A facial is a procedure involving a variety of skin treatments, including: steam, exfoliation, extraction, creams, lotions, facial masks, peels, and massage. It is normally performed in a beauty salon but it is also a common spa treatment.

A facial cleans, exfoliates and nourishes the skin to promote clear, well-hydrated skin. A facial is the second most popular spa service after massage. It is sometimes called a "deep-cleansing facial" or "deep-pore cleansing" facial because of extractions.

A facial can offer many benefits. The face is always subject to the elements such as the sun, maybe smoke or an improper at home regime. Facials offer you the opportunity to work with a professional skin care specialist who will analyze your skin, help you improve your complexion and show you how to take proper care of your skin.

A professional facial should be given by a licensed esthetician with special training in skin care.

The Basic Steps of a Facial

  • A facial begins with a thorough cleansing with cotton pads or sponges and a product chosen for your skin type (normal, dry, oily, combination, sensitive, mature.)
  • Skin Analysis. The esthetician covers your eyes and looks at your skin through a brightly lit magnifying lamp that reveal various skin conditions.
  • Exfoliation using a mechanical or chemical exfoliant. Mechanical exfoliation has a gritty texture and usually happens while a steam vapor is directed at your face. Some facials may use steam towels instead.
  • Extraction of blackheads or whiteheads if you want it and need it. (It can cause broken capillaries and discoloration if done on sensitive skin, or done improperly.) People have different pain tolerance for extractions. They can be uncomfortable, especially on thin or ruddy skin.
  • Facial massage using classic strokes like effleurage to both relax you and stimulate your skin and facial muscles.
  • A facial mask targeted to your skin type (dry, oily, combination, sensitive, mature.)
  • Application of toners and protective creams.
  • Advice on home skin care.

Variations on the Classic European Facial

Variations on the classic European facial include the "mini-facial" (cleansing without extractions) and specialty facials. Add vitamin C, and you have an "age defense" facial. It's an "oxygen facial" when a mist of pure oxygen is part of the treatment, and a "collagen facial" when special collagen sheets are placed on the skin. An acne facial will pay special attention to extractions. A photo facial is a separate light treatment to achieve specific results like boosting collagen or treating acne.

Types of Facials

Aromatherapy Facials. These involve essential oils or products manufactured from them. Essential oils are said to have an affinity with the skin’s natural oils and can be used to supplement or regulate sebaceous output. Therapists often use pressure point massage to encourage their efficacy. Oils are also used to stimulate and relax.

Electronic Facials. Electrotherapy is said to enhance the action of skin-care products. The best-known electrotherapy method is called Cathiodermie. It involves two types of low-voltage current being applied with tiny fork-like electrodes. Galvanic current ionizes both skin and gels, improving absorption. High-frequency faradic current massages the skin's surface, boosting circulation and producing anti-bacterial ozone.

Non-surgical face lift. Controversial – and hugely popular – these high-tech treatments use electronic massage techniques to boost both muscle and tissue tone. Electric micro currents compatible with the body's own stimulate the 30 muscles of the face. They also ease fine lines, and boost the circulation and lymph. However, to keep muscles "exercised", treatments, which are expensive, must be regular.

Pretty Picks for Facials

Beauty Time Hair Salon & Spa

7739 Champlain Crescent
Vancouver, V5S 4J6


  • Facials
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