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  5. Facial Versus Clean-up: What’s The Difference?

Are you just starting out on the facials and clean-up routine? Then, you probably have a thousand questions in your mind - from which one is more effective, to which one you should go for or what’s the basic difference between the two.

Even if you’ve had some experience, you should know when you should opt for a clean-up and which skin type is facial suitable for. We bring you all the details and explain why facials and clean-ups should be part of your skincare routine.

What Is A Facial Exactly?

One of the best ways to nourish and pamper your skin is a facial. A facial cleans your skin, removes dirt and bacteria while exfoliating and gives your skin added moisture, blood circulation and essential nutrients with the help of massage and face pack.

A properly-done facial will leave you with fresh, younger looking, hydrated and rejuvenated skin. If you have a good skincare routine in place, and you indulge in a facial every month, your skin will look and feel better for longer.

Facials typically include cleansing exfoliation, steaming, deep pore extraction, massage and face mask or pack and cleansing at the end. Some salons are particular about their clients’ preferences and might ask for details such as your skin problems, brands and categories of skincare products used. They also ask if you are on any medication and the outcome you want from the facial.

Depending on your skin type and time of day, the beautician may apply a serum, toner or a moisturiser with SPF post a facial session. Some salons even give post-facial skincare tips and recommend products you can use.

Pro Tip:

If you have very sensitive skin, inform the therapist beforehand and insist on using mild products. Also, ask them to skip the exfoliation step if they are doing it with physical scrubs, to avoid breakouts. Mild chemical exfoliation is safer.

What Is A Clean-Up Exactly?

A clean-up focusses on giving the skin a thorough cleansing. It helps in getting rid of all the built-up dirt, dead skin cells, excess oil and sebum that gets collected on the top layer of the skin. Once the skin is clean, it is easily able to absorb the nutrients from the moisturiser that you use.

A clean-up includes deep cleansing, exfoliating, giving steam to the face followed by removing all the whiteheads and blackheads. Sometimes, a soothing gel is applied after this process.

What Is The Difference Between A Facial And A Clean-Up?



Includes a massage.

Doesn’t include a massage.

Deep cleansing, exfoliating, steam, removal of blackheads is followed by a massage with a moisturiser and application of face pack.

Ends after the removal of blackheads, post the deep cleansing, exfoliating, steam and removal of blackheads.

A good facial takes at least 60-90 minutes.

Costs less than a facial.

Should be done once a month or once in six weeks. Or, at least a minimum of four times a year.

Should be done once in two weeks if possible, and whenever you are outdoors for long hours.

A good facial takes at least 60-90 minutes.

Clean-ups don’t go beyond half an hour to 45 minutes.

Special products based on your skin type are used.

Usually, generic products are used, unless you have sensitive skin or are allergic to a product or ingredient.

Serum and/or sunscreen is applied at the end.

No product is applied after the clean-up usually.

Variety of facials available based on skin type, product based or need based such as a hydrating facial, anti-ageing facial etc.

Not much of a range is available in the kind of clean-ups offered.

Might need a consultation and list of products used; problems to be addressed etc.

Consultation not required.

Needs to be done by a professional at a salon.

Can be done by yourself at home or with the help of someone.

Chemical peels may be included as part of the facial.

Chemical peels not included.

Can be availed by men and women.

Can be availed by men and women.

Wrapping Up

A facial can be a relaxing experience, even as your skin gets some much-needed TLC. If you choose the right one, based on your skin type, it will give you younger-looking skin. If you are short on time, a clean-up is a good option to go for.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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