Well hello, hello! Long time no see, right? I know. I’ve totally been MIA.

I wanted to get back into the swing of things with something light and fun–what better than facials?!

So, a little background. First of all, I am not a doctor, esthetician, or expert in anything we are about to discuss. I’m relatively new to the facial scene–and have no intention of stopping. I got my first facial around 6 months ago, since then, I’ve found my groove and am officially an addict, now scheduling one every four weeks, on the dot.

First, let’s talk basic: Where to go, who to see, and what treatment to book.

Booking a Facial 101

Ultimately, this is all personal preference. If you’ve have no idea where to even begin, I’d recommend a few things:

  1. Google.
    Google is your best friend here. Just type in “facials near me” and see what pops up. But don’t stop there–do some digging. Look at reviews if there are any, go to their websites or social media pages and get a feel for the business. Does it look clean? Updated? Do they seem up to date with newer facial technology? Do you like the “vibe”?
  2. Ask around!
    You’d be surprised who around you is getting facials. I truly RARELY heard about them until I started asking–people started coming through every crack of my life with suggestions! It was very, very helpful. I even leveraged social media to try and gain some knowledge–I posted a question box on my Instagram asking for people’s recommendations–I got nearly 100 responses back! It was easy to scroll through and recognize patterns–people recommending the same spa or service over and over again.
  3. Look at your skin.
    Ask yourself two questions: “What kind of skin do I have?” and “What do I want to focus on treating?” So, just take a second to asses! Does your skin typically feel sort of dry? Are you super oily in your T-Zone? Do you struggle with acne/blackheads/wrinkles/all of the above? These are questions your esthetician is going to ask you, so better to be prepared and know what you’re working with. From there–what do you want to get out of facial treatments? Do you want to leave with extra bright and glow-y skin? Do you want help managing acne and blackheads? Do you want lots of antiaging products to help prevent fine lines and wrinkles? Again, these are questions your esthetician is going to ask, and knowing the answers will also help you pick your first service.
  4. Pick a service.
    Once you’ve settled on a place, go to their website and look at their “menu”. It should list all the facial services they offer and a short description of what it is and what it treats. If you’re still lost–call them! They’ll be happy to offer suggestions, and if they’re not…find a new place, sister. Use the answers to those questions as a guide–look for services that fit your skin type and skin goals.
  5. Book it!
    Now you’re ready to schedule an appointment! Some places will offer online booking, others, you’ll have to call the spa to book. As you might’ve already inferred from the title…I personally love to schedule on Fridays! The work day is a little slower, so I can take my lunch to go get a facial. And I also get to start the weekend glow-y and refreshed! Many facials are very relaxing–and the ones that are more of a “medical treatment” vibe still leave me feeling chill and refreshed. Ultimately, it just comes down to personal preference. I would consider what you’ll have to do after the appointment, both that same day and on the following day. Especially if you’ve never received this service before. You just don’t know how your skin is going to respond, nor if the post-care will require you to not wear makeup for a day or so, etc. I’d recommend erring on the side of caution and booking on a day that you don’t have any obligations post-appointment.
  6. Review.
    I don’t mean leave a comment on Google, though, you can if you feel so inclined. After you’ve received your service, simmer on the experience for a few days. How did your skin look and feel immediately after the appointment? A day or two later? Were you happy with it? Did you enjoy the person who performed the treatment? What about the spa itself?
    Asking yourself all of these questions will help ensure that you set yourself up for a flawless experience every single time. I received facials at two spas before I found a match. From there, I kept scheduling with different estheticians until I found one I “clicked” with–she was lucky #3! Now ole Tisha and I have a natural rapport and she knows my skin! It’s very helpful from the consumer perspective to go to someone repeatedly, as they can get to see how your skin reacts to different treatments, make recommendations for other facials, as well as, offer suggestions to up your skincare at home. So be patient! Find the location, person, and treatment(s) that fit YOU!
    My fabulous fit, for those in ICT, is Tisha at Beau Monde East. 🙂

Once you’ve got the basics down pat, you can start to explore more treatments and services.

Can’t Recommend Enough.

I have three personal favorite services: Hydrafacial, Dermal Infusion, and Yonka Facial. And always, always, always, an add-on dermaplane.

Let me break these down for ya, as they’ll likely be called different things everywhere you go.

Hydrafacial $$$

Okay this one will be called the same thing across the board, as Hydrafacials are a name-brand service. Not all spa’s offer them as they require a super expensive, shinny machine. The price-tag on the service matches. But its WORTH EVERY PENNY.

The Hydrafacial, in my own words, is where they use this fancy little pen that’s hooked up to a big machine with a screen on it to suck every bit of nasty, funky, pore-clogging junk out of your skin. It’s miraculous. The coolest part to me, is that the pen simultaneously supplies the serum, AND sucks it off. Almost like a wet-vac. (Except for this is on your face.) If you’d like to read a more “official” explanation of this service, check it out here!

This is not the most relaxing service as one can imagine. They use a variety of serums to lubricate your skin and attract the junk, so that the pen can effectively suck it all out. The machine also has different levels of suction power. Your esthetician will decide based on your skin-type and what you want to focus on, which serums & power to use. Some of which can be, as Tisha likes to call, a little “spicey”. Personally, I don’t mind the “spice”, it makes me feel like the service is doing what it’s supposed to.

Overall, this is by far one of my favorite services. While most of the appointment feels more medical than “spa”, my place always ends it on a relaxing note with turning the lights down, massaging my neck, and applying other products in delightful face massage.

