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The Life Cycle of a Facial

Breaking down the benefits and how long the results really last

By Kristin Carlson, Medical Esthetician

Did you know your skin cells shed and regrow every 27 days? Sometimes skin cells need a little help during the natural shedding process; this could be due to dehydration or lack of routine skin care. The skin will look dry and flakey. This is when a facial is most beneficial.

There are many types of facials. There is the facial focused on relaxation with cleansing, light exfoliation and a long luxurious massage on your face, neck, shoulders, scalp and even your arms, hands and feet. You walk out with a luminous glow and your body feeling pleasantly like mush. Then there is the facial solely focused on correction; it may feel almost clinical, using a variety of modalities, medical-grade products and even chemical peeling agents to remedy a specific skin condition. It has less “fluff” and is more results driven. Ideally, look for a facial falling somewhere in between; one offering a relaxing facial massage and even the option to have your hands or feet pampered, but the focus is results. The facial can include the use of medical-grade skin care, extractions, dermaplaning or chemical peels to ensure you and your esthetician are working toward your best skin.

So, what is happening during a facial? Let’s break down its life cycle and what to expect immediately after and in the coming weeks:

• Immediately post facial treatment: We have cleansed your skin, exfoliated off all the dead skin cells and debris, performed extractions if necessary, and pumped your skin full of antioxidants and hydrating products. Not only will you leave feeling relaxed, your skin will be radiating a healthy glow. There may be slight redness post facial if extractions were performed.

Two to three days post treatment: Your skin is hydrated, plump and glowing. There is an increase in blood flow from the massage and manipulation of your facial skin. This increase carries more oxygen to the skin cells resulting in a healthy, hydrated post-facial glow! The massage also stimulates the facial muscles giving your face a lifted and more toned appearance.

Twenty-eight to 48 days post treatment: This is when the real work is done. Skin cells are regenerating, creating long-term anti-aging benefits and stimulating collagen re-growth. With routine facials, long-term results can include a reduction in fine lines, lightening of pigmentation and more taut skin.

Four to six weeks: Dead skin cells are starting to build up again and impurities can clog the pores. Therefore, it's time for another facial!

A few things to remember: Getting regular facials alone will not transform your skin. Just like a diet or exercise, consistency is key. Staying hydrated, eating a clean diet, getting enough sleep and a good at-home skin-care regimen all contribute to the health of your skin. These factors, along with regular facials, will maximize the life cycle of your facial and provide long-term benefits for your overall skin health. And remember: Taking an hour every four to six weeks to pamper yourself will not only contribute to your skin health but your mental health as well. You are worth it!

Ask for a free consultation with your esthetician or skin-care professional to discuss what type of facial is most beneficial for you.

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