Facials are the skincare treatment that we're always advised to get, and they make many claims to save our skin. Often, it's implied that if we don't get facials, we won't achieve flawless skin. As reported by Slice, facial benefits include cleaning your pores so that your other skincare products can get better absorbed into your skin, achieving a glowing complexion, and gaining professional-strength exfoliation that eliminates dead skin cells and bacteria on your skin so it can be smooth. Clearly, there's more to facials than just the hype. However, there's also a catch. There are loads of facials to try out, with some being really popular, but some of them aren't really that good for you. Examples include gold facials that can actually harm your skin with allergens and cryotherapy facials that plunge you into icy temperatures where you risk frostbite. Yikes! To avoid potential skin and health dangers from facials, it's really important to do your research before booking a trendy new facial at the spa. Not sure which facials are worth your time and money? Here are 10 facials that can benefit your skin, and 10 facials that are worth skipping over on the skincare menu every time.
20 Flawless: Bee Venom Facial
While you might think bee venom in a facial is a big no-no and OTT, there are good reasons to give this one a try. Of course, you'll have to give it a miss if you're allergic to bees.
But if not, you'll love that this facial works as effectively as an anti-aging skin care treatment.
As reported by Skin Inc, bee venom stimulates the skin's production of collagen. This structure of the skin is an important one to maintain as you get older because it ensures that skin remains elastic and firm. Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist, tells Skin Inc that bee venom facials can be more effective than traditional facials because they actually encourage the skin to create more collagen, while traditional facials just focus on cleaning or hydrating the skin but not doing anything groundbreaking when it comes to offering anti-aging benefits. The bee venom facial also contains a compound known as melittin, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, so it can also boost your immune system. Interestingly, the venom from the bees relaxes your facial muscles, according to a report by Allure, which means it breaks down cell membranes and boosts circulation. Just don't get one of these facials too often as it can damage your membranes and lead to allergic reactions. Yikes. Still, it's worth trying out.
19 Skip: Intense Charcoal Facials
Charcoal has become a huge beauty buzzword. You can find charcoal in a variety of beauty products, and now there are also intense charcoal facials. It's said that charcoal has many benefits for the skin. It removes impurities, such as dead skin and dirt. But it's not all about perfect skin and amazing days at the spa. As reported by Health, unlike other face masks that easily wash off without you having to do anything, an intense charcoal-based one (such as the Shills Acne Purifying Peel-Off Mask that has been causing a stir on the internet) clings to skin and when you rip it off it really hurts! In fact, when Health chatted to dermatologists about charcoal face masks, they claimed that while the masks are considered to be safe, they will hurt a lot and could irritate your skin. The reason why it hurts so much is that while the charcoal mask gets stuck to dirt and dry skin, it also gets stuck to hair and the rest of your skin. It really feels like getting a wax but on your face. Ouch! Getting a more beautiful complexion shouldn't come with pain or injury afterward. That's just not worth the time and trouble of doing it.
18 Flawless: Collagen Wave Facial
This is another type of facial that stimulates collagen in the skin, but with the use of radio frequency. These waves have been gaining popularity in skincare and beauty treatments, and a big reason why is because they're not invasive like getting Botox injections. The collagen wave facial has claimed to tighten up the skin, boost collagen production, and stimulate the production of healthier skin cells. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, when reviewed by ELLE, this facial was found to be true to its anti-aging claims. As the reviewers write,
"30 minutes later [after the facial] I survey the results in the mirror and I'm genuinely impressed. My skin looks noticeably plumper, my eyes look like I've had 10 hours sleep and my lines around my mouth are much less visible."
However, it's important to book regular facial sessions to keep the skin looking and feeling strong.
Some facials leave your skin irritated and red, forcing you to hide out for a while before showing your face to the world. But the collagen wave facial is so non-invasive that you don't have any downtime afterward. That's a big bonus, especially if you have a really busy schedule.
