What you need to know before you book your next facial

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Your complete cheat sheet to facials—which one you should pick, how often should you go and what you need to know before you make your appointment
Facials—whether you get them at your local salon or at the dermat’s clinic—have been around for a long time, and have an even longer list of misconceptions associated with them. Do all of them have to include an intense clean-up and a harsh bleach? Do they make your skin sensitive? Every week, every month—how often should you get one? Are all facials suitable for all skin types?

Let’s start with the basics. Firstly, a facial is a treatment that is meant to supplement—not replace—your regular skincare routine. It’s important that you follow at least a basic regimen to make sure the results of your facial last longer than a weekend. And secondly, they’re not one-size-fits-all, and it’s always better to get one at your trusted dermatologist’s clinic as opposed to the corner parlour. We got two celebrity dermatologists who are known for their facials—Mumbai-based medical head of The AgeLess Clinic Dr Harshna Bijlani, and Delhi-based owner of Isyaderm Dr Kiran Sethi—to give us the complete 101.

Dr Bijlani explains facials by splitting them into three different categories—conventional, medi-facials and super-medi facials. “Conventional facials are the ones offered in parlours and salons, performed by regular beauticians. Medi-facials get their name from the fact that they’re performed in a clinic, under medical supervision, and by well-trained aestheticians. Super-medi facials incorporate skincare technologies with a traditional facial to target your concern and give better, more effective results than conventional facials or medi-facials.”

Skin type: Pick a facial based on your skin type—whether it is dry, oily, combination or sensitive. The same facial would not work for dry skin and oily skin, so make sure you consider your skin type before picking one. “For example, if you are someone with oily skin or active acne and you opt for a hydrating facial, it would clog your pores and increase the chances of you breaking out, without actually helping your skin. The same way, if someone with dry skin opts for a facial that uses products to control oil production and detoxify skin, the result could be over-dried skin and the glow they had before the facial would also reduce due to insufficient oil production on the skin’s surface,” she says.

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