When I got my first facial as a 21-year-old, I did not really know what I was getting myself into. I had no older sister who guided me throughout the whole process. I just remember entering the facial clinic and leaving a bit traumatized because of the experience. It took me at least a year to have the courage to book my second session.
Now that I'm waaaay older and wiser (in terms of beauty, at least), I want facial first-timers to know what they should expect. I wish someone told me these #facts, too! If you're an NFSB (no facial since birth) gal, read on to be guided:
1. You have to know the difference between a facial spa and a dermatological clinic.
Back then, I just viewed derma clinics and facial spas as same places where I can get pore-clearing treatments. I was wrong. Dermatological clinics offer medical-backed up services, and they can address severe skin issues like extreme acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Facial spas, on the other hand, offer superficial treatments that target simple or superficial complexion concerns like dullness and breakouts. Both do have in-house dermatologists, which leads us to...
2. You'll need to consult with a dermatologist first.
Whether you choose to visit a facial spa or a dermatological clinic, a doctor would have to assess your skin's condition. From there, she can recommend the kind of treatment you should get. Some centers offer this service for free, but some may charge you for it.
3. There are various kinds of facials you can get, depending on what your skin needs.
Clinics offer treatments that target any skin concern. The most common would be those that will address these issues: Acne, dullness, and dryness. Don't try a particular facial just because it's trendy or your fave celeb tried it.
4. Be aware of the fact that pricking hurts like hell.
Extractions, aka pricking, is the process of squeezing out the plugs from the pores. Dislodging the gunk prevents pimples and clarifies the skin. The aesthetician uses a small stainless steel tool and her fingers to remove the clog. Watch out for the moment when she focuses on your nose and chin—these areas are sensitive so it's going to HURT. You might shed a tear or two.
5. But there are now clinics that offer pain-free facials!
You guys are luckier! There are non-pricking facial treatments available. These make use of exfoliating acids to clarify the pores without the sting.
6. You'll need to do it regularly to see results.
Aside from a consistent skincare routine, getting a facial every month is key to maintaining flawless skin. Think of it as a deep-cleaning ritual your pores deserve after being exposed to dirt, pollution, and stress.
7. Look at it as an investment—you'll thank yourself later.
A facial may cost from P600 to as much as P5,000. I know it seems expensive, but the P600-facial is almost the same price as your weekly Korean barbecue meal. While we're at this subject, set aside an amount for your aesthetician. Look at tipping as a form of courtesy.
* This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.