As a 31 year old, I finally got my first facial ever just a few weeks ago … and I have NO IDEA why I waited 31 years to try it. Well actually, I do. It’s because I have incredibly sensitive combination skin that’s prone to breakouts and redness and I was afraid that facials were going to be one of the many skincare tricks I’ve tried that work for other people but just seem to make my situation worse. I was wrong.
For my inaugural session, I ended up trying the Signature Facial at The Red Door, because the salon is owned by Elizabeth Arden so I trust that they know what they’re doing. Woo! I was right. If you’ve ever been on the fence about getting a facial, or want to take a DIY approach and try some of the tactics at home, here are a few awesome quick and easy skincare tips I learned from my facialist, Mimi Munteanu.
You need a chemical AND physical exfoliator.
As soon as Mimi saw my pores under a magnifier, she asked if I exfoliated. Which I do, but I use a scrub-type product a few times a week. According to Mimi, grainy scrubs are great for getting rid of the top layer of dull skin, but to really sink into your pores and dig out what’s already clogging them, you need a chemical (or enzyme) exfoliator too. (I ended up purchasing Red Door’s Cranberry one, seen above). Then, alternate your chemical version with your physical one for best results.
There’s a reason extractions are different from skin-picking.
While I was going through my first round of extractions, I couldn’t help but wonder, how is this any different then when I squeeze my pores in my makeup mirror? It feels like the same thing, and your facialist basically squeezes your skin. The difference? First, facials with extractions always start with some sort of steam to open up your pores and make it easy to extract them. Second, facialists are trained in the right amount of pressure to use. Applying too much pressure can damage your skin and cause capillary breakage.
Getting the right facial means you won’t break out.
Mimi said I shouldn’t expect a breakout from my facial, but couldn’t believe that I actually didn’t get one. Her reasoning was that a good facialist will be able to “read” your skin, and decide what it needs and what products to use one it. After my extractions, for example, Mimi used a high-freqeuency light tool on my skin, which kills bacteria that might cause my skin to break out.
Skin maintenance isn’t a one-time thing.
I tend to visit the spa more for the relaxation element than the actual results, but facials are different. They’re less relaxation (even though mine included a great head and neck massage) and more about progress. In order to reap the greatest benefits of a facial, Mimi suggested coming in once every six weeks. But even more important than that, she said, would be my skincare routine at home. This was one of the most valuable parts of visiting the spa: getting advice on what my skin needed an how to care for it. Even for the skincare minimalist, Mimi calls the following essential: a gentle cleanser, regular exfoliation (both physical and enzyme), moisturizer, and an eye cream.
Now go wash your face.