Not All Facials Are the Same

Working in the heart of the Silicon Valley gives me the opportunity to treat a wonderfully multi-cultural population with unique skin types at both of my Palo Alto spas. This particular insight has long validated—for my staff and myself—that the cookie-cutter approach to skincare does not work. Sure, everyone wants to look younger, but when it comes to handling the skin, each ethnicity should be treated individually. A serious, results-driven facial should incorporate custom-blended techniques that cater to the specific needs of the client. It should also include one or more of the technological modalities available now, thanks to the tremendous advancements in beauty. With all this knowledge and power at our fingertips, it’s completely attainable and realistic for women to attain a more youthful, healthier, and more beautiful appearance.

Be Your Own Ingredient Expert

You can visit the most skilled esthetician for a facial treatment, but if the products used on your skin are not chock-full of efficacy and active ingredients, you’re wasting your time. Just like how you need to provide nutrients to your body through a healthy diet, it’s the same with your skin. Skin is your largest organ and should be cared for in the long term.

There are so many complexion-saving products on the market these days, it can actually be an overwhelming task to differentiate between them all. Active ingredients (i.e., scientifically proven ingredients) to look for in the products you and your esthetician use on your skin are:

  • Antioxidants like vitamin C and resveratrol to shield environmental damage
  • Vitamin A derivatives, including retinoids and retinols to promote faster skin cell turnover and help diminish fine lines
  • Epidermal growth factors, which stimulate cell growth with amino acids
  • Skin-restorers, such as peptides and niacinamide, to promote better, younger skin cell turnover
  • Hydrators, including hyaluronic acid and glycerin, to keep skin smooth and bouncy
  • Skin resurfacers like AHAs or BHAs to shed damaged skin cells
  • Precious metals, such as copper and gold, to produce collagen, heal damaged skin, and reduce fine lines and redness
  • A mineral-based SPF sunscreen with physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide

If your skin is sensitive, oily, overly dry, or allergic to fragrances, it’s important to consult with a professional skincare expert about what should and should not be used on your skin during a facial treatment or at home.

Educate Yourself on the Many High-Tech Tools of Beauty

While active, high-grade ingredients are certainly part of the formula in a results-driven facial, you would be remiss to not incorporate a beauty gadget or two into your treatment. When your esthetician employs quality ingredients in conjunction with professional, technologically savvy devices, the results increase tenfold. Some tools of the trade include:

  • Microdermabrasion – This buffs away the buildup that causes dullness, clogged pores, and uneven texture.
  • LED Devices – They incorporate various wavelengths of infrared light to stimulate collagen and elastin in thin, aging skin.
  • Microcurrent – This sends tiny electrical currents to the muscles in your face and neck to stimulate and lift. It also increases blood circulation, enhances penetration of active ingredients in skincare formulations, and increases production of collagen as well as elastin. This works well when done in conjunction with lymphatic drainage massage.

Continue Your Treatments at Home

As with anything you want to achieve in life, it takes work. The same goes for achieving and maintaining beautiful skin! Once you find the right professional skincare regime that works for you, it’s important to continue treating your skin at home in between esthetician visits to make the most impact. There are many high-quality, at-home devices on the market. When choosing, make sure to understand the value of the tool you’re purchasing and also use it in tandem with the properly formulated skincare products for your skin type.

If you follow these guidelines, be prepared for compliments on your complexion to come pouring in!


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