Are Facials Good For You? The Positives and Negatives of This Popular Skin Care Treatment

A facial is a popular type of skin treatment for the face. It can include several methods, such as lotioning, steaming, or exfoliating. Some say it works wonders, but science doesn’t always agree. Is it worth it to spend money on this type of treatment? What does a facial actually do for you? Here are the positives and negatives of treating yourself.

Young Woman Receiving Facial Beauty Treatment

Are expensive facials actually worth it? | puhhha/iStock/Getty Images

Positive: Facials are great for rejuvenating the skin

Facials cleanse and hydrate the skin, which offers a great sense of rejuvenation for your face. Many facials include exfoliation, which can remove dead skin and make room for new skin cells to flourish. Plus, the moisturizers used are often rich in nutrients that can promote skin health. If you’re looking to get a facial to moisturize dry skin that’s been exposed to harsh heat or a strong winter, then it’s not a bad idea.

Positive: Facials can remove blemishes and pimples, giving your skin a healthier look

Another positive of facials is their ability to not only cleanse the skin but also aid in clearing up blemishes or pimples. Moisturizing the skin helps it feel better, but steaming can open up the pores, and exfoliating can get rid of any gunk that may clogging those pores. These processes help clear up the skin to look its best. If you’re interested in getting a facial to help with acne or other blemishes, it’s a good option for you.

Negative: There is very little scientific proof that facials do much more than moisturize

Long story short, there is no proof to back up claims that facials do anything more than moisturize or help clear up your face. Many people get facials because they believe there are anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits, but science has only ever seen mixed results. One woman even wrote about how she was once told a facial would help cleanse her liver. Unfortunately, facials don’t work like that.

Time reported that standard facials benefit in the sense that they cleanse and moisturize, but anything involving microdermabrasion or microneedling is most likely a hoax — there just isn’t enough scientific evidence to back it up.

Negative: Some facials can have dangerous consequences

Depending on the type of facial you get, there are certain dangers that come with them. A vampire facial, which is a form of microneedling, requires blood to be drawn. For a facial such as this one, it’s extremely important that spas follow all sanitation guidelines so as not to expose anyone to any disease. However, a New Mexico spa came under fire in September 2018 for not practicing proper sanitation, and may have exposed people to blood borne illnesses such as HIV and hepatitis.

Patients are urged to pay close attention when getting a facial that involves needles — make sure the syringes are being opened right in front of you and everything used on you is freshly out of its package.

Negative: The cost of facials often outweighs the benefits

Facials do have some benefits, but they’re minimal. And most facials will run you anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars. It might be worth it to get a $50 facial that could rehydrate your skin and help reduce blemishes, but those chemical peels and riskier microneedling procedures aren’t worth the high cost.

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