What Can I Expect During a Facial?
A facial should begin with a consultation. Your licensed esthetician or skin care specialist may inquire about your skin concerns, diet, the amount of water you drink, any drugs or supplements you take, and the skin care and beauty products you currently use. Retin-A and other medications can affect your skin and thus determine the type of treatments recommended by your esthetician.
The esthetician usually starts by wrapping your hair with a towel, headband, or cap to protect it. Your skin will then be thoroughly cleansed with cotton pads, esthetician wipes, or sponges. STOC skin care professionals perform a double-cleanse to prepare your skin for a thorough skin analysis.
Depending on whether or not you’re wearing make-up, your esthetician may look at your skin under a bright lamp, or cover your eyes to examine your skin with a brightly lit magnifying lamp. This will help determine your facial skin type (dry, oily, combination, sensitive, or normal) and any existing skin conditions (acne, blackheads, whiteheads, aging, sun damage, dehydration, etc.). The esthetician will then consult with you about the skin analysis and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
Some facials use a machine that directs a thin vapor of warm steam to your face. This is relaxing and helps soften any blackheads and whiteheads to be extracted. However, if you have very sensitive skin, the esthetician may not use steam.
Skin exfoliation uses mechanical exfoliants or chemical substances. Mechanical exfoliants contain a gritty texture that rubs away keratinocytes, or dead cells on the skin’s surface. This is usually done during the steam treatment. Chemical exfoliation uses enzymes and acids to loosen the bond between surface skin cells. A gentle enzyme treatment can also be done during the steam treatment. Stronger chemical peels, which vary in intensity, can be a stand-alone treatment done in a series, or part of the facial. It is generally not considered an “upgrade.”
The esthetician can extract or remove blackheads or whiteheads if you want it and need it. A person’s pain tolerance for extractions varies. This treatment can be uncomfortable, especially for people with thin or ruddy skin. Extractions, when done at home or by and untrained esthetician, can cause broken capillaries and discoloration if done improperly. This is why our estheticians have been professionally trained in the art of proper extraction techniques.
After the extraction procedure you deserve to be pampered. A facial massage uses different strokes and techniques to stimulate blood flow, remove toxins, and put you into a deep state of relaxation.
After the massage a facial mask will be applied. The mask will be specially formulated to match your skin type and help treat any skin conditions that were discussed during the consultation. During most facials you will receive a complimentary hand massage while you relax and wait for the mask to work its magic.
The esthetician applies toner, serums, moisturizer, and sunscreen (if it’s daytime) at the end of the facial.
Home Skin Care Advice
Your esthetician will tell you how to take better care of your skin and recommend professional grade skin care products. At STOC, you will never feel pressured to purchase. We work within your budget to make sure you find the right products and treatments for your skin. And if you love the products you are currently using, then we will encourage you to continue using them (if they are appropriate for your skin type).