A facial is a restorative cosmetic treatment for the skin on your face. Facials can be performed by a licensed cosmetician, esthetician, dermatologist or other qualified provider. Spas, medi-spas and other skin care centers offer facials. Most offer different types of facials that address the most pressing skin care needs such aging, dryness, sagging, pigmentation, etc.
The national average cost for a facial is $60-$80. More complex facials, such as microdermabrasion or chemical peel, will cost more, as will services provided by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. The products used can also affect the cost of your facial; high-end creams and serums will likely result in a higher cost. For most non-medical facials, the practitioner will perform a skin assessment, determining your skin type and learning about your lifestyle, diet and skin care concerns. Then the facialist will cleanse and exfoliate the skin, extract any blackheads and clear clogged pores, give a facial massage, apply a treatment mask and then apply moisturizers. Typically facials are relaxing and restorative, leaving your skin clear and dewy.
Thai massage, also called Thai yoga massage, combines acupressure and assisted yoga postures. Thai massage is based on the flow of energy through the body and focuses on energy lines called “sen.” It doesn’t use oils or lotions and, instead of rubbing muscles, the massage therapist compresses, pulls, stretches and rocks the recipient’s body to promote the flow of energy through these sen. In this form of massage therapy, practitioners use their hands, knees, legs and feet to apply deep muscle compression and stretch the body. It’s often performed on a mat on the floor instead of on a massage table. Like most forms of massage, Thai massage is used to relieve stress, improve range of motion and enhance flexibility. Some people also use Thai massage to address a range of health issues, including:
- Relieving tension headaches
- Decreasing back pain
- Reducing joint stiffness and pain
- Stimulating circulation and lymphatic drainage
- Boosting energy
Because a traditional Thai massage session covers all of the muscles in your body, it typically lasts 90 minutes to 120 minutes.
All forms of massage therapy, from Thai massage to Swedish massage to deep tissue massage, are similar to other spa or hospitality services. So it’s appropriate to tip a massage therapist the standard hospitality rate of 15 percent to 20 percent of the cost of the session. For example, the national average cost for a deep tissue massage is $70-$90, so expect to tip $12-$18. Of course, you can always tip more or less depending on your experience, especially if you’ve opted for extra services. For example, expect to tip more for a couple’s hot stone massage session that includes aromatherapy. Also, if you’re paying with a gift certificate or coupon, or purchasing a discounted multi-session package, make sure to calculate your tip based on the full price of the massage.
The wide variety of names, methods, techniques and technologies for facials can be confusing. The best facial for you depends on your skin care needs. If you’re aging and want to address wrinkles and sun spots, you may want a chemical peel, while for acne you may want a deep pore cleansing treatment. Consulting with a licensed esthetician, cosmetologist or dermatologist will help guide your choice. Skin care professionals specialize in assessing your skin and determining which course of treatment will help you achieve your goals. Here is a basic overview of the best facials for different outcomes:
- Reduce wrinkles: A chemical peel can help stimulate skin cell turnover, creating a fresh new layer thanks to the salicylic or glycolic acids. It’s important to work with an experienced professional when getting a chemical peel so you choose the right level for your skin type.
- Prevent acne: Enzyme facials or LED facials help battle acne breakouts.
- Smooth skin tone: Microdermabrasion facials are done using a small tool that polishes off your dead skin cells to reveal a fresh layer of skin underneath.
- Relax and rejuvenate: A traditional European facial often features warm steamed towels, a facial massage, deep skin cleansing and exfoliation, extractions (as desired), face masks, and applications of serums and moisturizers to leave your skin refreshed and you feeling great.
There are many types of facials you can receive based on your skincare goals. Pricing for facials will vary based on the skin care provider you see and your geographic location. Facials provided in a medi-spa by a medical doctor or nurse, or at an upscale day spa, will typically have higher average prices, as will facials in more expensive parts of the country.
- European facial: Typically lasts 60-90 minutes. Includes steaming (often with warmed towels), cleansing and examination of the skin, exfoliation, extraction of blackheads and clearing clogged pores, application of masks specific to the skin’s need (anti-aging, etc.), application of serums and moisturizers, and massage.
- Microdermabrasion: 30-90 minutes. Microdermabrasion sloughs off the dead skin on the surface level, revealing brighter skin underneath. The practitioner uses a small, motorized tool that polishes your skin with a diamond tip or stream of very fine crystals. Usually the treatment is preceded by a thorough cleansing. After the microdermabrasion, the practitioner cleans away any remaining dead skin, and then applies a hydrating mask or moisturizers.
- Back facial: About 60 minutes. Includes a thorough cleansing, exfoliation, extraction of blackheads and clearing of clogged pores, an acne-fighting mask, and mini-massage to keep the skin on the back clear and acne-free.
- Gentleman’s facial: 50-75 minutes. Treats areas that most affect men. Includes cleansing, assessment of skin type, exfoliation and extraction to address razor burn or ingrown facial hairs, a hydrating mask, and a facial massage followed with moisturizer.
- Jessner’s peel: 30 minutes. This is a light chemical peel that removes the surface layer of the skin to create a smoother look and feel.
- More powerful peels are also available, typically at a higher cost.