Facial Treatments

by | Facial Treatment

Facial treatments are specialized skincare procedures that target various skin issues and aim to restore and rejuvenate the skin’s appearance and health. There are numerous types of facial treatments available, including deep cleansing facials, anti-aging facials, acne treatments, hydration facials, and many more tailored to specific skin needs. Choosing the right facial depends on your skin type, concerns, and desired outcomes. Consulting with a certified aesthetician or dermatologist can provide insights into the most suitable facial treatment for your individual needs.  In this article we will discuss:

  • Procedure and Techniques
  • Benefits and Effectiveness
  • Safety and Side Effects
  • Pre- and Post-Treatment Care
  • Cost and Financing
  • Comparison with Other Treatments
  • Products and Ingredients
  • Duration and Frequency
  • Recovery and Downtime
  • Potential Contraindications
  • Credentials and Clinic Selection
  • Miscellaneous


Procedure and Techniques

A typical facial generally follows a structured process that begins with cleansing to remove dirt and makeup, followed by exfoliation to slough off dead skin cells. The next step might include steaming to open up the pores and make extractions easier. Extractions involve the removal of blackheads, whiteheads, and other impurities from the skin, and while they can be beneficial for clearer skin, they are not always necessary and depend on the individual’s skin condition. Another technique commonly used is microdermabrasion, a procedure that utilizes a special instrument to gently sand the skin, removing the uneven outer layer and revealing smoother skin underneath. On the other hand, a chemical peel employs a chemical solution to “peel” away the top layers of the skin, which can lead to a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, scars, and hyperpigmentation. These treatments can also be referred to as “resurfacers”.

  • Typical facial steps: cleansing, exfoliation, steaming, possible extractions, and treatments like masks or peels.
  • Extractions remove impurities but aren’t always needed.
  • Microdermabrasion is a gentle sanding technique for smoother skin.
  • Chemical peels use solutions to shed top skin layers, addressing wrinkles, scars, and discolorations.

Benefits and Effectiveness

Facial treatments offer a plethora of benefits aimed at enhancing skin health and appearance. Before one gets started with any type of facial treatment, it is paramount that a consultation is completed. After all pertinent information has been discussed, the clinician can now make the best conclusion on how to go about treating your skincare needs. Firstly, they deeply cleanse the skin, removing impurities and providing a radiant glow. By promoting circulation and stimulating collagen production, facials can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making the skin look younger. Regular exfoliation through facials can also prevent acne breakouts by keeping the pores unclogged. Speaking of frequency, for optimal results, it’s generally recommended to get a facial once a month, though this can vary based on individual skin needs and the type of facial being received. Indeed, facials can be specifically tailored to address acne-prone skin or target signs of aging, utilizing various techniques and products to address these specific concerns.

  • Facials cleanse deeply, promote circulation, and stimulate collagen for radiant skin.
  • Recommended frequency: typically once a month, but varies by individual and treatment type.
  • Facials can be customized to combat acne and show signs of aging, using specialized techniques and products.


Safety and Side Effects

Facials, in general, are designed to be safe for most skin types; however, not all facial treatments are suitable for everyone. Those with sensitive skin, certain skin conditions, or allergies may need to approach certain treatments with caution and should always inform their aesthetician about any concerns. Potential side effects of facial treatments can range from mild to severe, including redness, irritation, swelling, and in rarer cases, scarring or infection. Some specific treatments, like chemical peels or microdermabrasion, might have a higher risk of causing hyperpigmentation in individuals with darker skin tones or broken capillaries in those with fair, thin skin. As with any skincare procedure, there are inherent risks, but these can be minimized by seeing a qualified and experienced skincare professional and by following aftercare instructions diligently.

  • While facials are safe for most, not all treatments suit every skin type or condition.
  • Potential side effects include redness, irritation, swelling, and, rarely, scarring or infection.
  • Treatments like chemical peels or microdermabrasion may pose a risk of contraindications. Always consult with a qualified skincare professional.


Pre- and Post- Facial Treatment Care

Preparing your skin for a facial mainly involves keeping it clean and free from any heavy products. It’s advisable to avoid any aggressive exfoliation (retinol) or skin treatments a few days before your facial, as this could make the skin more sensitive to the treatment. Post-facial, it’s essential to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your aesthetician. Typically, this means being gentle with your skin, keeping it moisturized, and protecting it from the sun. Sunscreen is crucial after a facial as your skin will be more sensitive to UV rays. Regarding products to avoid, it’s best to steer clear of any active ingredients like retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) immediately before and a few days after the treatment, unless otherwise directed by your skincare professional. These can increase skin sensitivity and may interfere with the effects of the facial.

  • Pre-facial: Keep skin clean and avoid aggressive exfoliation or treatments for a few days.
  • Post-facial: Be gentle with skin, moisturize, and always apply sunscreen. Follow specific aftercare instructions from the aesthetician.
  • Avoid products with active ingredients like retinoids, AHAs, or BHAs before and shortly after the facial unless advised otherwise by a professional.


