How Often to Have a Facial & Gel 2 Week Manicures

Dear Laurel: I’ve never had a professional facial, but as I get older I feel as though I should start getting them to help stay ahead of the aging process and the changes that I’ve been noticing in my skin.  How often do you recommend getting facials? 
Lauren ~ Woburn

Dear Lauren: How often you have a facial really depends on the condition of your skin. If you have acne or a lot of clogging like blackheads, whiteheads or milia then a facial every 2 to 3 weeks is reasonable until your skin improves. However, if your skin is fairly normal, with only the occasional breakout, then a facial every 4 to 6 weeks is ideal. The reasoning behind having a facial on this schedule is that your skin takes approximately that long for it to regenerate new skin cells. Therefore, having a facial every 4 to 6 weeks will keep you on top of any problems that may arise as the new skin cells regenerate and your skin condition changes. I realize that this can become fairly expensive, but honestly, a good facial does not have to break the bank. If you are looking for a quick maintenance type treatment for your skin, and help in getting rid of annoying clogging, then see if your esthetician offers a refresher or express facial. A refresher facial is normally more reasonably priced and will provide you with a quick pick-me-up as well as help to restore your skin to its natural glow. If you feel that this is still too costly for you, consider having a facial when the seasons change, at the very least. Although your skin is remarkably resilient to change, drastic changes in environmental conditions often leave the skin lagging and require time for it to adjust to the new conditions. Keep in mind, changes in the environment may also require you to make adjustments to the homecare products you are using so that your skin is getting the maximum results from their use.

A good facial will not only cleanse, exfoliate, and hydrate your skin, but will also give you an opportunity to have your skin analyzed. I would also recommend that your facial include some sort of exfoliation, like an AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy Acid). This will help to smooth out your skin, even out skin tone and provide the best foundation for absorption of the nutrients that are in the products being used. Likewise, I also recommend that you find a spa/esthetician that you are comfortable with who keeps accurate records concerning the history of your skin, including the products you are using at home. There are definite advantages to establishing a good relationship with your skincare professional. He or she will become familiar with your skin and therefore able to make solid recommendations for treatment. They will also be able to offer you good advice for combating whatever issues or concerns you may be having with your skin, as well as recommend products that are best suited for your particular skin type or condition. This will aid in helping to keep your skin looking its very best throughout the year.

Dear Laurel:  I have weak and peeling nails and polish only seems to last a couple of days after a manicure.  I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about a manicure where the polish stays on for up to 2 weeks and wonder if it would work for me.  Would you please provide me some additional information about this new type of manicure?
Lydia ~ Winchester

Dear Lydia: Forget handbags or fancy jewelry, having beautiful nails can be the most flattering accessory you can buy. Yet, who likes to spend their hard earned dollars on a manicure that only lasts a few days? The introduction of new gel like polish is changing all of that! There are several gel-like polishes on the market, but the one I have found to be the least damaging to the natural nail and offering the best selection of color, is Harmony’s Gelish. Just like regular polish, Gelish is applied using a base coat, two coats of color and a top coat. Each layer is then cured under a LED light. The process is relatively quick, about the same amount of time as a regular manicure, but the results are very different. One of the best benefits of the Gelish manicure is that when you are done, you are dry! You don’t have to worry about reaching into your pocketbook for your keys and smudging your nails in the process. Another great benefit is that your polish remains chip-free and shiny for two weeks. That’s right… 2 WEEKS! Imagine having great looking nails throughout the holidays or during your vacation, without having to worry about touching up peeling, chipping or dulling polish.

The removal of Gelish polish is a bit more involved than removing traditional polish and takes approximately 15 minutes. Gelish polish should not be scraped or peeled off, as this can cause damage to your natural nail. The correct procedure for removal involves placing a cotton pad soaked in a non-acetone based remover on the surface of the nail. The cotton pad is then held in place with a small piece of foil while the remover works to soften the Gelish polish. This technique prevents having to expose the entire nail and fingertip to chemicals and keeps the remover where it is needed, on the nail.

The following is a quick reference to the pros and cons of the Gelish manicure, although I believe the pros far outweigh the cons.


  1. Gelish manicure is perfect for vacations and special events when you want your nails to look their very best for an extended period of time.
  2. No filing of the natural nail surface is required.
  3. Polish doesn’t dull and remains looking shiny and chip free to two weeks.
  4. When you are done you are dry, no more waiting around for the polish to set.


  1. The Gelish manicure is little more expensive than regular manicures, but then again, if you get weekly manicures you will actually save money by only having to have a manicure every other week.
  2. Gelish polish removal is more involved and difficult to do at home therefore requiring a visit to your nail technician.
  3. The process takes a bit longer then having a regular manicure, but if you include the dry time required with a regular manicure, then it’s about the same.

You will love the peace of mind of the Gelish manicure. There is no more having to worry about your nails looking chipped and ugly for the next couple of weeks. You will even notice your own natural nails gaining length and strength with the Gelish since peeling is basically eliminated. So treat yourself to a Gelish manicure and get the beautiful nails you’ve always dream of, your friends will be jealous of your Gelish.


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