When you think about who gets a facial, what type of person comes to mind first? It’s probably not a teenager! If you’ve been following the skin care department at Watershed Wellness, you know we serve a population that considers skin care a basic health right.
In our new blog series, we’re going to discuss the two most underserved demographics in terms of skin care—teens and men. First up, teens.
Teens get facials? Absolutely.
The foundation of a facial has deep roots in ancient medicines, including both East Asian Medicine and Ayurveda. More recently, we have viewed facials as a luxurious spa treatment. In 2021, the classic facial has evolved into something much more therapeutic and treatment-focused.
We’re seeing fewer clients interested in a mental check-out and more people are showing up to address deeper concerns. If you remember your teenage years, you’re probably recalling a regimen of Noxema, St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub. Skin care for teens looks similar these days, in the sense that they’re addressing the same issues, however the products look a little different.
Estheticians provide focused treatments that help many common skin care concerns and with our teenage clients, they’re encountering skin issues for the first time.
They’re curious about whichever product is hot off the TikTok/Instagram circuit, or that a friend recommends. Instead of following the latest fads and trends online that might make teenage skin issues worse, consulting someone who’s seen it all and helped many teenagers work through their skin care needs can be invaluable at this often vulnerable time of life.
What types of issues are teens facing?
Combine a big influx of hormones with stress and you’ve got the perfect recipe for congestion. Many factors can cause and aggravate whiteheads, blackheads, and cystic acne. Having a teen in for a facial means they can have extractions performed, as well as have the conversation of how to prevent breakouts at home. Managing expectations and presenting options for a problem that affects the self-esteem of a teenager is part of the facial process. Sometimes breakouts can’t be prevented, and we’ll let you know if a dermatologist would be the best next step.
Structure and routine
Teenage years are the formative years, and lay the groundwork for future habits. Now is a great time to put good habits and structure into place. Easier said than done, right? At-home skin care routines look different for every person, but teaching teens the importance of good personal hygiene is necessary! At this age, it’s advisable to at least get them to wash their face in the shower.
Beyond that, getting them into some sort of lightweight finishing product that addresses their specific needs is a great way to get them started. This could look like a moisturizer (bonus points if it contains SPF), or even just a serum or a toner to address any concerns of oiliness or breakouts. All of this is best advised by a skin care professional—often, we see this demographic is more likely to listen to a professional than a parent for skin care advice.
Measuring up to their friends/classmates
Teens are in a time of their lives where acceptance and approval from their peers is crucial to their existence. Regarding skin care, teens are looking for a couple of things when it comes to peer approval: they want an acne-free face, and they want to feel good about themselves. Booking a facial for a teen gives them a chance to learn more about their skin, as well as get them acquainted with a skin care term or two that they’ve been curious about.
In social media, we are seeing “influencers” talk about peels, jelly masks, jade rollers, homeopathic treatments for breakouts—even 24kt gold face masks! It’s rewarding to step in as a skin care professional, and have honest (and fun) conversations about how these trends can be practically implemented into a teen skin care routine.
What does a teen facial look like?
- A teen facial involves less of the traditional spa elements (massage, energy work, pressure point techniques, etc.), and more of the practical applications to a treatment. Double-cleansing, toning, extractions, and exfoliation are always present.Double-cleansing sets the pace for the facial, and is a great time to explain why cleansing the face every day is important. Extractions are usually necessary, and also a good time to ask any “leading” questions about their skin in order to help them learn more about their actual skin type.
- We’ll ask questions like “Does your skin feel oily or dry when you wake up?” or “Do you feel like your skin burns or tans easily when you spend time outside?” These questions keep the conversation educational and distract the client from the extractions—sort of like when your nurse might ask you about your fun summer plans as they’re getting ready to give you a shot. With exfoliation, teens seem to prefer a physical scrub as opposed to a chemical/enzymatic peel, as it leaves them with a freshly buffed and clean sensation.
- The best part about these foundational teen facials is that they’ll be able to ask questions about their skin in a judgement free zone. It’s normal for teens to feel self-conscious about their skin and we’re here to help them understand the best ways for them to feel good in their skin.