Cost and Financing

The cost of a facial treatment can vary widely based on several factors including the location, the reputation of the spa or clinic, the specific type of facial, the expertise of the aesthetician, and the products used. On average, basic facials can start from as low as $80 to $100 in some locations, while more luxurious or advanced treatments like microdermabrasion or chemical peels can range from $120 to several hundreds of dollars. Many spas and clinics do offer package deals or memberships, which can provide regular facials at a discounted rate or additional perks for loyal customers. As for insurance, standard cosmetic facials are typically not covered. However, certain treatments that are deemed medically necessary, such as those for severe acne or scarring, might be covered or partially covered, but it’s essential to check with your insurance provider for specifics.

  • Cost varies based on location, spa/clinic reputation, type of facial, and aesthetician expertise. Basic facials might start at $80-$100, with advanced treatments costing more.
  • Many spas/clinics offer package deals or memberships for regular clients at discounted rates.
  • Standard cosmetic facials are not usually covered by insurance, but treatments for medical reasons might be. Always check with your insurance provider.


Comparison with Other Treatments

Facials encompass a broad range of treatments designed to cleanse, nourish, and rejuvenate the skin. In contrast, other skincare treatments might focus on specific concerns or use more aggressive techniques to achieve desired results. For instance, while a facial may incorporate mild exfoliation and hydration, a microdermabrasion session will use mechanical exfoliation to target deeper layers of the skin for more pronounced results. When comparing facials to chemical peels, the choice isn’t necessarily about which is “better” but rather which is more suitable for individual needs. A basic facial can be soothing, hydrating, and refreshing, ideal for routine skincare and relaxation. A chemical peel, on the other hand, uses acids to exfoliate the skin more intensively, targeting concerns like fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and deeper acne scars. Chemical peels may require more downtime and have more potential side effects, but they can also offer more transformative results for certain skin concerns.

  • Facials offer a broad spectrum of treatments for cleansing, nourishing, and rejuvenating the skin.
  • The choice between a facial and another treatment like a chemical peel depends on individual skin concerns, desired results, and tolerance for potential downtime or side effects.
  • Chemical peels provide deeper exfoliation and target more pronounced skin issues but may come with more downtime and side effects compared to standard facials.


Products and Ingredients

Facials can employ a wide variety of products, depending on the type of treatment and the specific concerns being addressed. Commonly used products include cleansers, exfoliants, masks, serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens. The ingredients in these products can range from organic botanical extracts to scientifically formulated compounds. Whether the products used are organic or chemical-free depends on the spa or clinic’s philosophy and the brands they partner with. Some establishments pride themselves on using only organic, natural, or chemical-free products, while others might prioritize medically-approved or scientifically-backed formulations. If you have specific product preferences or sensitivities, some spas and aestheticians might allow you to bring your own skincare products to be used during the facial. However, it’s essential to communicate this beforehand and ensure the products are suitable for the treatment being performed.

  • Facials utilize various products like cleansers, exfoliants, masks, serums, and moisturizers tailored to the treatment type and skin concerns.
  • Whether products are organic or chemical-free depends on the spa/clinic’s philosophy and chosen brands.
  • Some establishments may allow clients to bring their own products, but it’s crucial to discuss this in advance and ensure the products are compatible with the treatment.


Duration and Frequency

A typical facial treatment usually lasts between 60 to 90 minutes, encompassing various steps such as consultation, cleansing, exfoliation, potential extractions, application of masks or serums, and moisturization. Some specialized treatments or facials that use advanced technologies might take longer. Regarding frequency, the general recommendation for standard facials is once a month to coincide with the skin’s natural rejuvenation cycle. This helps in maintaining consistently healthy and radiant skin. However, depending on the specific type of facial or individual skin concerns, this frequency might differ. Some treatments, particularly those that are more intensive or target specific issues, might suggest a longer interval between sessions. It’s always best to consult with a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist to determine the most appropriate schedule tailored to your skin’s needs and the treatment’s recommendations.

  • Standard facial treatments typically range from 60 to 90 minutes in duration.
  • For routine maintenance, facials are generally recommended once a month.
  • The ideal frequency can vary based on treatment type and individual skin needs; consulting with a skincare professional is key.


Recovery and Downtime

Downtime following a facial largely depends on the type of facial received and an individual’s skin sensitivity. For standard, gentle facials, there’s often little to no downtime. You can typically return to your regular activities immediately, though it’s best to avoid heavy makeup or intense sun exposure for at least a day. However, for more intensive treatments, such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion, some downtime can be expected. The skin might appear red, feel sensitive, or even peel for several days post-treatment. For these types of facials, the redness can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Sensitivity might linger, especially if it’s your first time receiving that particular treatment. As a general rule, it’s crucial to follow post-treatment care instructions, which often include using a physical sunscreen, avoiding exfoliating products, and keeping the skin moisturized. If you have concerns about potential downtime, always discuss them with your aesthetician or skincare professional before the treatment.

