While I have a suite of skincare products that keep my skin in check neatly divided up into categories, there's just so much joy that comes with getting a facial. I've always had a DIY approach to beauty, but facials (and a wax) are always where I draw the line at doing myself.
Many beauty services have been able to resume, but close-contact services including facial treatments, makeup application, advanced technical facials and eyelash or eyebrow treatments are still yet to reopen. These services are expected to resume on August 15 at the earliest, but in the meantime, beauty professionals are feeling the strain.
I've marked the dates in my calendar for when I can get my next facial, but people always ask if facials are worth it. I'm forever on Team Facials, so as we wait for our faces to be tended to, keep reading to get the lowdown on all things facials.
What are facials?
Well, pretty much whatever you want them to be. Facials are, as the word implies, treatments carried out on your face. Underneath this umbrella comes a host of treatment styles that you can choose from based on your skin's needs.
To fill you in on some of the different types of facials around, I looked to some of my go-to's. At SknDoctor, a Super Glow Facial (£220) includes a resurfacing treatment, oxygen therapy and microcurrent, aka everything you need to walk out looking more lifted and radiant. Meanwhile, at West Room Aesthetics, The Reset Facial Treatment (£225) is bespoke, but the medical-grade session typically includes a deep cleanse, light peel, masks and serums best suited for your skin.
Also on the facial spectrum is Face Gym with its Signature Sculpt (£75), which works out the face to manipulate muscles. If you're looking for a noticeable lift and tightening, this is the place to go. Then of course, if your idea of a facial includes 90 minutes of absolute luxury, stress relief and soothing, then Harrods Spa de La Mer (£200) will definitely be your scene.
So as you can see, facials can do everything from amping up your skincare routine and assisting in your skin health to providing a nice time to chill and have someone massage your face for an hour.
Are they actually good for your skin?
Facials are not made equally. Do your research to ensure that you're going to a well-trained skin professional, and don't be shy about asking for their qualifications. They'll be able to guide you to which facial is best suited for your skin type and also give bespoke treatments. As a beauty writer, I know which products work best for my skin and have some incredible experts on speed dial, but I'm always surprised at what's uncovered when I go for a facial.
I've never struggled with blackheads or breakouts, and when I went for a treatment at D.Thomas Clinic, I was expecting the extractions (extracts of clogged pores) to be over in a few seconds. Actually, I found out that my skin was in fact rather congested, as there was a lot to clear out. This made a huge difference in how much better my skincare products were able to penetrate after my treatment, and I wouldn't have known without going in.
Other benefits? First of all, be realistic about your expectations. In the same way that you can't find hope in a jar, one facial will not change your entire life. A great facial will improve the appearance of your skin and work on your specific skin needs to kick-start long-lasting results. I've always left a treatment looking and feeling rather wonderful, and it's such a joy-filled part of my beauty routine. One of the biggest benefits is that you'll have a pro get their hands on your skin to tell you what your skin is actually in need of.
How often should you get a facial?
Honestly, the advice here is twofold. Listen to what your skin professional says in regard to the protocol you're following, and do what feels good and achievable for you. Some treatments are recommended to do once a month. Others that are focused on acne might be every six weeks. Some might be once every few months. Other facials may irritate your skin if you go too often. So stick to the regime that you're on for your specific skin needs. Again, this is why it's so important to do your research and go to an expert.
Also, not everyone can afford a monthly facial, so take a look at what your lifestyle and schedule look like. Maybe you'll invest more in your daily skincare routine and stick to getting facials when you want some more care and attention and your budget allows. I have some hyperpigmentation that I'd like to work on once facial services resume, so I'll be following what my aesthetician says in regard to frequency. But usually, if I'm not looking for targeted results, I'll just go in when I fancy a reset or moment for myself.
Ahead of your next facial appointment, here are some skincare essentials to keep your routine in fine form.
For both morning and night cleansing, this balm-to-milk formula will keep skin feeling fresh without stripping.
Brighter skin is one pump away with a powerful blend of exfoliating azelaic acid, lactic acid and willow bark extract.
Add a quick spritz of moisture by drenching your skin in hyaluronic acid and orange blossom water before you continue with the rest of your routine.
This blend of nourishing oils, vitamins and hard-working coenzyme Q10, which defends against free radicals such as pollution. Your skin will thank you for using it.
Seeing as SPF is always the last step in your a.m. routine, make it a good one. You won't find any white casts or oily texture here with this clear, broad-spectrum gel.
New to the vitamin A life? Medik8 is always the best place to start, and this powerful formula also works for sensitive skin.
If you've spent years searching for a nourishing moisturiser, then this natural cream ticks all the boxes with a host of mighty ingredients.