17 Skip: Gold Facials
Gold face masks are often seen on Instagram, and many celebs have uploaded selfies of themselves adorned in luxuriously gold face masks to give them better skin. These include Stella McCartney and Kate Hudson, to mention just two. But, while gold face masks look like fun and seem to scream pampering when you purchase them in a spa treatment, they're just not worth the possible side-effects. Gold is an antioxidant so it fights free radicals in the skin, therefore preventing damage, but it can cause allergic reactions because it's a metal. However, it's not just gold that can be irritating to your skin. There could be other additives used in the face mask or skincare product containing gold that can cause an adverse reaction, as reported by Huffington Post, which is why you need to read all the ingredients on skincare products diligently. While you're hoping that the way your skin glows after a gold face mask is down to the metal in it, the truth is that gold only works to give you a highlighted complexion but it's more of a filter than an actual ingredient you need on your skin, as skincare physician Tabasum Mir tells Huffington Post. Hmmm, all that glitters isn't always gold...
16 Flawless: Snail Slime Facial
This one sounds really gross - who would want to put snail slime on their faces? But snail mucin has been cropping up in skincare and beauty products for a while because of its skin-boosting benefits. In fact, nutrients found in snail mucin can be transferred to our faces, giving us a more hydrated skin that has greater protection against the damaging elements. As reported by Paper Mag, when talking about how snails benefit from their mucin, Korean beauty and skincare company Missha, says, "Much in the way that their mucin protects their delicate little snail feet from environmental hazards such as rough surfaces, bacteria, and UV-rays, and keeps them moist in dry conditions, many of the nutrients in snail mucin can also be absorbed by our skin to similar effects."
"Regular use of snail mucin has been shown to fade scars and hyperpigmentation, moisturize and firm skin, clear complexion, and minimize pores."
So, what happens during a snail facial? Products containing snail mucin will be applied to your face, such as cleansers, toners, and moisturizers, as reported by Hello Giggles. If you're worried that you'll have to let snails crawl over your skin, fret no more because you won't come into contact with the cute animals.
15 Skip: Bird Facial
Sometimes people find crazy ingredients to put in their skincare products, and one of the weirdest ones we've seen is the use of bird droppings. This has become a firm favorite with celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Victoria Beckham, and it makes use of the droppings of Japanese nightingales that are given a special diet. These droppings aren't just used as is, of course. They're treated and sanitized under UV light and then mixed with rice bran. This turns them into an exfoliating and brightening treatment for skin. So, why the hype over bird droppings? They're said to contain an amino acid called guanine that creates a radiant complexion, while their urea content helps to increase the skin's hydration. While this trendy facial might seem like the answer to problem skin, Skin Inc reports that there are better ways to exfoliate and brighten your skin, such as glycol acid used in exfoliation and traditional moisturizers. They're just more effective than using bird dropping extracts, so you don't have to feel grossed out about trying this trend because you have other options that will just work better. Phew, give this one a skip because you shouldn't cringe when applying products to your face. Facials and other skincare treatments are supposed to make you feel good.
14 Flawless: Face Slapping
Imagine getting a nice, relaxing facial. Now imagine the beautician slapping your face. You're probably thinking, "What? Why?" You might imagine that a "face slapping facial" will be rough and hurtful, but it's not really slapping that's involved. It's much gentler than it sounds, and there are great benefits to be gained from it. Slapping, or tapping, your face boosts blood circulation and can help you feel super relaxed, which is a nice bonus to getting a skin treatment.
The face slapping facial forms part of Korean skincare, and best of all, you can reap the benefits yourself at home in a DIY way.
It's really easy to master the face slapping. As reported by Marie Claire, you should use your fingertips to gently but quickly pat your skin in circular and upwards motions, and you don't have to use a lot of pressure. By boosting blood circulation to your skin, more oxygen and nutrients reach it, helping to give you greater radiance. Gently slapping and tapping your skin can also help your skincare products get better absorbed into the skin, plus it can dry your skin faster after you've used a cleanser on it. So go on and start slapping your face! It's all about gaining healthier skin in a totally natural way.
13 Skip: Cryotherapy Facial
How far would you go to get beautiful skin and boost your overall health in the process? Would you, perhaps, step into freezing temperatures of around -200 degrees? Celebs like Mandy Moore have sworn by this skincare treatment in which you have to step into a freezing chamber. According to Health, there are many reasons why people try what's known as cryotherapy treatments, such as that they're said to burn lots of calories, decrease inflammation, and improve the appearance of cellulite. In a cryotherapy facial, your face is sprayed with ice-cold air, and you thankfully don't have to immerse your entire body in freezing temperatures. Cryotherapy facials are said to give you a great dose of exfoliation, without the risk of frostbite as in the case of a full-body cryotherapy session. But it depends on who's doing the treatment. In the wrong hands, you might end up with more freezing air hitting a certain spot on your face longer than others, which can be damaging. And, this treatment isn't for everyone. As reported by Well And Good, if you have naturally pale skin that's been tanned or you have a darker skin tone, freezing air can cause discoloration! Yikes. Even if it's safe for you to try this beauty treatment, who wants to be put through ice-cold temperatures, even if it is only on their face? Skin treatments should be cozy and comforting!
