First Facial

Your first facial can be incredibly eye opening. Have you had a facial? What did you learn?

A few weeks ago  I bought two Groupons for a local massage place, Hand & Stone. It's new here, and I'd seen it pop up in a new shopping area near where we live. They were offering two Groupons, one for a facial and one for a massage. I've never had either, so I decided to go for both! I got the facial yesterday, and I loved it. I mean, I loved it.

I've always been very sensitive (which is why I waited until the age of 27 to get my first massage -- I thought I wouldn't like the pressure), and there's a lot of light touch and facial stimulation in a facial, in addition to shoulder & neck massage. And lots of hot towels. It felt soooo good.

Since this was my first facial, it was the first time I'd had a professional look at my skin and tell me anything about it. My esthetician, Amanda, looked at my skin under a really bright light and through something that magnified it five times (yikes!). I'm glad she's the one looking at that, and not me!

I had told her in my consultation that I considered my skin combination-leaning-toward-oily, because I get pretty oily during the day if I don't use the right foundation and I've always had acne issues.

Well here's what she told me: apparently my skin is dry. DRY! Can you believe it? This is probably not a shock to you as much as it is to me, but I've lived my whole life believing my skin was oily. Looking for light moisturizers, using oily-skin foundations, loading on the drying, anti-acne products like there was no tomorrow. And apparently, I've been drying my skin out to the point that it's overproducing oil to compensate — hence the oiliness.

Amanda told me that my pores are actually really small and tight (news to me!), and the reason they're congested (blackheads on my nose & chin) is because my skin is producing oil but it has nowhere to go since my pores are so tight.

This whole concept of over-drying and over-producing oil is nothing new to me; I see it every day in the salon. People wash their hair every day because it's so greasy, but it's only greasy because they're washing it so much. Never did I think I was doing it to my skin, though! Major revelation to me. Needless to say, my skin care regimen is changing.

The good thing? Amanda also told me that I have a "very thick barrier," which she said meant that I would be slow to age (woohoo!). That's definitely good news. Though it doesn't surprise me -- my mom has always looked younger than she is. Plus, I've spent most of my life in the shade.

Have you had a facial before? Did it change what you thought about your skin?

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