If you’re the kind of person who uses friends, Google or social media for information about skincare, you’ve probably heard many different things about facials. These might have ranged from the mundane (they’re an unnecessary luxury) to the horrifying (you can develop flesh eating disease from a peel). Neither of these things are true, but when it comes to facial treatments and skin care, separating the truth from the urban legends is not an easy feat.
Let’s take a look at some common myths and see exactly how they stack up:
Myth: You should get facials as frequently as your budget allows you to.
Facials aren’t necessarily one of those things that are increasingly effective the more often you have them. In fact, some facial treatments, like microdermabrasion or peels can irritate the skin if they’re used too frequently, even if you don’t have sensitive skin to begin with.
While getting facial treatment on a regular basis can certainly be beneficial for your complexion, the quality of the treatment is much more important than the frequency. In fact, investing in a good quality facial on a semi-regular basis might mean you only have to do touch-ups in the months between.
That being said, you can’t expect optimal results if you’re not serious about maintenance. A facial once a year isn’t enough to combat 11 months of bad skincare habits and you won’t see the result you’re looking for if you only book a session irregularly.
Myth: Skincare advances mean you can do the same thing yourself at home
On the flip side, many people believe that they don’t need to visit a skincare specialist at all to get professional results. And while it certainly seems like spa-quality products are easier to find than ever – like home laser kits or gel polish – the old adage about getting what you pay for is still true. The ingredients in masks you buy from the drugstore are still significantly lower quality than what a spa or clinic will have access to.
Many people also believe that if they practice good skincare on a regular basis, there isn’t much point in going for a professional facial treatment. While using quality products and practicing diligent skin maintenance can definitely improve the look and feel of your skin, a specialist will have access to both tools and products that you might not, or that it’s not practical for you to invest in.
In addition, certain things like extractions are almost impossible to perform on yourself, and are best done by a professional who is adequately trained. Attempting to extract blackheads or milia by yourself can lead to scarring or infection.
A esthetician is also trained to assess people’s skin type and will use this information to perform a customized facial treatment that addresses your needs. During a consultation, you might find you have skin concerns you didn’t even know about! And while Google can be useful for some things, it’s not ideal for diagnosing anything, whether that’s an illness or a skincare problem.
Myth: facials can be painful or cause skin irritation
This one is mostly untrue but does depend on the quality of the clinic you go to and the service you end up getting. For example, many people find that some peels or other brightening treatments cause a slight tingling sensation while they take effect. This is perfectly normal but shouldn’t cause a burning or painful sensation.
If you’re receiving extractions, the area might see a small amount of redness for the first few hours, but it shouldn’t be extensive, nor should it be permanent.
A lot of this goes back to the idea of getting a consultation before your facial. If you have sensitive skin but end up booking a facial that doesn’t address this, it’s possible that the products used might cause some irritation. Likewise, if you struggle with dry skin and request, say a clay mask that draws out excess oil and impurities, you might find yourself with skin that’s even drier than normal.
At the end of the day, if you’re using a facial treatment specialist who knows their stuff and you’re upfront about your concerns and lifestyle, a facial shouldn’t be painful and it shouldn’t leave your skin feeling even worse than it was beforehand.
Myth: Facials are overpriced and an unnecessary expense
This is only a myth if you look at the cost in a certain way. For some people, a facial can seem like a sizable upfront cost. Many clinics, however, offer packages or incentives for regular customers, which can be a great perk if you’ve found a clinic and a specialist you’re happy with.
When evaluating cost, you also have to look at the money you might be saving elsewhere. Having regular facial treatment might mean spending less on day-to-day products, or even makeup. Many people who have regular sessions find themselves feeling confident enough go totally makeup free, or at least using less product to cover up things like redness or age spots.
At the end of the day, your skin is your body’s largest organ. Is it really an unnecessary expense to keep it looking and feeling as healthy as possible?
Your skin isn’t something you want to mess around with, but neither is it something worth sacrificing because of an unfounded belief. Though myths about facial treatments abound, when you choose the right clinic and treatment type, they can be an effective way of nourishing your skin, brightening complexion and reducing the signs of aging. Don’t believe the hype unless you’ve spoken to a facial aesthetician!