12 Flawless: Diamond Facial
Diamonds are a girl's best friend. You might love them in your jewelry, but your face can also benefit from your use of diamond-enriched products. So, if you want a bit of a glamorous skincare experience, choose to get yourself a diamond facial. It might sound like something trendy that's nothing but hype, but it's really not. Marie Claire reports how a diamond facial leaves the skin feeling more hydrated, tighter, and looking brighter. So you can shine like a diamond, then! As the site goes on to explain, semi-precious gems aren't just used in facial treatments for the fun of it.
They contain trace elements that can fight free radicals and boost skin cell renewal. So this type of facial is pretty and really valuable for your skin.
You can expect the diamond facial to make use of skincare products that contain diamond and gemstone elements in them, but your aesthetician might also give you a precious stone massage that hydrates skin and leaves it more elastic. This facial is totally fabulous and worth trying at least once, and it's also worth it to purchase some diamond-enriched skincare products that you can use at home to prolong the pampering experience. Why not?
11 Skip: Dermaplaning
Some call it dermaplaning, others say that it's like shaving your face. Whatever you call it, this facial removes peach fuzz and dead skin from your face to exfoliate your skin. As reported by ELLE, the beauty aesthetician will use a 10-inch scalpel that has a sharp tip on your face. This removes fine facial hair and increases the skin's cell turnover, thus giving you a brighter and healthier complexion. It's said that skin is also cleaner once it's been dermaplaned because by removing the peach fuzz on your face, this takes bacteria, dirt, and oil with it. It also can be better than regular shaving because it doesn't let the hair grow back thicker. But what's the catch? If you're hoping that dermaplaning will eliminate facial hair and keep it off, the reality check is that it won't. There have also been some horror stories reported by people who've undergone dermaplaning. As one person tells Byrdie, "I had a bad experience after being dermaplaned/microbladed. The esthetician used a very thick moisturizer after shaving my face and it clogged my pores. I wound up with small bumps all over my face, where my pores are, that looked like a bad rash. It lasted a few weeks, but I never went back!" Don't even try doing this treatment at home instead. You don't want to hurt yourself with a razor or get razor burn. The treatment uses surgical scalpels, after all, and those are best left in professional hands. But honestly, if dermaplaning is basically shaving, then why even go for this treatment when there are so many better ones to try?
10 Flawless: Fork Facial
You might not think of food utensils as being part of an actual facial, but guess again! This type of facial found the spotlight when Madonna posted a video of herself on Instagram getting a fork facial. Apparently, prodding the skin with a fork can be good for it. It sounds crazy, right? Well, interestingly, when a reviewer for The Sun tried it out it was found to be really good for the skin! Similar to face slapping, pressing and tapping your skin with a fork can help to tighten it. According to The Sun, the fork facial makes use of prongs, not your basic dinner fork, and these are known as Computer Aided Cosmetology Instruments.
These actually emit microcurrents of electrical impulses that help the muscles of the face to get toned up, so it's sort of like exercise for your face.
This skin treatment can decrease the appearance of wrinkles while eliminating sagging that can happen with age. During the procedure, the "forks" will clamp parts of your skin and work their way around your face. The Sun reporter stated that the sensation caused by the forks felt like pins and needles, but it was relaxing instead of painful.
9 Skip: Vampire Facial
You've probably seen pictures of celebrities like Kim Kardashian with blood on their faces because they've had what's known as a vampire facial. Although this treatment was reviewed by Metro as helping to improve skin, it's gory and can be difficult to endure. Basically, during a vampire facial, your own blood is injected into your skin to boost its nutrient content and give you a youthful appearance by stimulating skin cell turnover. The treatment also makes use of microdermabrasion, and in case you're wondering, your blood will be smeared across your face during the session. Ugh. Worst of all, you'll also need some downtime after the procedure, which is usually one or two days, to give your skin a chance to deal with the bright redness it will experience. For the grossness of it, we're giving this facial a no. It's also painful, as reported by Kim Kardashian. According to Allure, she wrote on her website that she had a vampire facial when she was pregnant, which meant she couldn't use a numbing agent on her skin. "It was really rough and painful for me," she confessed. "It was honestly the most painful thing ever! It's the one treatment that I'll never do again."
