Are Facials Beneficial The Truth

The Glow Up

are facials beneficial

So, I don’t have the best track record with facials.  Meaning, I really don’t get facials.  I never really have.  I’ve only had 2 facials.

That’s CRAZY!

It’s even crazier because I fancy myself as a girl that takes care of herself.  I get my nails and toes done every other week (like clockwork).  I’m also the girl who got her eyebrows microbladed (and I LOVE them btw).  Annnnnnnd, I’m also the girl who all but worships at the alter of the mighty keratin hair treatment.  So the fact that I’ve only had 2 facials in my life is just CRAZY, right?

So Why No Facials?

I guess when it came to taking care of my skin, I seriously thought I had it all covered . . .

At a very early age, my mother instilled in my the importance of good skin care.  I lived by The Sacred 5:  Wash, Tone, Exfoliate, Moisturize and Protect.  So I thought I knew what to do in order to keep my skin looking great.

I’ve attempted to book a facial service before and  . . .

To be honest:  Selecting the “right” facial was overwhelming.  

To be honest, selecting the “right” facial was overwhelming


Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo

Refusing to continually be defeated by a spa facial menu, I took the plunge and  booked a facial.

YOLO.  Let’s do this. . .

Ok, great.  Now which spa do I pick????

There were a multitude of reasons I chose Sanctuary Spa for my facial.  First, Sanctuary is Houston’s 1st day spa, opening their doors in 1984. Secondly, going to a spa or salon can be . . . well . . . intimidating.  I had the pleasure of attending an event for bloggers at Sanctuary and I really loved how welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable the staff was. Not to mention, they were patient too.  Cause, I had a ton of questions.  Lastly, I really loved that Sanctuary’s Signature product line is from their own apothecary, Source Vital.  Source Vital handcrafts their products in small batches made from the best quality natural ingredients.  They even mill their own Lavender from France.  WOW!  

do facials hurt

What is a Facial? I Mean, Should I Get a Facial? What is the Importance of Facials?

Simply put, a facial is a very very deep cleaning of your skin through a multi-step process.

Well that’s great and all but I “deep clean” my skin at home.

. . . And to be embarrassingly honest, I thought the same thing too!  YIKES!

Truth is, new skin cells develop every 28 days and they really struggle to get their shine on.  Meaning, they have a hard time rising to the top layer of skin to be seen.  And when this happens . . .

Enter dull and crepe-y looking skin.

A facial will help your new skin cells reach their best potential.  “Hello” gorgeous glowing skin!

Not to mention, a facial is hella relaxing.

Ok, that’s Great. Now really, are Facials Beneficial?

Remember our little chat (above) about dull skin and new skin cells not reaching their full potential to shine?  In addition to glowing skin, facials can help to circumvent potential breakouts by keeping your pores clear and can address additional areas of concern you may have such as acne scars and etc.  Yes, facials are beneficial.  #selfcare

The Process: What Does a Facial Entail?

Insider Tip:  Arrive 15 minutes (or more) before your facial.  Why?  Easy answer: to fill out any paperwork and most importantly . . . to RELAX.  Sanctuary had the most wonderful serene waiting area complete with massage chairs and snacks (I’m talking about brownie bites).  YUM!!!

To begin, I had a consultation with my esthetician, Jessica Gogan.  This was an opportunity for both of us.  It was her opportunity to introduce herself, share a little bit about her background and the history of the spa as as well as share with me what to expect today.  It was my opportunity to ask questions and to address any skincare concerns I might have had in a private 1-on-1 setting.

I just like to spoil and pamper you . . . and you get so much more TLC here [at Sanctuary Spa] Jessica G.


To start my facial off, I had a magical scalp massage.  Next my esthetician carefully protected my hair by wrapping it in a towel.  Next she cleaned my face, neck and   décolleté.  After the initial clean commenced, my esthetician was able to more accurately analyze and diagnose my skin care needs.  With this new information, she hand selected just the right products for me.

purpose of facials

Next, she removed the dead skin cells exfoliating my skin with an algae scrub and a exfoliating sponge.

importance of facials

Enter the steam to get my pores open.  I would have to say that this might be my favorite part of the facial.  The warm steam felt like heaven.  Or laying on a tropical beach (minus the dangerous UV rays.)  

what does a facial entail

Now it was extraction time.  Although most of my pores were open from the process listed above, there were still a few stubborn blocked pores that needed a little extra attention.  Curious about extractions?  Make sure to keep reading for more info.

Massage time.  Typically a facial involves a “face” massage and maybe a little upper body massage as well.  But Sanctuary is a little different. I received a full-body massage (included in the service with no additional charge).  YAAAAAS!

Mask and serum time.  As if I wasn’t relaxed enough, along came a cool towel applied to my face (mummy style).

facial pros and cons

***I might have channeled my inner mummy during this part.  

Lastly, my skin was loaded up with all the good stuff (I’m talking serums and moisturizers) before my departure.

do facials cause breakouts

How Long Does a Facial Take?

