What Are The Different Types of Facials?

What Are The Different Types of Facials?

Spa facial treatments are often seen as a luxury reserved for special occasions, however many people fail to realize that facials can be an impactful part of a regular skin care routine as well. But it can be easy to get lost in the jargon of a spa treatment menu and feel a little dazed when it comes to figuring out what exactly it is that you need or want. The truth is, there are so many types of facials because they all address varying skin concerns using an array of methods to do so. Thankfully, our skilled estheticians at the Kate Somerville Clinic are well versed in all types of facials and love sharing their knowledge with their customers. Kelly Viavattine, our very own celebrity esthetician and Kate Somerville Skin Health Expert, sat down with us to share some of her favorites.

Types of Facials



1. Classic

A classic or standard facial usually involves cleansing, exfoliating, extractions, a mask, and a moisturizer. Given its calming nature, this facial can be a great choice for anyone with normal to dry skin. Extractions, the process of cleaning out clogged pores, are safe for most skin types, but you will need to ensure the esthetician first uses steam to soften the pores and covers her fingers with gauze. However, anyone with rosacea or eczema should ask to skip the steaming, which can exacerbate those conditions, and use a warm cloth instead. Extractions can pinch and cause slight discomfort, but if the process is too intense, you can simply ask your provider to stop. Our oxygen facial is a great example of a classic plumping and hydrating facial.

2. Lymphatic Massage

Sometimes combined with other treatments, a lymphatic massage facial incorporates gentle kneading of targeted areas of your face. This helps to relieve tension and reduce water retention, therefore minimizing puffiness, by stimulating the lymphatic glands found in your face [1]. Generally speaking, your lymphatic system is an important part of your immune system which aids in the removal of extra fluid and waste from your body. In addition, this type of facial can boost circulation leaving you with a bright, glowing complexion.

3. Electric Current

Just as it sounds, an electric current facial uses a microcurrent device and wet sponges to deliver low levels of electricity to the face and neck. The current naturally helps to contour your face by stimulating and tightening the underlying muscles, making it a less-invasive substitute for other injectables. The result is an anti-aging effect which helps smooth wrinkles and leaves you with a more lifted appearance. According to Kelly, these tightening facials reduce the appearance of damage.

4. Anti-Aging

Very similar to a standard facial, an anti-aging facial utilizes active ingredients and procedures to attack the signs of aging which are present on mature skin – think ages 30 and up. Typically, these facials consist of cleansing, exfoliation or skin resurfacing (often as microdermabrasion treatments), masks, deep-pore cleansing with extractions, and hydration elements. They may also incorporate antioxidant-heavy serums and ingredients like collagen to help revitalize the skin. But be sure to give your skin time to heal after this one as it can lead to flaking and peeling depending on the strength of the various elements.

5. Brightening

If you have ashy, sun damaged, or dull skin a brightening facial can help. Specifically targeting hyperpigmentation, and evens out your complexion using powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin C. The process typically involves a combination of masks, enzyme peels, and acid treatments to remove the build-up of dead skin cells. The result is radiant and glowing skin.

6. LED

Also known as Color Light Therapy, a LED (light-emitting diode) facial harnesses specific wavelengths of light to address breakouts and inflammation making it the perfect facial for acne. In addition, the pain-free technique has been shown to help stimulate cell growth, improve overall complexion, reduce redness, minimize the appearance of sunspots or fine lines, and smooth wrinkles [2]. According to Kelly, “they are noninvasive, have no harmful side effects, and no downtime.”

7. Laser

Finally, we have laser facials which sound a lot more sci-fi than they really are. By using a laser to remove the top layer of skin, this type of facial is able to gently resurface your face and correct minor flaws – hence why it is sometimes referred to as laser resurfacing. A laser facial can be used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, uneven skin tone, sun damage, and scars [3].

Selecting a Facial Type



With so many facial skin care treatments available, it can be overwhelming to try and choose one. But hopefully, the above descriptions started to give you an idea of what might be right for you. And the good news is if you begin to incorporate facials into your regular skincare routine, you can try out a number of different facial types. If you are still pondering which facial might be right for you, check out these tips on how to choose the best one for you:

Decide What to Treat

No one facial will be able to treat every single skin concern so start your selection process by deciding which condition you want to treat first. For example, the lotions and massages often associated with a classic facial can actually cause acne breakouts. So, if you are suffering from persistent acne look for words like clarifying or purifying on the treatment menu to identify facials designed for acne-prone skin. Or you might even consider getting a LED facial to combat any active breakouts.

Look for the Right Ingredients

Another trick for finding the right facial on a treatment menu is to pay attention to the ingredients listed. For example, glycolic or enzyme peels can help get rid of the layer of dead skin cells which makes your pores appear larger and wrinkles look deeper. Vitamin C, on the other hand, brightens your overall complexion. If specific ingredients are not listed on the menu, don’t hesitate to ask.

Find the Right Professional

Some facials, are actually considered medical procedures and should be performed by a dermatologist. Others use specialized equipment which requires the administrator to undergo certification to use it. Be sure that you understand these limitations and that you select a professional who is qualified to perform your chosen facial. The right facialist will also have no problem walking you through your options and advising on the right choice.

If you aren’t ready to take the plunge into spa facial treatments or have budgetary restraints that prevent it, you have other options to achieve results at home. Some masks and exfoliating treatments are designed to mimic the effects of a spa treatment but are suitable for personal use such as Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate®. This powerful product is packed with ingredients that deliver clinically proven results for healthy skin. In fact, 100% of women showed highly significant improvement in the appearance of their skin after just one use. So if you can’t make it to the spa or clinic, don’t worry, there are still plenty of products out there that can give you amazing results!