8 Flawless: Oxygen Facial
A red carpet favorite, this treatment was reviewed by So Feminine where it was found that it really does deliver an instant glow. So, what exactly is an oxygen facial and what can you expect from the skincare treatment? As reported by Style Craze, during this facial your beauty therapist will use a machine that sprays molecules of oxygen into your skin. The small nozzle will be moved all over your face. The oxygen that the machine emits isn't just regular air you breathe, though - it's filled with skin-boosting vitamins, essential nutrients, and botanical extracts to nourish and pamper your skin. Afterward, you'll get more pampering facial elements during your session, such as a facial massage with the use of oxygen-enriched skincare products.
There's no downtime once the treatment is over and you don't have to wait before applying skincare products to your face, which is a nice bonus, especially if you have somewhere special to go.
You'll also see the results immediately, which include hydrated, tighter, and more radiant skin. Based on how fast the results show, it's no wonder that celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Eva Longoria turn to oxygen facial treatments before attending star-studded events.
7 Skip: Placenta Facial
Celebs like Jennifer Lopez have tried placenta facials and raved about them. Here's the lowdown on why placenta facials are so popular. The placenta (which usually comes from sheep) is full of iron-rich blood cells, vitamins, nutrients, and fats, which means that it can tighten skin and boost its collagen production. However, an article by Costhetics reports that scientists say further testing needs to be done because, although placenta facials can contain moisturizers in them, the placenta's collagen is worthless for human skin. The site adds, "researchers point out that the full placenta facial treatment combines the sheep-derived lotion with microdermabrasion, a mask, and red light therapy (to boost circulation and collagen production), all of which can improve skin without the use of placenta." As dermatologist David Bank confirms to Allure, "There is a small amount of research that claims placental products moisturize and tighten skin, but there is also evidence that claims the estrogen present in the placenta may cause problems. There are plenty of other effective anti-aging products that do not contain placental extract." So go on and try those instead because you never know what you're really putting on your skin. Besides, sheep placenta just sounds gross and definitely not the kind of pampering ingredient you'd expect from a celebrity-loved facial.
6 Flawless: LED Red Light Facial
Okay, so this facial looks pretty scary. That mask the person's wearing in the picture looks like it could be used in a horror movie scene. But don't jump to any weird conclusions or be put off. The use of LED light in facials and other skincare treatments has become really popular. That's because different light colors have different effects on the skin, and red in particular is one worth knowing about. As reported by The Huffington Post, red light is used to boost the skin's healing ability and stimulate collagen production, while tightening skin and shrinking enlarged pores. With all those benefits, you can look past the freaky mask, right?
The treatment is non-invasive and you just have to wear goggles or a mask to protect your eyes from the light.
You can expect to be in and out in under half an hour, and there's no downtime afterward. It's also rare for your face to experience some redness afterward. Best of all, the Huffington Post reports that LED light facials really do achieve what they promise. The only catch is that you have to undergo multiple sessions to build up a healthier skin and achieve a more beautiful complexion.
5 Skip: Miracle Whip Facial
Sometimes you just don't have time to book a facial at the spa in town, or you just want something quick and easy that you can whip up in your kitchen to give your skin a bit of TLC. You might've heard about the Miracle Whip Facial, and as its name suggests, it makes use of Miracle Whip mayonnaise. Okay, so you've probably heard that mayonnaise is great for washing your hair and because it's so gloopy and thick, you probably assume that it'll be great for moisturizing your skin. But give this one a skip, please! As reported by Women's Health, mayonnaise is one of those ingredients you should never, ever put on your skin. It's thick and oily, and can, therefore, clog your pores. This can lead to skin breakouts, which is even more of a possibility if you already have acne-prone skin. There is nothing luxurious or pampering about mayo, but if you're dead-set on trying a natural ingredient as a face mask, rather reach for a bottle of honey. It's safe for use on skin that loves to break out because it's got anti-bacterial properties. Plus, it just feels and smells so much more pampering. Save the mayo for your sandwiches.
