Pros say this is the ideal facial frequency for glowing, healthy skin.
It’s hard to beat the post-glow of a professional facial. All the dry and flaky bits—even the stuff you didn’t quite see with your own eyes—are gone, your pores somehow look smaller, your skin firmer, and your complexion is nothing short of radiant.
Pro facials are a real treat, but does it ever make sense for them to become more than that? As in, a part of your monthly skincare regimen to keep things in tip-top shape? Some people swear by getting facials often—similar to how they’d get hair cuts or massages—but what’s the ideal frequency?
How Frequently Should You Get a Facial?
For optimal skin health, four to six weeks is the ideal frequency for getting a professional facial. This is because the regeneration cycle of new skin cells occurs roughly every four weeks.
“For maximum efficacy on a specific concern, say acne, signs of premature aging, or hyperpigmentation, a more frequent interval of two to three weeks initially, until they’re at a place of maintenance,” says Nichelle Temple, esthetician and founder of New York City’s Inderma Studio. She adds, “When a big event is coming up, I like to map out a service plan to maximize our results together. Alternating services for lifting, exfoliation, and deep cleaning, and those days when the stress is strong, and you just need some gentle touch and relaxation.”
Not only does getting routine facials every four to six weeks help keep your skin looking great, but it helps you commit to a “me day” for some much-needed downtime.
How Much Does a Facial Cost?
Cost is obviously a factor in deciding how often you should get a facial. On average, you can expect to pay between $60 and $250 before taxes and gratuity (which should be 15% to 20%). If it makes more sense to further spread out time between facials to accommodate a budget, definitely do so.
At-Home vs Professional Facial
We know what you’re probably thinking: Why drop a ton of cash at a professional salon when you’ve got skin care products at home? Turns out, the difference between the two can actually be quite vast—even if you’ve got some really good stuff sitting on your bathroom vanity.
“A primary facial you can find in any area is your standard 60-minute European facial. Typically, that consists of a cleanse, mask, steam, extractions, and massage,” Temple says. She adds that from here, estheticians build onto the treatment, often “deep cleaning with steamers and extraction tools, using specialized devices to reduce inflammation, and incorporating skilled massage techniques for lifting and depuffing.”
They also have access to professional-grade products, including more concentrated peels and an “exclusive back bar and retail products tailored for specific concerns,” Temple says. In other words, these pros have the knowledge to understand your skin needs and are stocked with everything required to address them.
What’s more, estheticians often allow you to build off of a primary facial experience via treatments such as dermaplaning, LED therapy, microcurrents, gua sha, microneedling, chemical peels, expert massage techniques, and/or micro-needling. And if you really want to play with the big dogs, you can always opt for advanced services, such as laser treatments, radio frequency, and so on. Temple says, “These enhancements may add 30 minutes to the facial, and there is a ton of variety to suit all skin types and concerns.”
What to Do After a Facial
Maintaining an at-home skincare routine between facials is a must. That means sticking to your usual evening and morning skincare regimens, and supplementing with pampering treatments once or twice every couple weeks.
“You have the opportunity to care for your skin twice a day, while an esthetician may only see you every four to six weeks or on occasions like seasonal changes, during breakouts, or prior to a big event,” Temple says. “There is a ton you can do at home to take care of your skin effectively, but sticking to a regimen and not introducing too many changes too quickly is the key to success.”
For at-home facial treatments, consider trying mild exfoliating masks and deeply moisturizing masks, like Naturopathica’s Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel ($64, Naturopathica), iS Clinical Active Peel Treatment System ($88, Dermstore), and Eminence Organics Strawberry Rhubarb Masque ($59, Dermstore). You can also leverage simple tools such as ice globes, facial rollers, and beauty tech devices to enhance that moment of self-care.
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