things to know before booking a facial

Thinking of going for a facial, but have no idea what to get done?

I hear ya. With all the new treatments available, navigating a spa menu can feel overwhelming. Should you go for your usual glycolic acid peel or try laser this time?

And what’s this vitamin IV infusion that promises to give you glowing skin in your 20-minutes lunch break? Mmm….

You want to try all the things, but what if something doesn’t work? Facials & co are a bit more invasive than your OTC lotions and potions. If something goes wrong, it may take your skin weeks to recover…

Fret not. Finding the right spa treatment doesn’t have to be hard. The key is to do your homework beforehand and really understand what your skin goals are.

Here are 4 things you need to know before booking a facial to make sure you’re picking the right salon and treatment for your unique needs:

1. Do Your Research

Research, research, research. I can’t stress this enough.

Look, I’ll be the first to admit that whenever I walk in front of a salon that looks all pink and flowery, I’m tempted to go inside and book a treatment on the spot. But pretty decor isn’t a good guarantee for beautiful skin.

Research is. Blogs and magazines are a good place to start your search for a good salon, but don’t stop there. Ask your friends for recommendations (that’s always the best way to find a reputable aesthetician). You can even ask your dermatologist or skin coach if they can recommend anyone in your area.

Once you have a few names, call them up or walk in. Ask as many questions as you can. Don’t forget to verify credentials. That’s the most important thing.

These days, almost anyone can inject Botox into your face or give you a facial. You don’t want to discover your aesthetician didn’t have the proper qualifications after your face got frozen in an unnatural smirk!

Related: Botox Treatment: How To Find A Qualified Practitioner You Can Trust

Struggling to put together an anti-aging skincare routine that really reduces the look of wrinkles and gives your skin a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):

2. Have A Consultation Before Your Treatment

This is especially important if you’re going to a new salon for the very first time. You need to get to know your aesthetician and your aesthetician needs to get to know you.

A good aesthetician will ask you what skin issues you’re experiencing, what products you’re currently using, and what your goals are. Everyone’s skin is different and the more she knows about you, the better able she’ll be to recommend the right treatment for you.

But don’t just take her word for it. Always ask as many questions as possible. Why did she choose that treatment? Are there any side effects? What’s the downtime? How many sessions will you need? And whatever else comes to mind.

Don’t be shy. This is your face. If something goes wrong, you’ll wear the results on it for weeks. Be as open and inquisitive as you need so you can choose the best treatment together.

3. Never Book A Visit Without Choosing A Treatment In Advance

Never book an appointment at a spa or salon without knowing in advance what treatment you want to have done. If you don’t know, that’s what the consultation is for (see above).

But don’t go in and pick a service off a menu. How will you know it’s right for you? Just because a treatment sounds amazing, it doesn’t mean it’s suitable for your skin type and needs. A retinol peel may sound cool at the time, but if you’ve got deep acne scars, a laser treatment would work best.

You also don’t want to be pressured into fancy treatments you don’t need. Most aestheticians out there are absolute treasures who have your best interests at heart and are more than happy to help you pick the right treatment for you.

But if you don’t know what you want, you’re easy prey for the few bad apples who’ll recommend you something super expensive you don’t need (and may even make things worse – we’ve all heard the horror stories!).

4. Trust Your Gut

Just because you’re already at the salon, it doesn’t mean you have to go ahead with the treatment. If, at any point, you feel uncomfortable, trust your gut and get the heck out of there ASAP.

If you feel pressured to sign up for treatments you’re not sure you need or want, say no and leave.

If you feel your skin stinging, burning, or feeling unpleasant during the treatment and your aestheticians isn’t taking it seriously, run away.

If you feel like your aesthetician doesn’t get you or underestimates your concerns, walk out of there.

Wherever your gut says no, make sure your mouth says no too.

I know it’s common sense. But I also know it’s hard to do it. You don’t want to be rude. You don’t want the aesthetician to think you don’t like her. Maybe you’ve already paid for the treatment and don’t want to lose your money.

But your gut doesn’t lie. If you feel like something’s off, don’t wait until your skin gets damaged. Leave and find an aesthetician you can completely trust. You deserve it.