Is there anything more relaxing than having a facial? The face massage, the calming music, the fact that you get to lie down with your eyes shut for an hour… it’s absolute bliss. Then there’s the fact that you walk out with dewy, lit-from-within skin that wouldn’t be out of place on a Fashion Week runway!
But these days, there’s so many different types of facials that the ‘services’ list at the spa can feel like you’re reading a foreign language. Gone are the days when brightening, hydrating or anti-aging were your only three options. Now, lasers, needles and even Vampires are involved! The huge amount of choice can actually be panic-inducing — which is not exactly the desired reaction.
To help take the stress out, we’ve put together an extensive guide to the most common types of facials. Read on to learn to get to know your microdermabrasion from your microcurrent facial.
Lymphatic Massage Facial
This type of facial is basically like a massage for your face. It involves using the hands to knead targeted spots on the face. It’s mainly used to reduce puffiness and bloating, but can also alleviate pain from clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth.
As the name suggests, an LED facial involves lying underneath a light. Basically, the idea is that lights in different colours trigger different reactions beneath the skin’s epidermis. Blue is normally used to kill the bacteria that causes acne and treat blackheads and whitehead. Meanwhile, red is more commonly used to anti-ageing facials, as it stimulates collagen as well as shrinking the pores and tightening the skin.
The ultimate hydrating facial, the Hydrafacial uses a vacuum-like device to extract and cleanse all the bad stuff from your face (aka blackheads and whiteheads!) Then, the same tool is used to infuse your skin with vitamin-rich serums. It’s said to leave to skin smooth, glowing and hydrated.
Currently one of the most popular types of facials, microdermabrasion involves scouring the skin with a a pressurized jet with tiny crystals, before vacuuming the dead cells away. It’s used to give the skin a deep exfoliation — which helps to smooth the skin, refine the pores and reduce pigmentation. The downtime isn’t too bad but it can leave your skin a little red afterwards.
Yes, the ancient Chinese medicine practice can also be used on your face! By inserting acupuncture needles into the face, it’s thought to stimulate collagen and elastin production, which helps to firm the skin and smooth out lines. You also get the relaxation benefits from the acupuncture.
This one is a lot less painful than it sounds, we promise! It’s actually one of the oldest facial techniques around and it involves using chemicals like glycolic or salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin so it eventually peels off — leaving behind a baby smooth layer! Not into the idea of using chemicals on your face? There are also fruit or herbal peel treatments that so the same thing.
Fraxel is a resurfacing treatment that involves using a laser to ‘injure’ the face, so that it creates new and improved skin! This is said to lead to a smooth and radiant complexion, as well as reducing the appearance of your pores, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.
The ultimate in luxury, the gold facial is done in a few different ways. Some beauticians use a 24K gold sheet mask, while others massage a cream or gel enriched with colloidal gold into the skin. It’s said to lift and firm the skin, while also preventing the free radicals that lead to premature ageing.
Considered a less intense alternative to Botox, this type of facial stimulates the muscles with sending mild levels of electric currents to the skin. This naturally contours and sculpts the face and smooths out wrinkles.
Warning: This one’s not for the faint of heart! Also known as PRP, the Vampire Facial uses hyaluronic acid from your own blood (taken with a needle from your arm) to rejuvenate your complexion and smooth out your skin tone. Kim Kardashian counts herself as a fan.