There's a wealth of information about skin care that's readily available to us at the click of a mouse. That more than likely means your bathroom is already filled with products—peels, masks, scrubs, etc.—that can give you a serious deep clean. But while it's great to practice good skin care, that doesn't necessarily mean you should be skipping out on seeking professional help. And even though you may not suffer from severe acne or other chronic conditions, your complexion will still benefit from the attention of a trained esthetician. "Getting a facial is important to understand how your skin works and how it reacts to stress, hormones, and the elements," says Regine Berthelot, the treatment manager at Caudalie Spa in New York City. "People with problematic skin should book a monthly facial. At the least, getting one every season is recommended to keep the skin balanced."
We asked our favorite experts exactly why we should all be booking an appointment (and fast).
Here's what we learned.
1. Facials can actually clear your pores. "A professional treatment will fully cleanse your skin in a way that you simply can't at home," insists Dr. Marko Lens, a dermatologist and founder of skin care brand Zelens. "Think about it this way," offers Kate Somerville, founder of the eponymous beauty brand, "You brush and floss your teeth twice daily, but you still need to go to the dentist a few times a year for optimal health." Facialists normally utilize a safe and gentle steam to really open your pores and allow them to breathe.
2. If something's wrong, you'll find out why. "Your skin changes over time depending on age, weather, and even hormones," Somerville explains. "It's a good idea to have an expert who can help you address those changes, identify skin conditions, and educate you on how to treat them." If you have great skin now, don't trust that it will last forever! For example, lots of girls suffer from eczema in the winter and simply blame it on dryness. Not treating a serious condition can lead to long-term skin damage!
3. You're popping your zits wrong. Don't lie. We know you do it. (And we do, too.) But every time you squeeze a pimple, you're risking acne scarring and dark marks. "Regular, professional extractions will help keep the skin clear," Somerville insists. "It will also help prevent long-term damage you might be causing at home." You may even find that booking a regular appointment will eliminate any reason to pick and pop yourself. "Facials are essential to prevent imperfections," adds Dr. Lens.
4. It's better than the beauty counter. You know when you go to a beauty store and someone tells you what to buy based on looking at your skin under fluorescent lighting? That's not how we should be purchasing things. "A knowledgeable, licensed esthetician will provide personalized skin recommendations and a regimen that will address your individual concerns." The best way to know your skin is to examine it, cleanse it, treat it, and then assess it. Once you're on a great regimen, the esthetician will update it by season. It's like having your own concierge!
5. There are some things you just can't DIY. "You will never have the right products at home to get a professional effect," insists Dr. Lens. (Take that steam machine as a prime example!) "We utilize light therapy, using blue and red LED, to eradicate the bacteria that cause inflammation during breakouts," says Somerville. "It's also been proven to reduce pore size, stabilize oil production, and promote healthy cell growth." Unless you've got big bucks and the proper degree, you can't get that kind of treatment at home!
6. You'll find your happy place. "Facials are so much more relaxing than a DIY," says Dr. Lens. In fact, Berthelot uses a mix of high frequency, massage, and hot towels to maximize the pampering experience! Everyone knows stress can cause skin issues, so a facial can cure any breakouts and give you reason to take a few deep, cleansing breaths.
7. Confidence is key. "I struggled with eczema for years," says Somerville, "and I've seen every skin concern imaginable in my clinic. I know exactly what it's like to regain skin health and feel confident. You should feel comfortable in your own skin!"
So what's stopping you? Find a spa near you and get to relaxing! You'll be glowing in no time.
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