People always ask me, do i do facial every often to maintain my skin radiance. What really can be benefited from facial? Can i do on my own using the similar products in salon?
Before you splurge your good money on facial, there several considerations should take place such as :-
1. Licensed aesthetician or facialist. When you go to a salon or spa, ask the person whom going to do the facial her certificate (not the salon owner). If you living here in Malaysia, i believe it is hard to find a well trained and knowledgeable aesthetician or facialist. I find most facialist stop enhancing their knowledge after they finished their school. Find somebody that really passion about treating skin not just sell products or services. I had to admit, most of the facialist are not learning proper skills in treating skin condition as most of them learn only the basics or take short courses and Malaysia syllabus still not up to date and lack of true facts. I know all these because i studied beauty courses previously.
2. Study your skin. If you had serious acne, eczema, pigmentation or sensitive skin, forget facial instead spend your money on dermatologist. Medication are more effective in treating your skin condition.
3. Salon or SPA cleanliness. Ask the facialist or aesthetician the process, tools and equipments used in facial. See whether they use spatula when taking creme from jar, sanitize tools in every use and the work must be organized and clean. These very essential to ensure that you would not get infection from non sanitize tools and creme.
4. Products. Facial products are not more superb than products that are sold at pharmacy, clinic or skin care store. Do not believe what the facialist tell you, you must educate yourself regarding products by reading The Beauty Bible by Paula Begoun, The Skin Type Solution by dermatologist Leslie Baumann or by any other dermatologists. If possible ask her to show you the products before proceed to facial. Read the ingredients list and try to tell them not to used products contain alcohol or irritating ingredients.
Well, what you can really benefits from facial are :-
1. Relaxation. Massage can improve your lymph flow and relax your nerves but try to find facialist well trained in massage. If you feel uncomfortable or pain after the massage, then it's not good. You have to experiment by yourself.
2. Clearing blackhead or whitehead. If you are person that love to pick at your skin, better let the facialist do it for you. They know how to remove without causing much pain or mess to your skin. There is professional way to press the blackhead and whitehead.
I do not find much good salons here in Malaysia because the lack of trainings, guidance and knowledge. If you wish to splurge RM 100 above to treat skin by facial, better not. Instead, i prefer light or lunch time chemical peels (using AHA or BHA) done by physician. It just cost around RM 100 - 250.00 per session and peels are great in treating whitehead, blackhead, acne, large pores, pigmentation, uneven skin tone and increase collagen. Nowadays, antioxidants and several acids are mix into the peels to increase the effectiveness of the peels. If you find a doctor that used Neostrata peels system and ask the about the peels booster that are patented to target your skin problems. Why pay more if you can pay less. If you wish to spend more than RM 300, then get laser such as Intense Pulse Light that can improve conditions such as whitehead, blackhead, acne, facial hair, pigmentation, wrinkle, blotchy skin and large pores.
Now you know where i go to maintain my skin. I often do chemical peels every two or three months to refresh my skin from blotchy. But if i'm on tight budget i do mini peels or facial at home.
For mini peels, i purchased 15% AHA Gel by Neostrata and apply according to the instruction and afterward i apply a sheet mask to cool off my skin. This mini peels is great for those who have acne (not sensitive skin), uneven skin tone or light pigmentation. I like sheet mask from Olay(my favorite so far, contain concentrated Vitamin B5), Activa, Watson and Neutrogena as they contain a lot water binding ingredients and antioxidants.
As for the mini facial, i use cleanser, scrub, antibiotic/Vit B5 gel/Tea tree gel, mud mask/sheet mask, and moisturizer. Firstly, i wash my face with cleanser then scrub my face with gentle scrub (i like Simple brand). Then i soak a towel in tepid water and cover my face with it for 10 minutes. I do not steam my face as it will cause redness. The warm towel is to soften the skin prior to the squeezing blackhead and whitehead. Take an extractor (buy one that high in quality, i love The Body Shop Extractor), gently press over the blackhead or whitehead 2 - 3 times, if the content do not come leave it alone as further pressure can hurt your skin that will leave a scar. After extracting, take an antibiotics gel or Vitamin B5 gel (such as Hirus) or tea tree gel (make sure free from alcohol) and apply to areas that had been extracted, this is to disinfect the areas. Leave 3 minutes for the gel to adsorb. Then apply mud mask(i like mask fromPaula's Choice (really good), Himalayas, The Body Shop ) or sheet mask ( for very dry skin, do not apply mud mask) for 15 minutes and rest. Finally, wash the mud mask (sheet mask, let the fluid dry on your skin) then apply a sufficient amount of moisturizer to the entire face.
I firmly against using peel off masks as most of them contain a lot of alcohol and PVP ( that what makes the mask to stick on your face) that is used in hairspray.
Oh before i forget, some salons offer mini peels or floral peels or etc. These peels either just applying scrub or low concentration acid to the face by mean 15% - 20% AHA. I advice make sure that the aesthetician qualified to do that, if not just go to the doctor. Anyway, clinics in Malaysia offer affordable skin treatments.