How Often Do you Need a Facial? Really?
A facial is not a cure.
While some of us may think of our monthly facial as maintenance, and on the other hand some of us have never had one - but still care for and maintain great skin, there are many factors that go into how often you really need a facial!
Read on to get true insight into what your skin is doing, both externally and internally.
In short, there is no one answer. As most things that have to do with our bodies, there is no one size fits all. We break down the details below and give you the direct opinion, and detailed insights of a facialist with over a decade of experience!
Apart from being one of the nicest and willing-to-help-with-no-strings-attached human beings you could talk to, Jen Stoeckert, of Minimal Beauty draws information from years of integrated approaches on (holistic) skin care, working in some of the biggest hotels and spas around the world.
A facial at her Miami studio goes beyond you leaving with glowing skin. Jen will leave you with lifestyle tips, and a friend - just a phone call away to ensure the longevity of your facial. Do not be fooled by her brand’s name. By minimal she does not mean going minimal on your beauty, but actually maximizing your inner and outer beauty through uncomplicating how to take care of your skin.
Jen specializes in holistic and custom care, getting to know you, and bringing science, nature, and luxury together to assist your skin do what it is already doing. Practicing Ayurveda, Eastern massage rituals, lymphatic support and skin microbiome integrity (way before it was buzzy). Jen helps your skin restore its natural intelligence, depending on your skin condition, and if none, then just maintain your skin cycle and circulation.
Let’s get into the details – listing it out in simple terms for ease of reference (The below has been extracted and paraphrased from a conversation with Jen, but all statements maintain the integrity of her advice).
How often to get a facial – simply speaking?
Usually to stay completely on point your skin cycle (very similar to women’s monthly cycle) is 28-30 days by the time the skin cells shed and cycle out.
If you cannot do a facial every month, truly you can do it when you feel like you need it.
Seasonal changes – this often affects your skin, reacting to the new climate, or needing tweaks in your skin care.
Acne – individuals with acne, your magic number is 3 weeks. Jen has found that her clients with acne are happy with their skin right upto the beginning of the 4 week mark. Therefore, getting a session in at the 3 week mark is great to get the lymphatic drainage and address inflammation.
Peels and microdermabrasion should be kept to a minimal bases.
After her lengthy experience in the industry, Jen strongly believes that peels should not be done routinely on a month to month bases, as it can damage your skin and is not creating a long term positive effect on your skin. Microdermabrasion, if done once in a while, if at all, is okay
Individuals that have never gotten a facial, when should they start? should they start at all? Does your skin get dependant on facials?
Can start whenever
At any point of adult skin past puberty
Especially when you start wearing makeup
Want to ensure you’re not stripping your skin in the cleansing process, but also not clogging your pores
There are different aspects that affect your skin, hormones, nutrition, mental state, sleep, personality (in Ayurveda referenced as your dosha), so it totally depends
Your skin does not get dependant on facials
Jen strongly believes that the right kind of facials (customized and that nourish you) are to assist your skin doing what it is already does
Preventative- Facialists can notice and see things in more detail than the average individual, therefore addressing things you could be prone to (not necessarily by a treatment, this could be a lifestyle tip or ingredients to avoid, etc.)
Facialists can confirm that your skin care routine is working for you (or suggest otherwise)
Concerns that can be treated - such as acne or rosacea
Do not do peels every month, there is a time and place for them
Consistency is key, for those targeting a specific concern. One treatment will not necessarily solve the issue
Lymphatic drainage is huge. This promotes circulation, breaks up tense tissue and releases toxins
Especially the neck and décolleté area where your head meets your body (think about the connection and flow here)
Neck can have a lot of tension held (if you have a tight upper back/shoulder area too)
If things are not circulating in your neck and face, your skin cannot heal and function at its optimum
This can be done at home, but if you don’t and your facialist focuses on this, it is a plus point to go often
Bonus points for your nervous system. Pampering and relaxing process can have great effects on your nervous system through bring taken care of, pampered, and relaxed.
What about maintaining a regular skin care routine at home? does this affect how often you need a facial (for individuals not with skin concerns such as rosacea or acne)?
Again, as mentioned above, depends on skin concerns, lifestyle, and climate, and even ethnicity. As an example, Jen treats a lot of Latin clients in Miami. Their skin is different to Caucasian or Asian skin.
Depends on your maintenance
If you prefer not to go once a month, then go when you feel like you need an extra pair of eyes, or someone else's expertise, to maintain your skin, circulation, and upper body system (and your lymphatic drainage).
Exfoliation recommended only about once a week at home
Thoughts on extractions
Definitely no extractions on inflamed or cystic spots
Don’t believe in going crazy with extractions, but doing them with certain things in mind (see below)
Depends on your environment/climate(some places are more hot and oily, some skin types are more oily), and your skin type
Massage and lymphatic drainage is great for draining the toxins, but also loosening up the muscles and tissue to help extractions to be easier
If your extraction comes out easily, great, otherwise let it be – don’t fuss with it, you can do more damage than help to your skin. If you see your pores clogged it can take a few days for it to surface and therefore be easier to remove
A tangent on facials, as we get to talking about pores
Our society makes it seems like pores are our enemy, and that skin should be pore-less, Jen gives us some insight on this
Pores do not change size
Pores can be inflamed or weighed down
Inflamed because they skin’s barrier is stripped with the wrong cleansers
Inflamed by too much of one ingredient, or the wrong ingredients
Weighed down, therefore appearing larger, because of a cream too rich for them, i.e. heavy molecular structure, hence pulling pores down
Balancing your skin and it’s PH can maintain a healthy skin structure and therefore making your pores less apparent
Bad experiences at a facial
The right facialist will spend the time to get to know you, your personality, lifestyle, nutrition, etc and treat your skin accordingly and help maintain a good flow in your system as well as assist your skin's functions.
If you have a bad experience, then you should be allowed to go back and talk about how to fix what went wrong.
If you are changing your routine, or weaning off strong skin medication, therefore purging, this can be different to breaking out. Purging will occur in the spots you regularly break out, this is just your system releasing the toxins, and going through the skin cycle, where it was previously suppressed and masked by the products.
You should not be breaking out after your facial.
You should not have any inflammatory cysts.
What are some things that facials cannot fix?
If you are sleeping 4 hours a night, or eating way too much sugar, these are lifestyle aspects that are going to greatly affect your skin, and a facial is not a cure, it is just an assistance to your skin.
The lifestyle changes are totally up to you toput into practice.
Breathing is great for your skin, maintaining a healthy diet, a balanced mental state, etc.
Taking care of your skin and your consistency in doing so. This cannot be substituted by a facial (Jen had many clients that often asked for help for their skin, but did not want to keep up with a routine – you attract what you are – your facial cannot substitute this).