Quick: Off the top of your head, name someone you know who's perfectly happy with his or her skin. It's not so easy, right? Even people who seem to have perfect, glowing skin will probably tell you they hate their (invisible to you) crow's feet or point out some barely visible zits or freckles. This, in a nutshell, is exactly why the facial business is booming. There aren't too many people out there who would turn down a chance to improve their skin -- or at least get an hour of relaxation while sweet-smelling lotions and potions are applied to their face.
People get facials for any number of reasons, and most facial treatments do have the same basic setup. They usually include cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, massage, a mask and moisturizer (not necessarily in that order). But beyond that, they vary wildly. If you're just looking for a skin pick-me-up and some quality relaxation time, you'll have your pick of the basic treatment options. But sometimes you need a little more.
And just what can you expect when you have a specific skin problem you'd like to target? Corrective facials are intended to improve any issue you might have -- from acne to aging. All spa menus boast an impressive list of benefits, but facials aren't FDA-regulated. And if you ask dermatologists and other skin experts, the jury seems to be out as far as the long-term benefits of facials.
At the very least, you should be able to expect temporary improvement from a corrective facial. And if your facialist is worth his or her salt, you'll gain some insight into your skin type and learn about how to take care of your skin. The key is to keep your expectations somewhat realistic: No matter what the spa claims, if you anticipate a permanent cure, you're bound to be disappointed.
Here are five of the most common benefits of corrective facials, based on the type of skin problem the treatment is targeting. A word to the wise: If you're heading to the spa with a specific skin issue in mind, be sure that your facialist first provides you with a full consultation and skin analysis.