical peel is among the most invasive types of facial treatments. They use chemical acids to promote skin turnover, and they’re an extremely effective treatment for antiaging and skin rejuvenation.
After the acid has been applied, the outer layer of your dermis slowly peels away to reveal the much healthier layer beneath. These can help get rid of deep wrinkles and scars, age spots, and even photodamage. But because they promote skin turnover, they’re also a great treatment for congested skin.
Similar to a galvanic facial but far more effective, a microcurrent facial has roots in the medical community. These types of facial treatments have been used by the medical community since the 1980s to stimulate muscles that have atrophied or paralyzed. When medical professionals realized that the treatment improved the appearance of sagging muscles, it was adopted as an antiaging tool.
Microcurrent facial treatments use low-grade electrical currents that are similar to those produced by your own body. These microcurrents can be used to train your facial muscles. Over the course of one session, this leads to lifted, tightened, and firm skin.
LED LIGHT FACIAL
The wavelengths in an LED light can be applied to acne and breakout-prone skin for clarifying results. LED light facials calm breakouts, inflammation, and even redness. For some people, these results are noticeable with only one session. For others, it will take up to three sessions for real results that last.
Microneedling is a facial treatment that uses tiny needles to inflict controlled wounds all over the surface of your skin. By forcing your skin into emergency healing mode, these tiny tears in your skin encourage cell turnover and collagen growth. The end result is healthier, tighter skin, and a reduction in the appearance of lines and wrinkles. However, this invasive treatment can be somewhat painful and will require numbing cream before you begin.
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive facial treatment. It sends tiny crystals across the surface of your skin to exfoliate and remove dry, dead skin cells. At the same time as the microdermabrasion device removes those cells, it vacuums them up.
Because it promotes cell turnover, collagen production, and elastin growth, microdermabrasion is best for aged, sun-exposed skin. It leaves the skin with less visible lines, pores, and scars. But, like many of these types of facial treatments, you’ll have to avoid direct exposure to the skin for a few days following your appointment.
There’s a facial or facial treatment for every type of skin and every skin concern. Whether your skin is breakout-prone or you’re looking to prevent and reduce the visible signs of aging, you can find something that suits you among all these different types of facials.