Working on the needs and health of the skin can be achieved through facials. Salon facials were the go-to facials for many people.
But do you know this was the conventional approach? Dermatologist facials are the latest advancement in the industry for the best and most long-lasting facials for your skin.
Nowadays, people prefer dermatologist facials over traditional salon facials. According to researchers, dermatologists or medical spas that offer salon-like facials are equipped with medical technologies and the expertise of a dermatologist for effective and lasting results. (1)
The debate is still ongoing, as many people vote for salon facials; however, if you have any major skin issues, you should go for a dermatologist’s facial.
This article talks about the differences between salon and dermatologist facials to help you choose what’s best for your skin.
What Is a Salon Facial?
A salon facial is a cosmetic treatment that involves skin cleansing, exfoliating, steaming, massaging, and applying different products to give the skin hydration, relaxation, and a temporary glow.
They are performed by beauticians and aestheticians with basic skin care training.
What Is a Dermatologist Facial?
A dermatologist facial is a medical treatment that involves the use of laser and energy-based devices, microdermabrasion, mild peels, and more.
It is a step-by-step process done under the expert supervision of a trained professional with vast skin care knowledge and training or a dermatologist.
The procedure is minimally invasive and painless, has less recovery time, provides mild improvement, and requires minimal skin maintenance. The expected gains are skin brightening, tightening, rejuvenation, and toning. (1)
Differences Between Salon Facials and Dermatologist Facials
The following are the differences between salon and dermatologist facials.
Depth of action
Salon facials only target the outer layer of the skin, whereas dermatologist facials can target the deeper layers of the skin to treat the root cause of skin issues.
Salon facials offer limited choices based on product availability, whereas dermatologist facials are tailored according to the preferences and needs of an individual’s skin.
Salon facials are temporarily effective; their results last for only a few days or weeks, whereas dermatologist facials have long-lasting effects that enhance with time.
Salon facials may lead to infections or adverse reactions if the products are not adequately sanitized or don’t suit you.
In contrast, dermatologist facials use standard-quality products; they utilize strictly hygienic practices and are performed under an expert’s supervision. (1)
Staff qualification and training
Salon facials are executed by beauticians and aestheticians with basic skin care knowledge. In contrast, dermatologist facials are performed by a trained and qualified professional with extensive training and expertise in skin care. (1)
Location and setting
Salon facials are performed in salons and spas in a comfortable and relaxing setting, whereas dermatologist facials are performed in clinics and medical offices in a professional and sterile environment. (1)
Duration and frequency
A salon facial lasts for about an hour or less, whereas a dermatologist facial requires a specific number of sessions at particular intervals, as advised by your doctor.
Cost and value
The cost of a salon facial varies according to the salon, services offered, and products used, whereas a dermatologist facial is expensive but effective and investment worthy.
Quality of results
Salon facials don’t necessarily yield quality results, whereas dermatologist facials are considered way better based on quality results. They focus on skin requirements and treat the primary issue. They are more effective and give visibly accurate results.
How to Choose Between Salon Facials and Dermatologist Facials?
Factors such as skin type, goals, issues, availability, and budget are considered before choosing salon or dermatologist facials.
- If your skin is normal with no significant issues, occasionally go for a salon facial for a pampering and relaxing experience.
- If your skin is dry or oily with mild problems such as dullness and blackheads, go for a salon facial every few weeks for a glow and hydration boost.
- For acne-prone, sensitive skin with mild to severe issues such as scarring, pigmentation, and inflammation, go for a dermatologist facial every month or as your doctor suggests for an expert treatment plan and diagnosis.
- For damaged or matured skin with sun spots, sagging, or wrinkles, go for a dermatologist facial every month or as your doctor suggests to revive your skin’s appearance and health.
Why Should You Prefer Dermatologist Facials Over Salon Facials?
Reasons for preferring dermatologist’s facials over salon facials are:
- Dermatologists examine your skin and suggest customized facials for your skin type, problems, and specific needs. On the other hand, salon facials are generic (not based on your skin type and conditions) and might not suit you.
- Dermatologist facials have the potential to go deep into skin layers and give long-lasting results. Dermatologists use medical-grade devices and products to treat problems from the root. Moreover, this procedure boosts collagen production, which improves skin tone and texture. In contrast, salon facials target the topmost skin layer only and have no significant impact on skin health.
- Experienced and licensed professionals perform dermatologist facials with the best possible care. They have the proper training and extensive knowledge in the field and suggest additional products or treatments for better results. (1) Salon aestheticians may use low-quality products and may not have expertise in the field.
What Are the Different Types of Dermatologist Facials?
The different types of dermatological facials are as follows.
- Oxygen facial: It provides skin oxygenation and exfoliation.
