In September, I went to a fancy facialist for a skin care consultation. I’d been having problems with my skin since February and couldn’t get things under control at all. Two good friends of mine pointed me in the direction of their fave facialist, and I basically lept into her treatment room. The thirst was real.
Would You Not Just Try a Bit of Coconut Oil?
I’m fairly clued in about skin care, plus I’m quite good to my skin. Any time an issue popped up, I was able to whack it back down fairly quickly.
Then, in January, I had surgery. It was a minor procedure but my body took AGIN it, as Marian Keyes likes to say. I didn’t get my period for nine months, I didn’t sleep properly for four, I was upside down. My skin wasn’t immune. I started to get painful acne, usually under the skin on my forehead. It rarely looked too bad, because the breakouts never really broke out, but there was a gentle Klingon vibe. Lumps, bad texture.
After about six months, I had exhausted all of my options. I was throwing good money after bad on products without getting anywhere. Some pals baulked at the idea of forking out for a facial appointment that didn’t actually involve a facial, but, honestly, that one-off investment has already saved me from spending way more on unsuitable treatments.
What is a Facial Skin Care Consultation?
I booked in for a skin consultation, not a facial or a treatment. The goal of the appointment was to assess my skin, then prescribe me with a new skin care routine and maybe a treatment, which would take place at a later date and be priced separately.
Over an hour, my facialist chatted to me about my lifestyle, my skin care regimen and the issues I have with my skin. She scrutinised my face up close and studied all of the products that I had been using.
My facialist diagnosed my skin type, identified areas that I’d have to stay on top of and prescribed me a new routine. It’s massively paired back – two products in the morning, two products at night. I add a serum on days when it’s needed, but that’s it. They are dogs at Crufts that are more high maintenance.
How Do I Pick a Facialist?
I looked for three things when I was whittling down my facialist wishlist:
Zero brand loyalty – Loads of facialists work with just one brand, some use two, others are way more flexible, blending over-the-counter products with the more expensive salon ones.
I looked out for facialist who pulled from multiple brands, both to save money and to ensure I wasn’t just being sold a pre-made routine. I don’t think every part of your skin care routine has to be salon-only products, especially pre-cleanse options.
Follow-up service – I paid €50 for my 40-minute consultation, which includes some follow-up appointments, if needed, as well as email check-ins. I’ve been able to make adjustments to my routine and get instructions on what to do any time my skin has pulled a stunt.
If you’re getting an entirely new skin care regimen, there’ll probably be an adjustment period. In my opinion, there’s little point going to a facialist who won’t monitor your progress after you leave their office.
Word-of-mouth recommendations – You can’t beat word-of-mouth recommendations. I was able to quiz my friends before I booked, checking that their shared facialist wasn’t going to give me a hard sell or push me into treatments that were out of my budget.
In fact, the facialist I went with told me I didn’t need any treatments yet, and she prescribed less product than I had been using. Result!
Should You Book?
If your skin is ticking along nicely, nah. Spend the money on a good cheeseboard, then call me over and share the cheeseboard. If you’re not really into skin and just want a quick fix, I think you’re one for the cheeseboard queue too. No facialist can do the work of a consistent skin care routine. You’ve got to do your homework.
If you’re fed up with something and your best efforts aren’t making a difference, I think hammering it all out with a professional is the only way to go.