Facial skin care treatments – a guide – The Beauty Biz

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The different facial beauty treatments you can find in a salon

Author: Madeleine Pokroy
November 5 2006

Facials are one of the most popular beauty treatments to have in a beauty salon, as they are both extremely beneficial for the skin, and also very relaxing. There are many different types of facial available, both hands-on and those that incorporate electrotherapy, each with their own specific benefits.

All facials follow the same basic structure and order. They will begin with makeup removal and cleansing. The cleansing is normally repeated twice to ensure it is thorough. Then comes some method of exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and smooth the surface of the skin. A massage is then performed that can include all or some of the scalp, face, neck, shoulders, back and even the hands or feet. Next a mask is applied, chosen according to the client’s specific skin type. Once the mask has been removed the skin is toned and the final eye, neck and face creams are applied.

In a ‘hands-on’ treatment, there are no electrotherapy machines used and the therapist will use her hands to perform the facial treatment. Sometimes, however, a steam machine is incorporated in these facials during or after cleansing, to open up the pores and allow a deeper cleansing action. Although strictly a steam machine is a type of electrotherapy machine, it is not considered to be invasive.

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Often, but not always, essential oils are used as the basis of a hands-on facial, either as the base of all the products used in the facial, or as a base for the massage oil. Special facial masks are also a feature of some hands-on facials. These could be clay- or mud-based for a deeper cleaning action, or be more of a soothing base for more sensitive skin types. Sometimes the masks used are setting masks, which means they will be peeled or gently lifted off the skin when set.

Some types of facial use machines as part of the treatment, and these are known as “electrotherapy facials”. There are several different types, which are suited to different skin types. Some of the most popular variations of this type of facial are:

Galvanic treatments: metal rollers or applicators are used to either produce a deep cleansing effect. Depending on the active product being used, this will help reduce spots and blemishes (making this a good facial for an oily skin type), or to help infuse active ingredients deeper in to the skin (for a variety of skin types).

High frequency treatments: a direct high frequency facial uses a glass electrode passed over gauze placed on the skin. This helps dry out spots and has an antibacterial effect, so is good for oilier skins or those with a few specific blemishes. An indirect high frequency facial uses a saturator held by the client to draw a moisturising massage medium deeper in to the skin, and so is best suited for more mature or dry skin types.

Microcurrent treatments: also known as non-surgical face lift, this type of facial uses a current to lift and tone the facial muscles and also to improve the colour and texture of the skin and soften lines.

During most of the electrotherapy treatments you may experience a slight tingling effect on the skin, but this is quite normal.

While most people will benefit from the restorative and relaxation effects of a facial treatment, there are some contraindications (more likely for electrotherapy facials) which any trained therapist will be aware of. You should therefore expect your therapist to go through a very thorough consultation before your first facial to find out what treatment best suits your needs and your skin type.

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