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Post in Combination Skin

Are facials worth it?

So I got a facial yesterday for the first time. Lovely experience, although she was a crappy masseuse. However my skin didn't really look all that different. I struggle with large pores/blackheads (or whatever the new term for black spots on the nose is). They are the bane of my existence, and I've had them since I was 13. Pore strips work alright, but I feel they are pretty harsh and I don't like using them. I have a pretty vigorous exfoliation routine (alternate with a scrub and clay masks every day), PTR's 2% AHA 10% BHA serum, glycolic acid toner, ect. but I still have these spots.


They have gotten better, but are still there, so I thought a facial where they did more intense exfoliation or extractions would help. Maybe I just need a better esthetician? The majority of the salons around me are Aveda salons, and I'm not completely sold on that brand. 


Anyways, the point of my ramblings are, do you get regular facials? What brands do they use? How would you suggest choosing a good spa/salon?

Re: Are facials worth it?

Hi Elaine!


I too am a licensed esthetician. I will say I used to work for an Aveda Spa and I agree the products were not all that great to me. I never had a wow experience with their products. I do believe that facials are great and if I had more time I would get them more often, I tend to be booked and I work full time and most times I just want to come home.. anyways, I recommend getting a lactic peel or even setting up a consultation. As an esthetician I always focus on what is bothering you, I would let that be known. If you have pigmentation issues ask her what products what she will be using and what they help with. This way you make sure you are getting what you want. 


We use Eminence Organics and offer several peels, pumpkin, artic berry, and blueberry. All are so wonderful and I have never had anyone tell me they havent seen a difference. 

Murad- we just got in, it is a great product line, but I do think this facial needs some tweaking for the the more oily prone skin types. 


Hope you find a great spa, please follow up!

Re: Are facials worth it?

Just as others have said, I think it's a lot of trail and error.  


Obviously, lifestyle,diet,etc have an effect on skin, but I get them 1x/month, and have noticed a huge difference. My main reason for getting facials is for the extractions, and a higher concentration of acids that are used as peels. The products used are Dermalogica & Gm Collin.


I've been to "salons", where all they've done is cleanse my face, massage my face,shoulders, etc,slap a mask on and try to sell,sell,sell their products. Grr! I mean there's nothing wrong with massages, but I'm there for a facial not a massage. 

Re: Are facials worth it?

Thanks! The "facial" I had was pretty much what you described. she did a cleanse and a mask with steam and a massage. Not really what I was looking for. 


I did did find a salon that uses Dermatologica products that I scheduled an appointment at, so hopefully it is a better experience!

Re: Are facials worth it?

Hi elaine4425,


I'm a licensed esthetician and I have a ton of products, so it is difficult for me to truly relax during a facial because I want to know every single product they are applying on my face and exactly what they are doing. Since graduating from esthetician school, I have had 2 facials. After the first one, I had the worst breakouts of my life. The esthetician did not even ask for my skin type and just used all hydrating products on my face. I have oily, acne-prone skin. 


The other facial I had was amazing. The esthetician was super sweet and did a great job! I felt like my skin was really glowing after. She used a lot of steam, did extractions and used this amazing pumpkin peel! If I had the extra time to go regularly, I would. This particular esthetician only works part-time though and it's hard to get an appointment with her.. That being said, I feel like I can give myself a pretty good facial at home, but facials are really nice for relaxing and pampering yourself. Smiley Happy




Re: Are facials worth it?

Hi elaine4425,


I think it all depends on the esthetician and their techniques. I get facials about every 3mo and she includes extractions, microderm and peels. I've had other facials where they just layer on the skincare and it does nothing but, break me out. My skin has been more oily lately and after getting regular facials, I rarely get any breakouts.

<3 Melissa

Re: Are facials worth it?

I'm a DIY girl, but I have on occasion gone all-out, going to an aesthetician or dermatologist to have a facial done.  More for relaxing/papering than anything, and I don't expect to see a huge improvement.  I definitely treat my skin at home a couple of times a week now.


The one piece of advise I will offer you: do not skimp.  If you're going to have it done, make sure it's a professional with experience in an environment that is clean and relaxing.  If had two friends who have had issues (one had an allergic reaction, another got a staph infection) by going on-the-cheap.

Re: Are facials worth it?

Yea, after too much internet today I'm terrified of getting a bad facial. I will most definitely not be skimping!!

Re: Are facials worth it?

I've had my best facial experiences at Red Door Salons. I don't leave expecting to see a huge difference, though some of my fine lines may be plumped up for a few hours. I consider it more of a maintenance thing. Usually I use a really nice facial to reward myself for being scrupulous about my own skincare. It's like I get my skin to the happiest place I can get it, then I turn myself over to the professionals to add the finishing touches (and to do extractions if needed).


I've had some crummy facials, and I am a total facial snob. I'll let a masseuse-in-training beat up on my back, but if you wanna touch my face, you best have the credentials already.

Re: Are facials worth it?

