Beauty Trend to Try: A Back Facial

You get regular facials to purify the skin on your face. But do you take as much care with the skin on other areas of your body? The skin on your back can be especially prone to breakouts, blackheads, clogged pores, and other imperfections, and it can also be difficult to reach yourself. That's why many people invest in professional back facials (also commonly referred to as "backcials"), says Samantha Lowe, an esthetician with the Rescue Rittenhouse Spa in Philadelphia.

As the name implies, a back facial, or backcial, is a skin treatment that's done on your back instead of on your face. It usually consists of cleansing, exfoliating, extracting, and hydrating your delicate back and shoulder area, although the sequence of these techniques may vary. Some people also request other skin treatments for their backs, including microdermabrasion, electric current, chemical peels, and lasers to help address trouble spots. Lowe says most techniques that work on the face can also be used for the back.

Who Benefits From a Back Facial?

Back facials are a good option for both sexes and all ages, from teenagers to senior citizens and everyone in between. "Women and teens often deal with hormonal breakouts, while some men have problems relating to hair removal, such as ingrown hairs and clogged pores," Lowe says, making them all good candidates for this treatment. She adds that people undergoing radiation therapy who are experiencing extremely dry and peeling skin can also benefit from a back facial.

When to Get a Back Facial

How often to get a back facial depends on your circumstances. Are you looking for some extra grooming benefits before a big event or to prepare for bathing suit season, or are you dealing with back acne or some other specific problem? For regular skin care, you might get a back facial once at the start of each new season, but you'll need more frequent sessions if you have specific skin issues to treat.

What to Expect During a Back Facial

You can book a back facial at a local day spa, or ask your dermatologist for a recommendation to a qualified esthetician. Most professional back facials take about 45 minutes but the exact timing depends on what you want done. You'll usually be asked to lie on your stomach while the esthetician applies the treatment. The results of the session, and how long they will last, can depend on the condition of your back skin and what problems need to be addressed.

While back facials can give you glowing skin on your back and your shoulders, to maintain the results you'll need to take care of your skin at home in between treatments.

"Back acne can be addressed by using benzoyl peroxide-based products, while dry skin will require exfoliating and hydrating products," Lowe says, adding that with a little effort, you can keep all of your skin looking good all year long.

Samantha Lowe reviewed this article.