If you ask me, this year is actually moving way too fast. It feels like we're still recovering from the hangover of Inauguration Day but, alas — summer is officially upon us. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably past due for some summer lounging. But before you lather on the sunscreen, it might be time for a back facial. I know what you're thinking: what is a back facial?
As a Southern California resident, you can basically find me poolside from April to October. And since I spend so much time taking care of the skin on my face, I've always wished there were similar routines available care for the skin on my body. Well, good news — back facials officially exist and it's basically the the feeling of a massage gloriously combined with the cleansing power of a facial, just on your back. Can you imagine anything more incredible?
I had the opportunity to go to the ZO Skin Centre in Beverly Hills to try out a back facial myself and it was even more luxurious than expected. I sipped on some berry-infused water while filling out some forms about my skin type and problem areas. I then met esthetician Katie Hasiak, who was super friendly and definitely made me feel less weird about the fact that she would soon be scouring my back.
To be completely honest, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I was mostly hoping to leave with glowing, radiant skin like Ashley Graham. And while I don't particularly struggle with bad back acne anymore, the occasional blemish will pop up here and there. Unfortunately, my beautiful Egyptian olive skin is prone to scarring, leaving me with unwanted remnants of acne past.
Hasiak explained the process to me, and pointed out that we all take extreme care of our faces — truly, if you stacked all the serums in my bathroom, you could climb to the moon — but backs are much more difficult to reach. Therefore, back facials help clean and exfoliate those hard-to-reach places.
So, I laid down and things got super interesting. Imagine a typical spa massage but with a lot more mystery. Hasiak later explained that, after a thorough cleanse and exfoliation, she applied a lactic acid peel, which actually hydrates skin. From there, an enzyme peel is applied to remove any excess oil or "debris." While the peel is doing its magic, steam gently coats your back to open up the pores and prep for extractions. (Yes, that's right. Extractions aren't only just for face facials.)
Once the extractions are complete, a final mask is applied to really give your skin a nice glow. To finish it off, the facial is completed with some LED therapy to either kill bacteria or provide healing properties, depending on each person's individual needs.
When it was all done, it was truly a challenge to stand because I was so relaxed. My skin looked super fresh and, while I didn't see any immediate improvement on the scarring, I must admit that I very nearly achieved an Ashley Graham-level glow. To achieve ultimate results, Hasiak recommended a back facial once a month, year-round. For the glow-factor alone, I'd definitely do it again.