Introduction to a Facial

Get a rejuvinating facial at Simply Mia's, Seattle

What is a facial?


A facial is a treatment for your face using products formulated for your specific skin type. A licensed esthetician, skincare specialist, performs this procedure on a massage table in a relaxed setting where you will lay between sheets face up. Facials are for almost all skin types ranging from normal to problematic. Both men and women can enjoy the benefits of a facial. There are many types of facials that address different skin types but a basic facial involves initial consultation to discuss what products you are currently using and what your skincare regimen consists of.  Sometimes, it’s helpful to bring your products with you so you can discuss together which ones are benefiting your skin. Once you are on the massage table, your esthetician will cleanse your skin a couple of times and use a magnification lamp to analyze your skin. Then she will discuss with you what should be addressed and what type of facial will best benefit your skin that day.  At this time she may recommend adding a chemical peel to further clean, soften and heal the skin. This peel would be applied prior to doing the next procedure, extractions. Usually hot towels or steam is applied to the entire face to help open up the pores. This will allow for easier removal of lesions, such as  blackheads, whiteheads and pustules.  After, a facial massage is performed to rehydrate the face using a facial cream or oil (non comedogenic) which is healthy for all skin types. The massage is meant to stimulate and relax the facial muscles. This should also include neck, shoulders and lower scalp. Some facials may include a scalp massage.  Facial massage is avoided if you currently have cystic acne or severe inflammation with pustules.  After the massage, hot towels are used to remove the oils and to open up the pores again.  Then the appropriate mask is applied to either hydrate or heal the skin and you may be left to relax for a few minutes while the active ingredients in the mask penetrate your skin.  Hot towels are then used to remove the mask completely.  To finalize your facial, your esthetician will apply the appropriate finish products, such as serums, moisturizers and SPF if needed. At the end of the treatment, the esthetician should sit with you and prescribe a skincare regimen (what to use both morning and evening) and recommend the right products for your skin.  Your skin has been manipulated and toxins have been released. It is important to drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods that day. 

Some tips to remember prior to arriving for your first facial. 

If you can remove any make-up, it will help save time as removing make-up takes time away from your treatment and requires a longer cleansing time.  In the event that you can’t… know that your esthetician is equipped to remove your make-up if necessary. 


What products are used in a facial? 


There are so many products out there that it can be confusing. Rather than purchasing products at your local drug store or department store, many people choose to see a skincare specialist that has been trained to analyze the skin.  They will explain and prescribe which products would work best on your skin type. Some people strictly have facials for relaxation and others want to accomplish results due to problematic skin. Please be sure to address the reasons why you are wanting a facial so your esthetician will know how best to treat you during the service. 


Facials involve usage of all kinds of products which can range from oils, creams, gels and serums so it is important to discuss any sensitivities or allergies with your esthetician prior to treatment. Usually the esthetician or spa will have some source of skincare lines available that they highly recommend. There are many new skincare lines on the market but dermatological grade skincare lines are exclusive to dermatologists and estheticians or spas. They will have natural and active ingredients, such as plant stem cell technology, minerals such as colloidal gold and silver and hydrating peptides to deliver these active ingredients into your skin. Products recommended may include cleansers, active serums that will promote positive changes in the skin, eye creams, moisturizers and solar protection creams and lotions to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UVA/UVB which causes premature aging and potential risks of skin cancer.  SPF should be used daily even during cloudy days as harmful rays penetrate clouds.


What is a facial good for? 


It all depends on what your goals are. A facial can be strictly a luxury treatment or an active treatment for problematic skin. Either way, you should go home with cleaner, softer skin and your products will penetrate much better.  Certain facials are specific to treat conditions such as rosacea, acne or severely dry skin. The type of facial will be determined during analysis. This is a good time to discuss with your esthetician about any concerns or expectations. A facial is a great way to understand your skin and to start a good skin care regimen that will maintain or improve the appearance of your skin.  Whether it’s to balance, hydrate, heal or to minimize the effects of aging, getting facials regularly will help to improve the appearance and condition of your skin. This is a good time to address any issues you may have with your skin and what you would like to accomplish long term. It is important to let your esthetician know if you have any allergies to ingredients that could potentially be in the products being used that day or products you may purchase for your daily regimen.


Why it’s important to disclose everything to your esthetician so you get the best results from your facial. 


