woman getting a facial at the spa

Facials for Every Skin Type

woman getting a facial at the spa
Valua Vitaly – stock.adobe.com

A guide to what kind of facial matches your client’s skin type

No two people’s skin is exactly the same. As an esthetician, knowing the main types of skin and what kind of facials suit each is imperative.

Skin type is determined by genetics. However, a person’s skin type can change based on lifestyle, environmental factors, hormones, and age. The medical field has several different systems for categorizing skin types. In the cosmetic field, skin is classified by sebaceous secretion, hydration, and sensitivity level. Within this system, healthy people’s skin falls into one of five categories: normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive.

The best way to learn about facials in-depth is through skin care esthetician school. For now, let’s take a look at the main skin categories and the right facial to give each one.

Normal Skin 

Normal skin is kind of a misnomer. It refers to skin that is neither too dry nor too oily, has no apparent imperfections, and does not need special care. Needless to say, many people are not lucky enough to have “normal skin,” so perhaps “balanced skin” would be a more accurate name. As an esthetician, you will want to steer your clients toward having normal skin.

Since normal skin does not need to be altered, you can feel free to give such clients any type of facial that is relaxing to them. Fragrances may be used. 

All facials combine different levels of cleansing, exfoliation, and moisturizing. Perform these treatments to make the client’s skin even cleaner and more hydrated than it already is. 

Oily Skin

Oily skin often appears in younger people, especially adolescents. It is common in this age group because its underlying cause, excessive fat production by the sebaceous glands, is usually tied to hormonal issues. Oily skin looks bright and red as a result of clogged pores. It is often accompanied by acne.

An oily skin facial should include an exfoliant like glycolic acid that will help open up pores and calm acne. However, it is important not to over-dry or irritate oily skin, so balance out exfoliation with some degree of soothing moisturizer. 

Dry Skin 

In many cases, dry skin is the result of environmental factors, such as cold weather and dry air. These factors are temporary. However, due to genetics, some people experience lifelong dry skin, resulting in conditions such as eczema. Dry skin may crack or peel and is often itchy and painful.

The lack of oil in dry skin can lead to a buildup of dead skin cells. Gentle exfoliation followed by a deep moisturizing mask will help make the skin healthier and more hydrated.

Combination Skin 

Many people naturally have combination skin, meaning their skin is oily in some places and dry or normal in others. Often, the oily skin is located in the “T-zone:” across the forehead and down the nose, mouth and chin area. This comes from having unevenly distributed sebaceous and sweat glands. 

For a combination skin facial, treat each area of the face according to its specific needs. If needed, perform extractions on oily areas of the face. Chemical peels can be effective as well. 

Sensitive Skin 

Also known as “irritated skin,” sensitive skin is fragile. People with sensitive skin may experience redness, tingling, heat and rashes. Sensitive skin lacks a protective barrier, which makes it easier for dirt, pollutants and microorganisms to enter.

A sensitive skin facial requires mild enzymes and cleaners that are fragrance-free. Be mindful to apply appropriate amounts of each product, as too much of even a mild treatment may overwhelm sensitive skin.

woman getting a facial at the spa
Valua Vitaly – stock.adobe.com

Knowing how to identify and meet each client’s individual needs is a key part of being an esthetician. Skin care classes for estheticians are a great way to learn about this area. Search for “skin care school near me” to learn more.

About the Author

Jeff Chiarelli
Jeff Chiarelli is the Head of Marketing for Ogle School. His responsibilities include leading Ogle School's marketing and branding strategy to amplify Ogle School's passion for helping create future beauty professionals in the communities Ogle School serves.