Your mini guide to facials

A facial can banish most skin-deep woes but are we doing it right? From the plethora of options that salons offer, here’s how to choose one that’ll work for you.

Why get a facial at all?
–   Facials are much more than a pampering experience – they nourish, rejuvenate, repair and detoxify your skin thus preventing premature ageing and environmental damage.
–   Cleansing and scrubbing cleanses the pores and sloughs away dead cells.
–   Massage improves blood circulation and imparts a healthy glow to your skin. It also evens out your skin tone and softens the skin.
–   Face packs primarily nourish and tone the skin but some may also contain ingredients to act upon acne or lighten blemishes.

When is the right time?
If you believe that only middle-aged and ‘older’ women need facials, think again. According to skin experts, ageing of the skin begins as early as mid-twenties, although it doesn’t show up until a few years later.
Dermatologist says, ” Early twenties is a good time to start off with facial treatments because youngsters nowadays are exposed to pollution, junk food and UV rays, all of which are detrimental to the health of the skin”. He recommends that you get facials done once every month.

Which is the right facial for my skin type?
Oily skin
–   Greasy skin with clogged pores, blackheads and blemishes requires deep cleansing, exfoliation and balancing out.
–   Natural clay or mud facials, gold facials and gel-based facials work well.
–   Ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree oil, egg whites, orange rind or strawberries are also quite helpful.
–   Whatever you do, avoid rich and creamy products.
–   In case of acne and blemishes, you may opt for glycolic acid or enzyme facials.

Normal skin
–   You may be blessed but your skin needs care nevertheless. A regular ‘clean-up’ is recommended every month.
–   Alternate the ‘clean-up’ with facials. Choose from a wide range of fruit and vegetable facials that help maintain the skin’s moisture balance.
–   Radiance enhancer and firming masks yield great results on normal skin.

Dry skin
–   Dull and lifeless skin needs deep nourishment and conditioning.
–   Dry skin readily takes to paraffin facials and galvanic facials that encourage absorption of moisture and nutrients into deeper layers of the skin.
–   If you prefer fruit-based facials, banana and avocado are good options.
–   Moisturizing masks containing honey, Vitamin E and chamomile help plump up famished skin well.

Sensitive skin
–   Sensitive skin is the most prone to breakouts and inflammation.
–   This type of skin cannot tolerate synthetic cosmetics and hence fresh fruit and vegetable facials are the safest bet.
–   You may also go for added natural ingredients like yoghurt, honey or raw milk for added benefit.
–   Many salons offer special facials that use medically approved hypoallergenic products for such skin types.  You should ask for such specialized treatments for your skin.

Combination skin
–   This one is often the hardest to tackle but a balanced cleansing and nourishing treatment takes care of most problems.
–   Professionals recommend using different packs on dry and oily areas of the face.
–   For home facials, natural clay, honey and yoghurt work best owing to their balancing properties.

Ageing and exposed skin
–   Skin that suffers abuse from lifestyle and environmental factors is likely to age sooner. Such skin requires more care and regular facials with anti-ageing properties.
–   Choose from AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) facials, bio-lift facials, anti-oxidant facials and collagen facials to reverse damages and claim your youth back!

A word of caution
“Cheap products may contain harmful chemicals that can result in severe allergic reactions and skin darkening”. Personally check the labels if you must and always get facials done from a reputed salon and certified professionals.

After you are done with a facial, enjoy looking at your glowing face in the mirror, but do not touch it with your dirty, unwashed, oily fingers. Go shine!