Fab facials

Face treatments are to women what water is to fish. Some fantastic options you must try

Woman taking a treatment in the parlourWhen it comes to our body, beauty and health go hand in hand. Our hair is not beautiful till it is healthy and strong, our body is not beautiful till it is healthy and fit, and our skin is not beautiful till it is healthy and well groomed. Our skin is the largest organ which protects us from harmful effects of foreign substances and serves as the transfer point for releasing toxins and receiving essentials for our body. Hence, it is important to keep it clean and healthy.

Application of fresh, natural products like essential oils, plant waters and cold pressed unscented oils helps maintain a youthful, glowing complexion. Another treatment that works wonders for your skin is a facial. Facials are deep skin treatments that cleanse, re-hydrate and rejuvenate the skin, apart from minimising skin blemishes, acne, dry skin and wrinkles.

Facials vary depending on your skin type and age, the kind of treatment you have chosen and the products used. There are many types of facials available. So let’s talk about a few to help you take a well-informed decision the next time you step into a salon.

Basic clean-up

This is for teenagers and women in their early 20s to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise facial skin. Clean-ups reduce tanning, remove blackheads, and help add a glow to your complexion. The first step is steam. The skin is made moist by gently steaming the face. This prepares the face for removing blackheads and whiteheads and opens up the pores for better absorption of creams. After that, a scrub is gently massaged on to the face. The granular form of the scrub helps exfoliate and clean the skin further. Next, a creamy cleanser is applied and a soft rotating electric brush is used to massage the face.

Once the massage is complete the cleanser is removed using cotton pads and then a sunscreen or light cream is applied. The facial clean-up is complete. The entire process takes 45 minutes to an hour and is a good monthly skin rejuvenation regime. Clean-ups are suitable for all skin types. For a basic clean-up, you may have to pay somewhere in the range of Rs 500–Rs 650.

Regular facial

For a person with no skin-related issues and not requiring treatment for any skin malady, this is the facial to choose. The routine for a regular facial is the same as that for clean-ups except for a few things. Firstly, the facial massage goes on much longer than a clean-up. In a facial, the skin being treated is older and requires more rubbing and massage as compared to a youthful skin. Secondly, a face pack is a must. Any facial uses at least two face packs. The packs help revive the skin and make your skin fresh and clean. Therapist Melisa working with the Nalini and Yasmin chain in Mumbai says, “Woman should start having facials around the age of 30–35 years of age, depending upon their skin condition. Prior to that clean-ups are enough to keep the skin clean and healthy. After a certain age, the face requires massage and a good facial to rejuvenate and stay healthy.” A regular facial goes on for at least an hour and a half. There are many types of regular facials to choose from, all depending on the products and brands used. These options vary from salon to salon. A regular facial costs around Rs 850–Rs1000.

Acne facial

This facial is designed for people suffering from skin problems like acne and blemishes. After a regular facial, an enzyme or glycolic acid is used to exfoliate the skin. Next, a warm vapour mist treatment is given to the face that helps in deep pore extraction [done by hand] and disencrustation [done by a special electric device]. Finally to relax the skin, a skin-calming anti-bacterial mask is used. The facial takes little over two hours and has to be done on a fortnightly basis as a part of the treatment package. The cost for the treatment varies between Rs 850–Rs 1000 per sitting.

Bio-lift facial

This facial includes a regular facial and a special treatment for dark circles, skin tightening and skin toning. A special bio-mask is used that is good for women above the age of 40. The minimum cost of this facial is Rs 4000.

Paraffin facial

Apart from a regular facial to ensure better absorption of special anti-aging and rejuvenating creams, a paraffin mask is applied on top of layers of gauze. This mask provides a special radiance to the skin and is a favourite in bridal packages. This facial is priced at Rs1800–Rs 2000.

Collagen facial

This facial helps battle wrinkles, dark circles and environment damages to the skin. This facial goes through many steps of exfoliation using lymphatic drainage massage, deep pore cleansing, steam and freeze dry collagen sheet under a paraffin mask followed by galvanic or laser treatment. To provide a hydrating effect, vial or ampoules are used. This detailed treatment lasts over two and a half hours and costs at least Rs 2500.

Galvanic facial

To remove congestion and treat dry and dehydrated skin, a water soluble material is introduced into the skin using a galvanic gadget [a direct galvanic current is used to introduce water-soluble substance into the body through skin. The capacity to absorb by the skin increases improving the penetration of various products used through the skin.] This helps skin’s ability to absorb and ensure moisture retention. The cost of the facial would vary between Rs 850–Rs 1400 depending upon the skin condition.

AHA facial

Alpha Hydroxy Acid [AHA] facial is suited for people with pigmented skin and helps tighten pores, improve skin texture and capillary action. The creams and masks contain AHA which is derived from fruits and flowers. Fresh fruits are also used for masks and are recommended for sensitive skins. Orange is a suitable option for oily skin whereas banana is good for dry skin. This facial would cost you approximately Rs 1500.

Gold facial

Masks and creams containing 24-carat pure gold are used to improve skin radiance, elasticity, resilience, smoothness and softness. Gold has great rejuvenating qualities that help remove toxins and lymphatic drainage from the skin. The gold facial is another favourite with brides and costs at least Rs 3000.

Anti-oxidant facial

For people with too much exposure to the outdoor [sun, dust and wind], creams rich in vitamin E, vitamin A and beta-carotene are used to remove pollutants and cleanse the skin. This facial is usually priced at around Rs 1000.

Aromatherapy facial

This facial uses essential oils that possess unique therapeutic qualities that help in relaxing mind and body. The facial massage is done using essential oils and the masks applied also contain essential oils. This helps in improving skin functions, cell regeneration, removing toxins and congestions. An aromatherapy facial is priced at Rs 1000.

Facials are an excellent option to remove dead cells and pollutants from our epidermis [skin’s surface]. The massage helps you relax, improves blood circulation, detoxify the body and delay wrinkles. The face masks used at the end improves skin tone and gives it a glowing pampered look. Facials not just help you look beautiful, but to help you keep your skin healthy. Celine Cortinchi, Spa Manager, Jean-Claude Biguine, Mumbai suggests that you go a little further and pamper and rejuvenate your whole body with body wraps and relaxing massages.

The fact that you take out time for yourself, switch off your mobile, shut your mind from the daily chaos and indulge in couple of hours of blissful pampering is in itself reason enough for you to pick up that phone and schedule an appointment with your salon.

Garima Midha
Garima Midha is a New-Delhi-based health writer.