Now you’re probably wondering, but what type of facial is right for me? Perhaps you have acne or sun-damaged skin. Maybe you’re looking to contour your face. If you’re preparing for a wedding, I can assume you like diamonds and may therefore want to consider a facial with some crushed up bling.
You’ll need to find a trusted spa as well since most facials are nearly impossible to do at home (correctly, at least). How much will it cost? Well, it varies depending on the length and quality of the treatment. Thirty-minute classic facials can sometimes be as little as $50 while ninety-minute niche ones can be as much as $700 (or more). Generally speaking, the average facial costs about $80 to $90, or as I’d like to say almost one monthly MetroCard in New York—you’ll want the walk anyways to show off your new radiant skin.
If this feels overwhelming, don’t worry. It’s about to feel simple. Here’s an extensive list that includes everything from standard options to snail slime.
Let’s start with the microcurrent facial since that seems to be a very popular choice these days for brides-to-be. During a Microcurrent Facial, a set of skinny metal wands is used to emit a mild electrical current that stimulates the skin and facial muscles to create a facelift effect. This technology has been used for over a century to heal tissue damage and other injuries because it speeds up cell production and repair. The reason it’s so popular is because the results are noticeable (and impressive) after just one treatment. After a single session, it will contour the face, improve skin tone, reduce wrinkles and dark circles, and promote blood circulation and collagen production. Oh, and it’s completely painless. With modern technology and short attention spans, we’ve become a society that wants things immediately—and this procedure does just that. Plus, since there’s no extraction involved, your skin won’t have any of the redness and irritation that can come from traditional facials. Some experts even say it’s safe to get the day before a wedding. Plus, one treatment is said to take up to seven years off your face. Talk about a glow-up!
Classic Facial: consists of steaming, deep cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, a lymph massage, toner, and moisturizer. It’s the standard go-to facial that tends to be suited for just about everyone. I’m sure you’ve seen videos of it before. Your friends have probably gotten them, too. You can’t really go wrong with this one.
Oxygen Facial: a machine sprays atomized moisturizers onto the skin using a stream of pressurized oxygen that’s infused with vitamins, minerals, essential nutrients, and botanical extracts. It hydrates skin instantly, making the face appear smoother and fuller. Celebrities like Madonna swear by it because it temporarily diminishes the tiny imperfections that would be visible on HD TV. It has many benefits, some of which include: boosting collagen production, speeding up cell turnover, and healing acne. Brides love it because it allows your foundation to go on smoothly. Hydrating Facial: hydrates your skin with moisture to diminish fine lines and create a dewy complexion. The process is similar to that of a classic facial but usually includes humectant-rich products and masks.
Brightening Facial: involves a combination of masks, enzyme peels, and acid treatments to remove dead skin and buildup. It’ll not only improve your skin tone, but also help reduce the appearance of sun damage and age spots. As the name implies, you’ll be left with dewy, glowing clear skin.
HydraFacial: the only hydradermabrasion procedure that combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration, and antioxidant protection simultaneously. Okay, let’s break that down. Basically, instead of using harsh exfoliants like traditional dermabrasion, it vacuums out pores while simultaneously infusing them with potent actives. The result is clear and moisturized skin with absolutely no irritation. It also helps improve the appearance of wrinkles, enlarged pores, acne, and hyperpigmentation.
Microdermabrasion Facial: now that “hydradermabrasion” has been thrown into the mix, I may as well address microdermabrasion, the noninvasive form of “dermabrasion.” This type of facial buffs away the layers of dead skin by using a pressurized jet with micronized crystals and then vacuuming away the dead skin cells. Like most facials, it can help with pigmentation, fine lines, and acne scars.
Decongesting Facial: is designed to clear out clogged pores and eliminate blackheads. Although gentle acid peels are sometimes used, the facial almost exclusively focuses on extractions—so if you’re like me and struggle with acne (or find intense satisfaction from watching Dr. Pimple Popper videos), this one might be for you. Your skin might be slightly irritated right after the treatment but they should never hurt or cause scarring when performed correctly.
