The Importance of Balancing At-Home Facials with Professional Facials / by Laura Barrow

By Jen Harmatz, Murad Director of National Retail Education

Have you ever walked out of great facial and received compliments on your glowing skin? Recently, I had one on my lunch break, and I got so many compliments on my skin! How good it looked and how I glowed. It felt as if I had brand-new, baby skin, and I was showing it off to everybody! One colleague said, “How nice that you treated yourself to a facial!” I agreed with her because I felt the same, but that word made me pause.

Treat…why do we think it’s a treat to commit to personal care? Why is it a treat to take care of my skin? When I looked up “treat” in the thesaurus, its synonyms were: extravagance, luxury and lavishness. I think we need to change how we think about the idea of a facial being a luxury, because it’s an essential step to maintaining and keeping your skin looking its finest. My cousin’s husband said to me a few months ago, “I only have one face; I better take care of it.” More on that in a bit.

Getting a facial once a month helps your skin look fresh, youthful, and it helps to clear up any congestion like clogged pores and breakouts. One reason young skin looks so vital, healthy and full of light is because there is minimal dead skin hiding the living layers of the skin. When you’re younger, skin has a shorter cell turnover rate. Cell turnover is the time – the hard, outermost barrier layer of your skin. Up until you are typically around the age of 30, cell turnover happens every 28-30 days. Young skin also has had less damage from UV rays and pollutants, so it will look brighter and suppler. As we get older, the cell turnover time frame gets longer, so there is more buildup of dead skin cells masking the living layers. Skin starts to look dull and have a rough texture, and fine lines start to creep up on you. One main purpose of an effective skin routine is to promote a faster cell turnover rate for more youthful-looking skin. You can make this even more effective by having a professional facial once a month.

Working with an expert to evaluate your skin on a monthly basis can help take your skin where you want it to go. Fluctuations in seasons, weather and hormones can cause changes in your skin, and an esthetician can make recommendations on how to switch up your routine to influence those changes. During a facial, your esthetician can offer deep exfoliation to remove dead skin cells that have piled up on your face, perform extractions safely without scarring, impart penetrating hydration, and help brighten hyper-pigmentation. These treatments can help you maintain your most balanced skin.

When a skilled professional evaluates your skin monthly, he or she is in the perfect position to guide you to the products for use at home that work best for your skin. Having the right ritual of products to use morning and night is just as important as your monthly facial. Think about it like going to the dentist. You have your teeth professionally cleaned, but you wouldn’t dare think of not brushing twice a day or flossing, right? It’s the same idea; you have to do your own at-home maintenance to keep your skin in tip-top shape. Your esthetician will be able to help you choose the right cleanser, serum and moisturizer for day and night for what your skin currently needs. Think about those like your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. They are a necessity.

Now that we know the importance of a daily routine of products, I want to impress upon you the idea of doing an at-home DIY facial to boost your skin fitness and beauty. A weekly mask or peel can help extend the benefits of the treatment room. Select the right one for how your skin is acting that week. Choose a peel for brightening dull skin or a hydrating mask to get deep-down moisture. This is your time to either replenish or refresh your complexion. Create your “me time” to take care of yourself, breathe deep and relax, leaving the stress of the day or week behind you. If nothing else, pamper yourself for at least 5 minutes–#5m4u!

Let’s talk men’s grooming and skin for a minute. Men often do very little for their skin or nothing at all. It’s just as important for men to think about their skin health; in fact, maybe even more so with the stressors of shaving every day. Razor burn and ingrown hairs can be minimized or even prevented by using the right products and ingredients that help combat those problems. Over time, taking care of your skin will help the lipid barrier remain strong, which will cause less sensitivity and burning. Regular exfoliation helps to stop ingrown hairs in their tracks and will help get you a clean, close shave.

Now back to my cousin’s husband. A year ago, after much convincing, my cousin persuaded her husband to get a facial. The experience changed how he felt and thought about his skin. He realized he spent hours washing and taking care of his car or tuning up his bike. He recognized he should take just as good of care of his skin, if not better, because, as I mentioned at the top, he only has one face for the rest of his life so he better take care of it.

I am going to commit to taking better care of my skin and get back in the habit of monthly professional facials and weekly, at-home DIY facials. I ask you to commit to your skin, and start yourself on a monthly cycle of facials, too!