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Facials performed by a skin care therapist (also known as an esthetician) is no longer considered a luxury, but a part of the overall maintenance of your skin. As a skin care therapist myself, I can confirm the worthiness of that claim. Although the popularity of at-home facials is on the rise, you don’t get to experience the best part of the service -relaxing and de-stressing.

Some question the validity of facials, so to answer those naysayers, facials improve and rejuvenate your skin through deep cleansing, exfoliation, facial massage and through the use of masks and other treatment products to manage skin conditions. Moreover, facials slow down premature aging (through stimulating the growth of collagen), alleviates dry, sensitive, combination & oily skin conditions, helps to clear up minor acne and softens the appearance of wrinkles and lines and may involve extractions if you have white and/or blackheads. So with that said, what are you waiting for? At the other end of your pessimism lies a squeaky clean, extremely soft and brighter complexion.

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Now that you’re a convert, note the difference between a medi-spa and day spas where facials are on the menu before you make your first appointment. The former is geared primarily towards relaxation, while the latter does more clinical, corrective skin treatments. Medi-spas integrate surgical treatments with esthetic treatments like laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, botox and chemical peels. In a perfect world, you’d have the choice of both types of services in the same setting.

How often should you have a facial? That really depends on the health of your skin. If you have minor acne (no pustules or cysts) then once every week or two should suffice until it’s cleared up. If you have a lot of blackheads and whiteheads, you can still go to the spa with the same frequency until you can manage the at-home portion of the maintenance program. But generally speaking, you should aim at having a facial every four to six weeks and a little more often if your dead skin doesn’t slough off as quickly as it once did when you were twenty something.

The mark of any good facial is to feel relaxed and leave the spa with healthy-looking skin. If, during your facial your esthetician uses too much pressure while applying product or for any other part of the service, speak up and they’ll adjust the pressure. There’s nothing worse than paying to suffer in silence.

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