Interested in a facial? Here's what to know about the most popular spa facial treatments.
A day at the spa is incomplete without a facial treatment. Your tired skin could use a pick-me-up, but it can be tough to decide exactly which treatment to choose. We suggest starting with the basics. Read on for a bucket list of spa facial treatment classics for you to check off with each spa visit.
Treats: Fine lines, sagging skin, acne
What is it? Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) give off heat-free light that passes through the skin to affect its deeper layers in different ways, depending on the light’s wavelength. Aestheticians shine the different kinds of light onto the face during sessions, which typically last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour and a half.
How does it work? Red light stimulates skin cells to produce collagen and elastin, two proteins that make skin look firmer. Blue light, on the other hand, kills acne-causing bacteria to prevent future breakouts and shrink pores.
How often can you get one? For optimal results, a series of treatments spaced a few weeks apart is recommended.
Treats: Clogged pores, dull skin, blackheads, irritation
What is it? The european facial, a spa treatment staple, is the most common type of facial. It’s designed to deep-clean the skin and rid it of impurities on the surface.
How does it work? While there are variations, its components remain the same: cleansing, exfoliation, steam, extractions (typically optional), a massage, a soothing mask, and a moisturizer with sunblock.
How often can you get one? Every few weeks, since it’s recommended for simple skin upkeep rather than specialized care.
Treats: Fine lines, sagging skin, imperfections
What is it? The oxygen facial became popular among celebrities for its ability to refresh the skin right before a red-carpet appearance. It instantly plumps and lifts skin, without the telltale redness of other facial treatments, so it is immediately ready for makeup application.
How does it work? An aesthetician uses an airbrush to spray pressurized oxygen and custom skincare serums onto the face. The oxygen supposedly boosts the skin’s intake of the anti-aging and moisturizing products, which can reduce the tiny flaws that might otherwise show up on camera.
How often can you get one? Every week. The oxygen facial’s effects are immediately apparent but tend to fade over the next few days.
This article was originally written by Mel Kassel in 2016 and has since been updated by our editors.