I am often asked how often I recommend professional facial treatments. The answer is always the same. I recommend once a month for maximum results. There’s a difference in working with skin that has been properly cared for at home and professionally. Healthy skin takes 28- 30 days for skin cells to move through a full life cycle of cell growth and make their way from the dermis to the surface of the skin where they are naturally sloughed off. As we age it may take longer, adding to signs of visible aging. Are you getting the picture? Once a month is ideal.
When we are babies, cellular turnover can happen in as little as two weeks. That’s why a baby’s skin looks plump, radiant, and wrinkle free. As we age, cellular turnover slows and can take anywhere from 45 to 90 days to renew.
But, it’s not just the natural aging process that slows cellular turnover. Lifestyle choices like smoking, or spending too much time in the sun, can cause cellular turnover to slow a lot earlier than our genetics would determine.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Slowed cellular turnover is remedied by exfoliation, either in the form of physical exfoliation (think scrubs) or chemical exfoliation (think peels that rely on Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid). Whether physical or chemical, exfoliation helps loosen dead skin cells from the surface. This stimulates newer, fresher cells to rise to the surface—and these cells are usually more full of water, which results in an immediate plumping effect and a visible reduction in the depth of fine lines and wrinkles.
Because slower cellular turnover is such a factor in the way skin ages, cosmetic scientists and chemists have been actively researching ingredients that can restore a more youthful cell cycle and accelerate it to mimic that of a younger skin. A Vitamin A compound (Retinol) has been a key ingredient in anti-aging strategies. Vitamin A helps speed up cellular turnover by first stimulating the sloughing (or removal) of dead skin cells from the surface, and then acting as a cell regulator, directly effecting collagen production and producing collagen and elastin fibers.
Another trusted and well-established ingredient that actively encourages cellular turnover is Glycolic Acid. Commonly obtained from sugar cane, this Alpha Hydroxy Acid is often recommended by dermatologists and esthetic professionals because it is highly effective and delivers dramatic rejuvenating results without intense downtime or recovery time. Glycolic Acid works by dissolving the “glue” between surface skin cells so they can be sloughed off. By sloughing off old skin cells, the skin cellular turnover process is activated to bring fresher, younger lower-level cells to the surface. Glycolic Acid is also a favorite amongst dermatologists because it is highly effective at visibly minimizing a multitude of skin issues including oily-prone skin, clogged pores, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines and wrinkles.
So back to the original question. How often should you have a facial? Once a month for sure!
Here are some things to expect when getting a quality facial from a licensed esthetician.
- Thorough Skin Analysis
- Cleansing and Exfoliation (Several methods are available to accomplish this. An experienced esthetician will work with your unique skin type)
- Sometimes steam is used to soften the skin or infuse ingredients for deeper penetration
- Manual Extraction to remove blemishes, blackheads & milia
- Massage – shoulders, neck, face, arms and hands are included in all of our facials. Not only is massage relaxing but it also aids in increased blood circulation and oxygen flow to the facial muscles and skin, the face is less likely to fall into deep wrinkles or show signs of physical and/or emotional stress.
- Customized Finishing mask
- Detailed explanation of how to maintain results with professional skin care at home.