I had Sanctuary’s Signature Restorative facial (which was DA’ BOMB!)  All-in-all, my facial lasted about 60 mins.

After Care & Maintenance

Make sure you follow this tips to help keep your skin radiant and glowing.

  • Limit your sun exposure.  Fresh skin after a facial has begun living it’s best glowing life; however, it’s now more exposed.  So limit your sun exposure.  Which brings me to. . .
  • Stay cool.  In addition to limiting your sun exposure, it’s best to stay in a cool area for the remainder of the day.  This will allow for all of the good vitamins and nutrients to continue working their magic.
  • Don’t sweat.  Easier said than done (especially in the summer time).  The main takeaway is don’t go hit the gym after a facial.  All that work packing your skin and pores with vitamins . . . Why would you want to sweat it all out?
  •  To wash your face or not.  Generally, you shouldn’t need to wash your face at night the same day a facial was received.  If you happened to sweat or get dirty, then go ahead and wash your face.
  • No make-up.  This one should go without saying but it’s definitely worth a mention.  If all possible, try not to apply make-up for the rest of the day after a facial.

skin extractions before and after

Myths:  Redness, Breakouts & Pain

1.  You can’t go any where after.  Your face will be RED

Generally, red skin after a facial shouldn’t scare you.  When you see redness after a facial “it means your blood is up there at the surface of the skin and it’s [your skin is] taking in ALL of the nutrients . . . taking in ALL of the vitamins and it’s also flushing out the rest of the [toxins].”

And “yes”, you can go on about your day.

2.  Facials Cause Breakouts

Do facials cause breakouts?

“Yes” and “No”

Ok, this one is a tricky one.  Let me me explain . . .

First, not everyone fully understands what exactly a “breakout is.  Some ‘breakouts” may be caused by a sensitivity or an allergic reaction to a product used during a facial (ie. shellfish and nuts).  A reaction of this nature may produce tiny red bumps from triggering or irritating the skin.  This is why it is soooo important to really take your time and answer the intake questions thoroughly prior to your appointment.

***Worth Noting:  I’m pretty much allergic to LIFE everything.  It’s been this way since I was a baby.  So filling out forms about what I’m allergic to is second nature.  I do it so much that I could probably fill out one in my sleep. Sad but true.  In my experience, no one ever really reads or looks them over.  Heck, I don’t even think my doctor even reads them (and that’s scary).  So imagine how (pleasantly) surprised I was when Jessica G. at Sanctuary Spa checked and screened every product to be used on me during my facial for any allergens.  WOW!!!  I seriously appreciated this because this could’ve gone south real quick.  And no one wants to go around looking like Quasimodo.  No one.

Secondly, the reason you may see a zit a few days after is because your skin may still be detoxifying.

3.  Facials Hurt and Are Painful

We’ve all heard the horror stories of facials gone wrong.  And I think generally when people mention “it hurt”, they are referring to extractions.

So Let’s Talk About Extractions . . .

1.  What is an Extraction?

Extracting is a procedure done to clear individually clogged pores.  This is typically done with a metal tool.  Extractions are done toward the end of your facial and are conducted only on the pores that are still clogged after deep cleaning your skin.

2.  Not all Extraction Techniques Are Created Equally

So if you are thinking, “Metal too and a clogged pore” seems scary.  And that’s gonna be a no for you.

That’s fair.  Extractions can seem scary but they don’t have to be.

Insider Tip:  At Sanctuary Spa, they do their extractions a little differently.  First, there is no metal tool involved (YES!)  Secondly, they use little cotton tip applicators.  This allows for less pressure (no ouch) and it soaks up any blood or sebum (a.k.a. blackheads).  

3.  You Always Have the Right to Skip the Extracting Process

Buuuuuut, for best results, it is definitely recommended.

See, not so scary after all.

***Still curious?  Check out the pictures during my extracting process.

how do estheticians do extractions

are extractions good for your skin

How Much Do Facials Cost?

The total cost for my Signature facial was around $115.00.

Things to Remember:

When you want to look your best for a special occasion

It’s best to have a  facial 2 or 3 days before your big event.  Need instant results for an event in the next few hours?  Try an oxygen facial.

Not sure which facial to start off with?

Looking at a menu of facials can be overwhelming.  There are soooooo many to choose from.

Problem solved:  Start with the spa’s “signature” facial first.  From there, more around based on the estheticians recommendations and your skin care concerns.

-xoxo Melissa

Additional Information:

For more information or to book a facial or spa service with Sanctuary Spa click here.

*Esthetician:  Jessica Gogan of Sanctuary Spa.  

*Thank you to Sanctuary Spa for helping me get my skin to-get-her & for sponsoring this post!  And a special thanks to Jessica G. at Sanctuary Spa answering all of my 50 million questions.

Photos by Swish + Click Photography

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