First Facial? Find Out What to Expect

Whether it’s your first time to a spa or just your first facial, you’re on a one-way track to dewey and glowing skin. Facials are a great way to get rid of dead skin cells, clean up your pores and say adios to that blackhead that’s been staring back at you in the mirror since 2013.

Yet you’re probably also wondering what the heck you’ll be doing for the next hour or so. Luckily, what happens during a facial is no secret. You can expect to get a basic cleansing, tailored to your skin type; extractions; massage — and plenty more.


Tell Your Esthetician It’s Your First Facial

If it’s your first time on the table, tell your esthetician. Don’t be shy. The more information you divulge, the more effective your treatment will be. You can feel free to tell him or her anything about your skin — from skin problems to potential worries. If you happen to love your skin, share that too.

It’s also good to let your esthetician know why you’re there. Are you stopping by for a routine facial? Do you have any skin issues you’re concerned about? Do you want to clear up some cystic acne? Try to be as honest as possible, and don’t hold back.


You’ll Discover Your Skin Type

Maybe you already know (or think you know) your skin type. After all, it gets dry in the winter, and your nose gets a little oily in the summer. While you probably have some inkling of your skin type, your esthetician will be able to give you greater insight into why your skin reacts the way it does. In fact, your skin might not be at all what you think it is.

Some people who suffer from oily skin are in fact suffering from dry skin — yet their skin gets oilier and oilier the more they use the wrong skin products.


Your Esthetician Will Cleanse Your Skin

Once your esthetician has an idea of your skin’s needs, your skin will get a good cleansing. Using products specifically designed for your needs and skin type, your esthetician will cleanse your skin, ensuring it is free of dirt, debris and heavy metals.


Some Estheticians Use Steam

After your skin is clean, your esthetician might use steam to open up your pores. While the steam isn’t uncomfortable (most people love the feel of warm steam kissing their cheeks), it might feel a little overwhelming at first. Let your esthetician know if the steam is uncomfortable or if you have any difficulty breathing. He or she will adjust the temperature or angle of the steam machine to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.


You Might Get Extractions

Extractions are often a big part of the facial process — this is where stuff gets exciting. Using a special tool, your esthetician will extract blackheads, whiteheads and blemishes. Don’t worry! Extractions during a facial are nothing like popping pimples in front of your bathroom mirror at home. They hurt way less and won’t leave any scarring. If a blemish isn’t ready to come out, your esthetician has a few tools to help ease it into submission. You might feel a little pressure or pain, but make sure to alert your esthetician if you feel extremely uncomfortable. If it’s your first facial, you might be a little nervous to speak up; don’t be. It’s important to let him or her know if you’re feeling abnormal pain.


Your Esthetician Might Exfoliate Your Skin — But Not in the Way You Might Think

Part of the facial process is a skin exfoliation. We know what you’re thinking: about that exfoliating cleanser with the beads you used on your face back in 1997.

Sadly, those cleansers aren’t the best for your skin. You should never use harsh abrasives to remove dead skin cells. Your esthetician will probably use a serum or cream that has natural exfoliating properties and ingredients — like papaya.


Massage Is a Part of the Process

Like other spa services, massage is all a part of the process during a facial. Your esthetician will massage your face to help assist in lymphatic drainage and to encourage your pores to soak up the moisturizers and serums. Depending on your esthetician, you might end up with a hand, head and foot massage too.


Your Stomach Might Growl

All of that massaging and pampering is going to send your body into a state of deep rest. When your body rests, it enters into rest and digestion mode. We know what you’re thinking.

Getting a facial will help me speed up my metabolism?!

Sort of. To feel ongoing benefits of rest and digest, you need to rest and digest often. During your facial, your stomach might growl. It just means your body is super relaxed.


It’s Normal to End Up with Red Skin

Most people walk out of their facial expecting translucent, glowing skin. Yet the fact of the matter is that you’ve just been massaged, cleansed and exfoliated for the past hour or so. Your skin might look a little red after your facial, and that’s normal. The redness will diminish, and any puffiness will fade after a few hours. You might not want to schedule anything important (like an interview or date) right after your first facial — just to be on the safe side. After all, applying a thick layer of makeup after a facial is slightly counterproductive.


You’ll Walk Away With New Skin Products

Part of the point of a facial is learning how to treat your skin better. Different skin types require different types of products. It’s normal for your esthetician to recommend products based on your skin type, as well as other factors — like the season and your environment.


Knowing what to expect during your first facial will ensure you are comfortable and relaxed. Much like good dental health, good skin health is an ongoing process that requires a bit of upkeep. Your esthetician will recommend a daily skincare plan for you and let you know when you should return for your next facial.