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Though it's possible to achieve healthy skin at home, many people turn to skincare professionals when they need some extra help. And one treatment they often turn to is the basic facial. But what is a facial, anyway? Though the name is unassuming, the treatment can truly benefit skin, especially because every facial is tailored to the individual's skin type. Read on for our in-depth look at this popular spa treatment. A basic facial is a skin treatment that cleanses pores, exfoliates away dead skin cells, and treats common skin concerns with a custom mask.

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Read on to find the right one for your skin needs.

20 best types of facials you should try in

Plus, are you skin-care savvy? Take our quiz and find out Regular treatments — if you can afford it, with follow-up care at home — can yield long-term benefits, like warding off wrinkles and keeping skin hydrated. Besides removing blackhe and exfoliating dry, flaky skin, facials help fade dark spots from long-term damage and bad habits. I asked experts what to look for in a spa facial and how to follow up at home.

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Read on for their tips. In your 20s, however, you should lay the groundwork for maintaining that youthful glow later in life. Neglect is cumulative, says Debra Jaliman, M. Not exfoliating dead skin cells, for example, prevents healthy, new cells from coming to the surface, leaving skin dull and lifeless. At the spa: Deep- cleansing facials with masks of clay or kaolin also known as china or white clay draw out impurities — including dirt and excess oils — from skin.

The best facials that are totally worth spending your hard-earned money on

Fine clay particles also exfoliate, unclog pores and stimulate circulation, which nourishes cells with nutrients. If skin is dry or sensitive, a mask with botanical extracts of chamomile or aloe will soothe it. At home: Good skin care should be as mindless as brushing your teeth. Make a habit of a four-step daily regimen: cleanser, exfoliant, moisturizer and sunscreen with a protection factor SPF of 15 or more. For more on sun-proofing skin, read Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

What is a facial, and what should you expect?

Also, keep your face clean — and never sleep with makeup on. In your 30s: Bust blemishes Hormones rule in this decade. And that can mean breakouts — from your period, pregnancy or stress.

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All can push oil glands into overdrive. In fact, adult acne affects 1 in 5 women between 25 and 40 years old.

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The thick lotions that kept younger skin moisturized can now clog pores — trapping oil and dead cells that mix with bacteria to create blackhe and blemishes. Even if you never had breakouts as a teen, you may get them now.

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Cycling hormones and stress can also trigger eczema a chronic condition causing red, cracked patchesas well as blotchy, itchy skin and other types of inflammation. An aesthetician can do extractions to remove sebum oily, fatty secretions associated with acne from clogged pores.

These can help clear up congested skin and remove excess oil and dry, flaky skin.

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At home: Avoid petroleum-based products and compounds with synthetic fragrances, says Evans. These can clog pores and irritate skin. Look for exfoliating ingredients like willowbark extract a natural source of salicylic acidbeta-hydroxy acid and citrus extracts, as well as fruit enzyme peels, which help oily, blemished skin. Apply a mask or peel once a week to keep skin clear. In your 40s: Stop lines, wrinkles and spots In our 20s, skin cells replenish every 28 days.

Are facials for men different than facials for women?

But by the 40s, the effects of sun damage and environmental stress slows the process to days, a delay that causes cells to build up, leaving skin dull and exaggerating fine lines and wrinkles. Were you careless about sun protection in your youth?

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That damage may show up now as deeper lines and wrinkles. Skin also may become more sensitive or blotchy at this age from sun exposure and perimenopause, the years before your periods stop. At the spa: A peel — glycolic, beta-hydroxy or enzyme — will remove the top layers of dead cells. If skin is sensitive, skip the peel and get a facial that includes antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory ingredients like pomegranategrapeseed or rose-hip extract, green tea or vitamin CJaliman advises.

Facials with skin-lightening ingredients like licorice extract glycyrrhizinatesoy proteins or Indian gooseberry can reduce hyperpigmentation.

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And hydrating masks will help soften lines and wrinkles. At home: Exfoliate at least three times per week — less often if skin is sensitive — to get a glow back.

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Not only does this slough off dead cells, moisturizers also penetrate better. If skin is dry, add a weekly moisturizing mask and daily serum to your regimen. Serums contain highly concentrated antioxidant ingredients like retinol vitamin A to reverse sun damage, or rosehip oil vitamin C to moisturize. Also, look for skin-care products with active ingredients such as peptides, retinol, vitamin C and antioxidants like green tea and resveratrol, says Jaliman. These increase blood flow to cells and collagen production, and protect against free-radical molecules that damage cells.

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In your 50s: Maintain elasticity and tone Because of estrogen loss in menopause, middle-age skin produces less collagen, which can leave it thinner and drier, with a lot less elasticity than in your youth. Treatments with sea plants — like seaweed and algae — are rich in vitamins and trace minerals that firm and hydrate skin.

At home: Look for intensive moisturizing ingredients and nourishing oils evening primrose, sea buckthorn, carrot seed, borage and geranium to plump up and deliver antioxidant vitamins A and C to thin, dry skin. These kick-start the skin-renewal process and collagen and elastin production. Firming creams with seaweed or algae-based ingredients also deliver nourishing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and help prevent the breakdown of elastin fibers.

If your skin is papery-dry, apply serum first, then layer a moisturizing cream on top.

What’s the best facial for your age?

Health Topics. Health Tools. Medically Reviewed.

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