Get the most from a facial

Kara BrannonTaking care of your skin is important. Treating yourself to a facial can yield benefits for months, especially if you follow up with a good regime at home. If you are looking for a bargain, do not be tempted to go to a chain for your skin or massage. In my opinion, they are never good value. Stick to small independent local operators to get the best value for money. Kara Brannon of KB Skincare operates a small boutique here in Atlanta. If you have ever wondered about the difference between an enzyme facial or a glycolic facial, or how to be sure you have chosen a good esthetician, then don’t miss a word of this exclusive interview.
DD: Who can benefit from a facial?
KB: Everyone, even if they only occasionally treat themselves to it.  At the very least, a facial can provide a much-needed relaxing escape from life.  At best, a facial can leave you cleansed and exfoliated with radiant skin.
A good facial must include some form of exfoliation, whether manual or chemical.  All of our skin has a cell turnover rate that can be increased or manipulated through exfoliation.  It is through exfoliation that pores become unclogged, new skin emerges, and skin appears healthier and glowing. Even if there is minimal exfoliation, the experience of a facial should be relaxing and a time for one to take time out from their hectic life.

DD: What is the difference between a glycolic facial and an enzyme facial?
KB: The difference lies primarily between the components of each. Glycolic acid is found in sugar cane and is a member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acid group.  Fruit enzyme peels may contain AHA acids but are also composed of antioxidants and vitamins along with an enzyme which increases the chemical reaction taking place.

Both are effective in smoothing rough dry skin, improving the skin’s texture from sun damage, and treating acne.  They both come in various strengths (percentages) based on the desired effect and condition of the treated skin.

DD: What types of fruit enzymes are used in facials and what are the benefits?
KB: There are many different enzymes used in facials.  Many enzymes are derived from various fruits. Similar to the benefits fruits have when they are eaten, they benefit our skin in the same way when applied topically. Some fruit enzymes contain a high level of antioxidants in them. For example, the blueberry.  When used on the face, the antioxidants can prevent free radicals from entering the skin.  The grape has long been associated with reversing the age process and keeping skin look young.

DD: What is a back facial?
KB:A back facial is essentially the same as a regular facial. It is often an area of the skin that is problem-prone, but neglected due to its limited accessibility.  Often backs can have a problem with clogged pores due to sweating during exercise. And there can be a lot of sun damage on the back, too.

Treatment of the back includes steaming, hot towels, analysis, a form of exfoliation, extraction, and a massage. Based on the products or type of exfoliation used, this area can improve and become more balanced.  I suggested the client purchase a body wash containing an acid for exfoliation between treatments, and a tool that can effectively reach and cleanse the back area.

DD:  How soon before a special event should you book a facial?
KB: The truth is that is depends solely on the type facial performed.  A basic facial with manual exfoliation and extraction can be done the day before an event, whereas peels can take days or weeks to bring the skin to its optimal condition.

I usually book clients three days before their event to allow plenty of time for any redness or pimples to subside.

DD:  What skin conditions can facials improve?
KB: Facials can solve or help a variety of skin problems.  Facials aid drastically in the treatment of mild to moderate acne.  Through chemicals and extractions, acne skin can be balanced and the pores can be unclogged.  Facials also aid in the removal of blackheads and millia (small closed white-headed bumps) through the softening of the skin and careful extraction.

Facials that include peels can help soften fine lines, reduce age spots and the appearance of sun damage.  They can also radically change the texture of the skin. People with severe acne should consult a dermatologist before getting a facial. Once the acne is treated by a doctor, regular facials can help keep the pores unclogged. People who have rosecea can also benefit from facials as long as the esthetician is knowledgeable about which products and peels are appropriate for this type of skin.  Proper treatment can help top calm redness.
DD: How do you know if you are getting a good facial with a qualified professional?
KB:  There are several signs that can indicate a bad facial. You may even spot signs before the treatment starts. Make sure the environment is clean and the instruments used in the facial are not lying out, but in alcohol or some other sanitary container.  Always ask to see the esthetician’s license if it is not displayed.  It is also useful to ask the esthetician how many hours in school it took him/her to become licensed. The state of
Georgia requires a minimum of 1,000 hours whereas neighboring states only require 200 hours. Yikes!
Other signs may not be clear until the facial is underway or afterwards. For example, if there is pain during the facial, speak up. Certain peels may cause a degree of discomfort , but the esthetician should warn you.  The same can be said for extractions.  Pain could also be a sign of an allergy to the products being used. Also, post-facial, there should not be any new broken capillaries. If this occurs, the extraction method was not done properly. Finally, if you were not told there would be any down time after the facial and you are red the next day, you should contact the esthetician as soon as possible.

For more information

A moisture boquet

Nova Moist is a new product to treat dry skin. Two doctors — a gynecologist and oncologist – created this blend of 100 percent natural essential oils. It is sealed in a slender tube with a pump. Nova Moist has a delightful natural scent of lavender, rose and bergamot are three of oils in the blend. The scent quickly disappears as the oil seeps into the skin, leaving it moist, but greaseless. Geranium, clary sage, juniper and fennel in sesame oil complete the Nova Moist blend. It’s anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial too.
According to the company, the product has been used to clinically for eight years to treat pre- and post-menopausal skin, cracked cuticles, dry elbows and knees, peels, skin after chemo and radiation, eczemas, rocesacea., psoriasis, and lupus redness.
It makes a fabulous eye treatment. It is wonderful worn under make-up or alone. It sinks into skin and it’s easy to carry in your bag as it can’t spill. This is a fabulous product to have for all types of uses, particularly if you are recovering or suffering from an inflammatory skin condition. It’s designed to be used a few drops at a time, so while the tube may look small it actually holds about 200 drops of Nova Moist.