Does the facial salon you go to use machines?
Machines are very common, and below I have listed those most often used in facials. The salon you go to may employ all or none of them. Keep in mind machines lack the sensitivity of human contact. Studies show the tremendous healing benefits of touch. It calms the nervous system, and gives you, the client, a sense of connection to the aesthetician. If machines are used every step of the way, I’d think twice before getting a facial at that salon. That is just my opinion. My preference is to make educating my client the number one purpose of the facial, along with utilizing the soothing touch of massage throughout my treatments. If you happen to like machines, by all means—go for it!
The heat from the steam stimulates circulation, which helps to nourish the cells, although the heat may become too intense for several skin conditions. If you have acne, capillary damage, redness, or sensitive skin, you are not a good candidate for steam. In fact, you should avoid it. If you find yourself in a treatment where steam is used, and you have one of these skin conditions, ask the aesthetician to either move the steam farther from your face or do away with it all together.
Steam is a superfluous step in many ways, but most facials incorporate it. A beneficial time to utilize the steam machine is during the clay mask. Request that it be used then in order to keep the clay moist. Be aware, your aesthetician may balk at this suggestion, but explain that you don’t want the clay to dry on your face or the steam on your bare skin.
For more information on the use of steam on your face, read Is steam good for my skin? as well as that section in One facial experience—not a great one (links below).
One problem I have with this machine is sanitation. The brushes are used on everyone who has been to that salon for a facial. Of course they are properly sanitized (you hope), but how long has a particular brush been in use? My opinion about the use of a professional electric brush in a facial is similar to using at-home brush machines, like the Clarisonic.
This machine should never be used on acne, red, or sensitive skin. It should never be used on skin with broken capillaries. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but at the very least, human touch is once again replaced by a machine.
Galvanic current. This machine uses a low-level current and two terminals, or poles. One pole is positively charged; the other is negatively charged. Sometimes these poles are called “active” and “indifferent.” The client holds the negative or indifferent pole, and the active pole is placed on the skin, creating a circuit.
The purpose of this machine is to make products penetrate deeper into the skin as well as soften tissue and stimulate circulation. It is my contention that products applied manually penetrate far enough into the skin without the need to incorporate electrically charged machines. I find these devices disruptive to the natural flow of the facial. They aren’t used very often, although some salons subscribe to the benefits of machines and will employ galvanic current.
High-frequency. This machine uses infrared light that is either violet or orange-red. The light is directed through a glass electrode that is in turn applied to the skin. (When the machine is turned on, it sounds a bit like Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory.) The uses for a high frequency machine are to stimulate circulation, warm the surface of the skin, as well as to disinfect the skin.
The client’s entire face is gone over with a mushroom-shaped electrode, or individual blemishes can be zapped by lifting the electrode off the skin just over the problem spot. This lifting causes a slight shock or spark that has a concentrated, germicidal effect, destroying bacteria. High-frequency is also used to aid in the penetration of products.
Here again, there is only so far a product can go into the skin. I don’t feel the need to use a machine to penetrate products when a pair of hands can do the job. Manually applying products soothes the client with human touch as well. Many skin care salons utilize the high-frequency machine, so you will probably come in contact with it. You might want to give it a try to see if you enjoy this form of treatment.
I don’t use any machines in my facial. I prefer to use my hands and let the products do their magic. Machines leave me cold, and stimulating someone’s skin this way doesn’t feel right to me. Earlier in my career I had access to a high-frequency machine. I rarely used it because I felt it was doing little to improve my clients’ skin and added a strange, cold indifference to the facial. Employing foreign objects with peculiar, electrical noises in place of the soothing nature of human touch didn’t create the relaxing environment I wanted to provide for my clients.
Having a blast of oxygen directed at your face may feel good and may do wonders for your circulation, but the oxygen carried in your blood is what is feeding and nourishing the skin—from the inside out. There are many people, many professionals, who may disagree with me. There are also a lot of people making money selling these kinds of facials. I have a very different approach to skin care. It rarely, if ever, incorporates the latest trends or fads that are presented to the public.
Perhaps mine is an old-fashioned approach. I don’t, however, see any great improvements in skin after having trendy treatments (such as oxygen facials) or using the latest miracle product. If you’re curious about this or any other procedure or skin treatment, check it out and see for yourself whether or not you receive the results that are promised. Oxygen facials tend to be quite expensive, so be forewarned.
What about oxygen bars? These booths or bars administer large amounts of oxygen, which is supposed to be purifying. The truth is, your body breathes in oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide perfectly without any help. Trust your body and seek to cleanse and purify it through proven, effective means such as diet and exercise. Again, I know people will disagree with me, people who have gone to oxygen bars. My response to them is—great! In life you have to find what works and what doesn't work for you. I prefer to spend my money on products that will affect my skin on a daily basis. In short: to each his or her own.
|Please don't ever use one of these!|
As the name implies, it is to be used on comedones, the technical term for blackheads. Used on closed pores, a comedone extractor could lead to disaster. I highly discourage letting anyone use one of these instruments on you. The aesthetician has little or no sense of how much pressure she is applying. At the very least, this can cause capillary damage, not to mention the insensitivity of unyielding metal on your face. I would never use one of these in a treatment or even on my own skin at home. See Just say NO to comedone extractors! to read about a client’s experience (and it’s not a good one) with the use of a comedone extractor in a facial she had.
I have to say it one more time: Please—do not use a comedone extractor on your skin or let an aesthetician use one on you either!
|PLEASE: Don’t use these either!|
For more information, see:
- What to expect in a facial treatment where I go over some questions you might want to ask your aesthetician before and during your next facial treatment
- Is steam good for my skin?
- One facial experience—not a great one
- Facial Brushes: Yes or No?