Skincare

Should you ever spend more than $100 on a facial? Experts reveal if they’re a waste of cash

And what benefits they actually have for your skin.

By Maddison Leach
We've all seen the makeover scenes in movies where a woman undergoes a facial, has two cucumber slices placed over her eyes, then emerges with totally flawless skin.
It doesn't matter if she went in to treat acne, dark circles or scarring, a facial seems to be able to fix it all on our TV and cinema screens.
Of course, reality is quite different to what we see in the movies and many women are on the fence about facials.
Some swear by them as the ultimate skincare essential, others are convinced they're a waste of time and money.
But what's the truth? How much do they benefit your skin, and are they worth the cost?
Now To Love speaks with two skincare experts to figure out if facials are actually worth it, especially when most of them cost over $100.

Are facials a waste of money?

WATCH ABOVE: The facialist behind Kaia Gerber And Gigi Hadid's flawless skin shares her secrets.
Kimberley Conboy, endota Educator and Skin Specialist, certainly doesn't think so.
She tells Now To Love that getting a facial not only improves your skin's glow, it can also have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing.
"Skin is our biggest organ, so it is important that we take care of it. Self-care is also so important for not only the physical rewards of healthy, glowing skin but self-confidence and self-love," she says.
Fergil Mestanov, Skin Expert for luxury cosmeceutical brand iS CLINICAL, agrees that facials aren't a waste of money – "unless you're getting a fluffy 30-minute facial at the cosmetic counter of a department store."
In her opinion, good skin health comes down to 80 per cent at-home skincare and 20 per cent treatments like facials, so they're still important to your overall routine.
She also says there is proven science behind the mental and emotional benefits beauty rituals like facials – the more you know!

What makes a facial more effective that the skincare you do at home?

Zöe Foster-Blake and Martha Kalifatidis are big fans of at-home treatments, but are they as effective as a spa facial? (Instagram)
It's all about the professional, high-quality products and equipment, according to Kimberley, which in-spa skincare specialists can tailor to your skin type, condition and concerns.
"An in-spa facial, however, will only have continued results when the correct at home skincare is being used," she adds, suggesting 30 per cent home skincare and 70 per cent facials.
Fergil agrees that there's a big difference between at-home skincare and in-clinic facial treatments, especially when it comes to the professional products being used at a spa.
Not only are the active ingredients in spa products a lot stronger, the professional using them knows how far they can "push" your skin for the best results – something you shouldn't be trying on your own.
Plus, they have extra tools and techniques that you simply can't DIY, like microdermabrasion and LED light therapy equipment.

Are all facials made equal or are there certain ingredients, treatments, or techniques you should look for?

WATCH ABOVE: The most searched skincare ingredients explained.
Not all facials will give you the same glowing results Kimberley confirms, but the same can be said of your at-home skincare.
She says your best bet is to opt for a facial that includes a proper consultation and skin analysis, so that it's tailored specifically to your complexion and concerns.
"Investing in a facial that uses a professional skincare range, professional machinery and comes with a home care plan are best," she adds.
So how do can you spot the higher quality skincare products at spas? It's all about the ingredients.
Fergil explains: "Cosmetic skincare ranges contain cosmetic grade ingredients, then the next tier level up is cosmeceutical ingredients and then the top tier is pharmaceutical-grade cosmeceutical ingredients."

How much of a difference do light therapies, microdermabrasion and other invasive facial techniques make?

More complex and invasive therapies aren't always more beneficial Fergil says, but pairing invasive and non-invasive treatments can help you reach your skin goals faster - in some cases.
"Some treatments are designed to correct specific skin conditions and will require 'downtime', a period of time the skin needs to recover as a controlled wound has been created on the skin," she tells us.
"Now-a-days dermal clinicians are offering combination therapies where the two categories may be combined for maximum results."
But that doesn't mean you have to buy into invasive therapies, as some facials can give you similar results just by using higher strength topical products, like chemical peels.

Will a single facial ever be able to fix your skin concerns overnight?

Facials are great, but one treatment won't give you Martha's flawless complexion overnight. (Instagram)
While a single treatment can definitely improve your skin's hydration, redness and sensitivity, Kimberley says those results are typically short-term.
The key things you can expect from one facial are increased hydration, reduced redness, tightened pores, and increased circulation.
"Results can last up to 7 days. After this time without a good home care regime skin will go back to how it was prior," she says, adding that you'll need more treatments to get the results back.
"Think of it like a fitness program, the more you work out, the fitter you will get - one workout alone won't make lasting changes."
Fergil suggests that if you already have good skin health, a single treatment can achieve the results you're after, but again, you're going to need follow-up facials to make the effect last.

How much should you be spending on a facial, and what do you get when you pay the big bucks?

Miranda Kerr is happy to pay for an in-spa treatment, but are they worth the cash for the average woman? (Instagram)
Kimberley explains that pricier treatments are worth the cost because they usually last longer, use more higher quality products and more advanced techniques and machinery.
Of course, dropping $250 on a luxury facial isn't possible for everyone, so Fergil suggests stretching out the time between each treatment to save up for a better service.
"The average cost of a cup of coffee is approximately $4.50, so if you stop buying one cup of coffee for 6 weeks you would have saved an extra $189 to add to your budget!" she says.
But K Kimberley reminds us that cheap facials can still be lovely if you're working with a tighter budget.
"If you want to treat some superficial dehydration, overall glow, and have a relaxing experience then a budget facial will be able to tick your boxes."
Kimberley's top pick for a luxe facial: endota Laser Genesis or Intense Renewal facials
"These facials are definitely skin cell personal trainers: they help to boost and train skin cells to work at their best level," she says.

How much money should you be investing in your home skincare routine?

Pricey facials can be fun one-off treats, but Fergil says we should be putting our cash towards the products we're using on our skin at home every day.
"80 per cent of the results you achieve with your skin is what you do to it daily. That means full morning and full evening routine and sunscreen every day," she says.
"The additional 20 per cent improvement is achieved with facial services… it is a more potent, concentrated professional strength version of your at-home skincare regime."
Following her advice, we'd suggest putting 80 per cent of your annual skincare budget towards your at-home products, then using 20 per cent on special treatments.
She also urges women to always speak to a reputable skin expert if they're unsure about skin concerns and what products they should actually be using.
"I strongly advise against getting online and self-prescribing… You wouldn't self-diagnose a tooth ache and proceed to extract it yourself. DON'T do it with your skin!"
Fergil's top pick for luxe skincare: brands using pharmaceutical-grade cosmeceutical ingredients
"There is a world of difference [between cheap and expensive products]. Invest in a top tier brand such as iS CLINICAL, to make sure you are getting the best quality ingredients," she says.
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  • undefined: Maddison Leach