Regular facials are helpful, even though they continue to be the target for much cynical and ill-informed criticism. Facials are a blissful indulgence but they also have an important physical and psychological effect.
Stress shows on everyone’s face, and one and a half hours of pampering can be a useful tool for encouraging relaxation and managing stress — facial lines are softened and you feel great. If you can’t bear the idea of lying around for so long, ask for a mini treatment.
The most compelling reason of all for investing in regular facials is they are a form of skin maintenance. Together with a healthy lifestyle, facials can help slow down the process of aging. They are the best defense in our constant battle to outwit the ravages of our harsh climate.
Beauty therapy is the most intimate of the service industries, and apart from a doctor, or your partner, who else would you allow to touch you in such a personal way? Lying on a bed draped with towels and sheets makes it a vulnerable position to be in, and most women would be reluctant to complain about a service not to their liking.
You shouldn’t feel rushed or be roughly handled. The salon should be a haven of tranquility — no noisy kids, slamming doors or loud whispers. Untidiness and anything less than spotless floors, linen, and implements are unacceptable in a professional business.
Here are some tips to help you decide whether you’ve received the best possible treatment.
Communication and caring
Firstly, look for a therapist skilled in communication. Someone who listens to you, explains everything she does without lecturing you and doesn’t mind if you ask questions.
She should suggest the most efficient (and not most expensive) way for you to care for your skin. A beauty therapist’s trained eye can see things which you may not be aware of, such as signs of accelerated aging, sun damage, or suspect sunspots which should be referred to a doctor.
This simply can’t be done effectively at home. A thorough cleansing will remove makeup and other grime, and rebalance the skin’s oil and moisture levels.
The continuous sweeping strokes used should accustom you to the feel of your therapist’s hands and begin to relax you (she should warm her hands before she touches you). Judicious use of a facial steamer will help to clear congestion and rehydrate parched skins.
Some salons are taking a high-tech approach to exfoliation and using sophisticated electrical brushes to remove dead cells. Others use granular pastes or rub off masks. Best of all are the biological peels.
The Dr. Eckstein peel is mixed into a paste that is left on the skin for about 15 minutes under a moist compress. Natural enzymes digest the dead cells and clean out the pores, leaving the skin soft and lustrous.
Again, something which is difficult to do yourself. Massage is the foundation of an effective facial. In the best treatments the therapist will apply a concentrated ampoule to strengthen the skin before starting the massage. Think of a massage as a workout for the face.
The therapist’s hands are trained to tone your facial muscles without causing irritation or a loss of relaxation. The soothing, stroking movements help to relieve stress, fatigue, and depression, and, best of all, even the most sensitive skins can benefit from this. Lymphatic drainage massage removes wastes and toxins from the lymph system.
Instant glow, firming, and rejuvenation! A facial before a special event can make you look fabulous, but for long term results you should start a regular program.
Young skins need a facial only every 6 to 8 weeks, while problem skins may need weekly visits until the skin improves, and the frequency of visits can decrease. An honest therapist will tell you not to expect miracles from one treatment if you’ve been neglecting your skin.
Aromatherapy facials are one of the fastest-growing treatments in beauty salons. Increasingly, therapists are supplementing their natural-based products with essential oils to treat the whole range of skin conditions — poor circulation, broken veins, congested, dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin.
Plant essences such as lavender, rosemary, and sandalwood not only treat those conditions but also have a powerful impact on the mind and body which simply must be experienced to be believed.