When getting a professional facial, what do you look for?

I like someone who asks questions – like what my concerns are, maybe what kind of products I already use, whether I’ve had a facial before, do I want extractions, etc. I also like someone who seems to understand the skin and may offer knowledge as they apply a certain product or employ a certain technique (like why they’re doing it).

— Christine
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Clean hands, clean tools, soft touch, relaxing music, no mindless chatter (sorry, but I want to relax, not hear about your boyfriend/girlfriend issues). Someone who asks what kind of skin I have, if I’m sensitive to any ingredients. And creams/masks without perfume please. I learned this the hard way! I once got a rose petal facial, which sounded great, until my skin started turning red and dry from all the fragrance 🙁

What you said above, Christine! ^^^

I have never had a professional facial. Nope, never. So I have zero to say when it comes to comparing previous experiences I’ve had, because they don’t exist. But if and when I do, I am definitely reading the comments to know what to look for!

I like a beautiful salon – if I’m going to indulge in a facial, I might as well do it in a nice environment. I also like facialists that are gentle, take their time, ask what I want, but don’t talk too much during the treatment (I’ll usually close my eyes and relax). And, probably the most important, I can’t stand to have a facial done by someone who smokes, the smell of cigarette on the hands that touch my face for an hour is a deal-breaker for me!

I do *not* like getting professional facials; but if I’m getting my makeup done and a skincare person goes first, I like someone who listens when I tell them how sensitive my skin is–literally, if you even lightly brush your hand against it, it will get irritated and turn red–and is familiar with the ingredients I ask them not to put on my face. It’s a bad sign if they haven’t heard of denatured alcohol and think that lavender oil soothes irritated skin. (Has happened.)

Definetely cleanliness ! I did go to school to be an estitician but I didn’t finish my classes cause I had to move. Germ free is the key!!

1. Spas not salons with spa services – in my experience, the salons that offer spa services tend to be very busy and noisy and that ruins it for me.
2. Keep it professional, please – I have been doing at home facials lately because I became frustrated with the lack of professionalism. I am a loyal, reliable, predictable client and I tip well. Though we can be friendly, that doesn’t mean we are friends and I don’t want to talk during my service. I don’t want to chit chat, don’t want to know you beyond your expertise, don’t want to be in an interview while I’m half naked and you are massaging my temples.
3. Don’t upsell me during my service – know your product and tell me you would like to add xxx in for xxx amount, based on what you think my skin would need at the beginning/during the first 10 minutes when we are discussing my needs for that visit. After that, no changes.

It’s been a while and I think I might book an appointment (online as it’s almost midnight) somewhere new. I like my at home treatments but I miss the facial massages and the scents and relaxing music.

Great points, Pearlie 😀 I concur wholeheartedly with each and every one. Upselling is a slap in the face to a well paying/tipping customer. Indulge me if and when I ask. As Depeche Mode once sang…

.. “Enjoy the Silence”

When it comes to any beauty service, I need time to build up trust. I usually start with mani/pedis and product recommendations and then go from there. I had a great relationship with a spa in Toronto, but when I moved away in 2006, I was forced to find a new one.
OMG moment ingrained in my mind forever… out of desperation and under time pressure, I found a spa just down the road from my new digs and proceeded to get a bikini wax prior to a trip. I thought the wax was feeling awfully warm, but it wasn’t until that evening that I realized the damn tech had BURNED the crap out of my crotch. It was the most uncomfortable trip ever!!! OMG.. red hot bubbly crotch skin, followed by itchy peeling crotch skin. Just Awful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So yeah, face stuff. I stick with simple facials and no aggressive treatments. I tend towards using products that work in the aggregate.

Hey Wendy!! I live a little North of Toronto, and i’m looking for a good place to stat with that stuff!! Do you remember what the spa was called? 🙂

Hi Shannon: this quite some time ago.. 2007 or 2008 and the aesthetician ran her business in a facility attached to her house directly on Hwy #9. I do not remember the name. I was there once.

After the waxing debacle, I did have great success at Calm Waters Day spa in Bolton for many years if that is any help or close enough to you to be do-able. They used to be located in downtown bolton, but have since relocated more towards south end in a new building. I used to do routine mani/pedi leg waxing, bikini and underarms and mini and full facials. I then did a series of laser hair removal with them to excellent results. I don’t know if Carla is still there, but she was my regular. Me, I subsequently moved even further north in early 2008, a year later, to my farm and eventually after getting ill with MCTD, facing the drive down to Bolton became an issue so I stopped going. Eventually after a number of years of being negligent (I was much too sick to care tbh), I found a new aesthetician who works in concert with my Dr.LookBetter (the wonderful Dr. who does my botox in Barrie). Let me know if you need that contact info.

I am waiting for someone (probably me!) to develop a facial for people with rosacea. I hated having to get facials in school because the products always irritated my skin. In addition to the facial being promoted for people with rosacea/sensitive skin, I would want to be able to read the ingredients lists of all the products that were going to be used, since so many times people promote ‘natural’ things as being all good, but there are a number of natural ingredients that irritate my skin, essential oils being prominent among them, and so often used in ‘natural’ skin care products.

