Everything to Know About Facials: How to Pick The Right One For You

by The First Refresh

woman wearing black scoop neck top photo


Facials are constantly dubbed as the ultimate treat-yourself activity - what better way to pamper yourself than with a relaxing, de-stressing treat? Facial treatments improve moisture levels, blood circulation and give you an hour (or two) of downtime. Upkeeping your skin by scheduling regular facials can help delay signs of aging and, of course, keep your skin looking fresh at all times. 

What to Expect At A Facial

While your skin type generally remains the same, its condition may change according to external factors. Stress, pollution and a shift in diet can cause all sorts of flare ups in the skin - and a facial is a great way to give your skin that reset it needs. A classic facial would usually involve a cleanse to create a clean canvas for your beauty therapist to work with, followed by an exfoliation, extraction, masks and moisturizers to give an overall refresh and rejuvenation. 

Exfoliation during a facial may range from a gentle exfoliating acid or enzyme peel, to deeper exfoliation methods like bio-brasion, ultrasonic, or microdermabrasion. Even if you practice at-home exfoliation, these are methods which are usually unique to a facial, and beneficial to all skin types if you know which one to pick. 

white and black glass bottle beside gua sha and facial massage roller

A facial massage is usually included in a traditional facial session, known for promoting better product absorption, while encouraging blood circulation and sculpting your facial muscles. 

But facial options are abundant, and choosing one can be overwhelming. From anti-aging facials to hydrating facials and brightening facials - it can be a tough call to choose one that will maximise your results. If you’re unsure of which facial is right for you, your skin needs and your goals - here’s our guide. 

For Dry Skin

For dry skin, you’ll want a treatment that can offer intense hydration and an overall replenishing refresh. The best facial for dry skin will cleanse and get rid of the dry skin or dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin, while also providing a deep hydration. If your skin is on the dry side, avoid too much exfoliation as it might be too stripping for your skin and cause irritation. For an extra deep cleansing, opt for a facial that provides gentle extractions. This would be similar for dehydrated, dull, tired or flaking skin. Look out for products that use ingredients like aloe and hyaluronic acid.

For Normal Skin

If your skin generally responds well to most skincare products and environmental factors, try out a deep cleansing facial. Most skin types will benefit from facials that focus on boosting collagen production and elasticity, while also retaining moisture, and thus leaving behind smooth and blemish-free skin. Look out for active ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

See also: Our guide to ingredients for brighter skin 

woman having a facial spa treatment


For Oily Skin

Oily skin tends to attract dirt and other foreign debris, and this leads to clogged pores and in some cases, acne. For those with this skin type, opt for facial treatments that focus on a deep cleanse - inclusive of exfoliation and extraction.

After the deep cleansing and removal of blackheads and impurities, a face mask is then applied, followed by a toner and protective serum. This will remove excess oils, shrinking the pores and soften your skin. 

Top this off with a facial massage to promote healthy blood circulation. Consider an LED treatment for further brightening of the skin. LED light therapy is a non invasive treatment that penetrates the skin's layers to treat a range of skin issues, like acne, sun damage and even wrinkles, depending on the different LED light rays. This does so by healing scars, promoting collagen production and fighting bacteria. Look out for ingredients such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which are also aimed at fighting acne flare ups. 

For Aging Skin

If aging skin is your main target to tackle, seek out rejuvenating facials that prioritize collagen and elastin production, increasing cell turnover. LED treatments are great for aging skin too. Facials that are tailored to aging skin typically include facial massages - using tools to lift, sculpt and tone the muscles in the face, this will prevent sagging. This is also great for dull skin that is in need of awakening (and not just aging skin). Look out for vitamin-infused serums and anti-aging ingredients when looking for your facial treatment. 

For Combination Skin

Since combination skin has oily and normal to dry skin, mild products work best when they are used during this treatment. This prevents oily skin from causing breakouts and dry skin from becoming flaky. Light therapy is also recommended for combination skin - as it reduces acne, promotes collagen and improves circulation. 

See also: Our at-home guide on Facial Rollers and How To Use Them 

White facial massage tools against a white backdrop

How Do You Prepare For a Facial?

On the day of your facial appointment, ensure that you’re wearing comfortable clothes - facials are time for the ultimate relaxation! Avoid any strong at-home skincare in the days prior to the facial, to prevent drying your skin out or coming into excess contact with products stronger than usual. 

Wash your face and remove any makeup before your appointment. The fresher your face, the more effective your facial benefits will be - for the best results, let your skin breathe for a few hours beforehand. Likewise, avoid washing your face or taking a shower right after your appointment, as you want to let the treatment fully absorb into your skin.  

How Often Should You Get a Facial?

Probably the most frequently asked question regarding facial treatments - how often should you get one? Generally, professionals recommend facials once a month - as skin rejuvenates, on average, every 28 days. You don’t want to overwhelm your skin either, so professionals do not recommend going for more facials than is needed. Booking in for a regular facial every month can make your routine upkeep of your skin that much easier to manage. 

photo of woman against skincare products

Facials are a great way to clean out pores and balance skin; regular appointments will help to maintain your skin's levels, while also giving you that hour of pampering and rejuvenation. Carve a little time out of your busy schedule for an at-home facial with us, more details here