An Anxious Girl’s Guide to Spa Facials

An Anxious Girl's Guide to Spa Facials

If you have anxiety, you know something like visiting a spa for the first time can be upsetting. Pampering induces panic in some of us. It’s an oxymoron, but true. Fear of the unknown, health anxiety or any number of other worries can prevent you from scheduling your first appointment. I’m guilty of it myself. (You can read more about my struggle with anxiety here.)

I’ve had plenty of chances to go in for a massage and flaked out. So when my sister-in-law, Brina, asked me to tag along with her to the spa for facials, I fought off the urge to say no. I’ve wanted this experience for too long to turn the opportunity down again… and I’m glad I said yes. I enjoyed my spa treatment more than I would’ve thought possible!

Today, I’m discussing how my appointment went, and how you can make yourself more comfortable for your first spa treatment. If you really want a facial and you’ve been avoiding it because of anxiety, this post is for you!


Part of the fear of trying something new arises from not knowing what to expect. So let’s take a look at what happens during a spa facial.


When you arrive for your appointment, your esthetician will take a few minutes to discuss the facial process with you. They will determine your skin type, and ask what products you use. These questions help them customize your service and select the best treatment for your skin. This is the perfect time to alert them to your anxiety issues and bring up your concerns.


Facials begin with the esthetician cleansing your skin to remove any makeup. They cover your face and neck in a gentle cleanser, then wipe it away with a warm cloth.


Exfoliation is accomplished through use of an exfoliating scrub to buff dead skin cells away. After exfoliation, your skin will probably be steamed and/or wrapped in a warm towel. This opens up your pores for the next step.


During this step, a tool will be used to extract any blackheads, milia, or whiteheads. They tell you this can be a bit uncomfortable, but I found it to be painful. I’m not even going to lie – I needed Brina to hold my hand through the extractions. Yes, I am a giant baby. No, I do not feel any shame. Well, maybe a little. lol


After the extraction process, comes the best part of the facial: massage. This was so wonderful, I instantly forgave my esthetician for putting me through pain a moment before. The massage includes your face, neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. I never realized how much tension I carry in my face and hands until she rubbed it away. After the massage, I felt like a whole new person. A relaxed person. It was beautiful.


After your massage, the esthetician may apply a mask to your face. I’m not sure if my facial included this step since I was on the verge of sleep by this point. I believe my face was treated with a serum instead.

Skincare Quote

Tips for Anxiety Sufferers Who Want to Schedule Themselves a Spa Facial

Knowing what to expect from your first spa facial can make you feel better about setting an appointment, but there’s always more you can do to help relieve anxiety during your appointment. Based on my experience, I have six tips to help you keep your first facial stress free:

I. Bring a Friend

Brina’s presence helped keep my anxiety under control. She went first, so I got to see what was going to happen when it was my turn. Plus, having someone there to hold my hand through those extractions was comforting.

II. Show Up Barefaced

I have skin allergies, so I have a religious skincare regimen. Though I didn’t wear makeup to my appointment, I did go through my morning skincare routine as usual. This may have contributed to some of the redness I experienced afterward. Don’t make this mistake when you go in for your facial.

III. Disclose Your Anxiety

If you think your anxiety may be an issue, bring it up during your consultation. I didn’t, but I sat with Brina through her facial and felt comfortable about the process when it was my turn.

IV. Be Prepared to Undress

I was asked to undress from the waist up. This is necessary for the massage that accompanies the treatment. By wearing a strapless bra and a button-down shirt, you can avoid some discomfort.

V. Practice Mindfulness

Throughout my appointment, I stayed calm by practicing mindfulness.

VI. Ask Questions About Aftercare

My skin was incredibly irritated for hours after my appointment. I was horrified at first because I wasn’t expecting my skin to react the way it did. I took Tylenol and used cold compresses to treat it. When I woke up the next morning, my skin looked phenomenal. In hindsight, I wish I asked the esthetician questions about what to expect following my first facial.

Revive Spa

Revive Spa in Fayetteville, NC

If you’re in Fayetteville, you should check out Revive Spa. They’re centrally located near Highland Country Club and have fab reviews. The spa is cute and clean. The private suite has blackout curtains and soft lighting. Relaxing music plays in the background. I mean, this place is the perfect setting for a little pampering.

Owner, Kim Hyatt, is the esthetician who provided our service. She is amaze-balls! She took my extraction whining in stride and even giggled when Brina came over to hold my hand. Besides putting up with me being a total wuss, she gave the best massage. I really can’t compliment her enough.

My experience was awesome. I’m no longer nervous about hitting up the spa, and I look forward to my next service. If you’ve been putting off getting a facial due to your anxiety, you really should consider giving it a try. The release of all that muscle tension is worth it, besides… you’re skin will thank for it!



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