Walking into a new spa and seeing a new aesthetician can feel like a gamble—and unlike buying a new product, you can’t exactly take it for a test drive first to see if it’s going to work out. Because we’ll be the first to tell you that you should be very careful about what you (or someone else!) does to your face and skin, we asked two top aestheticians for both the good and the warning signs, so you can tell if you’re going to be in for a treat—or not—before you even start.
Good Sign: Your skin therapist asks you to analyze your own skin verbally and then does an analysis of it under a magnifying lamp.
You know your skin best, so a good facial always starts with your aesthetician asking you what your personal concerns are. Your skin therapist should also do a fiscal analysis of your skin in the treatment room under a magnifying lamp, “This is done to confirm the client’s answers and see their actual skin condition. This step is critical to ensure that proper products and treatments are selected."
Good Sign: The aesthetician asks very thorough questions about your at-home regimen.
While that “so what products are you using” question might feel judgmental (especially if followed by a vague “ummhmm”), it’s a critical question that all good skin therapists should ask prior to the start of a facial. “If you regularly use retinoids, dermatologist-prescribed skin care or any medication, your aesthetician should know,” Other bits of important information that usually come out at this time? Whether or not you have any product allergies.
Bad Sign: Your aesthetician is not asking questions about your overall comfort.
Regardless of the fact that getting your pores cleaned out isn’t the most relaxing spa treatment one can get, your aesthetician should be aware and concerned about your overall comfort level, especially because many clients might not speak up about their discomfort voluntarily. It’s not a good sign if the room isn’t clean and organized or if your therapist doesn’t tell you that the bed is warm before you get in it. And going back to the pore work—you should never feel like you have to suffer through it. “I always tell the client when I’m beginning extractions and to give me feedback on the pressure so I can adjust,”
Good Sign: Your aesthetician can answer any questions you have about the product she’s using.
"Product knowledge is so important," s “It's key to know main ingredients, how to use particular products and what combination of products works best to get the best results on your skin.” A good therapist also doesn’t end the treatment at the room, but instead will prescribe your home ritual with easy-to-follow tips on how to care for your skin to achieve better results for the immediate and long-term.”
Bad Sign: Your aesthetician is promising to fix everything at once.
“Sometimes there are a number of concerns with the skin. For example, it can be sun damage or pigmentation, and acne/clogged pores at the same time,” “It's difficult to target both problems during the same treatment in 60 minutes. Therefore, it is important for the aesthetician to target the main skin concern for the first facial to repair skin successfully for the next treatment to target next issue. This is also the reason why getting regular facials every 4–6 weeks can dramatically improve your complexion.”
Good Sign: You trust your aesthetician’s intuition.
“There are always different products to address the same issues, “We always have a variety of peels and exfoliating products to use during particular treatment. In this case, it's more about aesthetician's intuition to choose the right product for the client to get the best results.”
7 Thoughts Everyone Has While Getting a Facial
A skin-renewing spa experience in the form of a facial should be relaxing, but for some of us, it’s go-time for overthinking to kick into overdrive. Next time these thoughts go through your head, know that you’re not alone.
“I feel ashamed of the products I’m using.”
We’ve all been there: That touch-and-go phase when the aesthetician looks over your skin and asks, “What daily products do you use?” It’s hard not to come across as the slightest bit judgmental and, sure, it’s tempting to give the answer that would give you an aesthetician A-plus (“I use retinol religiously, I never walk out the door without sunscreen”), but it’s best to be honest, no matter what you are/are not using. And rest assured that this cross-exam goes both ways: “Most clients ask ME if the products I am using will really work, if they will be effective and what the results will be,”
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“Can they tell I just lied about the last time I got a facial?”
an aesthetician can really get to the root of your skin problems (and if you are/are not using the right products) simply by talking to you, so best to be honest and concentrate on what’s bothering your about your complexion. “Skin may appear to be fine visually, but I can tell a lot more when a client tells me what skin concerns they have. I can advise how to get your skin to the condition you want (sometime by process of elimination on products being used). Then I analyze your skin based on the concerns you’ve mentioned and can advise on how to improve it.”
“May I go to the restroom?”
Even if you are tucked away and only two minutes in, it’s not worth being uncomfortable over the course of the treatment and your aesthetician honestly doesn’t care if you get up. “Of course you can go! I want you to feel comfortable,
“Is this going to leave a mark?”
Extractions, extractions, extractions…the debate wages on. Chances are even if you have a really gentle aesthetician, if you get extractions, you’re going to be some shade of red. If you don’t want them, say so and if you need to be somewhere after, point that out as well. There’s a lot of different facials out there and some can be customized for skin that specifically looks glowing as soon as you hop off the table.
“I need to scratch this itch but I have 10 layers of things on my face/hands.”
Again, it’s silly not to speak up if you are uncomfortable. “I’m there for customer service so whatever you need, by all means, tell me
Did I just fall asleep?
If you did, almost every aesthetican will tell you that that is the ultimate compliment. “To relax a New Yorker is almost unachievable. The ambiance of the room and playing relaxation music are essential. Once I start speaking with them, I ensure they feel comfortable. They typically begin to relax when they lie down. Once I start they facial they tend to get more relaxed as the facial progresses. When I get into the massage of the facial they’ll be very relaxed, most even fall asleep,” .
“They’re going to apply makeup after this right?”
Again, tell your aesthetician if you are going somewhere post-facial. Some people like the idea of letting their skin “breathe” and allowing the products applied to “sink-in.” No matter your preference, don’t leave without a layer of SPF.
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