With all the advertising for different types of facials, it can be hard to figure out what is being offered, much less what is best for you. Although an esthetician can outline the process, it helps to be familiar with the basic facial divisions.
A basic facial will include cleansing, examination, exfoliation, facial massage and a facial mask. Extractions may or may not be required, but often form a part of this type.
Many products are used during a basic facial. However, imparting knowledge about what these are used for and how they interact with different types of skin is the esthetician's responsibility. During the pre-treatment phase, he or she should gather information about medical conditions, products you are already using and other preferences.
If you want to know the details for future reference, ask the esthetician to explain. In a basic facial, there is an assumption of limited background. Once you have more experience with the basic facial, you can ask the esthetician for add-ins that would suit your skin or about variations on the basic formula.
Some of the common words associated with acne facials are "clarifying," "purifying," or "deep cleansing." Acne facials follow the same framework as basic facials, but often use stronger chemicals, such as salicylic or glycolic acids.
While ideal for individuals with oily and uneven skin, it is not recommended other skin types due to the harsh chemicals most acne facials use. In severe cases, an esthetician will likely recommend a dermatologist, as facials may not be enough to solve the problem.
Anti-aging facials are advertised as such and use words like "rejuvenating" or even "lifting" in the description. These facials are designed to reduce the signs of the aging process on the face.
To do so, most anti-aging facials use exfoliants, such as lactic or glycolic acid, and frequently include collagen building treatments. These facials may also include measures such as: microdermabrasion, where micro-particles are blasted across the skin and vacuumed up; microcurrent, where the facial tissue is stimulated by running a slight current through the skin; or light therapy, which emits intense light pulses over the skin. While some of these methods may lead to slight irritation, they should result in nothing more than a slight redness.
Since stress also affects aging and skin conditions, any anti-aging facial should incorporate massage in addition to chemical treatments.
Facials for Men
Facials for men follow the same basic pattern as those for women, but will often include chemicals formulated to handle shaving problems. Male facials use different products than female ones, and scents tend towards the more traditionally "masculine" aromas.
One type of facial more commonly used for men is one that combats the effects of a lot of time spent outdoors or in polluted areas. These conditions still occur more frequently for men than women, so this is a more male-focused service.