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A woman with her hair wrapped in a towel lies back on a massage bed as the finger's of another woman's hands press down to extract dirt trapped in pores on area of her forehead.

How Often Should You Get A Facial: All The Answers

There’s nothing quite like that fresh facial feeling. After your skin’s been cleansed, massaged and custom-treated by an expert esthetician, it has that addictively smooth, baby-soft radiance that’s impossible to achieve outside of a professional spa. Which is why we all go home, look into the mirror and wonder, “How soon can I go back?”

28 Days And Counting

The one thing you should know is that skin regenerates every 28 days. New skin cells are born in the basal layer, the deepest of the four layers that make up the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of our skin. Thick and column-shaped, these new cells divide in two with half of them remaining where they are and the other half pushing up through the different layers, changing shape and appearance as they move along. By the time they reach the surface of the skin, the cells have lost their nucleus. They’re essentially dead and slough away in a constant process of renewal.

How Often To Get A Facial? A General Answer

So, given the amount of time it takes new cells to generate and rise to the surface, you run the risk of aggravating your skin if you have facials too often. You want to be in the sweet spot between getting a facial often enough to get maximum effectiveness but not so often that you’re doing damage. After all, your skin is going through stages of recovery after a facial: Within 24 hours, your complexion is still pink after a chemical peel treatment; 48 to 72 hours, the skin might continue to purge impurities, and up to five to seven days, the skin could still be healing from vigorous extractions. In addition, your skin is waiting for new cells to come to the surface.

Infographic on the results from a professional facial

Eminence Organics Product Support Representative Alana Henrikson follows the cell renewal schedule for timing facials: “Generally speaking, every four to six weeks would be ideal since your skin will regenerate itself approximately every 28 days.” Not only does this sync with skin cell turnover, it also means you’re regularly checking in with your esthetician so that they can make sure your skincare routine is on track.

While a facial every four to six weeks is a safe bet, it also varies according to what kinds of facials you’re getting.  “The frequency of receiving a facial can also depend on the specific concern that is being treated,” says Alana. “Someone with severe acne or hyperpigmentation may visit the spa for a series of more frequent treatments initially.”

Facial For Acne Treatment

If you’re following a series of treatments for acne, you’re probably receiving a light chemical peel once or twice a week over a four to eight week period. Your facial also probably includes extractions, especially if you have blackheads, which are open pores impacted with sebum that are close to the surface of the skin, or whiteheads - “closed” comedones that are clogged with built-up impurities but covered in a thin layer of skin. After you have completed your treatments, the esthetician will typically reassess your skin and follow up with monthly visits.

Facial For Hyperpigmentation

Like acne, hyperpigmentation facials also employ chemical peels to treat dark patches like dark spots, areas affected by injury and skin inflammation, and melasma, which sometimes appear on women who are pregnant or taking birth control pills. Laser therapy or intense pulsed light are other hyperpigmentation procedures. Expect a weekly schedule of treatments for a period of four to five weeks, but, as Alana  points out, “The frequency of receiving a facial for hyperpigmentation would depend on the client’s skin sensitivity.” After the once-a-week facials are over, your esthetician will let your skin recover before starting another cycle, if you need it.

Acne and hyperpigmentation problems are tried-and-true facials. But what about the more exotic ones like microdermabrasion, oxygen and LED facials?

woman in spa receiving LED facial

An LED Facial A Week

If we stay on the subject of pimples, LED light therapy is proving to be a fairly effective weapon, and weapon is the right word! In the 1990s, the U.S. Navy SEALs used LED light to speed up the body’s recovery from skin wounds, which the skincare industry borrowed to tackle acne and aging. Blue LED light reaches sebaceous glands where it targets an acne-producing bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes. Longer wavelength infrared penetrates deeper into the skin and is supposed to stimulate collagen protein and soothe inflammation for fuller, smoother-looking skin. While the scientific verdict on LED’s anti-aging properties is still out, there is consensus that acne can benefit from this treatment…especially when it combines blue and red LED light. According to Dr. Hooman Khorasani, the chief of the division of Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the blue and red LED combo “may reduce the size of the sebaceous glands, so you don’t produce as much oil.” The other good news is you can have up to one LED facial a week.

Monthly Microdermabrasion

Another high-tech treatment is microdermabrasion where you trick your skin into replacing old skin cells on the surface of your skin with new ones. How? By making your skin think it’s being injured, which it is in a way, though, gently. A microdermabrasion machine exfoliates your skin with a stream of tiny crystals or a diamond tip while gently suctioning up the dead cells. Quick and non-invasive, microdermabrasion will brighten and smooth out your skin but the immediate after-effects can be a little redness and sensitivity. It’s best to keep these sessions to once a month.

Oxygen Facials

Polishing your skin with crystals will bring on the glow; so can pumping it with oxygen. This is a technique dermatologists and facialists picked up from deep-sea divers who get pure oxygen forced into their tissue and bloodstream whenever they return to the surface running low. The new fave facial for celebrities, oxygen is high-pressure sprayed right into your epidermis. And it’s not just run-of-the-mill oxygen but oxygen infused with botanical extracts, vitamins, and minerals to give your skin an instantly plumper, smoother, hydrated look. How often can you get an oxygen facial? If you can afford it, once a week.

So check your calendar, consider your options and count up the days until your next spa visit - you can find your nearest Eminence Organics partner spa with our spa locator. What kind of facial do you need at your next spa appointment? Let us know in the comments below or share with us on social media.