Focus on… Facials

Focus on… Facials

Now that I am offering facials at Blush!, I thought it would be helpful to answer the main questions I am asked about them and provide some information about the treatment and why it can be so beneficial. If you have any further questions, please do email me – I am more than happy to answer them!

Why have a facial?

There are many reasons facials are a fantastic treatment, whether you have one as a one-off treat for yourself or enjoy one a month as a means of helping your skin to be the best it can be. Here are some of the reasons they are so beneficial.

– You receive expert skin analysis from someone who truly understands your unique skin type and how to best care for it. It’s all very well treating yourself to a facial, but the at-home aftercare is just as important and a good facialist will help you figure out a good skincare routine that will work for your skin and your lifestyle.
– Professional strength cleansing and exfoliation, thoroughly cleanses the pores, smoothes the skin, and can lighten discolouration from sun and breakouts.
– Facial massage increases circulation to encourage brighter, glowing skin and massages are fantastic for relaxing you, relieving stress and balancing your mind. Just like your body, your face muscles can become tight and rigid and will benefit from the tension release a massage offers. The boost in circulation you’ll get will detoxify your skin, making it look healthy and youthful and lymphatic drainage reduces puffiness.
– The intensive hydration provided through the layering of products keeps skin looking plump and moist.
You enjoy valuable ‘you’ time. There is no opportunity to do mundane daily tasks, answer a constant barrage of questions or scroll through social media. This is time for you to relax, zone out and just be.

What does a facial include?

This varies but my facials include a double cleanse, skin analysis, exfoliation, facial, neck and shoulder massage, mask, hand massage and application of toner, eye cream, serum, moisturiser and lipbalm.

How often should I have a facial?

Ideally, for the best results, once a month. The cleansing, exfoliation, massage, and mask application during a facial treatment lead to skin rejuvenation. This improves the appearance of the skin, giving it a healthy, radiant glow but bear in mind that your skin cells are constantly renewing, so being regular and consistent with your facials is key.

What should I be looking for in a facial?

Any facial should feel wonderfully relaxing, but if the products used are the ones you can pop down to Boots to buy, you might as well do one for yourself. Look for facials that include professional strength products and, if the facial is advertised as being an hour, that you are getting an hour rather than 45 minutes of treatment time and 15 minutes of chatting. The facials I offer are a full one hour plus time for a consultation and post treatment chat so you will always need to allow longer than an hour for your appointment. Lastly, look for reviews of both the therapist/salon and the products used rather than just plumping for a facial using a product range you have heard of. There are many well known brands which you assume will provide great results, but if you look at the reviews, actually don’t give the expected results even if the treatment itself is enjoyable

What kind of facial should I go for?

Most salons offer different types of facial such as brightening, anti-ageing, acne management, pigment reducing etc., which are great. However, I firmly believe that each facial should be individually tailored to the client’s needs and concerns. If a client suffers with acne on their cheeks and chin but is particularly concerned about fine lines on their forehead, there is no reason why two different masks can’t be applied to different areas of the face. It is also very common for clients to have misconceptions about their skin type (particularly when it comes to oiliness) and to assume that their skin is the same all year round, so it is important for the therapist to analyse the skin in detail at every visit to reassess the skin and treat it appropriately.

How much should I expect to spend?

Price varies dramatically according to treatment time and product range, but you can be sure that cheap facials are using cheap products, which simply won’t give you the results of more science based products at a higher price point. Go for the best you can afford and remember, although some facials appear expensive, products can be extremely pricy – one of my moisturisers is over £75 for example – so you really are getting what you pay for.

Should I see results straightaway?

You will usually see an immediate difference in your skin – it should look revitalised, plumper and more glowing and hydrated and your makeup. However, for long lasting results, you will usually need course of at least five facials and will certainly need to follow up your facial with a decent skincare routine at home.

And finally, the science bit. Just what do all these different scientific sounding ingredients do?

You may have heard about Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) and how essential they are for maintaining youthful-looking skin. Next to using sunscreen every day, a well-formulated AHA- or BHA-based treatment is critical to maintaining a healthy, hydrated, more even-toned complexion.

AHAs are naturally occurring substances found in various fruits, sugar cane and sour milk. The main benefit of them is their ability to exfoliate the skin to repair dry, aging and sun-damaged skin. Glycolic acid works by loosening the bond that holds together the top layers of dead skin cells. By removing the excess build-up on the surface of the skin, AHAs allow newer, softer, healthier-looking skin to emerge. An additional benefit to clearing excess buildup is that moisturisers and treatments can penetrate better. AHAs also help with age spots and skin discolouration, and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. They do, however, make your skin more vulnerable to damage from the sun so always use a moisturiser containing SPF 15 or higher or a separate sunscreen.
BHAs (the most common of which is salicylic acid) are oil soluble; this means they get down into the pores to cut through the oil that’s clogging them. They also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so BHAs are perfect for treating acne-prone skin and blackheads. Like AHAs, BHAs make your skin more vulnerable to damage from the sun, so always use a moisturiser containing SPF 15 or higher when you treat your skin with BHAs or a separate sunscreen.

Vitamin C is a key anti-ageing skincare ingredient that helps to gently brighten and smooth your skin. It’s one of the most powerful antioxidants and helps to protect your skin against free radical damage caused by the environment, which can break down collagen and encourage wrinkles and sagging.

Retinol also has anti-aging benefits. It stimulates the production of new skin cells and helps to fade dark spots resulting from photo-ageing, hyper pigmentation, hormonal changes, and blemish scars.

Peptides are chains of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins in the skin. When peptides form a long chain of amino acids, they become proteins. When they are in a short chain of amino acids, they are able to penetrate the top layer of our skin and send signals to our cells to let them know how to function. One important protein in our skin is collagen. Collagen gives our skin its thickness and suppleness. When collagen breaks down in the skin (from age and environmental factors like the sun and stress), wrinkles form. Peptides applied topically to the skin can send a signal to collagen to prompt the formation of new collagen, giving the appearance of more youthful, supple skin.

Enzymes have two primary uses in skincare: exfoliation and anti-inflammation. The upper layer of your skin is mostly made up of dead skin cells containing keratin protein. It is this layer of skin that can cause premature ageing, dehydration and acne breakouts. Enzymes work by breaking down the keratin protein to remove the dead skin cells, resulting in smoother skin and a more radiant complexion. Enzymes have also been reported to diminish scars, fine lines, age spots and discolouration of the skin and can also penetrate the skin to cleanse pores and improve skin texture and tone.