The success of a facial depends on the products used and how your skin reacts to the treatment. If you have sensitive skin you may have a slight reaction but a flare up of any kind, such as a rash, is an indication of an allergic reaction to an ingredient to a product. Estheticians do their best to get information regarding allergies and sensitivities prior but if this is common for you, a dose of Benadryl and using a minute amount of Neosporin mixed in with your favorite moisturizer can help to clear it up quickly. A facial should leave your skin feeling really fresh, soft and supple. After a facial it’s best to avoid applying make-up or cleansing your face again that day. Your pores are sensitive after a facial and it’s a good idea to let it relax and heal naturally without adding any other products to your skin. Your skin will improve over the next 48 to 72 hours post facial.  Any lesions removed during extractions takes time to heal, sometimes up to a week. It is very normal to develop a lesion from having a facial. The sebaceous glands are stimulated by all the products, stimulation, massage and any chemicals used that day. If left alone, any new lesions should heal within 3 to 5 days.


An esthetician may perform both manual and possibly mechanical treatments on your skin. Skin is affected by allergies or by stimulation (possibly electrical) and for your safety it is very important to disclose everything to your esthetician so they can be make an informed decision on how best to treat your skin to avoid injuries or irritation. Someone who is allergic to Lavender may have an adverse reaction if exposed to a product that contains that ingredient. Mechanical treatments can involve microdermabrasion, micro current, high frequency and machines that deliver products deeper into your skin using an electrical current. If you have a heart pacer of anything similar, you will want to inform your esthetician so they do not use anything electrical that can interfere or cause complications with your medical device. 




It is extremely important to have full disclosure with your esthetician. It’s for your own safety. 


* If you have any skin allergies or skin conditions: Perhaps once you had a reaction to Aloe Vera or Lavender. Some facial products contain ingredients that can have a very uncomfortable reaction on your skin resulting in hives or a rash. You may have a condition such as Rosacea, Eczema or Psoriasis. Any of these conditions do best to avoid Mineral Oil as it could result in irritation and the onset of inflammation. 


* If you are pregnant: Please tell your esthetician. She will want to avoid using some products on you (particularly anything with Salicylic acid as it is a derivative of aspirin and can thin the blood). Also you will be in a reclined position for an hour or more. It may be a good idea to get up a couple of times and get the circulation going in your body. 


* If you do not want to get or dislike extractions (squeezing of the pore to remove lesions) please let your esthetician know. Extractions is part of the process and can be worked around. Although I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want them to get all that clogged sebum out of those pores. Blackheads on the nose can be noticeable with little tiny black spots. Also clogged pores can widen the pore with time. Pores can never change in size but they do appear less noticeable if you have extractions done.


* Anything that makes you feel uncomfortable: No matter what it is… perhaps she is talking too much or you are too hot. Maybe the music is irritating or you don’t like the smell of the product she is using. There should be no reason for you to keep quiet and endure a treatment that makes you feel uncomfortable. Immediately address this with your esthetician so she can help remedy the situation. The facial is all about you and your comfort. 




Do not do a facial anything closer than 3 days before your wedding or important event. You have no idea how your skin will react and anything that pops up can diminish if left alone within 72 hours and adding a dab of a good spot treatment such as Lira Clinical Ice line “Ice Benzo Stick” (Benzoyl Peroxide).  Do not do a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or dermaplaning prior to going on a vacation where you will be exposed to direct and constant sunlight. Be sure to ask your esthetician for a good brand of sunblock to help protect your skin during your vacation. 


What to expect from a facial:


A facial can leave your skin feeling clean and refreshed, hydrated and revitalized. You may feel very relaxed as if you have had a nice nap. You should notice that your products penetrate better and that you have a nice glow to your skin. Sometimes after a facial you may develop pimples or certain areas of your face may looked picked at and red from any extractions… there may be some mild flaking or peeling if given a good exfoliation. These results are common as a facial speeds up the skins process to shed the top layer and therefore many things trapped beneath will surface faster than normal. What is important is to stay in touch with your esthetician and to inform her of any results from your facial good or bad. Having a facial once or twice a month is one of the best treatments you can do for your skin. Add a chemical peel or enzyme peel on occasion to further benefit your facial.


Do you believe in olfactory chemistry? 


Our nose knows what we like and what we don't like.  It's a chemistry that we develop with food, products and even with animals and other human beings. When a product smells good to you, that’s a good sign it will be great for your skin.  The products Mia uses by Lira Skincare are designed to be pleasant to our olfactory senses. 



Simply Mia’s offers some lovely facials from problematic skins, anything from acneic, rosacea to extremely dry skin.  She customizes her facials for your skin type.  Please book your appointment with Mia today and start your skincare journey towards healthier, brighter and younger looking skin.