Never Underestimate the Power of a Facial
We often have preconceived notions about things, and I have found that facials quite often fall into this category. The preconceived notion being that a facial is purely for beauty and has no wellbeing qualities at all. In this article, I would like to dispel this common misconception.
I became a Complementary Therapist quite late in life. When I was 53 to be precise. Prior to that, I never had any regular treatments, primarily because I was pretty bad at putting myself first and taking care of myself, instead focusing my energies and attention on my family. If I did treat myself, it was a back massage that I would choose as I was slightly scared of having a facial. This is partly because I have problems with my skin. I have rosacea and I can quite often have spots too although this has decreased now that I am through the menopause. But my skin would react quite horribly to different products and so I thought a facial would be more troublesome than it was worth.
Whilst training to become a Complementary Therapist, I was transfixed by the slow, rhythmic massaging movements of a facial. I was taught about the muscles of the face and shown where tension can lie and how to soothe this away. As a benefit of being on a course like this, you get to be a guinea pig, and I began to love having a facial. My skin didn’t react badly and I was surprised by just how relaxed I felt.
Now I try to have a facial at least once a month and the soporific effects have me snoring only a few minutes after the treatment has begun! It truly is one of my favourite treatments to have.
Quite often I have noticed the same reluctance to have a facial amongst my own clients. They believe that a facial is for somebody who wants a beauty treatment and they don’t imagine that there can be any well being benefits to be had. I have to convince clients to give it a go, but once they have tried it, they, like me, are surprised by how it made them feel. So, if you need to be convinced to give a facial a go, this is what a facial is and the benefits that it can bring to you.
In the first instance, you get to lie down which is the start of relaxation. The heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump blood around the body which encourages your muscles to relax. Your scalp is gently wrapped up in a towel and all of a sudden you feel cocooned and safe. The facial treatment starts with a cleanse, sometimes two cleanses and the therapist will then inspect your skin to ensure that any problem areas will be addressed. Next, a toner followed by an exfoliator or a scrub. Your face may then be wrapped in a hot towel to open up your pores for the massage that follows. After that, a face mask will be brushed on and whilst that is working its magic, you may be offered a scalp massage, a hand and arm massage or a foot massage. Once the mask has been removed, a moisturiser will be applied with the addition of an eye serum and lip balm.
All therapists have their own products that they love to use. I am using the skincare range from Botanicals. I chose this product because it is certified organic and contains natural ingredients, is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is cruelty free and made in England. It is very gentle and soothing. Botanicals drew up a list of ‘must haves’ for their products which include the following:
- To be effective – holistically as well as practically – and always give good results.
- Pleasant to use, (in terms of fragrance and feel). We appreciate that our customers wouldn’t want to use a product – no matter how natural – if they didn’t like the smell!
- Provide a therapeutic benefit. We add plant extracts and essential oils at a percentage sufficient to give a therapeutic benefit (not just to name them on the label).
- Kind to the environment. All the ingredients we use come from sustainable sources and are fully biodegradable.
- Cruelty free. We are totally against animal testing, and operate a non-animal testing policy for all our ingredients. We support, and are members of Naturewatch.
- Good value. Most of our products contain 100% active ingredients, with little or no water content. You therefore need a much smaller amount than conventional products.
There are many excellent skincare products on the market, but for me, Botanicals ticks all the boxes and my clients love it too!
The benefits of a facial are many and include the following:
- Moisturise and nourish the skin
- Relaxation – the treatment has a calming effect on the nervous system
- Increases blood and lymph circulation
- Brightens the complexion due to increased blood circulation
- Gives client a feeling of well-being
- Relieves stress and fatigue
- Promotes restful sleep
- Boosts self confidence
- Improves concentration
- Reduces tension headaches
- Tones the facial muscles
- Improves the circulation to the scalp and hair
- Relieves pressure to the sinuses
- Boosts the immune system
A successful facial treatment depends on the therapist’s ability to recognise the client’s needs and to treat them accordingly and give advice and information on how the client can maintain these effects at home. A skin diagnosis will inform the therapist which products to use in the treatment. There are four main skin types; normal, oily, dry and sensitive. Combination skin is a combination of more than one of the four.
There are many factors that can affect the condition of the skin, including the following:
- The skin renews itself whilst we sleep, 7-8 hours of sleep per night ensures cell regeneration can occur.
- Vitamin C can aid in prevention of environmental/sun damage.
- Water increases hydration levels in the skin, and improves circulation of lymph for waste removal.
- Regular exercise increases circulation of blood to the skin’s surface.
- Relax your mind by exercising your body. Clenched facial muscles can lead to premature ageing and blemishes.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and smoking as they lead to essential moisture loss and premature ageing.
- Skin becomes drier and we lose elasticity with age. Moisturising the skin can slow down the ageing process.
- Sun is a very damaging environmental factor. An SPF factor of 15 or above should be worn every day to avoid pigmentation, premature ageing and skin cancer.
- Low humidity can starve the skin of essential moisture and high humidity can create an oily feeling. Use a suitable moisturiser to prevent essential moisture loss.
- Both cold and hot temperatures leave the skin feeling dry and tight. Protect the skin from the environment with a moisturiser.
- Strong winds can lead to dry, flaky and red looking skin.
- Air pollution can clog and suffocate the skin.
Aftercare advice is a vital part of a facial treatment in order to prolong the results of the treatment and improve the skin condition. The following advice should be given:
- Drink 1 – 2 litres of water daily.
- Use an appropriate cleanser, toner and moisturiser twice daily.
- Wear a factor 15 sun protection daily.
- Have facial treatments once per month.
- Get out in fresh air daily.
If you’ve never experienced a facial, I hope that I have convinced you to give it a go. I offer a full facial (60 minutes), a full facial and a back massage (90 minutes), a mini facial (30 minutes). I also include a mini facial and scalp massage in my full aromatherapy massage, a 75 minute treatment. And remember – to get the full benefit from a facial or any treatment for that matter, please try to ensure you will be doing nothing afterwards in order to get the best results and full benefits, there is nothing worse than going back to work after a treatment!
Hopefully I will see you and your lovely face soon.