If you've never booked a spa facial treatment you may feel a bit intimidated by the idea. It's something like the 'I'm not fit enough to go to the gym' phenomenon, totally lacking in logic but so very human! It's a shame to let first-time nerves get in the way of something with so many benefits though. Most people who book one treatment choose to have more. Being prepared always helps, so here's a brief introduction about what to expect during a facial.

Start with Something Simple

The range of different treatments available has expanded greatly over the years, but for your first experience you may prefer to start with a basic facial, this will generally comprise of cleansing, toning, facial massage and a face mask.

Before the facial starts

You may be asked to fill out a form giving some basic information, at the very least your therapist will ask a few questions. These will include information about any allergies, current or past skin conditions, and whether you're hoping for any specific facial benefits.
You'll probably be asked to change into a robe before your treatment.

Steps of a Basic facial

  • Cleansing - Before starting to apply any products to your skin your therapist will remove every speck of dirt and any make up you're wearing. Depending on the exact regime you've opted for this stage may also include exfoliation, the gentle removal of dead skin cells to reveal the healthy skin beneath.
  • Toning - This stage completes the cleansing, closes down facial pores and is especially beneficial to anyone with oily or acne-prone skin.
  • Facial massage - This eases tension from muscles, smooths out fine lines and acts as a natural face lift. Massage improves circulation bringing more oxygen to the skin cells which stimulates collagen production. The relaxation of muscles and increased blood flow will also improve the ability of your skin to absorb the moisturising and hydrating agents contained in the facial mask.
  • The face mask - Face masks can be used to remove impurities and excess oils from the skin, to introduce moisturisers and to improve the appearance of facial pores. Your therapist will select your face mask according to your skin type and its current condition and needs.

Other Facial Treatments
There are lots! Some of the more common options include:

Steam treatments - These open out pores enabling deeper cleansing

Extractions - Even deeper pore cleansing and removal of whiteheads or blackheads.

Peeling - Removal of the top layer of the skin by chemical or ultrasonic means. Peeling improves the appearance of acne scars, uneven pigmentation, sun damage or fine lines. Some people report a degree of sensitivity and redness after a peeling treatment, so it's best not to do it just before a big night out.

After Your Facial
If there's any one really important piece of advice about what not to do after a facial, it's not to head straight out into the sun. Your freshly cleansed skin will be especially sensitive to the harmful effects of UV rays. It's also best not to apply any make up straight after your treatment, your skin should be looking its best anyway and it will appreciate a chance to breath.

Special thanks to Marcela Lewis - a beauty specialist from The Shoreditch Spa who provided this information for us!