4 Flawless: Acupuncture Facial
You've heard of the use of acupuncture as a medical treatment, but probably not in a skin treatment. You might be freaked out by the use of needles, but this facial works as an anti-aging treatment and it's really much more than a skin treatment. Acupuncture facials help to heal your skin that can become damaged by bad lifestyle habits you might be guilty of, like smoking or eating processed foods. In such cases, no amount of moisturizer or eye cream is going to give you the flawless skin you dream about. You have to go deeper, and that's where acupuncture comes in. As mentioned on Bustle, it's important to take care of yourself from the inside out, and that's what the acupuncture facial promises to do. After the needles have been put into your skin, you might also lie under LED light to give your skin even more benefits. Yes, the procedure might hurt a bit, but the results are worth it. As the Bustle reviewer writes,
"My face was not only glowing, but the eleven lines on my forehead (aka the bain of my 26-year-old existence) were completely gone."
Wow. The reviewer adds that she didn't have to wear makeup when attending a party for the first time in her life after getting one of these facials. Natural beauty - that's what it's all about.
3 Skip: Leech Facial
Although celebrities like Miranda Kerr have admitted to getting leech facials, these are definitely not for the faint-hearted. In a similar way to the vampire facial, the leech facial makes use of blood. As reported by The Sun, how it works is that leeches are placed on the skin where they draw blood. They're not placed on your face but somewhere else on your body, such as your stomach. Yes, the leeches actually suck your blood! Once they've had their fill, the aesthetician will remove the blood from the leeches and use this on your face, as described on Organic Authority. The blood's also combined with the leech secretions, which are said to make skin more radiant, but is it really worth trying something so extreme for a bit of a glow? The article on The Sun goes on to explain that a woman who had the treatment described the pain of the leeches drawing blood as similar to a tattoo needle poking her skin. Pain aside, there are much better ways to achieve soft, glowing skin, such as by using moisture-rich face creams and getting a more subtle and pain-free face exfoliation that won't make you feel grossed out or use your blood. That's right out of a horror movie!
2 Flawless: HydraFacial
A HydraFacial is a non-invasive treatment that exfoliates and rejuvenates your skin. As you know, you really need to exfoliate your skin regularly. By scrubbing away surface skin cells and bacteria, you allow your skin to become healthier and smoother, which also gives you a gorgeous glow because healthier, younger skin cells are on the surface where they're able to catch the light. Without exfoliation, skincare products you use on your face accumulate on the surface instead of getting absorbed into the deeper layers of your skin. So, really, it's like you're wasting them instead of making the most of their benefits. To change that, get a HydraFacial. As reported by Allure, a HydraFacial is a medical-grade hydradermabrasion device that cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes your face.
If you're confused, hydradermabrasion is better than regular dermabrasion that can be rough on your skin because it gently cleans out your pores while infusing the skin with nutrients to hydrate it and give it a gorgeous glow.
That's really what makes all the difference, so it's no surprise why HydraFacials are such a popular skin care treatment - in fact, every 15 seconds, someone gets a HydraFacial treatment somewhere in the world, as reported by Allure.
1 Skip: Steam Facials
You often hear that you should use steam for various health and skincare issues. For example, when you have a bad case of the flu, people suggest breathing in steam to open up your nasal passages. You might also think that steaming your face is good for your pores and can help to give your skin a softer, more hydrated appearance. But there are actually good reasons why you should stay away from steam facials. Although people might claim that steam helps skin products to better penetrate the skin where they can work their magic, and it does do that, it also has a nasty consequence. Steam disrupts the skin's protective barrier. This can make you more susceptible to infections and it also causes your skin to become dry because it can't hold onto its moisture. That's definitely not going to give you flawless, radiant skin. And, as reported by Beautiful With Brains, although steam is said to open your pores, the truth is that your pore size is genetically determined and nothing you do can "open" them. They don't open! What's much better for softer, more radiant skin than getting a steam facial is to exfoliate and follow it up with a hydrating moisturizer to seal in that goodness.
References: Slice, Skin Inc, Allure, ELLE, Paper Mag, Hello Giggles, Marie Claire, The Sun, Style Craze, Huffington Post, Bustle, Allure, Beautiful With Brains, Health, Huffington Post, Well And Good, Women's Health, ELLE, Byrdie, Allure, Metro, The Sun, Organic Authority, Costhetics, Allure