A facial is a family of skincare treatments for the face including a steam, exfoliation, extraction, creams, lotions, facial masks, peels and facial massage.

A facial cleanses, exfoliates and nourishes the skin to help get a clear, well-hydrated complexion and can help your skin look younger.

It generally gives you a new glow and leaves one’s skin feeling smooth, refreshed and renewed.

It's best to try multiple treatments to get the desired results.

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Have your skin analysed by a professional first and find out which type of facial is best for your concerns and needs.

Medical facial

This treatment is great for stressed-out skin and people with skin issues. Patients needing treatment for acne, rosacea, blocked pores or other skin concerns will benefit.

They're performed in dermatologist's rooms by an aesthetician and under the dermatologist's supervision. More and more dermatologists are hiring aestheticians to perform such services.

Spa facial

These are performed by a beautician and perfect for a patient that needs some relaxation along with skin rejuvenation. Facials are the third most popular service at spas nationwide, after massages and nail care according to the International Spa Association.

Dermatologists are wary of facials that aren’t customised. It’s dangerous for a patient to pick a treatment without complete skin analysis. One-fits-all recipes where the aesthetician may not even do an initial skin assessment can backfire.

Ideally, get a facial monthly because that's how long it takes the skin to regenerate.

People get facials for different reasons such as correcting skin flaws such as acne, scars, and wrinkles, removing blackheads and/or treating pigmentation. Others start taking care of their skin in their 20s to preserve a youthful look. Older people want some help with anti-ageing regimens.

A facial works best when it is part of an ongoing programme of skincare. If that facial doesn’t have active ingredients for what you want, it’s not worth it. Ideally, get a facial monthly because that's how long it takes the skin to regenerate.

"I recently took up a 12 week skin challenge with Nimue. After a few weeks of using one skincare brand and going for monthly facials I could really see the difference. My skin was always good but lacked hydration. After I had my skin assessed by the experts at Nimue, I was provided with products suited to my skin and recommended facials that suit my skin needs. It has been a true awakening to me to see the beauty of products and facials working together to create skin that doesn't even now require foundation." - Marisa Crous, W24 beauty editor

If you can't go monthly, try to have a facial at least four times a year, as the seasons change. You may need it more frequently if you are trying to clear up a case of acne, especially at the beginning.

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Visit a dermatologist for even the most straightforward facials or peels if you think you might be at a higher risk for adverse side effects. Those with darker skins or a history of scarring should be more cautious and seek out a dermatologist before trying any treatments.

The best spots to go for facials (that won't cost you more than rent):

Life Day Spa in Rosebank, Joburg and at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Skin Renewal in Parkhurst, Joburg

Environ in Bree Street, Cape Town

Glasshouse Rejuvenation in the Silo District, Cape Town

The Skin Bar in Durban