- Hydration facial: It delivers serums into the skin using suction devices.
- Three-in-one device: It contains hydration facial and microdermabrasion in one device.
- Eight-in-one device: It has multiple tools for serum penetration, collagen production, exfoliation, and more. (1)
- Ablative laser resurfacing: This technique removes the outer layer of the skin using a laser to stimulate new collagen production. It reduces wrinkles, fine lines, enlarged pores, age spots, and acne scars and smoothens skin texture, but it requires multiple sessions and some rest for recovery. (2)
- Microcurrent facial: This technique stimulates cellular activity by lifting and toning the facial muscles using electrical currents. It enhances the skin’s firmness, elasticity, and circulation. (3)
- Galvanic facial: This technique nourishes and cleanses the skin using a positive and negative ion-emitting device. It is popularly used to remove wrinkles, remodel cheeks, lift eyebrows, sharpen the jawline, tighten the skin, and highlight the face’s bone structure.
- Radiofrequency facial: It tightens loose skin by remodeling collagen through a series of sessions. Q-switched ND:YAG laser, also known as the Hollywood laser or carbon laser facial, can be done with radiofrequency simultaneously. It brightens and tightens the skin in the same session. (1)
- LED light therapy: It targets skin issues such as reducing aging, (4) dark spots, uneven skin tone, and acne (5) using light-emitting diodes in different colors. It is suitable for all skin types. (1)
- Microneedling: The tiny needles of a derma pen or derma roller penetrate the skin to boost collagen and elastin production, relieve stress, and ensure proper blood regulation. This procedure results in skin brightening and tightening and prevents skin aging symptoms. (6)
- Microdermabrasion: Small handheld devices are used to remove the skin’s outer or topmost layer, remove impurities, and repair damaged cells. This technique results in skin brightening and tightening, removal of pollutants and dead cells, healthy cell growth, and reduction of acne scars and dark spots. (7)(1)
- Intense pulse light: It is also known as a photo facial and treats vascular lesions, dyschromia, rosacea, and fine lines. (1)
Things to Keep in Mind After a Dermatologist Facial
Here are some points to consider:
- Avoid picking at your skin. Picking at your skin after a facial can lead to scarring and irritation, as the skin is sensitive at this point.
- Avoid heavy makeup. If your face turns red due to facial extractions or exfoliation, avoid applying makeup to cover it up.
- Gently wash your face. Use a mild, gentle cleanser and lukewarm water to avoid skin irritation instead of harsh products such as scrubs, toners, and more.
- Skip the toner. Post-facial skin is sensitive, and toners can be harsh.
- Stay away from the sauna. Saunas or steam rooms can worsen skin conditions and cause redness and irritation.
- Drink plenty of water. Consuming enough fluids keep your skin glowing and hydrated.
- Use fresh towels and change your pillow. Use fresh and clean towels and pillows to prevent bacteria and dirt from clogging your pores.
- Avoid harsh external factors. Dodge sun exposure, threading, waxing, etc., for about a week.
Who Should and Should Not Go for a Facial?
People who can seek a facial treatment are those that have:
- Visible wrinkles and fine lines
- Clogged or noticeable pores
- Uneven and patchy makeup
- Lifeless and dull skin tone
People who must avoid getting a facial treatment are those with:
- Severe acne
- Skin allergies
- Open wounds, rashes, boils, or sores
- Active cold sores
- Viral infection (common cold)
- Fungal infection
People who may restrict getting a facial treatment are those that have:
- Fresh scar tissue
- Active rosacea acne
- Minor cuts
- Psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema
How long does the redness from a salon facial last?
Redness from a salon facial is normal and will not last for more than 24 hours.
What are the side effects of a facial?
Some of the most common side effects of a facial are swelling, blotchy skin, irritation, and redness.
These problems can be due to the extraction process or incorrect exfoliation pressure. They can also occur due to allergic reactions from the beauty products used post-treatment.
If you are looking for the best facial option, remember dermatological and salon facials have different benefits for the skin.
To achieve beautiful and healthy skin, discuss with your dermatologist what’s best according to your skin type, goals, and problems.
- (PDF) Medi Facials for Dermatologists – where to start – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/357158526/.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557474/.
- Xu X; Zhang H; Yan Y; Wang J; Guo L; Effects of electrical stimulation on skin surface. Acta mechanica Sinica = Li xue xue bao. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33584001/.
- J; HAJD. Light emitting diode phototherapy for skin aging. Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32272511/.
- Pei S, Inamadar AC, Adya KA, Tsoukas MM. Light-based therapies in acne treatment. Indian dermatology online journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439741/. Published 2015.
- Microneedling – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459344/.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535383/.