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How does getting your back exfoliated with a diamond-tipped wand followed by a customized mask sound? Strange? Maybe. Excellent? Absolutely. Did I mention that there is zero downtime afterward (i.e. no redness, irritation, or healing time necessary)? If you aren’t intrigued by now, you should be. This new treatment is a total game-changer for a part of your body often neglected and forgotten about. It's great for skin health and a little pampering, but also useful special occasions (back-less clothing, etc).
Before we dive into the treatment itself, here is a little background on why back facials became so popular as of late. When COVID-19 hit and in-office facials were prohibited, salons brainstormed a helpful way to improvise. With this came the emergence of back facials. A mask can safely be worn while an esthetician exfoliates, extracts, plumps, and hydrates the skin along your back.
When I first heard about it, I was intrigued and filled with questions. Would this be similar to a massage? What did the treatment entail? And the real burning question: Is it even worth it? I took the plunge and decided to find out. Fast-forward to now, I can’t stop talking about this treatment and I will definitely get it again. Read on for my honest experience getting a back facial.
What Is a Back Facial?
This treatment includes cleansing, microdermabrasion, exfoliating, extractions, a customized mask, a high-frequency treatment, and an infusion of medical-grade oxygen. “I’ve been encouraging everyone to take care of the skin on their bodies," Joanna Vargas, a celebrity facialist and the founder of Joanna Vargas salons says. She adds, "Just like the skin on your face, your back needs love, too. Taking care of your skin will keep it soft, hydrated, clear, and firm for years to come.”
What Is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive exfoliating technique that aims to improve the texture and quality of the skin by removing the superficial and inactive outer cell layers, thus promoting cell regeneration. There are two different types: Crystal microdermabrasion uses a gentle flow of ultra-fine crystals targeting the face and diamond microdermabrasion uses a wand tipped with a laser-cut diamond.
What to Expect During a Back Facial
Done in Joanna Vargas’s Salons, a back facial consists of seven steps that work together to help you achieve maximum results.
The cleanse: To start, the facial began with usage of Joanna’s Vitamin C Face Wash to prep the skin. It lathered super luxuriously and smelled crisp and citrusy.
The microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion gives a physical exfoliation to remove dead skin cells using the diamond-tipped wand. The pressure is adjustable for a person’s skin type and different areas of the face. “It’s great for a deep exfoliation, fine lines, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars. It also increases blood flow near the surface of the skin, which helps stimulate the growth of collagen. This, in turn, improves your skin’s elasticity, which makes you look visibly younger," she says. Vargas continues, “As I move the wand across the skin, a gentle vacuum within the wand sucks up the dead skin cells. There’s no mess, just a deep exfoliation.”
The extractions: After my skin was fully exfoliated and all the dead skin was gone, then came the extractions to clean my pores and remove the build-up of keratin. “Extractions are important because they help the skin heel," explains Vargas. These two parts of the facial are the most crucial to giving your back that glow. As with a regular facial, all the components of a back facial are intended to make your back look and feel great. It’s an area that is commonly forgotten and could always use a little extra care.
The customized mask: Each facial comes with a customized mask catered to your specific skin needs.“The ingredients for the mask we choose will address any concerns specific to your unique skin (things like hydrating, calming, acne, etc.),” explains Vargas. “For instance, the masks contain salicylic acid to help with acne, shea butter for hydration, or grape seed oil for its antioxidant properties.”
The high-frequency treatment: Following the customized mask is a high frequency treatment. “The high frequency treatment works to reduce inflammation and kills bacteria—so, it’s used as a way of calming the skin after extraction,” notes Vargas. “It ensures that the extracted areas have been prepped to heal completely.”
The medical-grade oxygen infusion: The facial ended with a medical-grade oxygen infusion to reduce inflammation, kill bacteria, and stimulate collagen production. It's combined with a serum that blends together green tea (for antioxidant protection) hyaluronic acid (for hydration), aloe (for soothing), and vitamin C (to help reduce inflammation from free radicals)," says Vargas. In other words, both will help your skin tremendously.
The Benefits of a Back Facial
- Leaves your skin soft, hydrated, and clean
- Removes a build-up of dirt, oil, keratin, and dead skin cells
- Helps heal and clear breakouts
- Reduces inflammation
- Stimulates collagen production
“The back facial is beneficial for anyone who struggles with breakouts or clogged pores on the back,” Vargas tells me. “It’s also for those who feel their skin is dry and sensitive," she adds. So, if you're planning to hit the beach, wear a backless piece of clothing, or generally want to take better care of the skin on their back.
Vargas describes the results as “glowy” and “hydrated," and I couldn’t agree more. The facial left my back looking just as radiant as my face—which is a feat because I spend so much time on my face, and barely any on my back.
Because my skin is sensitive, I did experience slight redness during the microdermabrasion part of the treatment. That said, it went away by the time the treatment was over. Vargas backs up my claims adding, “There are no negative side effects from this treatment when done correctly."
Vargas recommends using a body lotion or oil after your shower to continue to seal in moisture. In addition, she says dry brushing daily will keep your skin properly exfoliated.
The treatment pricing ranges, starting from about $100 per session, but it depends on where you go and how long your facial is. Joanna Vargas charges $200 for 60 minutes.
The Final Takeaway
This is an hour of pure bliss. Aside from a bit of discomfort during the extractions (which is totally normal), the facial felt like getting a massage. Vargas specifically catered to my back and adjusted the treatment to my needs. Although I was a bit skeptical at first, my only thought after the treatment was I need to do this again. Although it isn’t something that I’m going to do on the regular, I’ll be adding it to my self-care routine during the summer or when I have a special occasion or vacation coming up.