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  • Writer's pictureLashes & Love from NOLA

Let’s dish on facials, shall we?

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

Pro vs. Home

Everyone knows you should get one about once a month. Most are not sure why, but know its recommended. Is it worth it? Do you really need to pay for something you could do at home?

That’s a hard YES. At-home facials are lovely, but so many people are using the wrong products and actually harming their skin thinking its self-care and their faces are supposed to burn, right? That means its working? Uh, nah. Let me help you out.

Steps for a facial:

1. Remove makeup & Cleanse.

  • Pro. We will carefully remove your makeup for you with nourishing oils. Then, we will start with warm water and steam, sometimes infused with helpful essential oils, to start cleansing. Using a stronger cleanser with AHAs or Glycolic acids to start to break down oils and dead skin. Then then ‘the double cleanse”. We use a custom cleanser for this based on what skin issues we are trying to resolve. Maybe prepping to lift discoloration or helping to loosen up active acne for extractions. Aaaahhh, the hot towels. The massaging techniques we use isn’t just for relaxation. This will start getting circulation moving and bring oxygen to the skin cells. *Sometime I use an oil cleanse method – but that’s AFTER I do extractions. It’s a gentle way to cleanse off any debris or bacteria.

  • Home. Start by removing your makeup. Do you have a high grade oil, even in the kitchen? Dampen your face with warm water and then put a small amount of oil in your hands and distribute evenly. Apply to your face in a “rolling” motion and massage in. Acne-prone? Oil breaks down oil. This is for ALL Skin Types. I’ve used EVOO, Rose Oil, etc. Next, apply a hot towel or do a sink steam (hot water in sink with dry towel over your head to cover sides of sink. Personally, my neck does not like that position…. So I use a hot towel at home. You can use your crockpot! Just be careful to have about 1” water in the bottom to steam them or they will heat very unevenly. DO NOT BURN YOURSELF. The microwave heats very unevenly so beware. Then cleanse. Gel and foam cleansers are great for this. Now is the time to try that salicylic cleanser from your Ipsy box. Boom. You’ve double cleansed.

2. Tone.

  • Pro. Not all toners are made equal. We have toners in our backbar that have lactic acids and chemical exfoliants. Necessary? In a professional facial, yes. It clears the skin of any leftover product, preps it for the first mask, and tells us how well you will tolerate professional products.

  • Home. Stop using witch hazel on your skin. That is all.

3. Exfoliate

  • Pro. So this is my favorite part! Why? Because we have specialized products and simply do a better job than anything you can get off a shelf at the store. This is the difference maker. We use a blend of enzymes and acids to eat away dead skin and loosen up the “stuff that’s holding it together” so we can get down to the deep layers. As we age, the “glue” really sets and it’s hard to break it up. This is where being an ingredient nerd comes in handy. These masks may create a tingle and some heat in your skin. It’s activating more blood flow. ----- We need that to heal and rebuild skin cells and boost collagen production. This step allows for better absorption of the active masks and treatments. In-studio: I do this as my first mask and combine the two steps. It would simply be too aggressive to do twice. At home you will want this as a prep for your first mask.

  • Home. Put the St. Ives down. Now. DIY sugar scrub? Nope, not on your face. Mechanical exfoliation needs to be the size of rice powder or fine sand. When looking at OTC products, look for that. Skip the little blue beads too. Trust me. Chemical exfoliation is great too! That’s using acids – salicylic, lactic, BHAs. Acne- prone: you will want to use this as further manipulating your skin will cause inflammation. Neutrogena and other brands have this in their cleansers. You can add water, make a foam and apply to skin for 3-5 minutes as an exfoliant.

4. 1st mask.

  • Home. Break out the clay mask. Mix in any acne gel or tea tree for acne and apply thinly. Mix in any pigment serums and apply thickly for more mature or dehydrated skin. This is the time to treat problem areas and address your skin concerns.

4a. Extractions.

  • Pro. Us weirdos in the esthetician world get excited about this. We know how to not cause buddy breakouts (when you pop one pimple and one pops up right next to it a day later), not scar your skin and not leave a huge red, irritated spot where a little lonesome pimple once existed, and still exists but is now buried under the scab you’ve made. If you leave blackheads and debris in your pores, they will lose elasticity and become open and enlarged. Over time, if not taken care of, they will not bounce back! Small, clean pores is what gives a silky complexion.

5. 2nd mask. Nourish, replenish and hydrate!

  • Pro. Our backbar is stocked with hydrating, healing and anti-inflammatory products. We mix things up like a mad scientist, make a mess and you benefit highly. In one mask, we can heal acne with a spot treat, address those line next to your eyes with another, hydrate your t-zone appropriately and moisturize the perimeter of your face. Most of us use 3-4 professional lines and mix and match how we see fit. We have access to fabulous products and know how to use ‘em.

  • Home. Get all your hydrating and moisturizing products in a line up. Now mix them together! You can use a night cream for your base, add oatmeal (just the oats), natural oil (almond works great), mashed avocado, anything with hyaluronic acid --- pick 3, or opt for that sheet mask that came as a free sample with your Ulta order. Apply your eye cream thickly first, then the mask, then another towel that’s been cooling in your fridge. Chill for 15-20 minutes and remove.

6. Address Eyes & Lips.

  • Pro. We will add hyaluronic for instant plumping and our eye cream to help tighten. Lips usually get a hydrating serum. We are loving our GM Collin plumper. The levels of effective product will be MUCH HIGHER in our products.

  • Home. Don’t wipe away all of your “eye mask”. Gently rub in using circles with ice cubes around your eyes. Pro tip: grab your husbands whiskey rocks already in the freezer. Just wash them before and after. Lips: mix together organic sugar and coconut oil and scrub, rinse and apply a dab of EVOO.

7. Moisturize & Protect.

  • Pro. Serums and treatments will be actively applied to your skin using an upward, anti-aging facial massage technique. Then a suitable moisturizer and SPF mixed with our medicated BB cream.

  • Home. Yes, you need to be using a good SPF. Yes, every day. We preach this because it is literally the most effective anti-aging product that you can get and it prevents cancer. Prevents. Cancer. OTC sunscreens have a lot of toxins in them so look for a more natural option – no coconut oil is not enough. Your hat? Its like an SPF 10. Not enough. Speaking of SPF, 35-60 is good, anything over that really has too many toxic ingredients and that benefit ratio starts to decline. Oh yes, and moisturize. Apply excess spf hands and chest. Want a tinted moisturizer with SPF? Use equal parts foundation, moisturizer (rebalance works beautifully) and spf. Boom!

Monthly facials are relaxing self-care that lower your stress levels and with less stress comes less breakouts, less lines and more hydrated, happy skin. As an esthetician, we have the knowledge and expertise to serve your skin in the best way. Your skin cell turnover will be routine, acne will heal, scars will fade, discoloration lighten and the overall health of your skin will improve causing a radiant complexion and increased confidence. Schedule out your next 3 facials to keep yourself committed and see the difference it will make!



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