- As skin ages, it becomes duller and develops lines, wrinkles, and folds.
- Anti-aging facials are cosmetic procedures designed to restore a youthful appearance to the face.
- These facials combine multiple steps such as exfoliation, masking, and light therapy to tackle the symptoms of aging skin.
- The products and tools needed to perform a DIY facial are widely available; however, professional treatments are usually more effective.
Facials are non-intrusive skincare procedures designed to improve the appearance of the facial skin. Most facials are multi-step treatments, combining various skincare products and techniques to target different aspects of the skin. However, the term “facial” may also be used to refer to individual skincare treatments or products.
Anti-aging facials are facials designed specifically to rejuvenate mature skin. They do so by improving the thickness and smoothness of skin, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles, creases, and folds, as well as brightening up the tone of the skin.
What Is an Anti-Aging Facial?
An anti-aging facial is a type of facial that is targeted at improving the appearance of mature skin. Like a regular facial, an anti-aging facial usually consists of multiple steps such as cleansing, exfoliation, and facial masking.
With age, the skin loses both collagen and elastin. This causes it to become thinner and slacker, ultimately resulting in duller skin with more lines, wrinkles, and folds. An anti-aging facial uses a variety of skincare techniques to combat these symptoms.
Benefits of anti-aging facials
Most anti-aging facials have the same three goals:
- to thicken the skin
- to improve the elasticity of the skin
- to restore a vibrant skin tone
By thickening the skin and improving its elasticity, anti-aging facials reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and folds. By restoring a vibrant skin tone, they reduce dullness. Together, this gives the skin a more youthful appearance.
Types of Anti-Aging Facials
Most anti-aging facials combine a variety of skincare techniques to combat the symptoms of aging skin. With that said, some spas and clinics offer specific types of anti-aging facial which revolve around a single technique or product.
Exfoliating facials are designed to remove dead skin cells from the outermost layers of the skin, revealing the younger, healthier cells underneath. This makes them a highly effective way to give the skin a more vibrant tone, reducing any apparent dullness.
These facials use a mixture of mechanical and chemical exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation uses abrasive materials such as cloths, brushes, or crystals to scrape off skin cells, while chemical exfoliation breaks down intracellular glue (allow skin cells to fall off on their own) with the help of chemicals such as alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids.
Collagen facials are creams, serums, and masks designed to replenish the collagen in facial skin. By doing so, they help to maintain the skin’s thickness and elasticity, ensuring a smooth, taut appearance.
Almost all of these facials contain retinoids, such as retinol, which stimulate the production of new collagen. Other ingredients such as vitamins C and E may also be added to collagen facials for their ability to prevent collagen breakdown.
The primary goal of hydrating facials (also known as moisturizing facials) is to moisten the skin. In addition to making the skin appear plumper and more vibrant, these products help to soothe dry skin and prevent cracking or flaking.
Hydrating facials mostly rely on a class of chemicals called humectants, which retain moisture within the skin. Commonly used humectants include alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid.
These facials may also contain occlusives. Occlusives are oily or waxy substances which coat the skin and prevent water from escaping.
Light therapy facials
Light therapy facials (also known as phototherapy facials) use powerful, medical-grade LED light to rejuvenate the skin. They do so by increasing collagen levels in the skin, thereby improving skin thickness and elasticity.
In addition to its anti-aging effects, phototherapy is an effective way to reduce excess pigmentation, which is often caused by sun damage.
These facials involve the use of a full-face mask or hand-held device which shines light onto the skin. The light is absorbed by skin cells, where it stimulates collagen production and destroys excess pigment.
Some estheticians offer dedicated light therapy treatments, while others offer phototherapy as an optional extra at the end of other facials.
Microdermabrasion is an exfoliating treatment in which abrasive crystals are shot against the skin. Like other types of exfoliation, microdermabrasion removes dead cells from the top layer of the skin to reveal younger, healthier skin.
The treatment is conducted using a handheld device. The device shoots abrasive particles against the skin before sucking them back up. Some say this suction provides additional benefits to the appearance of the skin, but there is no evidence to support this claim.
What to Expect from an Anti-Aging facial
Most anti-aging facials use a combination of the techniques described above in order to treat various signs of aging.
At the beginning of the procedure, a cleanser is applied to the face using cotton pads. Then, the skin is exfoliated. The esthetician may use mechanical exfoliation (by means of a microdermabrasion device or scrub) or chemical exfoliation, also known as a chemical peel.
If needed, the esthetician will then extract any blackheads or whiteheads using a special tool, or in some cases by hand. To remove whiteheads, the esthetician may also need to use a sharp, sterile blade to pierce the skin’s surface.
Almost all facials will include the application of a mask, serum, and/or cream designed specially for mature skin. These products usually offer combine several anti-aging benefits, such as collagen stimulation and moisturization.
Some facials may also include light therapy or a facial massage. If so, these additional steps will be provided at the end of the treatment.
At-Home vs Professional Anti-Aging Facials
Anti-aging facials are usually performed in day spas and beauty clinics at the hands of a professional esthetician. However, thanks to the wide availability of skincare products and devices, it is possible to give yourself an at-home facial skincare treatment.
Professional facials tend to be more effective than DIY treatments, since estheticians know from experience which techniques and products a patient needs to see the best results. Also, most estheticians have a wider range of tools and products to choose from than the average patient.
Anti-aging facials are a type of facial that aims to make the skin appear younger by thickening the skin, improving elasticity, and restoring vibrance. They achieve these goals by stimulating collagen production and doing away with dead skin using a variety of techniques and products such as exfoliation, face masks, and light therapy. Although many of these steps can be performed at home, professional estheticians usually achieve better results thanks to extensive experience.
- Ganceviciene, R., Liakou, A. I., Theodoridis, A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012). Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), 308–319. doi:10.4161/derm.22804
- Shah M, Crane JS. Microdermabrasion. [Updated 2019 Sep 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535383/