Saturday, May 14, 2011

Facial Time!

As spring approaches, I am reminded that it's time to assemble my Diva Team.

My Diva Team is the group of people that help me be fabulous: personal trainer, hair stylist, masseuse, manicurist, eye brow artist, and my esthetician (among others).  If you don't have a Diva Team, I highly recommend that you get one.

For the purpose of this post, I will be talking about my esthetician, who performs my facials.

I hesitated for a long time before getting a facial, because I didn't know what to expect. I thought spas were hoighty toighty and I was too "common" to fit in.  After having several wonderful experiences, I'm over that and now make it a priority to get facials throughout the year (yeah, that's right, more than one).  I think of it as insurance for the future, setting the foundation for graceful aging.

That being said, I want to walk you through what you can expect when getting a facial (this will vary slightly by esthetician and spa):

Upon arrival:
  • You'll probably be asked to fill out a form describing your skin, skin care regimen and any allergies
  • You'll be lead to a candle lit room and left to remove your top, bra and shoes
  • You'll be given a half robe to put on and told to lie on the table, under the covers

Facial Time:
  • A pillow will be placed under your knees
  • Your hair will be pulled back and wrapped in a towel
  • Your face will be washed to remove make-up
  • A very bright light will appear and the esthetician will assess your skin
  • At that point she will customize your facial based on you skin's needs
  • She may ask you questions about your skin and should describe what she's doing
  • A misting of steam will cover your face (this can make it a little hard to breathe, don't panic)
  • Then a deeper cleaning, exfoliation and then...

Extraction Time:
  • This hurts (you can choose not to do it)
  • Extraction is the process of removing pore-clogging sebum, black heads and small pimples
  • It can be done with a tissue covered fingernail (my preference) or a metal extraction tool (not my preference)
  • This hurts
  • If done improperly, this can cause broken capillaries (I've been getting facials for the past six years and have never had this happen) (always make sure your esthetician is licensed)
  • I've had good results, clearer skin - so I suffer through the pain and whimper in silence
  • This hurts

Treatment Time:
  • Hard part's over
  • Based on your skin's condition, a series of serums, lotions and potions will be applied and removed

Massage Time:
  • While the potions and lotions are doing their thing, expect some level of massage (depending on length of facial) consisting head (my fav), neck, shoulders, arms and hands

Mask Time:
  • A mask will be applied based on your type of skin and condition (this will likely feel tight as it dries)

  • Mask will be removed
  • Appropriate moisturizer will be applied
  • You'll be left to dress
  • Most likely given a glass of water

And that folks, is a facial!  Sounds delightful, right?  It is - I really enjoy them.

Beware, if the esthetician asks if you would like to "try" their new blah, blah, blah - this is most likely an up-sell.  Ask the price before saying yes - you're facial could jump $40 to $60 from the base price (not cool).

I used to get a facial once a month, but then realized that's just silly.  I can maintain my own face through exfoliation and proper moisturization.  However, it is nice to have a deep cleaning every few months and a good extraction now and then is tres beneficial.  Plus, you should pamper yourself.  I get a facial at the start of each season, it just a nice way to begin each new phase of the year.

You can get a 30, 60 or 90 minute facial.  I've never had a 90 minute facial, but there is little difference between a 30 and 60 minute facial other than a little more massage time.

Be sure to remove rings, necklaces or bracelets prior to your facial.  Earrings can remain.

A word of caution, your face will be red afterwards - it's not a good time to go out in public. This will calm down in a few hours.  Also, be wary of wearing mascara the day of a facial.  It never ceases to amaze me that after an hour of getting my face "washed," I walk out looking like a raccoon.

I prefer to go to spas or salons who use organic products.  If I'm going to have stuff slathered on my face and rubbed in, I want it to be organic, damn it!

If you're in the Northeast Ohio area, I am partial to Natural Skin located at 203 East Royalton Road, Broadview Heights, Ohio , 44147.  Natural Skin uses only the purest food and plant based ingredients found in product lines such as Eminence and Image Skincare.  Kimberly Peterson, the owner is great, very laid back and will make you feel very comfortable, as will her entire staff.  Whenever I call, they know exactly who I am.

Go Diva Team!
The Hoff

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