What Can Your Facial Do for You?
By Author Name
Sep 13, 2019
Updated Oct 25, 2023
5 min read
Learn more about SCL Health's Integrative Medicine Services and Treatments.
The idea of getting a facial can seem intimidating or overly luxurious to some people. It has the connotation of being something one does to pamper themselves — but there are so many different types out there these days. It’s no longer a one-size-fits-all kind of treatment. Depending on whether you want aesthetic results or simply relaxation, it’s worth taking a minute to familiarize yourself with the options.
Don’t be intimidated by the fancy and science-y sounding name of this facial. Broken down to its truest meaning, this option is all about exfoliating your skin to remove dead cells. First, your esthetician will spray your face with tiny crystals (cool, right?) and then clear them away once they’ve scoured off the layers of dead skin. Imagine this as a version of sandpaper for your skin. The benefit of this particular facial is to leave your face looking healthy, youthful and more clear. Just a heads-up: It may leave your face looking a little red immediately afterward.
You might also hear this option referred to as a microcurrent facial, and we’re not referencing water currents. A galvanic facial uses a device to send actual electrical pulses (in small doses) to activate your facial muscles. The idea is to firm or contour your face, which is why some people call it a nonsurgical facelift. It’s certainly not the most relaxing option, and it could even leave a metallic taste in your mouth. But defenders of this treatment say it can help regenerate skin cells, reduce wrinkles, tighten pores and create a more lifted appearance temporarily.
If you’re squeamish of needles — skip this one. Like traditional acupuncture, this facial treatment focuses on small and shallow needle injections into the skin for a healthier overall body. The punctures are said to engage the lymphatic and circulatory systems to better deliver nutrients and oxygen to skin cells. This also results in a more balanced complexion and reduced signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines. If you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone, it may pay off in the long run.
A lymphatic massage is simply when a practitioner gently kneads targeted areas of the face to relieve tension and reduce water retention. It’s usually combined with other treatments in the same session. And when we think of the lymph nodes, we think of the immune system — which this treatment is tailored to help support. It helps gets rid of extra fluid to reduce puffiness, boost circulation and create a brighter complexion.
One benefit of color light therapy (or LED therapy) is that there are no harmful side effects. It uses an LED to bounce specific wavelengths of light off your skin in an effort to reduce breakouts, inflammation and redness. Advocates also claim this type of facial has the potential to stimulate cell growth, minimize sunspots and smooth wrinkles. And if our brains react to different colors, who’s to say our skin can’t too?
Last but not least, we have the facial that most people probably think of when they hear the term. An aromatherapeutic facial is a relaxing and luxurious option that utilizes nice-smelling essential oils to destress and hydrate the skin. Usually these oils are combined with other ingredients to create a more effective scrub for your skin.
Maybe now the next time you hear “spa day” or “facial,” you’ll have a better grasp of the choices and benefits that come with each one. Do you prefer a certain kind of facial? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!