For some, getting a facial is a rare indulgence, usually in preparation for a special event or in celebration of an achievement. For others, facial therapy is just as much a part of the self-care package as getting a haircut or getting a pedicure. But whether you’re a regular skincare spa, or you’re treating yourself, it’s normal to feel a tug of hesitation when it comes to literally putting the health of your skin into the hands of another person.
Before you start any sort of facial therapy, there are several important things you should tell your esthetician so that they can treat your skin in the safest and most practical way.
1) Talk About the Products You Use
Telling your esthetician your complete skin care regimen, from the cleansers you use daily to the facial mask you might only use once in a while, will help them assess which products they should use for your facial. They will try to use products similar to what you use if they can, but they don’t want to expose your skin to something that is too harsh to be used often. Also, be sure to tell them if you are using a sunscreen, what kind, and how often you are using it.
If you are embarrassed because you use cheaper products, which aren’t typically recommended by skin care experts, tell them anyway. It is important that they know exactly what you put on your skin—and they might be able to recommend some alternatives that are still within your budget.
2) Talk About Your Routine
Do you wash your face in the shower, or at the sink? Do you wash with warm water and rinse cold, or do you use warm water the whole way through? Do you use your products faithfully, or just when you remember? Some people are more casual when it comes to skincare, while others are passionate and have a very strict routine they follow, typically rotating out a small variety of products throughout the week as needed.
By telling your esthetician as much as you can about your routine, you give them the ability to understand your skin on a cellular level. It also gives them room to recommend a change in routine, such as when to moisturize or how to properly apply sunscreen under your makeup.
3) Tell Them If You Think You Have Sensitive Skin
Facial therapists are there to help your skin, not hurt it. Let your esthetician know if you have sensitive skin, even if it is only in some areas, so they can use products fit for your skin type and offer recommendations for at-home relief when your skin starts to bother you.
4) Talk About Exfoliation
Because the human body is constantly shedding dead skin, it is important to exfoliate regularly to remove dirt and dead skin from your pores and avoid buildup. However, exfoliating too much or too harshly can agitate your skin, causing breakouts and dryness to worsen. Most experts recommend light exfoliation no more than 3 times per week and stress the use of gentle skincare products when doing so. Tell your esthetician how regularly exfoliate, so they can treat your pores the way they need to be treated.
5) Tell Them Right Away if You’re Uncomfortable
Not everyone has the same skin, and not everyone has the same threshold for pain when it comes to treatments that can be a little rougher on the skin. If you are uncomfortable, speak up. This will give you a chance to relax, and possibly give your esthetician a chance to discuss a new product or treatment method for your skin. By staying silent, you could potentially be exposing your skin to something it cannot tolerate, which would cause more harm than good in the long run. The age-old saying is that “beauty is pain”, but with so many alternative methods of treatments out there today, it doesn’t have to be!
Aside from your comfort while being pampered, expressing pain or discomfort—especially muscle pain and tenderness—can tip your esthetician off to any chronic pain conditions you might have. Lingering facial pain can be a sign of myofascial pain syndrome, tooth and gum disorders, and a number of other chronic pain conditions. Your esthetician can refer you to a specialist to get you a proper orofacial pain diagnosis if the intense pain continues.
We all deserve to treat ourselves once in a while, and sometimes all it takes is something as simple as getting a facial done while you sit back and relax. By having open communication with your facial therapist, they will be able to treat your skin with what it needs, and you’ll be able to relax knowing that you’re going to walk out of that spa looking dewy and refreshed.
Now go out there and book that facial! You deserve it.