  • Standard facials usually have little to no downtime, but it’s wise to avoid makeup and sun exposure for a day.
  • Intensive treatments like chemical peels can result in redness and sensitivity lasting a few hours to several days.
  • Always follow post-treatment care instructions and communicate with your aesthetician.


Potential Contraindications

Facials can be immensely beneficial, but there are certain skin conditions and circumstances where caution is necessary. If you have a skin condition like rosacea or eczema, it’s essential to inform your aesthetician ahead of time. Some facial treatments or products could exacerbate these conditions, while others might be tailored specifically to soothe and treat them. There are also other potential contraindications for receiving a facial:

    1. Active infections or skin diseases: Conditions like cold sores, warts, or impetigo can be worsened by facials and potentially spread.
    2. Recent surgical procedures: If you’ve had recent facial surgery or other procedures like Botox or fillers, it’s wise to consult with your doctor about the appropriate waiting period before getting a facial.
    3. Certain medications: Drugs that sensitize the skin, such as certain types of antibiotics or acne medications like isotretinoin, can make facials risky due to heightened sensitivity or potential for adverse reactions.
    4. Pregnancy: While many facials are safe during pregnancy, some ingredients commonly used in skincare treatments might not be recommended for expectant mothers.

Before undergoing any facial treatment, be sure that the clinic or spa offers a thorough consultation to discuss your full history of your skin conditions, allergies, medications, and other relevant information. They can advise on the best treatments or any necessary precautions to ensure your skin’s safety and health.

    • Inform your aesthetician of any skin conditions like rosacea or eczema before a facial.
    • Contraindications include active skin infections, recent surgeries, certain medications, and some circumstances during pregnancy.
    • Always provide a full skin and health history to your skincare professional to determine the safest and most effective treatment options.


Credentials and Clinic Selection

Ensuring you’re in competent hands is crucial for any skincare treatment. Here’s what you need to know:

    1. Qualifications of a Facial Therapist: At a minimum, a facial therapist, often referred to as an aesthetician or esthetician, should be certified and insured in the treatments which they practice. This requires completing an accredited program and clinician hours. In addition to basic certification, many aestheticians pursue additional certifications in specialized treatments or technologies.
    2. Choosing the Right Spa or Clinic: When selecting a place for facial treatments:
        • Reputation: Look for reviews and testimonials online. Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or family can also be invaluable.
        • Hygiene: Cleanliness is paramount. The establishment should uphold strict hygiene standards, and this can often be gauged during an initial visit or consultation.
        • Consultation: A good spa or clinic should offer a consultation, ideally with the therapist who will be conducting your facial, to discuss your skin’s needs and treatment options.
        • Transparency: The establishment should be open about the products they use, their therapists’ qualifications, and the cost of treatments.
    3. Patch Test or Consultation: Especially if it’s your first time at a particular spa or clinic, or if you’re trying a new treatment, a patch test can be vital. This involves applying a small amount of product to a discreet area of your skin to check for adverse reactions. A consultation before your treatment, as mentioned, can help tailor the facial to your specific skin needs and address any concerns.
        • Ensure your facial therapist is licensed and, if possible, has additional certifications.
        • When choosing a spa or clinic, consider its reputation, hygiene standards, the option for consultations, and transparency about products and pricing.
        • A patch test or consultation is recommended, especially for new treatments or if you’re visiting a spa or clinic for the first time.



Post-facial care and precautions can significantly influence the longevity and effectiveness of the treatment. While it might be tempting to apply makeup immediately after a facial, it’s best to give your skin some time to breathe and absorb the benefits of the treatment; waiting until the next day or at least several hours is ideal. The freshly exfoliated and treated skin can also be more sensitive to the sun, so it’s wise to minimize direct sun exposure and always apply a broad-spectrum physical sunscreen if you’re heading outdoors after your treatment. As for expectant mothers, while many facials are perfectly safe during pregnancy, some ingredients or procedures might not be recommended. It’s crucial to notify your aesthetician about your pregnancy so they can tailor the treatment accordingly, and if you have any concerns, consulting with your OB/GYN can provide further guidance.

  • Avoid applying heavy makeup immediately post-facial; allow the skin to breathe and fully absorb the treatment benefits.
  • Protect sensitized skin from the sun by using sunscreen and minimizing direct sun exposure after a facial.
  • While many facials are suitable for pregnant women, always inform your aesthetician and consider consulting your OB/GYN about specific treatments or ingredients.



We offer a variety of products to help you maintain glowing healthy skin!

Check out the link to our online store.

Our Services

Laser Hair Removal

Facial Treatments

Skin Rejuvenation

35 Galbraith Ct
Bowmanville, ON

Sweet Expressions MediSpa is a Medical Spa located in Bowmanville Ontario specializing in treatments that are primarily focused on restoring the health of your skin. From Facials to Laser Hair Removal, Sweet Expressions MediSpa offers a wide variety of treatments to improve the relationship between you and your skin.  Proudly servicing Clarington Region and beyond.