Admit it: it's probably been a while since the last time you've gotten a facial — at least a professional one anyway. Considering the circumstances surrounding the last year, we totally get it, and as nice as those DIY facial treatments may have been in the meantime, we're sure your skin is practically calling out for your aesthetician's touch right about now. Now that a trip to the spa to see your facialist sounds a little safer than it was a year ago, it wouldn't hurt to think about exactly what kind of facial treatment you should get after several months to a year.
"This is a very common question post-pandemic — on one hand people want to keep it gentle since it's been a while, but on the other they love the idea of doing something more impactful," Gabby Garritano, founder of Ject, told POPSUGAR. "After a year of not doing any treatments, the skin becomes thinner and dry looking from loss of collagen and elastin. These patterns vary depending on genetics, external environmental factors such as UV exposure, and internal stressors put on the body. Medical-grade skincare treatments such as chemical peels, microneedling, and radio frequency are all ways we can increase collagen production."
Garritano's specific recommendation if it's been a while is the spa's Gold Standard Facial, which offers everything you love about a regular facial — cleanse, exfoliation, facial massage — with radio frequency to build collagen and an AquaGold treatment, which is a "device that has 24K gold needles to infuse Botox, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins into the skin to improve tone and texture."
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Another option after it's been a year-plus, according to cosmetic dermatologist Mariana Vergara, is a diamond peel facial. "This treatment exfoliates and gently removes the first layer of the skin while delivering special serums into the skin depending on the needs," she told POPSUGAR. "It's used to treat sun damage, hyperpigmentation, age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, mild acne scars, blackheads, whiteheads and clogged pores."
The diamond peel facial is one of Dr. Vergara's specialties, and it also helps to stimulate collagen while leaving your skin smooth and glowing. It's also safe for all skin types, and can even be performed on patients with sensitive skin and rosacea.
"After a year of no treatment or if you've never had a skin-care treatment before, the diamond peel is definitely the best to start with," she said. "Like I tell my patients: fillers and lasers can be done once a year to maintain volume and quality of the skin, but what are we doing in between? The diamond peel should be thought of the same way. It should be part of a regimen in order to maintain your skin long term."
Per a description from Skin MD, a diamond peel facial normally includes a cleanse, a massage, a steam, the diamond peel treatment, a cold compress, and a moisturizer, though Dr. Vergara also recommends they be followed with sunscreen depending on what time of day you get it.
If you can't find a location near you that offers AquaGold or diamond peel facials, just make sure that your first treatment back focuses on the more intensive parts of a facial you might have been missing out on, like a deep cleanse or exfoliation.
"I like to start with some form chemical exfoliation in the form of glycolic or lactic acid mixed with two to three passes of Hydra-Brasion (a gentler form of micro-dermabrasion) to remove that lovely layer of dead skin that has accumulated and gotten 'stuck,'" aesthetician Nicole Caroline said. "You will definitely be needing some extractions, and they should be performed thoroughly . . . because we never extract ourselves at home."
Essentially, you can opt for a specific type of treatment once you return to your facialist, but the type of treatment you get should be largely dependent on your skin's overall needs.