You’ve decided it’s time for a facial, you’ve selected your clinic or esthetician, but with so many specialized treatments available to choose from, knowing what kind of facial to book can be confusing.

A quick call or email to your esthetician is always a great option, as is scheduling a consultation prior to (or in combination with) your facial, but if you find yourself staring down an online booking system from the comfort of your PJs at midnight, here are a few questions to help you navigate your choices.

Does your esthetician customize her treatments?

Then don’t sweat it! There isn’t really a wrong choice. Make a selection based on the description, length of time, or what you think your skin needs. Your skin care professional is the expert and will have a variety of products and techniques to choose from based on your individual needs. If a scheduled facial treatment is not the best option for you, she will make adjustments on her end or gently direct you to a more appropriate choice, based on her expertise.

Some of the things she’ll take into consideration in determining your needs are also some of the questions you can ask yourself to help decide what kind of facial you could start with:

How long has it been since your last facial?

If it’s been longer than 4 or 5 months, don’t jump to the most advanced service you can find, even if you’ve had such services in the past. Getting treatments on a regular schedule builds strength and resiliency in your skin. If you’ve been neglecting your appointments (or worse, your home care), your skin probably needs some preparation again before your esthetician should break out the power tools.

If you’re getting monthly or bi-monthly services, but you’re trying out a new esthetician, the same thing applies. A responsible service provider will test your skin’s reactivity before stressing it with more invasive procedures.

Some technologies like LED, Microcurrent, and Ultrasonic Infusion are safe for even facial beginners, but any esthetician willing to do a peel on a first-time client isn’t worth your money or the risk to your skin.

What’s going on with your skin?

The current status of your skin is also important to determining what kind of facial treatment you should schedule.

  • If you’re breaking out, you’ll obviously be attracted to treatments that highlight deep-pore cleansing and extractions, but also be on the lookout for mention of calming and soothing techniques such as LED photo therapy and zinc-based masks that can make breakouts look less angry.
  • For dryness and flakiness, you might need a tiny bit of enzymatic exfoliation but you want to steer clear of any stronger exfoliation and instead seek out nourishing and hydrating options that will restore suppleness and glow. Ultrasonic Infusion and multi-vitamin or oxygenating facials are great for dull skin.
  • If you are prone to any sort of redness or sensitivities, find the gentlest option on the menu or something that specifically states that it is for redness or even rosacea. Even if you’ve not been diagnosed with rosacea, facials designed with the disease in mind usually take extra precautions to avoid fragrance or stimulating ingredients, which is very beneficial for other types of redness and reactivity as well.
  • If you’re looking for anti-aging miracles, realize that skin rejuvenation is a process and plan on discussing a long-term strategy with your esthetician. This will likely include a rejuvenation series of advanced facials, peels, and technology. LED and Microcurrent are particularly beneficial for mature skin, and light peels can often revitalize a complexion enormously.

What if you have multiple goals?

That is when the magic of custom facial treatments can help the most. Combination skin and multiple concerns bring out the best in a customized treatment. Your esthetician can modify each step according to the area she’s working on. Congested T-zone? Exfoliation, extractions, and oil balancing mask. Fine lines and eye crinkles? Hydration, peptides, and collagen firming mask. Flaky, red cheeks? Ultrasonic infusion, calming nourishment, and barrier protection.

Need more help in deciding what kind of facial to book?

Our first-time clients are encouraged to start with a Discover FX – All-Access Introductory Session, a 90-minute block of time that allows for an in-depth consultation, questions, current product & lifestyle review, goal setting and treatment planning, as well as a completely customized facial. We discuss your goals, identify some options, and take it from there.

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