Facials 101: How often to have a facial, aftercare advice and benefits

Woman having Secret Spa facial

A facial can be an opportunity to be pampered, or a targeted approach to looking after your skin. Yet there’s lots of conflicting advice about what a facial is, and why you should get one. Here we look at what a facial does, what you can expect, how often you should have a facial, and some facial aftercare advice. With feedback such as being left to feel like a “goddess”, it’s no surprise that facials are so popular!

What is a facial?

A facial is a beauty treatment, focusing on your face, to clean pores and exfoliate away dead skin cells to ensure a clear complexion. It also provides hydration and moisturisation to give your face a vibrant glow.

Facials do differ enormously from one beauty therapist to another. You want to ensure that you choose a facial therapist who is experienced and focuses on your wellbeing. Also be sure to check reviews so you know that you’re getting the best quality treatment available.

You also want to pay attention to the products used during the facial. For example, we offer classic facials, as well as facials using OSKIA and Decléor beauty products. Always speak to your beautician about your skin and which products you like and find beneficial.

What does a facial do?

Facial treatments are typically made up of routine elements:

  • Deep cleansing
  • Exfoliation
  • Extractions of any clogged pores
  • Massage
  • Masks and applications

Each of these elements are designed to bring about both health and beauty benefits. These include improving elasticity, creating a radiant complexion, prevention of the signs of aging, treating dry skin, improved circulation, deep relaxation and more.

What does a facial involve?

It can be helpful to understand what each part of the facial involves and why it is part of the treatment:

Deep cleansing

Once the beautician has ensured you are comfortable and discussed your skin and any concerns, they will move onto deep cleansing. Using a cleanser, they will remove traces of make-up and dirt, while also evaluating your skin type to ensure they use the right products.


Exfoliation is the way the beautician buffs away the dead skin cells that naturally build up on your face. If left, they can cause dryness, or clog pores. The beautician may also use steam to open up your pores and help the cleansing process.

Extractions of any clogged pores

Clogged pores are usually caused by a build-up of dead skin cells or oil. Your facial therapist may be able to use special tools, in addition to steam, to carefully remove the cause of the blockage.


A massage of the face, but possibly also the neck and shoulders, is designed to aid deep relaxation and a sense of peace and wellbeing. It also has the added benefit of promoting skin elasticity, circulation and lymphatic drainage.

Masks and applications

Having assessed your skin, your beautician will apply a mask or other application, suited to your skin. For example, it may be a clay-based mask to combat excess oiliness, or an intensely hydrating one to treat dryness. After this, further applications may be used, such as a serum or SPF moisturiser. At this point, your beautician may also offer you advice about how to care for your skin in the longer term, as well as give you facial aftercare advice.

How long does a facial take?

A facial, including all of the above elements, usually lasts around 60 minutes. You can also get a speedier facial, such as our OSKIA OnThe Go Facial which is just 45 minutes. If you want to make the most of the pampering and relaxation part of the facial, then you can usually opt for longer facial treatments up to 90 minutes. These may include a neck and shoulder massage.

How often should you have a facial?

Your skin on your face, like elsewhere, goes through a cycle of cell growth. Your facial routine wants to tie in with the frequency of this cycle. For most people, this means having a facial every three to four weeks. Many clients choose to have a facial once a month as it’s an easy way to remember when your next one is due!

Facial aftercare advice

Excellent and reputable facial beauty therapists should offer you clear facial aftercare advice. Some aftercare advice for facial treatments will depend on what you’ve had done and which products have been used.

However, we offer everyone some core advice for what they should do immediately after a facial, as well as during the time between treatments:

  • Don’t wear make-up immediately following a facial for 6-8 hours. To ensure that your skin stays glowing radiantly for as long as possible, avoid wearing make-up for 6-8 hours, or ideally overnight. This will ensure that you benefit fully from the products used during the facial, as well as prevent blocked pores (as these will be quite open following the treatment). This is a reason why our clients love our in-home facials!
  • Avoid other facial treatments for 48 hours. These may irritate or aggravate exfoliating skin.
  • Care for your skin. Avoid sunbathing and sunbeds for the next 12-24 hours as you may have slightly more sensitive skin. Likewise, avoid making your face particularly warm, such as by going in a sauna, hot tub or bath, or using a hairdryer against your face. We also recommend that you don’t use perfumed or exfoliating products on your face for a couple of days following a facial, again because your skin may be more sensitive than usual. You can use an SPF sunscreen.
  • Between facials, there are things you can do to help the look and health of your face. Cleanse, tone and moisturise your face daily, as this will help to ensure make-up doesn’t damage your skin, as well as help to rehydrate it from the drying effects of daily life. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen daily. We also recommend a healthy lifestyle. Eat a fruit and vegetable rich diet and drink plenty of water.


Enjoying a facial in the comfort of your own home will ensure that you benefit completely from the relaxing nature of the treatment, as well as ensure you are able to carry out all of the facial aftercare advice.