LED Facial (Color Light Therapy): uses wavelengths of UV-free LED light that claim to treat a variety of issues. Each color serves a different purpose. For example, blue light destroys acne-causing bacteria while red light stimulates collagen production and promotes circulation. The good news is it’s painless and noninvasive. Bad news is that it often takes several and consistent sessions to start noticing dramatic results.
Lymphatic Massage Facial: a soothing massage that uses gentle brushing motions to move fluid out of tissues and into your lymph nodes where bacteria, viruses, and other harmful organisms are destroyed. In addition to protecting against pathogens, it reduces swelling in the face—perfect for those looking for a more contoured jawline or reduced eye puffiness.
Firming and Contouring Facial: incorporates massaging techniques to firm and sculpt your face. The effects are similar to that of a microcurrent facial, only it doesn’t use any devices. Not everyone finds this intense treatment to be super relaxing, though, so I probably wouldn’t recommend it to unwind right before your big day.
Acupuncture Facial: dermal needles are inserted approximately one millimeter into the frown lines, forehead, and crow’s-feet to improve circulation and increase natural collagen production. I probably don’t need to tell you this, but acupuncture needles don’t hurt. Aromatherapy Facial: solely uses aromatherapy oil (and sometimes steam and a facial peel) to help create healthy, glowing, and moisturized skin. The essential oils have soothing properties that can also help eliminate acne. Plus, it’ll also help you relax your mind for your big day.
Paraffin Facial: involves covering your face with a protective gauze mask and warm paraffin wax. The paraffin’s warmth opens your pores and allows moisturizers to penetrate more easily. When removed, it takes old skin cells with it, leaving the skin silky smooth. This holistic approach has been around since the Roman empire and is still loved today for its ability to reduce wrinkles, moisturize your face, and relax you. I’m sure you’ve seen this facial in TV shows and movies.
Fruit Facial: use acids derived from fruit to deeply scrub the skin and remove blackheads. It’s also believed to stimulate collagen, improve skin texture, and reduce wrinkles. Plus, the vitamin C found in fruits can help lighten scarring and blemishes. Although it might smell good, don’t eat the product after using it.
Diamond File Facial: involves a stainless-steel tool that has actual crushed diamonds on one side that polish the skin without damaging it. Sounds gimmicky, I know. But if Marilyn Monroe taught us anything, it’s that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”—and as gemstone treatments go, we promise this one is more effective than jade eggs. That’s because diamonds contain trace elements and when applied topically, stimulate cell turnover and fight free radicals. Your skin will feel brand new and have fewer dark spots.
Gold Facial: while we’re on the topic of diamonds, we may as well delve into gold. A gold facial involves all of the steps in a classic one, but ends with a gold face mask—usually either 24-karat gold leaf or colloidal gold. It’s known to improve circulation, remove toxins, and lighten pigmentation, making it ideal for those with dull skin. They can be pricey but it’s your day so you may as well indulge.
Fire & Ice Facial: using elements of heat and cold, this facial brightens, smooths, and tightens skin. The protocol varies from spa to spa but all of them incorporate heat to increase blood flow and then a cold treatment to reduce inflammation. Many Hollywood stars use it to get a glowing complexion for a red-carpet appearance.
Vampire Facial: is a combination of microdermabrasion followed by a mask of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which helps boost your skin’s cell turnover. The PRP contains platelets which have a higher concentration of growth factors. In layman’s terms, tiny holes are poked into your skin and injected with your own blood to stimulate cell turnover. It can help increase collagen, reduce scars, and minimize wrinkles. My guess is you’ve already seen this trendy treatment on one of the Kardashians’ Instagram accounts. It can be very painful if they don’t numb you beforehand, though. Fun fact: it doubles as a gory Halloween costume.
Snail Facial: is exactly what it sounds like. Live snails are applied to the face to work their magic. This technique actually dates back to ancient Greece where Hippocrates used it to heal burns and wounds. The snail’s mucus contains proteins, antioxidants, and—everyone’s favorite—hyaluronic acid, which help rejuvenate the skin. It’s a bit pricey and probably not for everyone.