The IMAGE Guide to choosing the right facial for you

Spa menus can be overwhelming, and the last thing you want to do is spend upwards of €100 on a treatment that isn’t exactly what you want. Research before you treat yourself and use our tips to find the perfect facial for you.


1. SKIN TYPE vs SKIN CONDITION

Knowing the difference between a skin type and skin condition is half the battle when it comes to choosing what facial to get. Your skin type is how your skin generally behaves, there are four typical types; normal, dry, oily or combination. Your skin condition, on the other hand, involves how your skin is at a particular time, so it could be dehydrated, congested, dull or broken out. When choosing a facial, you want one that will suit your skin type but also treat a condition or two that you might be struggling with.

2. RELAX vs RESULTS

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A lot of the time, you can opt for a really chilled out, zen facial where massage techniques are used, a gentle cleanse and mask are applied and you float out with a nice glow. Other times, your face could be peeled, poked and prodded for an hour and you leave with flawless skin but not terribly relaxed. Of course, there are some facials that combine both, but determine which end of the spectrum you’re aiming for before choosing.

3. KEY WORDS AND WHAT THEY MEAN

You might see a menu of facial choices when you go to book or visit a spa. Spotting words that are relevant to your skin concerns and opting for a treatment that contains some of them should see you right.

- Extractions: Not a very pleasant feeling where the facialist squeezes blackheads out of pores. Don’t opt for a facial involving an extraction if you want to relax

- Rejuvenating: Tired and dull skin might benefit best from a rejuvenating facial. These generally feature a lot of vitamins to nourish and pep up the skin, as well as vigorous facial massage to stimulate lymph drainage.

- Hydrating: Dry skin that’s prone to fine lines and wrinkles would benefit from a hydrating facial. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid are used to pump moisture back into the skin.

- Results-driven: This type of facial might involve a more in-depth examination of the skin under bright lights, as well as higher percentage concentrations of acids and chemical exfoliants used.

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4. IF IN DOUBT, ASK YOUR THERAPIST

If you’re completely bogged down, ask the salon if you can book a slot for a facial (they’ll assign you an hour or 90 minutes with a therapist) and then you can talk to the facialist on arrival and get a thorough consultation before deciding on what to go for. Generally, spas and salons are more than happy to talk you through what each treatment involves and how it might benefit you. Often, if you haven’t previously had a facial at a particular place, a therapist might want to see your skin before deciding anyway. A good therapist will also make slight alterations to a treatment to ensure you get what your skin needs.

THREE OF THE BEST

The Hydra Facial, Beacon Face & Dermatology, POA

www.beaconfaceanddermatology.ie

This one isn’t plinky plonky music and candlelight but you sure will leave glowing, and that plumped-up, fresh skin feeling will last. They recommend a course of a few treatments to see super long-lasting results, but you still see an immediate improvement in many aspects of your skin.

The Infinity Facial, €130 for 90 minutes, The Marker Hotel Spa

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www.themarkerhoteldublin.com

The ultimate in relaxation, this one leaves you with soft, supple skin and general feeling of wellness. You’ll look less tired,  you’ll feel hydrated and you will feel like you’ve recently visited Cloud 9. While there are relatively few intensive ingredients used on the skin, you’ll feel so peaceful you’ll be booking in again straight away.

Personalised Facial, from €120, Biologique Recherché at The Greenhouse Project

www.thegreenhouseproject.ie

This one combines a little bit of both. Relaxation is definitely a focus, and the unique and repetitive facial massage techniques they use will take you another level of chill, but the results are immediate and with a little extra attention paid at home with their home care products, you’ll reap long-term benefits.

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