Even though you may want an aesthetician, or beauty expert, to give you advice on the best treatment for your skin, you'll save time and money by understanding your basic needs before you visit the spa. Spas are in the business of making money, and to that end, they often encourage patrons to undergo treatment extras. If you visit expecting a basic cleansing and massage and experience pressure to add treatments, like a bio lift or alpha-hydroxy acid facial to tighten your skin and reduce discoloration, you may be getting more than you bargained for or wanted.
Make a wish list of areas you'd like to address, like dark circles under your eyes, peeling skin or acne around your nose and chin. If you're visiting a spa for the first time, start with a basic package and add features during subsequent visits after you know you like the service.
Facials and facial treatments can blend a number of different features, from simple massage to oxygen therapy designed to plump the skin. Some of these practices have been around for centuries, while others may be so new that there's little or no research supporting claims that they do anything to help your skin at all. Before you sign on for any extras, take a deep breath. Once you're sitting in the chair, everything will sound wonderful, so recognize now what your priorities are.
If a treatment sounds unfamiliar or just plain wacky, ask for more information, do your homework and maybe even consult a dermatologist before proceeding. Facial treatments using deep massage or cleansing can cause skin irritation or even damage, leaving your skin worse off than before the facial. Even if a treatment is completely safe, like adding exotic food ingredients to a mask, if there's no support for its benefits, it may end up being an expensive way to wear your lunch instead of eating it.
In making an honest assessment of your needs and resources, you may discover that you would be happier with another option, too, like choosing a med spa licensed to perform laser skin therapy, wrinkle filling or Botox treatments instead. Over time, expensive facials can add up to the cost of other, more long lasting solutions. On the flip side, you may discover you can beat the price of a spa facial with a home treatment instead.
On the next page, we'll take a look at a few basic spa facials.