Other than my hyper-concerns about my easily irritated skin, I agree with your comments, Christine 🙂

I rarely do professional facials anymore; it’s an expense I don’t indulge in much. When I do or have done, my POV is:
> Don’t sell me stuff; I’m already paying for the service, this is not a store counter.
> Cleanliness is table stakes.
> Competency — this takes time to assess of course. I’ve had good facials and poor ones, and it is hard to know exactly what techniques, tools, products made the difference, and the difference isn’t clear until later in the day/next days.
>This is about me, not you; it’s my checkbook, and I’ve made a decision that considered my financials to be in that appointment. So while I’m always pleasant and a very good client (on time, good tipper), I’m not in that chair/on that table to become a friend.

I cannot emphasize enough the hygiene of the spa & procedures . For the creams/masks from jars/tubes used for multiple customers, I need to see the product taken with / applied on single-use spatulas. If metal tools are used, I need to know if they were sterilized in a medical-grade autoclave and to see that they are taken out in from of me from sealed sterilization pouches. Also, a proper disinfectant should be used to clean up after each customer (bed, table, bowls etc.). This goes for mani/pedi treatments as well. If they do not use these methods/procedures, I prefer to pass as I’ve heard too many horror stories.

Also, keep talk to a minimum. For the rest, it’s what you’ve said Christine :).

I’ve actually never gotten one and I can’t. I’m too germaphobe to let someone touch my face without me involved in every process. I wouldn’t enjoy it. It sucks being this germaphobic….sometimes.

I’m easy to please. I just want a firm touch and refreshing scented products like cucumber and melon. No chit chatting during facial.

I don’t get facials at all. I do give myself a facial. L. Seriously, I do! First trade is a Cosmetologist, second trade Nurse. Talk about opposite directions of the spectrum. L. I did have a facial once and never again after what I have seen. It’s enough to make me want to do my own, minus the relaxing part. I rather be safe than sorry. Let’s just say unless they clean everything while you are right there in the room, trust nothing and no one. My household benefits from me being licensed in both area’s. At least I know that what I do and use on my family is safe and they have nothing to worry about thats all that matters! … Cleanliness, sterilized equipment and room’s, that includes vents too. Make sure that you really scope a place out and if you see anything wrong or not cleaned, please leave and report these places. I’m sure there’s legit places that are cleaned and they are trained properly.

I have never had one, simply because I have really sensitive skin and lots of products irritate it. So I would want a professional to use suitable products that would not irritate or harm my skin. Asking questions, explaining the ingredients of the products used (not – this comes from the Amazon rainforests -as if).

I would want to have a consultation beforehand to discuss skincare needs, products and procedures. I have never had one so this is very informative,

I used to get facials but haven’t for a while because the results just weren’t there for me. Steaming my face and putting cream on it is something I can do at home. As for extractions, I had a very bad experience where my skin actually had scabs on it after. I’ve only gone to upscale spas for this and expected a lot more.

I don’t get facials but I would love to get one with someone who is experienced and informs me ahead of time what she is going to do and why. I wouldn’t like someone who talks a lot while doing the facial. I never have massages either but if I did I would hate for someone to talk a lot during the massage it would have to be before.

I look at reviews! I read the bad ones and the good ones. I love facial massage, someone who really knows about skin care, doesn’t just use one line of products even their own, they must be skilled in modern and classic technique, and the spa must be relaxing. It can be clinical too but in a relaxing way. Most med spa’s aren’t so it’s hard to find a good one. I also love it if they have a real doctor on staff who is open to consult with should they find something that a derm might need to see you for. I hate it when estheticians go outside their scope and try to remove things or say something might be cancer. Even if no medical procedure is down by this other doctor you can have someone take a look and give you an assessment on whether you should be worried. I used to go to a place like this in Portland and it was very helpful.

I’ve had countless facials over the years – some terrific, many very good, some awful. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve focused my professional facials around some combination of microdermabrasion and peels rather than the generalist feel-good services. My priorities:

–no gimmicks: gold leaf, caviar, chocolate, astrology, obscure plant life, heated rocks from the moon, etc are entertaining but should be left where they belong. They almost always do nothing to improve my skin.
–no upsell: seriously, if you’re going to try to force me to buy your products, you should be paying me for the facial.
–intelligent use of products: just because it’s on your counter doesn’t mean it has to go on my face. A good professional facialist doesn’t want to – and isn’t required to – use every cream within reach.
–offer useful after-treatment advice: I respect a good facialist’s insight as to what I should be doing on my own.
–DON’T bully or attempt to intimidate me: I am so offended by facialists who take one look at your skin and proclaim that you’re at the edge of disaster and you should thank heavens that you came to them. Seriously? I’ve been around the block enough so that the few times this still happens, I’ll just throw it back at them and they retreat. But I really worry about younger women who might be new to the facial scene and are made to feel bad about themselves. Don’t.

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