Thank you for the advice! Unfortunately, they don't even have any of those salons in my state... But I definitely agree about needing experience! I wouldn't want a novice scrubbing and squeezing my face. 

Re: Are facials worth it?

I know how you feel - I didn't have access to one until a few years ago. But maybe there are other options. One of the best spas I've been to was in the tiny town of Sedona, AZ. Like others have said - research before you go. But honestly, nothing can replace good, old fashioned, consistent self skin care. Good luck!

Re: Are facials worth it?

The best facials I have ever had are at Aveda salons - I'm not sure why you're not "sold" on the brand - everything I have ever used from them has been really lovely.  My hair is my pride and joy, and it's just been washed in their products.  I do stray from them occasionally, but I always go back.


I've had facials that are so bad that they didn't involve steam or extractions at all.  One was so bad all she basically did was use a set of samples from Juice Beauty and play new age music.  I can do that at home - and get the whole set of products for about what she charged!


Generally speaking, facials improve my pores and the texture of my skin.  If you were disappointed, I'd try a different provider.

Re: Are facials worth it?

I don't really have a good reason for not being on the Aveda fan list... I think its just the basis of using all natural ingredients. I work in the chemical industry, so I get to see a lot of behind the scenes for consumer products, and the things that go into products labeled 'natural'. Most of it is just relabeling and marketing propaganda, but again, that's only from my perspective from the brands I've worked for. 


That said, I have gone to Aveda salons and have really enjoyed my experience. I get my eyebrows done regularly at one, and they are always fantastic. I will try them out for facials next!

Re: Are facials worth it?

You don't have blackheads on your nose, if they never go away. See here for. my post on what they are.


As for nose strips, do NOT use them. They will cause damage to the skin and broken capillaries..they don't even get deep down. I use a mask like Origins clear improvement, after opening the pores, so it can get in the pores.


 If you're expecting skin issues to disappear after one facial, they wont. Facials start the skin new for easier home maintenance. I've had them at an Aveda salon, but found the right person - as she also does my eyebrows - and I've been with her for so long she opened her own shop.


I never go with the lowest level person (Aveda has tier levels), always the person who is the best (or even trainer) and I ask questions before making an appointment, like what their specialty is etc. I've have also gone to my derm's office, the esthetician is great - they do spa services there while the sell some brands - she never sells products just gives tons of samples. Even before you make an appointment, see if you can have a consultation with the actual person to discuss your skin. You want someone who will customize the facial to your needs. I've always had extractions included, you can tell them if you don't want. I've also had facials on cruises, trips - some try to sell you products, others don't, I may even ask if they try to hard sell.


Also do not use masks everyday, this dries the skin out causing it to try to catch up to restore it's needed moisture and regrowth rapidly. Only use a mask 1-2 times a week, you wont see faster, better results by using daily. The scrub, once a day, but don't scrub too hard Smiley Wink You may also be using too many harsh products daily, sounds like the skin isn't able to take a breather.

Re: Are facials worth it?

Thank you for all of the info! "sebaceous filaments" was the word I was forgetting! I knew they were different than blackheads, although still very irritating to see. I'll up my scrub to daily, and cut back my mask from every other day to twice a week. I have seen improvement after using Glam Glow (a very recent purchase!) so hopefully that will help. 

Re: Are facials worth it?

Don't scrub too much! What scrub are you using?

Re: Are facials worth it?

I've been using clinique's scrub (not the 7 day cream one)


And I'm pretty gentle with it. Not like how I used to use St Ive's apricot scrub until my face was pink.... Bad days. 

Re: Are facials worth it?

I've seen a big improvement in my nose pores after using a glycolic peel once a week (which opens the pores) followed by the glamglow mask. I feel like using the peel first really helps the glamglow work to its full potential. The pores are still clearly there but not as dark and the surface is much smoother.

Re: Are facials worth it?

I do the reserve: I use a mask first, then a glycolic treatment. Though, at Skin Spa, they do a professional peel that needs neutralizing first, then put a mask on me.

Re: Are facials worth it?

Thanks for the tip! I just ordered the Un-Wrinkle peel pads which have a lot of glycolic acid in them. 

Re: Are facials worth it?

I have always loved getting facials, and I have been doing them for decades.  I really think the skill and knowledge of the esthetician is most important to me.  How to find a good one?  For me, it has been a lot of trial and error.  I have had horrible facials done at doctor's offices, and I have had fantastic facials done at random hotel spas when on vacation.  It can be very hit-or-miss.


I try to avoid spas and estheticians who solely promote one brand.  My skin does not fit into a neat little category on any given day.  I like someone who will offer me choices and variety.  My skin is custom-made, so I like to have it treated that way Smiley Wink  


I give myself a facial at home every single week.  I have most of the equipment that I like and need from years of doing this, so I find that I can often do a better job than some random professional who does not know me.


I don't know if any of this helps at all, but, for me at least, it has been a willingness to experiment with new places and a lot of trial and error.  I wish you the best of luck in finding what works for you.

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