Many of us make promises to ourselves at the beginning of the new year, such as eating better and getting more exercise to look and feel our best. One thing that is often overlooked is our skin. Exercise and good nutrition will certainly improve the skin overall, but facials can take it a step further.
According to Jessica Street, licensed esthetician at The Spa at Medical Eye Center in Medford, the skin is the No. 1 indicator of internal health.
“When you get good nutrients, enough rest, relaxation and hydration, it all shows in your skin,” she says. “The first thing we do is meet with the client for a consultation. We discuss their concerns, whether it is acne, aging or any other condition they want to improve. Then we customize a facial treatment plan to meet their goals regardless of ethnicity or age.”
Street says that most facials include a warm steam cleanse, exfoliation and a mask for their skin type in order to correct dryness, clogged pores, loss of elasticity and any inflammation.
“We always incorporate a soothing massage of your face, neck, shoulders and hands,” says Street. “Pressure point massage to the face is very relaxing. Massage increases blood flow and that is always good for you.”
Special treatments may include microdermabrasion, dermaplaning and chemical peels, depending on the needs of the client.
“An approachable, relaxing spa facial is good for any and all skin types and colors,” says Street. “Microdermabrasion, medium-depth chemical peels, dermaplaning and micro needling are all safe and effective at treating acne, pigment issues and scarring in all skin tones. It just may take more treatments to improve darker skin tones, but when you are dealing with the delicate skin on your face, ‘slow and steady wins the race’ is a good philosophy to adopt.”
SPF 30 or higher, retinol and products with exfoliating and skin-brightening ingredients like lactic acid, kojic acid, arbutin and licorice extract are all helpful with skin texture and tone irregularities, according to Street, who adds that these products are also safe and effective at treating darker skin. Age may affect skin goals as well.
“We take different approaches to different ages,” says Street. “You may want to attain and keep your skin healthy, or you may want to keep wrinkles down and pores small.”
Rebecca Snyder of Illumined Body Medi-Spa in Medford recommends the HydraFacial for both men and women seeking a deep pore cleanse.
“This is done with a sophisticated piece of equipment that vacuums the skin,” she says. “The client can see what is drawn out of the skin, which is generally shocking. It’s a wonderful treatment, especially for aging skin, because it plumps and hydrates. Clients walk out with a glow.”
According to Snyder, the process takes about 45 minutes and can be repeated every three to four weeks.
“This deep cleans like nothing else. Men just love it because it is quick. Results generally last about two to three weeks but will last longer depending on your home skin care regimen,” she said.
Street says product ingredients are important for lasting results.
“There are many different product lines, and an organic medical grade is going to give better results,” she says.
Another factor for glowing skin is frequency in facial treatments.
“If all you want to do is treat yourself to some pampering, you can schedule a one-time only appointment, but if you want to achieve your best skin, once a month is ideal,” Street says. “You should always look forward to it. You want to relax and enjoy it and leave feeling clean and refreshed. An investment in skin health is wonderful for your mind, body and soul.”
Snyder says that women too often overlook their own health while they take care of everyone else.
“A facial is a pampering treatment that relaxes the muscles and improves circulation,” she says. “The facial muscles are very sensitive. There is so much tension held in the face. A facial is a nourishing treatment that releases tension in the face and jaw. When a woman takes care of herself, she is recharged and has more to give. It is a gentle kind thing to do for oneself,” says Snyder.