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Back Basics: the clarifying, detoxifying and relaxing Back Facial

A relaxing and detoxifying back treatment marries massage and skincare.
A relaxing and detoxifying back treatment marries massage and skincare.
Courtesy of Groupon

When considering spa treatments, most clients think of facials and massages. Few consider a body treatment which marries the positive attributes of the two; the deep cleanse and clarification of the facial, and the tissue detox and relaxation of a massage. The Back Facial, like any facial, can be customized to treat acne, sun damage and dull, aging skin.

The back is a collection plate for dirt, debris, excess sebum nad sweat. Regardless of hair length, excess product and oils, dead cells from the scalp, and environmental pollutants which have been trapped between your shirt and skin all collect on your back. For some clients, this can lead to acne and comedones (blackheads) on the shoulders and back. The exfoliation benefits of the Back Facial can provide the deep cleanse they need for clearer skin.

Sun exposure can lead to sun spots and hyperpigmentation on the back and shoulders just as it does on the face, neck, decollete and hands. While some of this damage is permanent, the Back Facial can help to lessen this discoloration. Exfoliation, followed by a treatment serum containing vitamin C and an antioxidant rich masque will brighten these spots.

Dull, aging skin can be revitalized by dry brushing, exfoliation and hydration. Working the skin, whether on your face or back, promotes a more youthful behavior in the skin. The use of products rich in peptides and growth factors will also promote healing and faster production of new cells, which in turn leads to younger looking skin.

As with a traditional facial, the cleansing is often approached with a repeated process; the first as a surface cleanse, the second as a deeper cleanse of the now exposed pores. The clients skin type and condition will dictate the type of cleanser used. The same principles applied to skincare for the face still hold true with other areas of the body.

Exfoliation in the Back Facial may occur in multiple ways: dry brushing, dry sugar or salt scrubs, wet scrubs and even chemical exfoliants such as glycolic and lactic acids. The removal of dead skin cells promotes the production of new skin cells, leaving the back smooth with a glowing complexion. Some chemical exfoliants take this process a step further by penetrating to the basil layer of the dermis and speeding up the production of cells.

The thickness of the dermis on the back sometimes requires steam and scaling solutions to allow for extractions, but for a client with comedones and breakouts on their back, these clogged pores must be opened for proper function. Solar comedones are common on the shoulders and flanks of those clients who have spent extended periods under the sun, which has essentially 'baked' the blackhead into the pore. These are the most uncomfortable blemishes to extract, but are the most neccessary for removal.

Massage, which can be incorporated into the cleansing and masquing stages of a Back Facial, also promotes healing and proper functioning in the skin. The manipulation of the skin and muscles to release and drain toxins internally can curb the processing of this waste through the skin. Not only does massage feel good and relax tension, but promotes healthy functions within the body.

The masquing process is the final stage of the treatment, pushing active ingredients into the skin for optimal results. A final respite before going back out into the world, the mask is often removed with a warm towel or gentle spray of warm water, further loosening tight miscles and promoting the release of toxins.

The skin is the body's largest organ and the face is not the only area needing care. The Back Facial is a great service which marries the benefits of a facial with the relaxation and detoxification of a massage. This customizable treatment helps with acne and breakouts, repairing discoloration from sun exposure, and giving life to dull, aging skin.

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