How to get the most out of your facial

How to get the best facial salon experience

By: Refined Side

I have been getting facials for nearly a decade – anywhere from 2-4 times a year. I find them to be a luxury with benefits, helping my mental state as well as my skin.When I first started getting facials, they were "youth" or "teen" facials. Essentially, they cleansed and moisturized my skin and then gave me a shoulder massage. Not a bad situation for a 14-year-old! These simple facials led me on the way to good skincare maintenance and allowed me a little indulgence every few months.

In college, I decided to upgrade to a real facial. A Big Girl Facial. They were described with scary words like "peel" and "extract" – not exactly conjuring images of monks chanting as I am moisturized into spa bliss. To make my worries worse, I Googled "Do women really enjoy facials?" Don't do that. Trust me.
Since that first facial – which I survived and actually quite enjoyed – I have tried to schedule them regularly, often trying different spas or methods. I've come up with a few ways to make these beauty rituals extra enjoyable.

1. Dress for it. Most spas will require you to remove at least the top half of your clothing (and sometimes your entire outfit!) and cover yourself under a towel on the table. Don't be surprised by this nudity request! I am more modest than some, so I opt for a strapless bra that won't be ruined by oils or lotions and full coverage underwear. If the fire alarm goes off, I am still in a pickle but at least I'm not stark naked!

2. No earrings or necklaces – you'll be asked to remove them anyways.

3.This might seem obvious, but skip makeup all together. It will be a big mess to have it all taken off during your facial.

4. As for your hair, I find a low braid or high ballerina bun keeps my hair out of my face and out of the facialist's way, but still creates a stylish look.

5. Be educated on what to expect! Most facials include a cleansing, a steam (where they blow steam in your face – its wonderful!), treatment, extraction, and moisturizing. Some will include a chemical peel, exfoliation, and hopefully a great neck and shoulder massage! The facialist may also treat your neck area and décolletage, which is why they ask that you remove so much clothing!

6. Ask questions. What kind of facial will you receive? Can they treat special concerns, such as fine lines or acne? Are you allergic to anything, or sensitive to certain oils?

7. Extraction will happen. Well, most likely! Extraction is where a facialist or aesthetician extracts all the gunk from your pores, such as blackheads. They may use their fingers or a special tool. It is uncomfortable, but I find it rebalances my skin and brings it to a good place. I will say that the best extraction I've had did make me cry, but it was definitely worth it.

8. Be vocal during the process. It is okay to say "ow, that's a little hot!" Your aesthetician will understand, adjust accordingly, and most certainly not be insulted!

9. Close your eyes, breathe deep, and enjoy the sounds and scents. You have no where to be but here, and nothing to do but lie there.

10. Prolong the relaxation. Schedule your facial at the end of the day, so you can simply go home, make a cup of peppermint tea, and continue the indulgence!

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