A few months ago, my skin went through a bad phase. I had tiny bumps all over my forehead, and I kept getting acne. Everyone I met asked, “What happened to your skin?” – which made me even more upset and self-conscious because I was already trying very hard to not think about it.
I’ve always liked facials and massages, but call me crazy if you want – I also believe in the saying, ‘no pain, no gain’. I subject myself to extraction because I’m not able to remove the clogged bits from my pores. I tolerate painful massages because the masseuse said that it will help to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
These treatments hurt like a b***h, but no woman ever got pretty without a bit of pain. Pain is good for you. I see it as a form of practice, not just for my patience, but also for my determination.
After a few rather painful visits to a beauty salon, my skin looks much better now, save for the occasional zit. As I’m typing this, I have one on my cheek, which I got after a facial last week. It’s normal to have a pimple or two pop up after a facial – well, at least, it is for me.
Since I’ve been trying different facial places for a few years (from my previous job’s experience, and also due to personal interest, though now I’ve decided to stick to one particular place), I thought I would share a few tips on how to make the most of your facial:
1) Book a morning facial
It’s 5pm, and you’re tired. You’re sick of your job, and you’re ready to call it a day. So, you book a facial for after work, hoping to de-stress. My suggestion is: skip the evening facial. Why? Because it’s 5pm, and the facialist is tired too, having had to exfoliate, massage and extract all day long. When people are tired, they tend to make mistakes or overlook things.
Just like how you get to the office first thing in the morning, all perked up after a good coffee, your facialist (who is human too, btw) also feels the same way. Booking a facial in the morning, even if it means taking half a day off, is sometimes more beneficial than cramming a 45-minute facial after work. Also, weekdays are the best times for a good facial, because your facialist isn’t rushing to finish you so she doesn’t have to keep the next appointment waiting.
2) It’s okay to ask for skincare samples
Even if you’re not planning to buy any products, a good facialist also wants what’s best for your skin. If you’re not sure about something you’re using or even how to use it, ask her for advice. However, don’t take that advice blindly; after all, you’ve lived with your skin all these years, and she only sees you once a month, max. For example, if your skin often acts up after a facial, ask her if she has a soothing cream or serum that you can use for a few days to help the redness subside. Personally, I like asking for eye cream samples because they last a long time, compared with say, a cleanser or toner sample.
3) Stick to one facialist
I like to leave my skin in the hands of one (ok, or two at most) facialist, because I feel that it’s easier for her to keep track of my skin’s ‘performance’. After a few facials, if you feel comfortable with a particular facialist, and like how she works, you can request for her when you make an appointment. That being said, professionally-managed beauty salons will also ask you for your preferred facialist. If she’s not working on the day you intended to go for a facial, it’s completely ok to reschedule. You don’t have to feel obligated to still go for your facial with someone else.
4) Choose an outlet that’s directly owned by the parent company
This is important for me because I have heard many horror stories from the facialists themselves. Some distributor-owned beauty salons (usually they carry more than one brand) have been known to ‘cheat’ by refilling their skincare bottles with el cheapo products purchased from beauty supply stores. Their rationale: after all, when the customer is in the treatment room, their eyes are closed anyway, so nobody will be able to tell the difference. They still charge premium price, while using dirt-cheap (fake) products on your face.
That’s why I always make it a point to do some research (either online, or by calling the hotline given) to ask whether a particular beauty salon is directly managed/owned by the parent company. This minimises the risk of that salon using fake products, and you know that quality control is more stringent because the parent company has a great deal more to lose than a distributor, who can simply switch brands if something happens.
5) It’s sometimes cheaper to sign up for a package
So you’ve found your favourite facialist, and the products work for you. What’s next? If you’re thinking whether to commit to a package, take these factors into consideration as well: is it good value for money? Is the outlet convenient? Do you see yourself coming back regularly for facials? What other types of perks or special privileges do you get? For instance, the salon I signed my package with offered 30% off all facials, and I got a complimentary full-sized product along with a set of deluxe samples too. Sometimes, I also get to try new facials for more than 60% off. That’s quite a good deal, since the normal price is over RM300 per facial.
What other tips do you have? Do share!
(Images: google.com, pinterest.com)