Winter is fraught with health risks as viruses and the common cold make the rounds through schools, offices and families.

The threat to a person’s skin, the body’s largest and most vulnerable organ, increases in the winter as well.

Shawnda Miller, lead instructor at the College for Technical Education cosmetology school in Winchester, said there are several benefits of facials, not the least of which is better care for your skin.

A person’s skin is the organ most exposed to ultraviolet rays year-round. Winter brings additional dangers from dry air, wind and cold temperatures.

One key thing is to keep drinking water as well as using a daily moisturizer, which adds moisture to the skin, Miller said. Using the right type of moisturizer for your skin, whether dry, oily or a combination, is critical, she said.

Sunscreen is still important in winter, though people tend to overlook it, she said. While people may not be outside sunbathing, the dangers from exposure remain. If there is snow on the ground, it increases exposure as it reflects the sunlight.

“The sun doesn’t change from summer to winter,” CTE Director Brenda Evans said. “Getting a facial and the massage of the face and scalp and neck can really help.”

Regular massages, including facials, can help take care of your skin. The process involves a cleansing, opening and closing the skin pores as well as a bit of relaxation as well. Facials also offer some anti-aging benefits.

The process can take about 15 minutes, with the client lying on a massage table, with dim lighting and soft music in the room.

“We would start with cleaning the face,” Miller said. “After that we remove the cleanser and use warm towels to open the pores. Then we use a toner to close the pores.”

The final step is a massage of the face, scalp, shoulders and the back of the neck, which get tight from stress, she said.

“If the client prefers, we can do a warm towel on the back of the neck,” Miller said. “That’s my favorite part.”

Some of the benefits of facials include:

Cleansing: A cleansing facial helps reduce an overabundance of sebum, a natural substance that moisturizes and lubricates the skin. Overproduction of sebum can cause skin problems, such as blackheads and acne. Cleansing facials open the pores, remove dead skin and toxins from the face and clean the surface of the skin through exfoliation that tightens and firms. 

Increasing circulation: Facial treatments help improve and restore circulation to facial skin layers, which increase the flow of oxygen-enriched blood to skin cells. This rush of blood to the skin gives a healthy glow and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

Anti-aging: Regular facials promote cell turnover, boost collagen production and maintain healthy skin balance — all of which are great anti-aging remedies. A facial helps improve dry and oily skin and rejuvenate skin that has begun to mature or appear less than tight. 

Relaxation: A facial massages the skin across the forehead, cheeks and chin and often uses nourishing oils that absorb into the skin as the muscles in the face release tension and soften.

A proper facial can be part of an overall skin care plan.

“Monthly would be great, especially for someone with extra dry skin,” Miller said. “It even helps with circulation.”

“It’s not all girl stuff,” Evans said. “It has to come down to health.” §


College for Technical Education is located at 2135 Bypass Road. Salon hours are 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information about facials and skin care or to book an appointment, call 744-3361.