Getting a facial can be a fun, relaxing experience that can also provide many benefits to your skin. It seems like there is a facial for every skin care need; an enzyme facial to exfoliate, a brightening facial to fade those pesky spots from spending too much time in the sun, and even a gemstone facial to open your energy centers (Yes, that’s a real thing!). With all the different types of facials, you may be eager to try them all. But how often should you get a facial? We’ll answer this question below, along with how often you should use a face mask and wash your face.
What is a facial?
A facial is essentially a multi-step skin treatment that involves cleansing, exfoliating, steaming, clearing pores, and moisturizing. There are tons of different facials that you can get, each designed for a specific type of skin or concern. Below are examples of different types of facials you can get:
- Deep cleansing facial
- Acne prevention facial
- Anti-aging facial
- Brightening facial
- Enzyme facial
- Oxygen facial
- Light therapy facial
- Microcurrent facial
- Microdermabrasion facial
- Lymphatic drainage facial
- Acupuncture facial
- Gemstone facial
As you can see from the list above, some facials (like microcurrent and lymphatic drainage facials) must be performed by a professional, such as an esthetician or dermatologist. Other facials, like deep cleansing and anti-aging facials, can be done at home.
How often should you get a facial?
Most dermatologists and skin care professionals recommend to get a facial once per month. This is an ideal time frame because the skin cell turnover cycle in the epidermis is 28 days long. Therefore, getting a professional facial more than once a month could be irritating to the skin. But how often you get a facial also depends on the type of facial.
On the one hand, many spas offer relaxing facials, which may include aromatherapy, applying a few masks, and having a mindful experience. There are also massage facials in which several beneficial massage methods are used to increase circulation and oxygenation, thereby providing a healthy glow to any complexion. You may be able to get these types of facials more than just once per month since they don’t involve use high concentrations of active ingredients.
On the other hand, most clinical facials should not be done more than once per month. There are many different types of clinical facials, and the treatments may be offered in packages. For example, a “signature facial” may include a light chemical peel, oxygen therapy, microcurrent, extraction, LED light therapy, and possibly a few other things depending on your specific skin needs. As you can see, clinical facials are designed to use powerful techniques and active ingredients to give you visible results. Getting a clinical facial more than once per month may be too irritating for the skin.
How often should you use a face mask?
If you’re not ready to invest in a professional facial, you may want to try a facial at home. Many at home facials will involve using a face mask. But how often should you use a face mask? The answer to this question primarily depends on the type of ingredients used in the mask’s formula.
For example, a mask that is meant to hydrate the skin can be used every day if you wish. Look for ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, amino acids, aloe vera leaf juice, niacinamide, panthenol, and botanical oils. These ingredients will help to increase skin hydration. Make sure the mask does not contain denatured alcohol (may be listed as Alcohol Denat or SD Alcohol 40) or fragrance, which can both cause skin dryness and irritation.
However, with just about every other type of mask that is not primarily for hydrating purposes, it’s best to limit your use to once to twice per week. For instance, exfoliating face masks may contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid, which may cause irritation if used more than once per week. The same goes for clay masks or acne treatment masks. Although you may have the desire to dry out your skin if you have excess oil on the surface, try to avoid this temptation. The skin will compensate for this excessive dryness by producing even more oil, which can make oily skin and acne worse!
How often should you wash your face?
Now that we’ve answered how often you should get a facial and how often you should get a face mask, let’s discuss one remaining question: how often should you wash your face? The answer to this question primarily depends on your skin type. If you have excessively oily skin, it’s recommended to wash your skin both morning and night. For very dry or sensitive skin, stick to cleansing once daily in the evening. You can still rinse your face in the morning with water, but skip using a cleanser that can cause excessive dryness by stripping your skin of its natural oils. Lastly, it’s always recommended to wash your face after an intense gym session to clear away excess sweat that can cause breakouts.
If you decide that you want to wash your face twice a day, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of overwashing. You may be overwashing if you wake up with skin that feels dry, tight, or sensitive, or shows signs of sensitivity with red, dry patches. However, this can also be a sign that you’re using a cleanser or skin treatment that is too harsh. Some ingredients in cleansers that can cause these symptoms include surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium cocoate, and sodium palmate.
So how can you avoid cleansers that contain drying, sensitizing ingredients? With so many cleansers on the market, this is no easy task! To make things simple, we’d like to share our number one recommendation when it comes to cleansers: Formulyst.
Formulyst offers two highly effective cleansers: Gentle Foaming Cleanser and Clarifying AHA Cleanser. The Gentle Foaming Cleanser is an ultra-gentle anti-aging cleanser that is formulated to deeply cleanse while balancing and protecting the skin’s natural pH. It removes impurities and sweeps away dirt and dead surface cells without stripping the skin of its vital moisture levels. Formulyst’s Clarifying AHA Cleanser is formulated to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin while removing dirt and makeup. It contains glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps refine pores, control excess oil, and smooth away any surface-level roughness.
References: Allure.com “How Often Should You Get a Facial to Reap the Maximum Benefits?” Jan 2019, Refinery29.com “The Truth About Whether Professional Facials Are Worth Your Money” Sep 2018, Bustle.com “How Often Can You Use Face Masks Each Week To Help & Not Hurt Your Skin?” Dec 2016