Peels? Acid? Therapy? Needles? Having a facial can sound a bit like a surgical procedure but once you know what to expect you can match the facial to your personal needs without any worry. The result? Brighter, fresher and younger-looking skin.
What is it: Using water jets to exfoliate, revealing smoother, more even textured skin.
Benefit: Resurfaces the outer layer of skin making it easier for hydrating products to be absorbed. Gives a clearer, brighter complexion that feels soft and hydrated.
Expect: It can be mildly scratchy and skin will be somewhat pink as a result. As with most resurfacing procedures, make sure you take extra care when out in the sun.
What is it: A mode of exfoliation using a chemical solution (such as glycolic or lactic acid).
Benefit: Called a peel because the acid causes the top layer of skin cells to shed, and the result is smoother-looking skin, reduction in the appearance of fine lines, scars, discolouration and sun damage. “The deeper the peel the more prolonged the down time and the more significant the associated risks,” explains Sheridan.
Expect: Mild tingling and, for some women, possibly stinging during treatment, depending on the strength of the peel. Skin may be red and flaky for several days after the procedure. More than one treatment may be required.
What is it: Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are the chemicals used in milder peels, as are beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) and retinoic acid. A trichloracetic (TCA) acid peel is a stronger option.
Benefits: They are effective at reversing the effects of photo-ageing, improving the appearance of wrinkles, skin elasticity, tone and hydration.
Expect: Stronger peels that work deeper, can stimulate collagen production as skin is renewed.
What is it: This little molecule occurs naturally in our skin and it can contain up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Our body’s production of hyaluronic acid declines as we age.
Benefit: When applied to the skin as a cosmetic ingredient, it binds water molecules together, helping skin stay hydrated and firm.
Expect: Skin will look revitalised and smoother with a reduction in fine lines.
What is it: Also called collagen induction therapy, fine needles cause microscopic punctures in the skin, triggering a healing response that regenerates the skin. “A good simple option to target localised minor scarring; or to refresh the skin,” suggests Sheridan.
Benefits: The healing response has been proven effective for reducing scars, fine lines and wrinkles. The result is smoother, firmer, more even-looking skin.
Expect: Generally, a numbing cream is used so it shouldn’t hurt. There may be some facial redness that will disappear within hours or days.
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