There’s no denying that life gets busy, but we all know that when we take the time to give our skin the TLC it deserves, the more we get out of it. Think: suppleness, glow, and healthy hydration. One of the ways that you can give your skin a complete, glowy reset is by investing in facials. Though many of us are in the camp that facials are more of a rare indulgence, Sunday Riley facialist Neringa Sutkute convinces us that making them a part of our regular routine allows us to put our best face forward.
Meet the Experts
Neringa Sutkute is a Sunday Riley facialist.
And, if you’ve never gotten a facial before, you’re in for a treat. Below, she chats with us about what to expect during your first facial — Sunday Riley style — and its effects on your skin.
What is a facial?
A facial is designed to help improve the appearance and health of your skin with a multistep process of cleansing, exfoliation, hydration, extraction, and massage. And in the hands of a trained professional, these treatments are also a great way to relax both your mind and your stress-ed-out skin in a way that might be trickier to do yourself at home with the same technique and results.
How do I prepare for a facial?
“If it’s your very first time, I would probably advise to stop using more active ingredients such as retinoids a week before, especially if it’s a prescriptive or high-strength retinoid. You don’t want the skin to be oversensitized before the first facial. The same applies to your exfoliant. I think it’s always best to keep your routine before a facial on the safe side, especially if you don’t know how your skin typically reacts after a facial. After you do several facials, you can see what your skin will tolerate and what it can’t both before and after the facial. Also, be mindful of anything like waxing, any invasive treatments, peels, lasers, or microneedling. If those are a regular part of your routine, make sure to do them a few weeks before your facial,” says Sutkute.
What can I expect from my first facial?
Every facial should start with a consultation with your aesthetician to determine your skin type, your skin concerns/goals, and discuss your lifestyle. “I’d want to know lifestyle influences such as if you’re always in an office where the heat runs in the winter, which can lead to dehydration issues, or if you live on coffee, that can lead to the same issues. And, of course, we’d discuss allergies, any medications you’re on and review your current skincare routine, which helps me to see what are the missing pieces in your routine product wise, to see how we can reach your skincare goals from the use of products and treatments,” says Sutkute.
Here’s what you can generally anticipate out of a Sunday Riley-specific facial (currently available at Sunday Riley Spa Hershesons Fitzrovia in London, Liberty Spa in London, and Galeries Lafayette in Paris) that focuses on brightening the skin:
- Cleansing: “We always start with a cleanse using Sunday Riley Blue Moon Cleansing Balm. Then, I do a double-cleanse with Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser to remove any remaining dirt and pollution and pull in critical hydration to the skin,” says Sutkute.
- Exfoliation: “We mist the skin with Sunday Riley Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence. This is a thirst-quenching prebiotic shot for the skin that uses a blend of peptides to help resurface and firm the look of the skin. It’s rich in fermented ingredients, which help support the skin’s microbiome. Then, we’ll follow up with Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment for a gentle exfoliation,” she says. This multitasker visibly brightens the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation while sloughing off dead skin cells thanks to powerful, purified-grade lactic acid.
- Treatment: Depending on your skin’s needs, this step can involve steam and/or extractions to clear out each individual clogged pore that can lead to congestion and inflamed breakouts. Your aesthetician could do this by hand but will likely use a special metal extractor tool for precision and cleanliness. “What we do prior to extraction is that we steam the skin really well to soften it before extracting. After thorough extractions, we use LED light to calm any inflammation,” she says. If hydration is your goal, Sutkute likes to use a custom-blend mask: “I love mixing Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream, which is rich and moisturizing with Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Face Oil. I use a generous amount, so it can be left on the skin for a few minutes as a mask to aid in brightness and hydration. Then, I take it all off with a hot cloth before I apply Sunday Riley C.E.O. Brightening Serum, and I let that absorb into the skin,” she says.
- Massage: Arguably, the best part of a facial is the massage, which includes the face, neck, and often the upper chest to improve lymphatic drainage. Sutkute then gets into a message with her hands, which we can only describe as a transcendental experience — a mix of super-sonic speed movements to get the blood flowing and more relaxing, rhythmic motions. “The lymphatic system is our body’s natural waste disposal unit, which works along with the circulatory system, though the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump, so it relies on exercise, dry brushing, sweating, or another type of movement such as massage. That’s why a massage is very important to encourage movement of the lymph to encourage detoxification, oxygenate the skin cells and bring vital nutrients to the skin’s surface, giving it that lovely glow appearance. In addition to lymphatic drainage, I also do sculpting techniques by using dynamic movements with more of a medium to deeper pressure to manipulate the muscles. I then use our skin cooling Cryotherapy device at -162 degrees to de-puff, calm the appearance of surface redness, and add more toning effect to the skin. So when used along with Sunday Riley skincare, it leaves the skin feeling tighter, with an incredible radiance and smoothness to match,” she says.
- Moisture and protection: “I finish the facial off with Sunday Riley C.E.O. Afterglow Vitamin C Gel Cream,” she says. This moisturizer is made with advanced vitamin C (THD ascorbate) to visibly brighten the look of your skin in less than a week and provide all-day luminosity to your skin. “The last steps are Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream to improve the appearance of dark circles and fine lines around the eyes, plus Sunday Riley Light Hearted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen for UV protection,” she adds.
What are the benefits of a facial?
Getting a facial is about the process of self-care and treating your skin and mind, but it’s also an opportunity to chat with an expert about the real needs of your skin, instead of playing a guessing game of experimenting with products at home. “Aestheticians can step in and guide you to what your skin needs. It is important to understand what your skin needs are, with all the contributing factors taken in mind which can have an effect on the health of our skin. Think of a facial as an in-depth personal training session. We’re getting everything moving with a clearer direction. There’s also a connection with the mind & body, with a big focus right now on our overall well-being and how it is connected to the appearance of our skin,” she says.
Even if you don’t have problematic skin (lucky you!), you can still reap the benefits of a facial: “It’s a pick-me-up, no matter your skin type. But if you don’t have any particular skin concerns, you may not need to get a facial as often. If someone’s struggling with acne, congestion, fine lines, or pigmentation, that’s when you probably need more regular treatments — perhaps every four to eight weeks to get the skin in a good place. I like to always think facials are a very bespoke, individual thing. So it does vary case by case,” says Sutkute.
Are there any side effects?
“Generally, after Sunday Riley facial you should only expect an incredible glow to your skin, so no visible downtime. Even after thorough extractions, there would only be a little surface redness which is to be expected,” she says. “You might sometimes experience purging if something was brewing underneath your skin, as a facial can speed up that regenerative process. But that’s not normally the case. If you’re experiencing redness that doesn’t go away after about a day, flaking or itching, you should reach out to your dermatologist as perhaps you’re reacting to an ingredient or product.”
How do I take care of my skin when I get home?
“Avoid exfoliation for the next few days. If your skin is super sensitive, you may want to steer clear of any active ingredient to give your skin some time to rest. After a facial at night, I’d say do a gentle cleanse, use a vitamin C serum, and apply a skin-soothing moisturizer to keep it nice and simple. However, most can resume back to their regular routine the next day,” she says.
Where can I book a facial?
Ready to take your skincare to the next level? If you’re local to the U.K., check out our list of signature facial services, which incorporate our best-selling products including ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream, to achieve a glowing and restored complexion. Book your facial at Liberty London here.
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