Note: I did read online that you should NOT wash your face the night of receiving a Hydrafacial as some cleansers may hurt your skin. Remember, you’ve stripped away all of the bad shit, but your skin is now more susceptible until it has a chance to heal overnight. Again, I did read this online, so ask your esthetician for specific after-care recommendations.

Dermal Infusion $$

So this one is relatively new to me. I booked it at the recommendation of sweet Tisha. This facial involves what’s called a “Nano Pen”–which is what attracted me most. The Nano Pen is another cool little device that produces wonders. The pen has these tiny little triangle shaped basically needles. It punctures the skin and creates hundreds of teensy tiny micro-injuries. Why would someone what to injure their skin you ask? Because the healing process stimulates collagen production! The micro-injuries are so small and shallow in the skin that you can’t tell with your own eyes that anything has occurred. If you’re familiar with microneedling, this is essentially a less-invasive version that has no down time!

With any facial service, your skin may react with redness, etc. Typically those side-effects go away within a few hours or up to one day. My skin gets super red during services, then is back to normal by time I get in the car. This one in particular may cause redness to last longer, as you are injuring the skin. Still, the side-effects should be gone within a few hours or after a day. The goal with this one is to baby the heck out of your skin for the few days following, ie. use only gentle cleansers & serums, no exfoliation, avoid makeup and masks (#2021). Hence, another reason why I love facials on Fridays.

Yon-Ka Facial $$

This is the facial that may be called something else depending on where you go. Yon-Ka is a botanical skincare brand with naturally derived ingredients. Other spas may offer something similar but use a different brand of products. Essentially, I would describe this as the VERY luxurious and relaxing facial. Yon-Ka products all smell just absolutely heavenly, they’re so gentle and refreshing, and the whole experience is very *zen*. This service in particular does involve double exfoliating–which is the only part that I felt some sensitivity, although it only lasted for maybe 30 seconds.

Ultimately, if you want a full “spa” relaxing experience in your facial service, this one rocked my socks off.

Noteworthy

A few other services that are widly common and loved include:

  • Oxygen Facial: Exactly as it sounds, they infuse oxygen into the skin and leave your skin plump, hydrated, and fresh.
  • Brightening Facial: Also, exactly as it sounds. Both are very relaxing experiences.

Add-On’s

Okay, now this is a very important part of the conversation. Most spa’s will offer “add-on’s” or “enhancements” to their services. This can be anything from a foot rub to a dermaplane. Offerings will vary. BUT, everywhere should offer what’s called a “dermaplane”. You can do this by itself or in addition to a facial service.

As far as I’m concerned, the dermaplane is a non-negotiable. Dermaplaning is where they use a medical grade scalpel to remove (shave off) any peach fuzz and dead skin that sits on the surface of your face and neck. Now, do not let this intimidate you. 1) It’s not painful, at worst, you feel some slight irritation in certain areas, but it’s gone within minutes. 2) Despite what some have come to believe, your hair DOES NOT grow back darker. When hair is shaved, it grows back the exact same color it was before. This is a wide misconception. Dermaplanes are essential from where I stand.

  1. The junk on the surface of your skin is removed, which allows every single product and treatment they apply to your face to penetrate deeper into your skin and do it’s work.
  2. Your skin feels AMAZING. We all know we’re not supposed to touch our face, but after this service, it’ll be hard not to!
  3. Makeup applies like a dream. Seriously. Once you see how your makeup looks post-dermaplane versus before, you’ll become an addict. Welcome to the team.
    One last note on dermaplane: typically this service is performed at the BEGINNING of your appointment, in order to (as we’ve discussed) enhance the effect of all the products used later. I tell you this because once I had an estethician forget about my dermaplane, go through the complete Hydrafacial process, and THEN dermaplane my face. I left there feeling like a skinned apple. I was not pleased, and quite frankly she should have never done that and instead, either skipped it entirely or had me come back the next day to complete the dermaplane. So, let my experience be knowledge for you.

Aside from that, I personally don’t opt for any other additions. But if you see something that sounds fab, request it!

Outcome

In an effort to show you the power of medical-grade skincare (a conversation for another day) and regular facial treatments, here are a few pictures of my own skin journey over just the past six months. In general, I’ve never had too high-maintenance of skin. I get occasional break-outs, have some fine lines around my eyes, and a lot of dryness. So far, my skin has had its ups and downs, but overall, I am so happy with how much it has improved. And it’s only going to get better with time.

My skin’s journey over the past 6 months:

You’ll notice at first my skin had a lot of redness, somewhat dull sheen, and sporadic break-outs. Then, I had a random allergic reaction to something–what it was? No clue. But I wanted to illustrate how even if things are out of control, you can course-correct with quality skincare. Next are photos of my skin *immediately* after first the Hydrafacial, then the Yon-Ka facial. And when I say immediately, I mean, the second I got to my car after the service. That’s why you’ll notice some mild redness from irritation–all of which clears up within an hour for me. Then photos of my skin on a regular day now–it’s so much more hydrated, my redness is under control, and breakouts are few and far between these days. Lastly, and my personal favorite, what my makeup looks like after a dermaplane. Smooth as a baby’s bum!

As always, thanks for being here and I look forward to seeing each other more frequently! And if you try a facial and have input, I’d love to hear how your experience went.

3/12/21

Facial Friday!

Beauty

THE GRIEF CHRONICLES

LIFE

Personal Growth

ALL

xoxo,

Sam

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