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Facial 101: What to expect during your first time

A facial is a great way to recharge your skin and get rid of impurities, while you get to relax at the same time. In fact, it is a great bonding session among friends, particularly if you are overworked and looking for a little pampering.

However, some people are apprehensive about getting facials because of the extraction. Some claim that the pain is enough to make them wince, while others say the pain is so bad it makes them cry. Here’s what you should expect during your first facial.

Meet your expert

First things first: facials are generally a relaxing experience, provided that it is performed by a licensed esthetician. An esthetician is a licensed professional who has spent a minimum of 300 to 1500 hours of training and has passed both a written and practical exam overseen by the state that will enable them to practice there. They are allowed to work on the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin. They can also specialize in specific treatments such as microdermabrasion, LED treatments, and light chemical peels, among others. Under their experienced hands, your skin will be safe and hopefully free from harm.

Understanding a facial

Now that you know that you need to enlist the services of an esthetician, you will be more relaxed knowing that your skin will be properly taken care of. This being said, a facial is a set of skin care treatments for your face with the goal of exfoliating your skin, removing impurities, and dead skin. It is usually performed in beauty salons, day spas, and even your dermatologist’s office. There are some dermatologists who employ estheticians in their private practice.

A facial treatment usually varies from provider to provider. It can be as extensive as one where you are given a full body massage in the package, or others where you are only given the basics. Essentially, a facial treatment usually includes steaming, exfoliation, and extraction. Other providers will incorporate facial masks, peels, and facial massages. It essentially depends on the package you purchase and your provider.

How a facial is performed

We cannot emphasize this enough – while the outline below is how a generic facial is performed, the process may vary depending on the spa you visit or the packages you purchase.

Preparation – Depending on where you are going to have a facial, one of the first steps you should do is to prepare for it. Some spas will make you change into a comfortable robe if you are getting a full body massage afterwards. Some will give you a foot bath with a shoulder massage, while others will simply ask you go to the treatment area. A special favorite is when the esthetician asks you to lay down on the bed and gives you a brisk shoulder and facial massage, followed by the smelling of relaxing oils such as lavender. The preparation will usually depend on the package you have purchased. Cleansing – Some spas will ask you to wash your face with a special soap with a set of instructions. For example, some spas will have specific soaps for different skin types, such as oily or a dry skin. On the other hand, some will ask you to lay on a comfortable bed and the esthetician will wash your face for you.

This facial cleansing is usually very soothing. Your esthetician will use mild products to gently cleanse your skin using tender, moderate strokes. It also serves as a massage, thereby relaxing you further.

Exfoliating – After getting rid of makeup and cleansing your skin, you will next be treated to a thrilling exfoliation. Some spas use gentle exfoliates, while others use a more straightforward facial scrub. Whatever the case, the goal of the exfoliating process is to get rid of dead skin cells and other skin impurities that aren’t embedded in the skin. The esthetician will wash this off and you will be ready for the next step. Steaming – Some spas will skip this part, but others think this is a necessity. Steaming helps open your pores so that your skin is better prepared for the extraction – meaning to say it won’t hurt as much. The esthetician will usually switch on the steamer and point it in the general direction of your face. You will be asked if you can breathe properly or if you are uncomfortable in any way. You should speak up if you are uncomfortable, because you have to be under the steam for 10 to 15 minutes. Extraction – After the steaming comes the most challenging part of most facials – the extraction! However, don’t worry. Under the hands of a gentle esthetician, it shouldn’t hurt. In fact, most people fall asleep during this process! The esthetician will remove skin impurities that are within the outer layer of your skin – which includes mild acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. If anything is too deep, then the esthetician should recommend a dermatologist to have it extracted. They don’t typically touch acne that is about to be burst, or pop acne that aren’t ready to be popped. Finishing up – Again, this method differs from spa to spa. Some use a straightforward method and will put a cold towel over your face to close the pores. Others will use mild laser applied over a gauze mask. You will also be given the option of chemical peels and facial masks.

There are various chemical peels and facial masks to choose from. These items will depend upon your need – for example, there are facial masks for acne-prone skin, for skin lightening, for oily skin. Facials are equally as therapeutic for men as for women. Your esthetician will recommend which facial mask will be best for your skin type.

In another blog, we will talk about the different kinds of chemical peels, and how you can benefit from them. There is also the diamond peel, which is very popular among those who want to have clear skin without the sting of a chemical peel.

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This technique involves using the facial image itself as the basis of comparison rather than using an algorithmic representation. From Ars Technica

But their facial expressions and body language betrayed quite different feelings than their words. From Huffington Post

A woman is in tears; a man has an enormous facial tumor. From

We created our own surface capture studio to capture the actors' facial performances in as high a resolution as is possible. From VentureBeat

Everybody's facial muscles get a workout in this episode. From Variety

A non-living (as opposed to dead) body with no hair, no fingerprints and precious few facial features has inexplicably turned up in their home. From

Perhaps the authorities have gone beyond mere facial-recognition technology and are in possession of software that can match other bodily parts with astonishing accuracy. From CNET

The defensive player wielded a stick and a scowl for more than two decades, setting records and growing facial hair. From The Star-Ledger -

These examples are from corpora and from sources on the web. Any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge Dictionary editors or of Cambridge University Press or its licensors.

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  • Maryan Barbara
    Maryan Barbara

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