Last week, I had my first ever professional facial! I used a gift certificate the man got me for Christmas and really enjoyed the experience.
When I got there, the esthetician offered me a glass of water, which was much needed after a dehydrating day trying to teach Spanish to little kids. Then, she led me to a small room with an enviable row of pump bottles on a shelf along the wall, a sink in the corner, and a cot in the middle of the room.
I took off everything from the waist up and put a towel over my torso - then got under a blanket on the cot and laid back. I enjoyed a chocolate that had been left on the headrest as I waited for Sandra to return.
The first thing she did was to smear a cleansing gel on my face, neck, and upper chest. The amount she used surprised me, but heck, I was gonna enjoy the experience! She cleaned it off with a very warm damp towel - the warmth of the towel really impressed me. After that, she applied a thin liquid that she said was supposed to exfoliate. We chatted about my skin (combination oily, jawline acne) and she removed the exfoliant with copious amounts of toner. At this point, I was more exhilarated than relaxed, but feeling fairly gung-ho about everything.
Then she asked if I'd ever had extractions and bragged about how most of her clients came to her special for them. I said no, but that I wanted the full experience and she could go ahead and I'd tell her if it got to be too much. No lie, extractions hurt. Sandra was not kidding: she is thorough! By the end, she'd used her (gloved) fingers, a bunch of Q-tips, a lance, and even more toner; most of the clogs on my chin, nose, forehead, and face were demolished!
After a final wipe of the toner, she applied a mask to my face, got out the massage oil, and gave my hands, arms, neck, and upper chest a really nice massage while the mask did its work. When the mask had been on long enough, she placed another deliciously warm towel over my face, and massaged my arms some more. As the towel became cool, she replaced it with another one which she used to clean the mask from my face. As a last step, she applied a mix of lavender and tea tree oils and massaged them into my face.
In discussion with Sandra about my skin, it developed that my skin is oily with a top layer that dries out, trapping the oil and other residues inside my pores. Her recommendation was more frequent exfoliation to remove that dry layer and use of oils to help the gunk to flow out of my pores.
It's been a week, and my jawline is a lot less inflamed. I'm being more cautious about proper exfoliation, and while I have had a few tiny whiteheads, my skin condition is overall improved.
I'd definitely do a facial again, and I'm hoping to return to her three or four times a year.