How Often Should You Get a Facial?

Esthetician giving facial
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How often you should get a facial depends on several factors—your skin type, skin condition, skin care goals, your budget, age, where you live, even how much you care about your skin.  If wants to take good care of your skin, getting a professional facial once a month is ideal. Why? The skin is a living organ, and it takes about 30 days for the cells to move up from the dermis to the surface, or epidermis, where they flatten out, die and slough off. Giving it a boost every 30 days is what skin needs to look its best.

A professional facial stimulates that exfoliation process, keeping the skin more toned and youthful-looking. Working with a skin care expert can also get you on a daily skin care routine where you use higher quality products made with ingredients like peptides that will help your skin look its best. The skin care products available in drug stores are often a cocktail of chemicals may look and feel good, but don't really nourish your skin.

Find An Esthetician You Can Trust

My recommendation is to have a monthly facial with an esthetician you can trust. That means finding someone local with a good reputation, preferably someone who comes recommended by a friend. It can be a little risky to get a facial only when you go to a resort spa, as a treat. Why? It's hard to be sure of the quality of the esthetician and the spa's practices.

If you're at a major high-end hotel or resort spa managed by Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt or Mandarin Oriental, you will receive an excellent service because their hiring standards and training levels are high. But independently owned resorts are a little "iffier." They can be excellent or cut corners you don't want to know about.

If monthly is too difficult on your budget, work with your esthetician to prioritize your expenditures—investing in good product is important—and work out a routine. Try to have one at least four times a year as the season changes.

Factors That Affect How Often You Should Get a Facial

  • Skin Type:  How often you should get a facial depends on your skin type—normal, combination, dry, or oily. If you have oily, acne-prone skin with breakouts, blackheads and clogged pores, you should get a facial at least every month, perhaps more frequently, until it is cleared out and calmed down. As your skin improves, you can try stretch it out until you're on a schedule where your skin stays relatively clean and clear. If you have normal, combination, and dry skin, a facial every month is fine. People with sensitive skin might want to go less often—every two months. 
  • Skin ConditionSkin condition is whatever the esthetician notices at the time of your facial -- dryness, dehydration, redness, blackheads, dull skin, etc. You might come more frequently if you have acne, blackheads or whiteheads you want to get cleared out. You can also come more frequently if you have skin that would benefit from a series of treatments like peels or light therapy. The schedule will be suggested by your esthetician.
  • Skin Care Goals. If you want to have your best possible skin for a lifetime, find a great esthetician early in life, get on a good skin care regime, and follow it. She will get you on the products that are right for you, and suggest changes as your skin changes. A lot of damage is done due to extrinsic factors (especially the sun) that you can manage with a good sunscreen and intrinsic factors like smoking that you can control. Not everyone puts a high priority on personal appearance. If you do, make facials a part of your beauty routine.
  • Age. Younger people without major problems like acne and breakouts can get facials less frequently because their skin naturally generates new cell growth faster. When you're young, the biggest priority is to be on a good skin-care regime, keep the skin clear of blackheads, and have a strategy to deal with breakouts. As you age, your skin care regimen needs some tweaking to help stimulate the growth of collagen. Your skin also benefits from the stimulation and treatments such as peels, light therapy, microdermabrasion, which remove dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of skin cells.
  • Budget. Income and budget affects how much money you have available for facials and skin care. Try to at least get a facial once every three months, and make the investment in quality products.
  • Where You Live. Urban environments have more pollution that make your skin dirtier.  You might need to be rigorous about your once-a-month schedule.

Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Facials?

Yes! If you get several facials within a few weeks your skin can become overstimulated, which is called sensitizing the skin. Sometimes unethical estheticians recommend an overly aggressive schedule so they can make more money. Unless you have oily skin that needs clearing up, once every month is sufficient. You can sensitize your skin if you overdo it.