What is a Facial?

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What is a facial?
A basic facial is a skin treatment performed by an esthetician that cleanses pores, exfoliates away dead skin cells, and treats common skin concerns with a custom mask. This multi-step process is meant to rejuvenate and nourish the skin, making it appear healthier and younger. It is also a popular spa treatment to pamper and relax, right up there with a massage.

What happens during a facial?
Each facial begins with a consultation that helps the esthetician determine the right products for your skin type and concerns. Once that’s been determined, the relaxing part begins! Most basic facials include some version of the following five steps:

1. Cleansing
Estheticians massage a cleanser into the face, neck, to remove any traces of makeup and dirt. Using warm water paired with cloth, or cotton pad, they remove the cleanser, dry faces, and evaluate skin. This step helps them determine what type of custom mask they will apply later.

2. Exfoliation
Depending on the spa you’re visiting, your esthetician may buff away dead skin cells with an exfoliating cream, scrub or enzyme and/or open up pores with steam.

3. Extractions
This process is an add on service done to clear individual pores that have become clogged with excess oil or dead skin cells, which can form blackheads and acne. Estheticians will perform the extractions either by hand or with a special metal tool.

4. Massage
A facial typically also includes a massage of the face—and often the upper body, too—that may be used to improve lymphatic drainage.

5. Masks and more
Estheticians then apply a custom mask, perhaps a clay-based one to treat oiliness or a hydrating one to combat dryness. The facial concludes with a serum, eye gel or creme, moisturizer, and sunscreen if it’s daytime.

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