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The importance of regular facials

Karen Leland is the bestselling author of Time Management in an Instant: 60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day. She is featured columnist for The Huffington Post Living section. Read her blog and contact her at karenleland.com.

Soothe your skin

For the past 30 years, Deborah Coffey, esthetician and nutritionist, has been helping women keep their skin young and healthy looking. Here's her take on how the basic steps of regular facials can help you keep your glow.

Woman getting facial mask

Cleaning

"The increased level of pollutants we are exposed to leave dirt, grime and even chemicals on our skin," says Coffey. "This step in a facial helps clean out clogged pores so the skin can breath — preventing blackheads and breakouts." In addition, the cleaning phase of the facial helps address the free radical damage done from sun exposure. Coffey says new professional, sonic-powered, hand-held cleansing machines, combined with recent skincare product breakthroughs, allow for deeper penetration into the skin.

Analyzing

According to Coffey, the latest technology in skin analysis allows a facialist to more accurately analyze a client's skin and prescribe appropriate products. Clear LED light illumination systems that are built into magnifying lenses can help a client pinpoint where problem areas are occurring and take preventative or corrective actions — sooner rather than later. "If a client knows they have a clump of skin damage on their forehead, they can work with their facialist to more aggressively treat the situation," says Coffee.

Exfoliating

While traditional facials have always involved removing dead skin as part of aiding cellular renewal, in the past few years, peels and microdermabrasion have taken this process even further. Coffey says the result of this type of exfoliating is the stimulation of collagen and elastin production.

 

When the skin is well exfoliated, the top layer of dead skin comes off and the face glows. This step of a facial helps boost the immune system of the skin and improves circulation which helps refine pores and lessen wrinkles.

 

Feeding

The ingredients contained in today's professional skin care products are designed for deeper penetration into the skin. In addition, when microcurrent technology (which is noninvasive) is used, it helps the products to penetrate even more deeply. Coffey says that increased hydration helps stimulate the energy centers of the cells to work more efficiently. This, in turn, helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, gives skin a smother and firmer texture and improves facial contour.

Calming

"The last phase of a facial is designed to calm the skin and bring it back into balance," says Coffey. The biggest breakthrough is the use of LED light, which helps take down inflammation and targets conditions such as premature aging, rosacea and hyperpigmentation.

Coffey says that by getting regular facials at every phase of the process, you are taking small steps to buck the effects of aging on your skin — making it less likely that you will have to spend the big bucks on bigger, more expensive techniques down the road.

More skin care:

Dos and Don'ts for summer skin care

Skin benefits of green tea

Skin care routines for sensitive skin

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