Optimizing your facial

It’s pretty clear at the end of a treatment if someone will benefit from our time together or not. A facial is not just an opportunity to relax or a time to get your skin cleared up, it’s an opportunity for an updated education on your skin’s health by tuning into what your skin is telling us. If we miss out on our chance to listen in, there can be some confusion as to why our skin responds in the way that it does post-treatment. There are a few simple steps that I like to tune into in order to make sure my clients feel supported but the key is if they are ready to participate in what can optimize the facial’s potential. Here are a few key steps towards achieving that very important skin care goal.

Step 1)

Have your skin facial ready!

Since I’ve worked in spas for such a long time, I have been taught to adapt to any client and meet them wherever they are at with their skin. This means, if they’ve picked their skin - I fix it, if they’re wearing tons of makeup, I take the extra time to make sure it’s off, If they’re late, I adjust my schedule by shortening my lunch...etc. etc. So with this ongoing mindset, I not only allow for bad habits to form but I’m presented with often impossible tasks that only end of reflecting poorly on me and not the initial culprit. In order to have your skin facial ready, you want to have the following checked off your list:

  • Have your workout already done | This means you won’t have to worry about sweating post-treatment which can disrupt your microbiome and lymphatic flow from all of the work we did to it. I love a good sweaty session for the skin beforehand because you’ve already gotten blood, lymph, and overall detoxification moving and can allow the full body to rest post treatment.

  • Avoid wearing excess makeup | We all have different makeup techniques these days but sometimes it can take me up to 3 cleanses to fully remove someone’s face makeup. This doesn’t include the mascara that can often take an additional several minutes. Your best case scenario would be to avoid it all together but if you can’t, wear minimal makeup so we can start working more efficiently right away.

  • Don’t cleanse your skin! | I’ve had some clients ask to use the restroom before their treatment and then come out with an overly cleansed face, thinking that they just helped me in the process. Unfortunately, when you cleanse your skin this can disrupt the process that I need in order to build your treatment and it can also create a compromised barrier for me to work on. If your session is mid or late day, do your normal routine but avoid your evening cleansing. If your session is in the morning, avoid your AM cleansing altogether.

  • Don’t pick your skin! | This should be a given, but again, I’ve had some clients think they are helping me by doing this. I don’t need the help and unfortunately this only leads to more potential complication when I get involved because I wasn’t able to see what type of condition your skin was in prior to the self-extraction. I believe that picking the skin is a form of self-harm and there are hardly any cases in which I find it to be beneficial for someone to do this to themselves. Instead of picking, nurture yourself with lots of water intake and rest to help it heal faster. Estheticians are trained to do the rest.

Step 2)

Have your mind facial ready!

This may seem obvious but every once in a while I get a client who isn’t really mentally ready to receive a facial. It can be difficult for me to manage that situation because in a perfect world, I would turn a client away and reschedule them when they are mentally ready for a facial. But unfortunately, this isn’t something I practice in from my previous conditioning of meeting a client where they are at. The truth is that, if you’re not ready for an hour + of skin healing time, your skin knows it.

The other day, I had a client who was going through an understandably confusing time and spent the whole treatment (almost 2 hours) talking about something that was frustrating to her. I could see her skin fluctuating throughout the session as her feelings were being expressed. She later asked me if she would still benefit from her facial massage as much if she were talking through it. My answer was honest as I told her “Would a full body massage be as beneficial if you were running during it?”. The muscles, connective tissues, and bones in our skin are in constant activation and unless we’re sleeping, meditating, or in our skincare regimen - we often don’t get a chance to allow our skin to feel soothed and cared for.

If you allow yourself to relax and dedicate your facial time to unplugging from the rest of your life, your skin will benefit the most from my carefully curated treatment. If you’re going through unexpected turmoil, my treatment room is definitely a safe space for release but at a certain point it’s okay to just get quiet and let the physical and emotional tensions slip away. My years of training in facial massage will only benefit your deserving skin if you allow it to.

Step 3)

Have your day facial ready!

Our lives are filled with endless scheduling commitments and that feeling like we have to fit in so much to just keep up. Unfortunately, for most people that’s exactly how a facial has to be carved into their schedule. So it’s very common for a client to come in for a treatment but have a day full of commitments after our time together, therefore shortening the healing window for their skin. As simple as this adjustment sounds, it’s unfortunately the one that is overlooked and ignored the most. It’s also the one that can cause the most post-facial healing crisis for your skin. Most of the time, if you are able to eliminate your exposure to excess external elements, drink water and infusions, as well as rest, your skin will respond to a facial wonderfully. But if you’re exposing yourself to too much, pushing the limits of your body, and avoiding replenishment - this can give your skin more work to do while it’s trying to heal. When booking your next facial, consider the following:

  • Avoid going out/working out | I want people to enjoy their day but do it in an area in which you can best control the environment. This includes having fresh sheets for your skin to enjoy during your evening sleep!

  • Avoid excess screens | The blue light is a massive stressor to our skin that it can compromise any existing depletions. Put down the phone and pick up a book instead!

  • Have your meals ready to go | Instead of worrying about going out to eat or the grocery store post treatment, make sure you have nutrient-dense food waiting to fill you up at home. Some post-facial favorites include; coconut water, a celery, greens, and blueberry-rich smoothie, carrot soup, or a warm salad bowl full of steamed veggies and fresh caught salmon topped with ground turmeric, fresh black pepper, and olive oil.

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A facial is part self-care, skin workout, and an opportunity to tune back into what your skin is telling you. It’s a multi-faceted treatment that can really shift the narrative you have towards your skin and yourself. This will help your skin on it’s daily journey towards protecting you and filtering the waste your body no longer needs. If you want to optimize your treatment, you can follow all of my steps or just start with what resonates with you. Eventually you will start to see how following your skin’s lead is a crucial part towards optimizing your full mind, body, and spirit health. Giving yourself permission to benefit from a holistic treatment like mine or the other holistic estheticians out there will have a lasting impact on how you care for yourself overall.

Thanks again for reading and please feel free to comment below with any questions or thoughts. Xo - Hayley