The Revival of the Facial

Regular facials and quality skin care at home is an essential part of self care. PERIOD.

Think of it like this. You take good care of yourself: eat right, exercise, get restful sleep, go to the dentist twice a year, get annual check ups from the doctor…but are you including skin care in that health plan of yours? Professional facial treatments help to correct small imbalances before they become big skin problems.

The problem is that over the past decade, facials have grown into the medical and cosmeceutical fields so much so that one may not feel they need traditional facials at all. Facials have been replaced with medical skin treatments. It is not uncommon to hear from a dermatologist or plastic surgeon that someone has signed up for a face lift or major chemical peel without ever having had a facial in their life.

Research suggests that our society seems to be feverishly chasing the quick fix method of skincare. Combined with our society’s obsession with looking 20-something, this can be a slippery (and dangerous) slope for anyone with the cash to fund it.

Bien-etre spa’s skin care philosophy has always been non-invasive. This basic principle is that invasive methods like severe peeling, burning, cutting or injecting are replaced with more gentle treatments meant to enhance the skin’s natural functions. The skin is an amazing self healing organ. When given the right tools and environment (vitamins, massage, gentle exfoliation, antioxidants, gentle stimulation, reduction of inflammation, etc) the skin can correct the signs of damage and premature aging like acne, scarring, lines, wrinkles, sagging, hyper-pigmentation, irritation and more.

No one would think to burn their kidneys or shave off a few layers of their heart. One big reason is that the skin is much more resilient than internal organs. Skin is the gatekeeper and the security system for our body (picture the huge, muscle-y bouncer outside a Miami Club armed with a clipboard and all the power in the world for those waiting on the other side of the velvet rope.) Our skin can handle a lot of abuse…but not without some sort of negative effect. Every time the skin experiences trauma, collagen and elastin fibers become a little more tangled, dermal layers become thinned and weakened, precious antioxidant and energy supplies dwindle, and skin becomes more vulnerable. Add all these together and what do you get? Premature Aging. Huh? But we were trying to stay 20-something? I know…that is exactly my point. You can go to extremes with invasive skin procedures and look young for a short amount of time. Are the results dramatic? Yes, of course. Do they last? Of course not.

I’m on a mission to bring back the facial. Facials, when done properly and on a regular basis, work!! They absolutely keep your skin looking and feeling healthy and youthful. When partnered with necessary dietary improvements, they correct skin imbalances like Acne, Rosacea, Hyper-pigmentation, Lines and Wrinkles, Loss of Elasticity, Minor Scarring and more. Here’s why:

Skin needs regular workouts: sometimes our skin needs a gentle kick in the pants. Skin cells positively respond to a slight drop in pH, healthy dose of strength training vitamin A, exfoliation and an increase in circulation. These non-invasive facial techniques grab the attention of the skin and send the following messages: “help out here,” “heal or replace these cells,” “ break up and remove this protein deposit,” “thicken these capillary walls,” and “bring more nutrients here.” Our bodies need regular exercise, and our skin is no different.

Regular Facials Reduce Stress: Stress is the enemy of healthy skin, it’s also an unavoidable part of life. There is no such things as a stress-free lifestyle. However, it is our responsibility to reduce and eliminate excess stress in order to stay healthy. The tradition of spas as a place for healing, renewal, relaxation, and feeling well is for good reason. Spas are stress-free zones. Stress can negatively affect digestion, sleep, hormone balance, and many other key functions. When these functions take a hit, our skin pays the price. Poorly digested foods leads to lack of nutrients and a build-up of toxins and waste. This can lead to skin breakouts, dark circles, puffiness, hyper-pigmentation, and more. Hormones are a huge factor in skin aging and clarity, and a lack of sleep can effect skin texture and tone. Facials are meant to treat the skin, but they also treat the entire body and mind. Quiet music, dim lights, soft linens, gentle massage, aromatic steam and warm compresses all come together to enhance relaxation and eliminating excess stress.

Skin needs regular deep cleaning: we live in a filthy world..and I don’t mean dirt. Dirt can actually be good for our skin. We are surrounded with toxins, bombarded with synthetic chemicals and exposed to radiation on a daily basis. Steam, exfoliating masks, extractions, compressing, massage, and Infrared therapy not only cleanse the pores, they also help the skin eliminate excess waste and detoxify. We visit the dentist on a regular basis (even though we brush our teeth daily) for a deep cleaning and exam…think of the facial as a MUCH more enjoyable version of this visit for your skin.

Regular facial and scalp massage is important: our facial muscles are attached to your skin, allowing us to make facial expressions and silly faces at our dogs/children/husbands/co-workers. This attachment is also responsible, in part, for the breakdown of elastin leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. The muscular structure beneath our skin needs to be strong in order to help us fight this breakdown of elastin, as well as general gravitational pull. Regular face and scalp massage gently detoxifies the muscles, increases circulation (which brings nutrients to the muscles and skin) and strengthens the muscles. *Scalp massage is possibly even more important due to the fact the our scalp muscles are the main muscles responsible for holding our skin in place and fighting gravity.

Facials Feed Our Skin: Our skin is starving. It’s no secret that as a nation (and a planet) our food is nutrient deficient. Our skin gets the leftover nutrients after they have been picked through by more “important” organs like the brain, heart, liver, kidneys…you get the idea. Skin gets the scraps. That’s why our skin is starving for nutrients. Antioxidants, fat, protein, water, vitamins and minerals are in high demand. More nutrients means prettier, healthier skin. Regular facials supply the skin with vitamins, antioxidants, water, fats, and more – topically. These nutrients are all small enough to be absorbed through the pores of the skin. Once in the skin, they are used however they are needed most. Treatments like masking, massage, LED Light Therapy, Ultrasound Therapy and other wonderful techniques help with absorption rates and proper usage of these nutrients.

Invasive procedures yield better results when combined with non-invasive facials: Boom! Preparing the skin for a deep chemical peel, laser treatment, or surgery with deep cleaning and nutrient supplementation will help the procedure work more effectively and reduce healing time and side effects. The stronger your skin is, the more its able to withstand. In addition (because trauma is a huge factor in skin aging) reducing excess inflammation and encouraging skin healing after any traumatic procedure will increase the results and decrease the negative effects.

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