What is a dermatology-grade facial?
As you know, dermatology is the branch of medicine that covers diagnosing and treating skin disorders.
A dermatology-grade facial is a facial treatment designed to resolve or reduce specific problems with troubled skin. For example, a dermatology-grade facial may target problems such as acne (or acne-like conditions, eg perioral dermatitis), pigmentation problems, or sun damage.
Dermatology-grade facials are also called ‘medical facials’. Regular facials are sometimes referred to as ‘spa facials’ or ‘classic facials’ to differentiate them from dermatology-grade facials.
What’s the difference between a dermatology-grade facial and a normal facial?
There are three key differences between a dermatology-grade facial and a normal facial. A dermatology-grade facial:
- Involves a medical professional. A dermatology-grade facial is performed under the supervision of a dermatologist or aesthetic doctor or experienced aesthetic nurse, although the work may be carried out by a medical aesthetician rather than a doctor. Because of the doctor’s supervision, the facial can include the use of medical-grade products. For example, a dermatology-grade facial may use a stronger glycolic acid solution for a peel than a normal facial would use.
- Is customised to your skin’s needs. The medical professional examines you to determine your skin’s problems, then provides a customised facial treatment to resolve or improve them.
- Is more intense than a spa facial. A dermatology-grade facial typically includes harder-core treatments intended to solve specific problems. For example, you might undergo microdermabrasion to sand off the top layer of dry, dead skin cells; have microcurrent treatment to firm your skin, improve your muscle tone, and tighten your pores; or simply enjoy (or otherwise) full-on extractions of ‘comedones’ (that’s the technical term for blackheads).
Do dermatology-grade facials work?
Yes, these facials work. After a dermatology-grade facial, your skin will appear clearer, brighter, and smoother. Depending on the components of the facial, your skin may also appear tighter or lifted.
A dermatology-grade facial should give you better results than a spa facial because it is customised to deal with your skin’s problems.
How do dermatology-grade facials work?
First, you meet with the practitioner, who examines your face and determines what treatment will be most beneficial. For example, you might need a chemical peel to remove some of the outermost layer of skin and freshen up the skin’s surface; or you might need a session of intense pulsed light (IPL) to zap thread veins, break up pigmentation, or reduce sun damage.
After agreeing the details of the facial with you, the practitioner or an aesthetician colleague performs the facial. This will normally include standard spa-facial components (such as cleansing and exfoliation) as well as the dermatological components.
Why should you get a dermatology-grade facial?
There are two main reasons to get a dermatology-grade facial rather than an off-the-shelf spa facial:
- Your facial skin has problems that a spa facial alone cannot resolve.
- You suffer from any conditions that make a regular facial inadvisable. For example, if you have severe acne or rosacea, you shouldn’t have a regular facial, but a dermatology-grade facial may be beneficial.
Where can I get a dermatology-grade facial?
You can use the Find a Practitioner tool on this website to find a practitioner who provides dermatology-grade facials.
How much do dermatology-grade facials cost?
Dermatology-grade facials usually cost £150 to £500. The cost varies greatly depending on what the facial involves and the problem or problems it is intended to solve.
How long to dermatology-grade facials take?
The length of time varies depending on the treatment, but 30 to 90 minutes is typical for a dermatology-grade facial.
How long to dermatology-grade facials last?
How long the effects of a dermatology-grade facial last depend on the components of the facial, but roughly four to six weeks is normal.
What should I do (or not do) after a dermatology-grade facial?
After a dermatology-grade facial, you’ll need to follow the practitioner’s skincare recommendations in order to get the best long-term results. The details will vary depending on your treatment, but here are some examples:
- Wash your face gently. For the first few days, be careful when washing, because your skin will be sensitive.
- Avoid face scrubs and exfoliators. Don’t use scrubs or exfoliators until your skin has recovered from the facial.
- Go easy on the makeup. Let your skin recover before applying heavy makeup.
- Wait a day or two before working out. Working out vigorously may irritate your skin.
- Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is good not only for your body but also for your skin.
- Avoid sun exposure. Your skin will be more vulnerable to the sun after the facial, so use SPF50 religiously and avoid direct sunlight.
Are there any side effects to dermatology-grade facials?
Even though a dermatology-grade facial includes more challenging components, it should have minimal side effects. Immediately after the facial, your face may be flushed or reddened and may feel warm or hot. These side effects should pass within a few hours.
How often should I have a dermatology-grade facial?
This too will vary depending on the details of the treatment.
Your practitioner will likely recommend repeating the facial at a suitable interval, such as once every month or once every three months.
What is it like to have a dermatology-grade facial?
Your dermatology-grade facial will be customised to your skin’s needs, so it’s hard to generalise about what your experience of the facial will be like.
But in general, because a dermatology-grade facial is more intense than a spa facial and includes medical components, the facial will not feel like a pampering or relaxing treatment, and may involve some discomfort. Approaching the facial with a suitable mindset will help you get the most out of the treatment, even if you don’t exactly enjoy it!