What is a facial?

People get facials for different reasons: some people want those horrible blackheads out! Others start taking care of their skin in their 20’s to preserve a youthful look. Older generations want some help with anti-aging regimens. Somewhere in between there are skin issues; acne, dryness, excessive oil, etc that people just plain are exhausted trying to remedy on their own and want professional treatments and advice. Then there are some that just want to be pampered and relax. Whatever your reason is, we are glad you chose Beauty Kouture to provide the your facial and any other add on treatments you choose. However, often the facial itself is a bit mysterious! “What does the steam do?”, “Why do they keep putting products on and then take them off?”, “Why do they always recommend to get facials regularly?”

We hope to answer the mysterious questions here:


A facial is a multi-step skin treatment that is one of the best ways to take care of your skin. A facial cleanses, exfoliates and nourishes skin, promoting a clear, well-hydrated complexion, and can help your skin look younger. You also receive advice from a professional on the best way to take care of your skin.

A facial works best when it is a part of an on-going program of skin care.

The basic steps of a facial:

  • Consultation. A facial should be begin with a consultation. You will fill out forms with questions about your skin, diet, how much water you intake daily, which medications and supplements you take, and skin products you are currently using. Retin-A and other medications can affect your skin and determine what treatments your licensed professional recommends for your individual needs. Your licensed professional will also inquire about your skin concerns.

  • Preparations. You will be presented with a wrap that goes around your body and underneath your arms, then closes with velcro. Your esthetician will leave the room so you can have privacy to put it on. Some clients prefer to remove all their clothing before putting on the wrap, some leave their bottoms (pants/shorts) on and some even leave their bra on and put the straps underneath their arms. We just want you to be comfortable, this will differ from person to person on the level of dressing underneath the wrap.

  • Cleansing. Your professional will start by putting a headband on to secure your hair and keep products off of it. The first product step is thorough cleansing, we use double cleansing at our spa, so you will experience 2 different cleansers back to back.

  • Skin Analysis and Cleansing. Depending on whether you have makeup on, your esthetician might look at your skin under a bright lamp first. She is determining your basic skin type (dry, oily, combination, sensitive or normal) and skin conditions (acne, blackheads, whiteheads, aging, sun-damaged, dehydration,etc). She will then choose the best products and treatments and will consult with you about what she sees and recommends.

  • Steam. Most facials use a machine that directs a thin vapor of warm steam to your face. This helps soften up any blackheads and whiteheads to be extracted. If you have very sensitive skin this step may be skipped.

  • Exfoliation. Using a mechanical or chemical exfoliant. Mechanical exfoliants have a gritty texture that rubs away the surface dead skin cells. This type of exfoliation usually happens after the steam. Chemical exfoliants use enzymes and acids to loosen the bond between skin cells. A gentle enzyme treatment can be done during the steam. Stronger chemical peels, which vary in intensity, can be a stand alone treatment or part of the facial. It is generally done in a series to achieve long lasting results.

  • Extractions. This is the removal of blackheads or whiteheads if you want it and need it. People have different pain tolerances to extractions. They can be uncomfortable, especially on thin skin.

  • Facial Massage. Using classic strokes like effleurage to both relax you and stimulate your skin and facial muscles.

  • Facial Mask. Targeted to your skin type (dry, oily, combination, sensitive, mature) and condition.

  • Final Application. Toners, serums, moisturizer and sunscreen (if it is daytime).

  • Advice on home skin care. Your esthetician will tell you how she thinks you can better care for your skin and recommend products. It is always your choice if you would like to purchase and try recommended products.

How often should I get a facial?

It varies from person to person. Ideally, get a facial monthly because that is how long it takes the skin to regenerate. If that is not in your budget, try to have a facial at least four times a year as the season changes. You may need it more than once a month or quarterly if you are trying to clear up a case of acne, especially at the beginning.

There are so many variations of facials and add on services to best treat your skin and help you to achieve maximum results. Some are ultrasonic, galvanic, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, etc. Your esthetician can recommend the best treatment for you and outline a plan that will best fit your skin care needs, lifestyle and budget.

© 2002 Beauty Kouture LLC