Riverside Orthopaedic Massage Center | Article

Surprising Benefits of Facials

Facials are popular beauty rituals, but these indulgent spa treatments may also include four surprising health benefits:

Facials Can Increase Circulation

The warm steam that is applied to the face during a facial not only helps to open pores, but it can also open blood vessels and increase circulation. Increasing circulation to the face helps bring beneficial nutrients and oxygen to the skin which in turn encourages new cell growth. [Livestrong.com] In addition to the steam, the light massage that is used to apply facial products can also increase circulation to the face and neck.

Facial Health Tip: Check with your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough for a facial treatment without the risk of bruising or more serious health complications. This is especially important if you are on any type of cardiovascular medication.

Facials May Help Reduce Blood Pressure Caused by Stress

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can temporarily raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels. The hormones that the body releases under stress can cause an increase in heart rate and a narrowing of the blood vessels. Reducing stress, anxiety, and tension can help to lower the risk of temporary spikes in blood pressure.

The calming atmosphere of the spa room, a soothing facial treatment, and just taking a few minutes to relax may help reduce the risk of short-term high blood pressure due to anxiety and stress. In addition to setting aside time for a facial treatment, lower your risk of high blood pressure by making healthy lifestyle choices, eating a balanced low-sodium diet, and exercising regularly.

Facial Health Tip: You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars at fancy salons to experience this health benefit from a facial. Set aside time once a week to do your own facial at home. Turn your bathroom into a relaxing oasis, put on some soothing music, and take a few minutes to let go of stress and pamper your skin.

Facials Can Increase Lymphatic Drainage

The lymphatic system is made up of a network of lymph nodes or glands located throughout the body, including many in the neck and chest. These glands are an integral part of the immune system and also work to drain excess fluid from parts of the body. [InnerBody.com]

During a facial, as the esthetician rubs the products into the skin around the neck and chest, the lymphatic system is stimulated. By "awakening" these lymph nodes, the body increases drainage, and helps to reduce any fluid retention in the face and upper body; this helps one receiving a facial feel and look less "puffy."

Facial Health Tip: Make sure to drink plenty of water after a facial. As your lymphatic system shifts into high gear, make sure that you hydrate to help flush out toxins that may have been released during the facial massage.

Facials Can Help Reduce Minor Congestion

The spa may be the last place you would think to go when you feel congested, however, the combination of steam and massage that accompanies many types of facials may help to reduce the pressure associated with both nasal and sinus congestion. The steam can help to open clogged nasal passages and massaging certain pressure points on the face can help to reduce sinus pressure and congestion. [Livestrong.com]

Facial Health Tip: For extra congestion relief consider treatments that use eucalyptus or peppermint essential oils. Aromatherapy treatments using these two essential oils are thought to be effective at reducing nasal congestion.