Five Things I Learned From My First Facial
As a young magazine-lover, I craved the luxurious experiences that editors wrote about in the big city. A dream of mine was to one day go to a real spa. Little did I know how expensive an entire day at the spa would be, but I got to live a little bit of that dream at LaBelle Day Spa in Palo Alto when I got my first facial! Despite the excitement, I didn’t really know what to expect beforehand. My esthetician, JoJo, told me that people often fall asleep, and as relaxing as it was, I still wanted to know everything she was doing. I’m glad I didn’t doze off because I actually learned a few things!
- Toners can be good for dry skin too. I always thought of toners as an extra step in the cleansing process that strips the skin of moisture. JoJo explained that toner just preps the skin for better receiving the products you layer on afterwards and that they can actually add hydration. During the facial she used a rose toner, so I’ve got my eye on the Fresh Deep Hydration Rose Facial Toner to recreate that experience at home.
- Extractions are more than just “pimple popping”, and don’t have to be painful. This was the part I was most nervous about. I am not one of those people who enjoys popping pimples. I can’t even think about someone popping a pimple without feeling queasy. On the day of the facial I had one small blemish that was nearly gone, but I was worried that she would to go to town on it. Turns out that extractions aren’t just for pimples. Estheticians will remove any clogged pores including those from, you guessed it, dry skin. I had quite a few extractions on my forehead and around my nose, but luckily the whole experience wasn’t as painful as I imagined.
- Microdermabrasion is not as scary as it sounds and can be great for dry skin too. I had an idea in my head from somewhere that microdermabrasion was for removing acne scars, and the name alone reminded me of one of those electric sanders that someone would use on your face. It didn’t sound pleasant. The actual experience felt more like a tiny vacuum on your skin and caused no pain whatsoever. Again, JoJo explained to me that microdermabrasion is great for dry skin. It’s basically a fancy tool that estheticians use to exfoliate the skin, so if you have a buildup of dead skin cells then microdermabrasion can help get rid of it.
- It’s easy to over exfoliate. In my last post I talked all about the importance of exfoliating your skin, but be careful of doing it too often. I was only using my fave Peter Thomas Roth peeling gel twice a week, but JoJo recommended I pare it down to once a week. I can only assume that this advice is different for all skin types, but I think it’s safe to say if you feel like you might be overdoing it, you probably are. Step away from the scrub!
- If you’re given a robe and a wrap, just put them both on. I had a moment alone in the dressing room to decide whether I should fake like I know what I’m doing or just ask for help. I chose the latter and ended up just wearing my robe and carrying the wrap, unsure at that point how/when it was meant to be worn. It may seem obvious, but I really had no idea. The only spa treatment I had ever been in for is a massage and usually a robe is all you get. The addition of the wrap thoroughly confused me, but it all worked out.
If you’re local, I highly recommend JoJo if you’re considering booking a facial. She did a great job letting me relax, but also keeping me informed throughout the process. And her extractions were indeed as painless as she promised!