Only in LA, baby.
If you’re looking to show your skin some major TLC, look no further than therapeutic skin coach Hayley Wood. Her specialty? Intuitive facials. I recently put her services to the test. Play the video above or keep reading to learn how it went down.
Why Is It Important To Get Facials?
“I compare a facial to a really good dental cleaning,” Hayley tells us. “You can do the brushing and the flossing at home, but it’s really important to get integrative care and analysis from a professional who knows what to look for in terms of preventative care.”
How Often Should We Get Facials?
In a perfect world, once a month would be ideal. Our natural cell turnover is every 28 to 31 days, so this allows you to sync to your natural rhythm. If you have an inflammatory condition like acne, you might want to come in more often to get the regenerative skin cycle functioning optimally. However, if monthly facials are’t in your budget, Hayley suggests at least getting a quarterly facial to keep your skin in peak condition.
What Is An Intuitive Facial, Exactly?
When she worked as an esthetician at a spa, Hayley had to follow the same protocol for every person. In her independent practice, she wants to give a more integrative approach. “When people ask what makes me different as an esthetician, I describe myself as a therapeutic skin coach. I give people homework. I coach them. I’m super supportive with whatever they’re going through. It’s honestly like a therapy session in which you get a facial with me. We get to know what’s causing any stress. Then, I help you remove whatever those blocks are to achieve the best skin.”
But Hayley also helps her clients develop their own intuition in caring for their skin. “When somebody has a skin concern, they can usually tune into what that root cause is. A lot of times, I just help empower them to do that.”
Before My Appointment
After booking my appointment, I receive an intake form. I expect it to ask about my problem areas and skincare routine, but this thing is seriously thorough. It asks what I do for a living, where I grew up, if I’m on hormonal birth control, what my diet is like, how much sleep I get, what my fitness routine includes, etc. Only at the very end does it ask about my current skincare routine. Then, best of all, it asks what my skincare goals are.
I explain that I’ve been breaking out on my cheeks and chin. Even as I’m filling out the detailed life inventory, I start to pick up on the different stressors and changes to which my skin may be reacting.
My Intuitive Facial Experience
On the day of the facial, I walk into Hayley’s space and immediately dig the vibe. She has one of those swoon-worthy green filled spaces I only thought existed on Instagram. She gives me a moment of privacy to remove my shirt and get settled on the table under a blanket, which has a warm heating pad to make things extra cozy.
Over the next hour Hayley steams, cleanses, tones, and moisturizes my skin with different all-natural skincare products. Most are OSEA, but I recognize the smell of a Living Libations oil in the mix, too. She takes a look at my skin and my areas of concern, and says that it looks more like congestion than acne. “Most of the time, it’s a lowered immunity that causes blockages in our lymphatic system that creates the kind of congestion you’re experiencing.”
When we get to extractions, Hayley encourages me to communicate my needs if it ever gets to be too much and reminds me to breathe throughout. She definitely gets in there but is much more gentle with her touch than I ever am when attempting extractions at home. (My homework from Hayley includes not attempting this anymore!)
Next, we do some exfoliating with an ultrasonic spatula and a microdermabrasion treatment followed by an intuitive facial specialty: yin and yang rolling. The roller is similar to a jade roller in design but each end has a different texture. One side works on an excess of yang, such as infection or surface blood flow that needs to be pushed out. They other side works on an excess of yin, including deep-set wrinkles, scarring, or hyperpigmentation. (I have an excess of yang.)
Then, Hayley gives me an incredibly relaxing lymphatic facial massage. “When you get a nice facial massage, you realize how much tension you hold in the skin. This is just me breaking up any of the muscles that are constantly working, giving them a break and a little love so we can get some good oxygen flow in there.”
After massaging my face, she gets me set up with a LED-light mask, which makes me feel a little bit like a DJ at a rave. Hayley puts on red light first to promote fresh collagen and cellular repair in the skin. Then, she briefly switches on a blue light to oxygenate the skin and to help with any residual infection. As the light mask does its thing, I get to enjoy some gentle yin raking across my scalp and also a nice hand and arm massage.
Finally, she uses a cooling device on my skin to calm any inflammation before she sends me back into the world. She reminds me to drink lots of water, change my pillowcase, and avoid sugar or other inflammatory foods for the rest of the day. My intuitive facial is complete!
Intuitive Facial Results
When I return to the office, my co-workers are amazed that my skin looks so calm. They even ask if we did extractions.
That day, Hayley emails back my intake form with in-depth comments for all of my responses. True to promise, she gives me homework. I get a simple morning and evening routine to follow with specific product recommendations. She also touches on many lifestyle changes that will encourage holistic skincare, like eliminating stress and not self-shaming your skin when it’s out of balance.
Over the next few weeks, there’s a noticeable difference in my skin. It’s much smoother in texture and feels less congested. In fact, it reminds me of the effortless skin I had in college.
In her appointment follow-up, Hayley recommends coming back in four weeks for another facial, so I do. Frankly, I can’t imagine intuitive facials not being a seasonal part of my skincare routine going forward.